Multilateral donors like the World Bank and bilateral agencies such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the British Department for International Development exert a great deal of influence in international educational development — particularly in sub-Saharan Africa — both in the programs they fund and the types of research they engage in. In this article, Richard Maclure investigates educational research in Africa and juxtaposes research done by large, exogenous, Western, results-oriented organizations with research performed by smaller, endogenous, local researchers aided by local research networks. Maclure argues convincingly that research that falls into the exogenous "donor-control" paradigm far too often is irrelevant to the African educational policy context and does little to develop local research capacity. The cases of two African research networks — the Educational Research Network of West and Central Africa and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa—are presented as exemplars of organizations that promote an alternative type of research that is endogenous, relevant to policy and the process of policymaking, and controlled by Africans. Maclure concludes with a call for increased support for and development of these types of networks, and for the development of the long-term solution to educational research in Africa — the university.

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