Global Challenges Research Fund

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) was announced in the November 2015 Aid Strategy. Its stated aim was “to ensure that UK science takes the lead in addressing the problems faced by developing countries, whilst developing our ability to deliver cutting-edge research.”

The purpose of this rapid review is to assess whether the GCRF has the governance arrangements, systems and procedures in place to allocate funds effectively in support of its high-level vision and objectives. The review will evaluate the emerging processes for setting its strategy and research priorities, the coordination and management of the Fund, the allocation of funding and the assessment of results. It will look at the composition of the emerging portfolio and at the role of the GCRF alongside other government instruments and programmes for funding Official Development Assistance (ODA) research.

This review will build on earlier work carried out by ICAI on cross-government aid funds in the Annual Report 2016, the information note for the International Development Committee (IDC) on the ODA allocation process in 2015 and the rapid review of the Prosperity Fund.

ICAI rapid reviews are short, real-time reviews of emerging issues or areas of UK aid spending that are of particular interest to the UK Parliament and public. In examining evidence to date at an early stage, the review will note issues of concern and make recommendations intended to enhance the potential for the GCRF’s impact. ICAI rapid reviews are not intended to reach final conclusions on performance or impact and are therefore not scored.

Read the full approach paper here: GCRF Approach Paper