A systemic approach to program-oriented proposals for maximal impact

November 4, 2022


Joshua Waema Muthama

Software Developer

Sheena Kayira

Business Development Manager


Sheena Kayira and Joshua Muthama

While the Localization Agenda for Africa has tremendously advanced, and some donors have shifted to funding African institutions directly, there is still a limitation in leveraging these opportunities. There are notable gaps in developing program-oriented proposals that integrate systems thinking, strategic partnerships, evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM) fundamentals, and co-creation for maximal impact. Existing approaches to business development are no longer adequate in meeting the growing and changing needs of research organizations in the sub-Saharan African region. There are a number of prescribed solutions and platforms to facilitate donor prepositioning, streamline processes for proposal development, centralize efforts, leverage relationships, foster synergy, and submit high-quality proposals- but they are not African-centric. A contextually-tailored centralized electronic gateway for donor intelligence, prospecting, review, approval, proposal development, submission, tracking, and knowledge management is very necessary and would be timely.

The African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) Operations division seeks to develop a flexible, scalable, and configurable platform that will enhance intelligence gathering, positioning, collaboration, knowledge management, systems thinking, evidence-informed decision making, Go-processes, program conceptualization, review and guidance, quality assurance, efficient proposal development, and timely submission. The system will have checks and criteria to ascertain that minimum desired standards are met. APHRC business development and software development teams will co-design and co-implement the platform with researchers and operations staff who contribute to proposals, policy communications and engagement (PEC) staff, research and related capacity strengthening (RRCS) staff, and like-minded organizations. Funders, community members, civil society organizations, and policy actors will be consulted in the process.  Diversity, Inclusion and Equity considerations and integrative approaches will be employed at an individual, organizational, and decision-makers levels. Ultimately, we will have a platform that will position the Center and partners who adopt it, as African leaders in quality proposal submissions and program design.