The University of Michigan’s African Social Research Initiative (ASRI) promotes and builds capacity in social science data collection and analysis conducted in Africa. Building on a decade of partnership in the social sciences between U-M and university and government research agencies in Africa, the initiative seeks to enrich ongoing collaborations and to foster new intellectual pursuits between U-M faculty and researchers in Ghana and South Africa.
ASRI was established in response to the critical need in Africa for high-quality social data for policy and planning in economics, urbanization, gender, citizenship and governance, education, demographics, environmental change, and public health. ASRI encourages collaborative research projects that cross national, institutional, and disciplinary boundaries, and innovative partnerships with policy-makers. A bi-annual revolving conference brings together scholars from Africa and U-M and seed grants of up to $10,000 support collaborative research.
Governance of ASRI is carried out by a steering committee now composed of representatives from U-M, Ghana, and South Africa.
“Access, Accountability and Equality” was the theme of the 2011 ASRI Conference that took place on July 22-23 in Accra. The next conference is planned for 2013 at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor campus.