Skip to content
rice poured into hand


Evaluation of the Global Challenges Research Fund

GCRF (Global Challenges Research Fund) is a £1.5 billion fund to support cutting-edge, world-class research that addresses the challenges faced by low- and middle-income countries. This five-year evaluation provides an assessment of whether the fund is achieving its aims, it is on course to deliver impact and achieves value for money.


GCRF aims to create knowledge and drive innovation to address poverty through promoting social inclusion, economic growth and environmental sustainability in partner countries. It achieves this by supporting challenge-led, interdisciplinary research, as well as by growing the research and innovation capacity of the UK and developing countries. Research spans all disciplines, ranging from health and wellbeing to inclusive and equitable education, resilient food systems and sustainable energy. Funds are allocated through the existing research system, including UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the research councils, academies, higher education funding councils and the UK Space Agency.

Our role

Itad leads a consortium of RAND Europe, AFIDEP (African Institue for Development Policy) in Kenya, Athena Infonomics in India, and Digital Science in the UK, to provide evidence and lessons on whether the GCRF is relevant, fair, well-targeted and well-managed. It also considers the extent to which over 2,000 research awards and signature initiatives (Hubs, Future Leaders, FLAIR Fellowships, etc) have contributed to the UK and partner countries’ ability to deliver cutting-edge research on global challenges.

The mixed-method, theory-based evaluation deploys innovative techniques including data science.


Contact Chris Barnett ( if you would like to discuss this project.


Image Credit: istock/Riccardo Lennart Niels Mayer