Stimulating Development Oriented Research
One of the initiatives of the Higher Education Development Program (HEDP) is supporting research projects designed by Afghan faculty members. The program has helped many faculty members from public and private universities with a considerable amount of grants to conduct research projects on vital subjects relating to the economic development and development-oriented matters. In fact, the objective of the theme “Stimulating Development Oriented Research” is to develop a research culture in universities. The focus will be on applied, development-oriented research Projects, mainly from the priority disciplines. However, research projects from other disciplines, if clearly development-oriented, will also be eligible for funding. HEDP funds both group and individual researches.
The promotion of research is a vital step in the development of higher education in Afghanistan. This initiative is a very important and distinctive mandate of universities. Academics engaged in research are likely to be more up-to-date than other academics, and hence better able to teach the current state of knowledge to students. Meanwhile, research and innovation can make a vitally important contribution to economic and social development. On the other hand, research and consulting services can enable universities to raise revenues for future growth.
For many years, less attention was paid to the research activities in public and private universities. Based on the information retrieved from a World Bank report, only 62 research outputs originated in Afghanistan from 1964 to 2013, while this has dramatically changed in recent years. For instance, in the past five years, Higher Education Development Program (HEDP) has awarded research grants for 150 research projects, of which 63 research papers have been published in international journals. The remaining research projects are to be published during 2020 and 2021.