The African Social Research Initiative (ASRI), hosted by the University of Michigan’s African Studies Center, promotes excellence in social science research, facilitates new collaborative networks, offers statistical training, and fosters professional development among faculty and students at the University of Michigan and academic and non-governmental organization (NGO) research partners in Africa. ASRI comprises three intersecting subgroups organized around research on democratic governance and distributive politics; income dynamics and poverty; and gender, health, and development. Each subgroup endeavors to sustain scholarly partnerships that rely on multi-method approaches to engage in data collection and analysis. The cross-fertilization among the subgroups through shared research agendas and conferences underscores the value of inter-disciplinary approaches and has contributed greatly to the high visibility that ASRI enjoys on the University of Michigan campus and among its partner institutions.
Through data-sharing networks, collaborative research and training, and dedicated mentoring of young scholars, ASRI aims to have lasting, enriching effects both at the University of Michigan and at participating universities in Africa, preparing a new generation of scholars for science in the service of society.