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Frequently Asked Questions

The Institute for Research and Policy Integration in Africa (IRPIA) is a pan-African think tank serving as a hub for the fusion of evidence-based research with pressing public policy issues. We are happy to answer questions about our work. Please feel free to contact us at

What is IRPIA?

IRPIA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the production and dissemination of policy relevant evidence-based research to help solve pressing issues in Africa. IRPIA is a knowledge organization that operates as a pan-African think tank serving as a hub for the fusion of evidence-based research with pressing public policy issues. It brings together scholars and policy experts working on Africa – from within Africa and outside of Africa.

Why was IRPIA founded?

IRPIA was founded to promote African knowledge production and contribute to the nurturing of scholarship and policy analysis in Africa; and to ensure that scholars and policy experts based in Africa are at the center of producing evidence-based knowledge about Africa and providing policy insights and recommendations about African issues. IRPIA seeks to affirm African agency and insights in the production of evidence-based knowledge about Africa and the use of such knowledge to address African issues.

What are IRPIA’s areas of interest?

IRPIA is a broad based think tank in its Africa-wide focus and the range of issues it addresses. At its core, IRPIA’s focus is on the production, dissemination, and use of evidence-based knowledge about Africa. As IRPIA grows, it would seek to expand its scope to all social, economic, political, and security issues in Africa. As a start, IRPIA is focusing on the following broad clusters: 1) security and peacebuilding, 2) environmental sustainability and resilience, and 3) health and education. These three broad clusters cross-cut with other issues such as governance, migration, and gender equity.

How can I become part of IRPIA?

If you hold a doctorate degree or a masters degree with at least two years of professional experience you can join IRPIA as a Research Fellow or a Senior Fellow depending on your level of academic or policy experiences and achievements. Senior Fellows are typically people who hold the rank of Associate Professor or higher at an accredited university or people who have held senior positions in well-established policy organizations or government. Graduate students and recent graduates can apply to be Research Assistants or Research Interns. If you want to be part of IRPIA and meet these requirements, please contact us via email.

Where is IRPIA registered and based?

IRPIA is a pan African think tank that is registered and headquartered in Sierra Leone. It is also housed at Northern Illinois University in the United States. IRPIA operates across Africa through its network of scholars and partner institutions. In addition, IRPIA has partnerships in various other parts of the world (e.g. Indonesia and Turkey) with institutions that have specific research and/or policy interests in Africa.

When was IRPIA founded?

IRPIA was founded in 2023 and registered as a nonprofit organization in Sierra Leone in May 2024 under the leadership of Dr. Abu Bakarr Bah who is a globally renowned scholar from Sierra Leone and the founding editor of African Conflict & Peacebuilding Review (ACPR). Dr. Bah holds the prestigious title of Presidential Research Professor of Sociology at Northern Illinois University.

How does IRPIA operate?

IRPIA operates as a network of scholars and policy experts who are our Senior Fellows and Research Fellows. Fellows work in teams dealing with specific projects in their areas of expertise. Each team is coordinated by a Senior Fellow who oversees the project from the proposal conception phase through the phases of research and publication/dissemination of the findings and policy recommendations. IRPIA also organizes conferences, workshops, and capacity building activities. IRPIA is managed by an administrative staff that works in collaboration with the Advisory Board and our partner institutions.

What service does IRPIA provide?

IRPIA is a knowledge organization. Our main services are conducting evidenced-based research and making evidence-based policy recommendations. We publish the findings of our studies in a variety of formats, including academic journals, books, policy briefings, reports, newsletters, videos, and social media postings. We provide consultation and evaluation services, conduct capacity-building training, organize conferences and workshops, host researchers and students, and engage in public policy debates and awareness campaigns.

How is IRPIA funded?

IRPIA is funded through philanthropic donations, grants, and contracts. Our partner institutions and donors support our operational costs while our programmatic research and policy works are funded through competitive grants and contracts from foundations and contracting agencies. IRPIA maintains its intellectual independence and abides by established codes of ethics in the conduct of research and use of funds from donors, granting agencies and contracting parties.

How can I support IRPIA?

You can support IRPIA by: 1) joining our network of scholars and experts if you meet the requirements, 2) making a donation as you see fit, 3) connecting us with potential donors, 4) reading our published works and sharing them with other people, 5) letting others know about IRPIA, and 6) following us on social media. If you are able to support, please contact us via email.

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