Our Work

Our work

Kivu International has significant experience of supporting institutions in low and middle income countries to influence policy and inform debate. This includes:

Zambia Market


Supporting local research and advocacy organisations’ influence on economic policy

Between 2016 and 2019, Kivu worked with alliances of Zambian think tanks, advocacy organisations and other influential interest groups on a wide range of high profile policy issues in Zambia. We provided tailored advice for individual organisations and also forged influential coalitions with the power to achieve policy change. The approach combined support for the generation of policy-relevant research with a highly political approach to strategic advocacy. Kivu’s work in Zambia began in 2014 under the DFID-funded Zambian Economic Advocacy Programme. In 2016, we were asked to design and lead the delivery of the economic policy influencing component of the DFID-funded British Council Zambia Accountability Programme, which ran until December 2019.

Sri Lanka and Nepal

Supporting our local partners on tobacco control policy

We scoped and designed a  major two-year programme for Cancer Research UK and are currently implementing this in Sri Lanka and Nepal across 2019-2021. We are working closely with our local partner think tanks and other CSOs on tobacco control policy, supporting them on their policy influencing and advocacy activities whilst also providing highly-tailored and context-specific capacity building support. For further information on our work to date, please see this piece for the RSA from July 2019 and this Op Ed for Dev Ex from October 2019.


Supporting policy development and implementation in government

We are providing highly responsive support to the Egyptian Minister of Education and his team on the implementation of their radical school reform agenda.


Supporting think tanks and advocacy organisations in Myanmar

We are currently running a two-year capacity building and mentoring programme for a group of think tanks and advocacy organisations in Myanmar. This programme will support our partners on core think tank and policy influencing functions, with a focus on improving research skills and quality; communication and dissemination skills; as well as approaches to advocacy and policy influencing. It is highly-tailored to the Myanmar context and the needs of our local partners. It is funded by IDRC. 

Rwanda Town Outskirts


Supporting think tanks, CSOs and government agencies in Rwanda

Kivu is currently supporting the DFID-funded Ikiraro Cy’iterambere programme in Rwanda. We are helping to strengthen the capacity of the Ikiraro team and its partners – including think tanks, civil society organisations and government agencies – to develop effective policy influencing strategies in the Rwandan context. We are supporting local partners to work on several policy issues including people with disabilities, agricultural productivity, urbanisation, and reconciliation.


Supporting policy development and implementation in government

We are providing initial support to the Ministry of Education in Morocco, helping to scope options for politically and technically viable systemic change to the education system.

Zimbabwe Railway Bridge


Supporting more informed economic policy debates - including via a stronger business voice

In 2015 and 2016 we provided advice and support to both business membership organisations and economic policy think tanks, with the aim of improving economic policy debate. This involved highly tailored advice, support and mentoring for a set of local partners. We combined a focus on short-term impacts with long-term capacity building. The work focused on how to inform and improve economic policy debate in a challenging political context, for example through the production of a high-profile compendium of economic data.


Reviewing policy influence and governance programmes

In 2016, we conducted a review of DFID Malawi’s accountability programming, supporting the development of a business case for major new governance programme.

India, Bangladesh and Nepal

Strengthening a network of south Asian think tanks

We provided advice to a network of south Asian think tanks across a range of core think tank functions. Our work focused on improving research quality, communication and dissemination skills, as well as approaches to policy influencing. This project ran for two years between 2016 and 2018 and was funded by the Think Tank Initiative.

Zambia Market


Thinking politically

We worked with DFID-Zambia to help them embed a culture of ‘thinking and working politically’. Through a package of tailored advice and on-going mentoring, we supported DFID-Zambia staff to improve the way they think about political change.   

Rwanda Sunset


Strengthening policy influencing in a closed political context

In 2011 we established and ran an 18-month partnership between the Institute for Policy Analysis and Research in Rwanda (IPAR-Rwanda) and the UK think tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). We provided peer-to-peer support and mentoring to support IPAR-Rwanda to improve its approach to policy influencing. This included support to develop politically informed and policy-relevant research projects which respond to policy makers' demands, and also advice on advocacy - both the public and private communication of their arguments.