Building on a recently developed map of the AI ecosystem in developing countries, IDRC is building a collaborative agenda to advance efforts in different regions, continue to build global thought leadership and establish a multi-donor fund.

As a first step in establishing regional initiatives, IDRC is working with Knowledge for All and the new UNESCO Chair in AI at University College London, to support a series of activities over the next 12 months intended to: (i) develop a research network in Sub-Saharan Africa (see Annex for research issues), (ii) develop and pilot survey tools to develop a baseline of AI-related capacities in government and higher education institutions, and (iii) launch a call for seed grants on the theme of AI innovations for the public good.

In order to advance the global research agenda, IDRC will also support a series of workshops on select AI themes, such as AI and civil liberties, or AI and data, to better understand research needs in particular areas, and develop strategic collaborations with global efforts.

Finally, IDRC is inviting a small group of interested funders to collaboratively design the global AI for Development initiative. This could be facilitated by collaborating on one or more of the initial activities described above.