Economic Social Research Foundation (ESRF)
The Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) is an independent policy research think tank established in Tanzania for the purposes of undertaking research and providing evidence to support economic management process in Tanzania.
The Foundation was established in October 1992 and effectively started its operations in 1994 at the peak of economic reforms and transition from a socialist to market economy – a transition which was characterized by greater demands for scientific evidence in policy process. Similar to the case of other think tanks established around the same period in the African continent, the formation of ESRF was motivated by a prevailing concern that Africa’s policy making process (back then) wasn’t adequately informed by evidence.
Within the country, the formation of ESRF was based on the assumption that there was need and demand for an improved understanding of policy options and development management issues, and that the capacity for this was lacking in the Tanzania civil service. The ESRF was therefore tasked with undertaking the triple objectives of policy and economic management research, capacity development in different sectors on policy and socio-economic matters, and knowledge management. Today, more than twenty-six (26) years since its establishment, the ESRF is one of the leading policy think tanks in Tanzania.