DAF(Demographics Of African Faculty) Project

About the Initiative:

The DAF initiative was established in 2018, to systematically analyse the staffing challenges in sub-Saharan Africa. This involved using administrative data and policy norms to describe the current context and project the future supply of and demand for faculty. The consortium is comprised of the Association of African Universities (AAU), Education Sub Saharan Africa (ESSA) and the Population Reference Bureau (PRB). With funding from The Mastercard Foundation, the DAF consortium undertook a pilot research project (DAF I) in Ghana, West Africa, in partnership with Ghana’s National Commission for Tertiary Education
(NCTE – now restructured and renamed the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC)). The Demographics of African Faculty Ghana Pilot Study Report can be accessed via this link


Extension of the DAF study to the East African Community (DAF EAC):

In the East Africa region, challenges related to availability of consolidated, current, secure, and quality data on higher education institutions exist. Available data is largely scattered, inadequate and not up to date. This makes it increasingly difficult to leverage knowledge and evidence to inform the policymaking process and facilitate identification of opportunities for improvements and enhancing effectiveness. In this context, the DAF consortium extended its study to the East African Community (DAF EAC), in 2021.  The Inter University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), an inter-governmental agency, joined the consortium during this extension.


The DAF EAC project built upon the pilot project and study conducted in Ghana.  Having secured a total funding of $390,000 from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the two-year research project focused on undertaking a detailed study of the challenges that higher education institutions (HEIs) in the East African Community (EAC) face, with respect to faculty to student ratios and the composition of faculty, which directly affect the quality of education in the region. The project aimed to strengthen the ability of higher education stakeholders to plan and implement evidence-informed responses targeted at improving the numbers and nature of quality faculty within higher education institutions in the EAC. This phase of the project concluded in June 2023. The key research reports and other knowledge products generated under this phase of the project include:



The AAU is excited to announce the continuation of the DAF EAC Project into its second phase under the title: “Cultivating a culture of data collection, analysis, and management for faculty planning in the East African Community.” This phase of the project is being implemented from November 2023 to October 2025 by the Association of African Universities (AAU), The Inter University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), Education Sub Saharan Africa (ESSA) and the Population Reference Bureau (PRB). The Carnegie Corporation of New York is funding this research initiative.


Evidence drawn from phase I of the Demographics of African Faculty in the East African Community (DAF EAC) project, indicates that there are data gaps at the institutional, country, and regional levels in the EAC. In addition, available faculty data in higher education institutions (HEIs) is not consolidated and therefore presents a lot of variability. This current phase is designed in response to the data gaps identified and lessons learnt through Phase 1 (implemented from 2021-2023), and the pilot project undertaken in Ghana in 2018. The overall grand vision remains the same, that is, ‘Addressing Faculty Challenges in the East African Community’.

The project will be implemented in the following three pilot countries – Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. During this phase, the Association of African Universities, as a consortium member, will execute various activities including but not limited to:

  • Build and establish a continental Higher Education Data Working Group, with each region in Africa having one representative and other members being representatives from the implementing partners. The primary goal of this working group is to champion and foster a coordinated initiative with the aim of strengthening the capacity of higher education institutions in Africa to manage and utilize data effectively, ultimately contributing to the advancement and development of the continent’s higher education sector.
  • Organize advocacy webinars in English and French, as part of lobbying for the establishment of units responsible for data management in universities and commissions/councils for higher education and build the capacities of administrative staff of these institutions.
  • Support continental level dissemination of the project objectives and outputs through press releases, social media dissemination and writing of at least three blog articles.


For further information on this project please contact – jaiyoha@aau.org




Based in the UK and Ghana, ESSA brings together students, educators, and decision makers in sub-Saharan Africa and equip young people with skills for work. ESSA’s operations address all areas of education, from inclusion, to quality, and relevance. ESSA is supporting the consortium to work with the right people to deliver quality and impact.



Based in Uganda, it is an institution of the East African Community (EAC) responsible for the development of higher education in the region. IUCEA coordinates and advises the EAC Partner States on all higher education matters. IUCEA’s inter-governmental structure means that they have the power to influence education policy and practice, with their mission being to develop mutually beneficial collaboration between their Member Universities (in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan) on behalf of the Governments of the EAC Partner States.



Based in Washington DC, PRB is one of the leading demographic organisations globally. It informs people around the world about population, health, and the environment, and empowers them to use that information to advance the well-being of current and future generations. Their research expertise will ensure that the consortium’s research and analysis are conducted with transparency and rigor.