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While many consultancy companies existed in Namibia at the time, we felt passionately that there was a need for an independent public policy research organisation whose job it would be to provide rigorous research to Namibian decision-makers and the public at large on the important issues of the day. This kind of research does not easily lend itself to private financing – either because often there is not a single identifiable client or because, for one reason or another, private clients do not have an interest in researching a topic, however important.

An important characteristic of the IPPR is that it produces high-quality readable research, which it then makes available to everyone free of charge by email, through the Internet and as printed papers. In a country where the value of research is not yet fully recognised, it is important that the expense of producing the research in the first place does not then go to waste because key people are not able to get hold of it.