By means of a current planning grant from JTF, "Engaging Africa" (#47915), The Nagel Institute convened JTF and Issachar Fund (IF) officers and African leaders in church, academy and NGOs to assess the needs and opportunities for projects in sub-Saharan Africa. This consultation produced nine topics that seemed relevant and needful to the Africans and potentially workable to JTF officers. Research into
each of these topical areas and the fields of inquiry that engage them has identified two thematic fields of promise for JTF: one for progress in Christian theology: “African Realities and African Hope;” and one in the social sciences (and some humanities) focusing on “African Agency.” As the project's final report, Engaging Africa, shows, these fields are in need of strengthening, but they currently have the
scholars, discourse, networks, media and leading institutions needed to sustain JTF-funded research and communications projects. So now the Nagel Institute proposes a one-year project to design and prepare to implement grants programs in these two areas. This planning project will secure assessments of the prior project's findings and recommendations, develop expert African advisory teams, commission and review draft models of programs, develop funding proposals for grants programs, and make contingent preparations for operating those programs, so they would be ready for implementation immediately upon receiving grant funding.