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The increasing complexity of HIV and AIDS demands the use of strategic information and empirical evidence to make informed choices and decisions on the nature and kind of interventions and strategies to adopt. A pre-requisite to achieve this, is the development of institutional applied research capacities, complemented by an effective M&E system to generate empirical evidence and apply the evidence. The need for empirical evidence is re-enforced by the adoption of the evidence and results-based planning and management approach. A national research agenda has been developed and research priority areas identified. The NASF focuses on the implementation of the gaps and challenges identified in the Research Agenda Strategy and facilitating the research on prioritised areas.