Dorcas Opai-Tetteh of University of Ghana presented at the INORMS2014 conference, on the progress on Strengthening Institutional Research Uptake Management Capacity mainly by the office of Research, Innovation and Development (OIRD) of the University of Ghana.
Highlights of the Research Uptake include the implementation of the successful LEAP programme and the establishment of two centres under the World Bank’s Africa Centres of Excellence Project.
Building research uptake capacity at UoG:
Since the launch the DRUSSA programme in June 2012, the UoG hashosted DRUSSA short courses (organized by CREST for the West African sub-region) in November 2012 as well as a Research Uptake seminar in May 2013 as part of the phase one implementation of DRUSSA. At the seminar four senior members from various departments of the University of Ghana presented papers on their research findings and their policy relevance to an audience of development practitioners and academics.
“The University is to develop a research communication strategy covering the various stages of developing, implementing and monitoring of research findings."
The University of Ghana won two World Bank grants under the Bank’s Africa Centres of Excellence Project. Under this initiative the University of Ghana will set up two centres: Africa Centre of Excellence for training plant breeders, seed scientists and seed technologies and West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP).
Strengthening on Policy
The development of innovative strategies for implementing University of Ghana’s Research Uptake was identified as priority for the second phase with a Research Uptake policy for the University needing to be developed.
“Research Uptake should be factored into the conditions for promotion. i.e promotion should not be based only on publications.”
In an effort to deepen policy relevance of research at our University, a number of building blocks have been put into place:
The Vice Chancellor launched four research thematic areas, which are to be developed into Centres of Excellence. These include: Malaria research; food production and processing; climate change adaptation; and development monitoring and evaluation.
It was decided that Research Uptake should be factored into the conditions for promotion for tenure i.e., promotion should not be based only on publications.
The university’s policy on research dissemination should include active Research Uptake. Our university will create a database of all research works that had impacted policy and the process they went through before it impacted policy.
We will conduct a wider university campaign for active Research Uptake (or getting research into use) that extends beyond the Sub-Saharan Africa universities participating in the DRUSSA programme [http://www.drussa.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=145&Itemid=363&lang=en.] To this end it has been resolved that the university needs to liaise constantly with the media (science journalists) to disseminate current success stories of research uptake within the university.
The University is to develop a research communication strategy covering the various stages of developing, implementing and monitoring of research findings.
The university will provide courses on stakeholder analysis to complement the existing courses on Research Uptake (which are currently organised by CREST). The reason for this is that it is vitally important for researchers to know their target audience or stakeholders right from the onset, in order to communicate and work successfully with a them.
The University conducted an impact evaluation of the social grant programme Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) on beneficiaries. The programme is targeted at the bottom 20% of extreme poor in Ghana. Following the results of impact evaluation by the University, the government of Ghana has scaled up the LEAP programme and increased the amounts given to beneficiaries.
Dorcas Opai-Tetteh is Projects Manager at Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research. http://www.ug.edu.gh/