|Benchmarking and blog series of snapshots charts Research Uptake implementation at DRUSSA Universities|
|Friday, 11 July 2014 15:29|
Diana Coates rounds up this blog series of Research Uptake snapshots, as presented at INORMS2014 by SSA Universities participating in the DRUSSA programme, and links the evident RU momentum with results from a recent programme-level benchmarking report.
A ‘snapshot’ series that shows SSA Research Uptake in action
Over the past months articles have been published here on www.drussa.net that provide insights into the progress that the DRUSSA universities are making in institutionalizing and systematizing Research Uptake (RU), with a view to being more pro-active about and more responsive to their external stakeholders. It’s been a great example of Sub-Saharan-African Research Uptake Communication in action, with this blog series featuring the presentations made in person by members from the DRUSSA Universities at INORMS2014.
DRUSSA benchmarking corroborates notable growing RU momentum
The recently published 2014 Research Uptake Benchmarking Report and the ‘Snapshots’ of the participant universities’ plans and progress chronicle the ways in which these universities that are participating in the DRUSSA programme are positioning their institutions to deliver research evidence that can provide solutions.
The Benchmarking Report highlights the increasing number of universities that provide incentives to their academic staff to identify and undertake research that has developmental application. In 2012 just over half the universities had such incentives – in 2014 nearly three quarters have formalized this in policy and regulation. Similarly, formal recognition is being given to collaborative research projects that have external stakeholders that have identified an issue, participate in the research and benefit from its findings. In 2012 48% of DRUSSA Universities reported working with external stakeholders on research with the potential for uptake, and in 2014 this number had increased to 71%.
Highlights of the RU snapshot series
It is notable that each university featured in the snapshot series has its own strengths and priorities, and so systematizing the management and impact of Research Uptake takes different forms and has different emphases.
The University of Nairobi now has a university communication policy and an extension and outreach policy. At the University of Ghana the criteria for academic tenure now include both the academic publication record and evidence of research having been presented to external stakeholders. The University of Addis Ababa’s policies are strongly geared to national development goals and it is to use its incubators and techno-park to get research taken up and into use.
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology’s (KNUST) Research Uptake activities are carried out through its outreach and community engagement programmes, notably the new Vice-Chancellors’s Community Impact programme. With its technology focus, KNUST’s Centre for Business Development provides assistance to small- and medium-scale industries. The University of Mauritius’ Research Uptake activities through its well-established Consultancy and Contracts office are both donor and client-focused. Clients from the public and private sectors and civil society benefit from the office’s mandate to match client demand with the university’s research capacity. At the newly consolidated University of Rwanda there is an ambitious five-year strategic plan to build researcher capacity so that research evidence is available to influence policy decisions and meet development needs.
The University of Ibadan’s Research Management Office was established two years ago. Research Uptake has always been integral to the stakeholder-inclusive activities of the Agricultural, Public Health, Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences so processes, systems and policy are now being formalized. The University of Buea, one of the Cameroon’s public universities, is mandated to provide training and research that responds to the national development vision. This means meeting the needs of Cameroon’s productive sector by forging partnerships and linkages with national and international organisations and government ministries.
The Research Uptake Capacity presentations and ‘Snapshots’ were by Prof Lucy Irungu of the University of Nairobi, Prof Verdiana Masanja of the University of Rwanda, Ms Dorcas Opai-Tetteh of the University of Ghana, Prof Bhanooduth (Vinod) Lalljee of the University of Mauritius, Mr Vincent Lomotey of Kwame Nkrumah University of Technology, Prof Teketel Johannes Anshebo of the University of Addis Ababa, Prof Eme T Owoaje of the University of Ibadan [article link to go here], Prof Lukova Nyonga of University of Buea.
Keep watching this blog for regular article contributions on Research Uptake developments by the DRUSSA Universities.
Diana Coates is the DRUSSA Communications and Engagement Co-ordinator