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22 September 2017
Institutional and Divisional Performance Contracts incorporate Research Uptake at the University of Nairobi Print
Thursday, 26 November 2015 12:02

Research Uptake at the University of Nairobi takes many forms and is required by the university as well as many funders, including government. In the past Research Uptake has been un-coordinated but for the past four years the university has put in place policies and systems to mainstream and manage Research Uptake. In a chat with DRUSSA.net Rosemary Omwandho, who is the Assistant Registrar in the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Production and Extension) at the University, outlines what has been done.

 

"Over the last few years, with the support of the DRUSSA Programme, the University of Nairobi has reviewed and developed policies and strategies with Research Uptake in mind"

Essential tools for incorporating Research Uptake are institutional policies. Over the last few years, with the support of the DRUSSA Programme, the University of Nairobi has reviewed and developed policies and strategies with Research Uptake in mind. Both the Research Policy and the Intellectual Property Policy were revised to embed critical stages in the research life cycle including research uptake. New policies have also been approved, such as the Communications policy, Extension and Outreach policy, Open Access policy and the latest one being the Incubation Policy.  A Research Uptake Strategy has also been developed and is under consideration. All these policies embed Research Uptake in the university’s structures and practices, with the purpose of supporting researchers and formalizing Research Uptake requirements.

 

Performance Contracts

The University of Nairobi has adopted a performance contract model to ensure that objectives and indicators for the university to achieve its institutional goals, as outlined in the university strategic plan and accepted by government, are achieved. The performance contracts have been crafted based on the Mwongozo Code of Conduct, the University Strategic Plan, the budget, the Medium Plan II and the Kenya Vision 2030.  At national level the contract is signed between the Chairman of the University Council with the Minister of Education Science and Technology. For the first time the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellors have concluded performance contracts with the Vice-Chancellor’s Office and the divisional contractsfurther cascade to their staff, based on the specific objectives of each division.

"The national government is an important stakeholder for the University of Nairobi and the university performance contracts are part of the overall objective of supporting government priorities"

Indicators for Research Uptake fall under the “operations” section of the performance agreement and include:

  • New research findings released
  • Publications
  • Attendance at academic fora
  • Attendance at conferences
  • Extension activities
  • Commercialisation contracts
  • Start-ups

The national government is an important stakeholder for the University of Nairobi and the university performance contracts are part of the overall objective of supporting government priorities.

 

Working towards National Priorities

The University’s commitment to national priorities is also evident in its inclusion of government officials in many of its Research Uptake activities. This is a way to showcase research results to government officials and to put research evidence on their agendas when developing and reviewing policy. For example in August 2015, the university hosted the Nairobi Innovation Week, whose objective was to provide a platform for showcasing and recognizing innovations by researchers, incubatees and private companies, to create a platform for presentation of academic papers, innovation illustrations and case studies focused on research and innovation and to champion policy discussions on innovation in Kenya. More recently, the University also hosted a Livestock Expo, whereresearch about increasing livestock outputs and access to markets was showcased. The chief guest was the Principal Secretary, State Department of Fisheries, Professor Micheni Japhet Ntiba.

The Expo aimed to highlight existing research findings and recommendations to farmers, that could increase their earning potential and it provided a forum for policy makers to understand the needs of the farmers. In addition to policy makers the Expo was attended by over 1000 researchers, 60 exhibitors and over 10,000 Kenyans who are in the livestock sector.

 


Rosemary Omwandho is the Assistant Registrar in the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Production and Extension) at the University of Nairobi

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