Forgotten your password? 

23 November 2017
Network News | Vol 2 No 1 | June 2013
This newsletter is best viewed online.

You have received this newsletter because you have registered at www.drussa.net. This content is brought to you by DRUSSA.
 
DRUSSA Network News is distributed quarterly and aims to build awareness of Research Uptake and Research Uptake Management (RUM). You are welcome to forward this to your colleagues. Please suggest that they register as a member of the DRUSSA Network.

In this edition of DRUSSA Network News:

1. Knowledge, practice and policy -- some definitions
2. Building institutional capacity for Research Uptake Management
3. RUMeL: A new Research Uptake Management resource
4. Social engagement -- a viable model?
5. Winemakers, trains and knowledge
6. Benefits of Fort Hare Nguni Cattle Project to be felt for generations to come

This issue of Network News is about incorporating and embedding the instititutional capacity to get knowledge into use. We look at how the various fields at the knowledge, practice and policy nexus are connected, not only with one another but also incorporating Research Uptake (RU) and Research Uptake Management (RUM) into the broad knowledge field. We discuss the significance of this knowledge field for DRUSSA`s work with its partner universities.
 
An essential aspect of strengthening RUM systems at these universities entails getting the institutional framework right, and Dr Sara Grobbelaar summarises guidelines for how this can be achieved. DRUSSA`s work to support universities in including RU and RUM in their institutional frameworks is strengthened by its Research Uptake Management eLibrary (RUMeL), an online compendium of university strategies, policies, procedures and guidelines, the rationale for which is also detailed here.

Research Uptake Management systems include universities` engagement with their stakeholders and communities and we discuss some ways that universities balance the need for effective public engagement with other institutional pressures. One of these is the additional pressure that is integral to the RU cycle, namely the effective communication and dissemination of research. Using trains and railway stations as a metaphor for the wine industry, Dr Nelius Boshoff drives home the point that researchers need to rethink their approaches when communicating research, if they`re to achieve success in bridging the gap between knowledge and practice.
 
Finally, Prof Voster Muchenje from the University of Fort Hare tells how successful RU in the university`s Nguni Cattle Project is benefiting both the rural and academic communities in the poor Eastern Province of South Africa.
 

Knowledge, practice and policy -- some definitions

by Linda Cilliers

More than a year ago a group of knowledge practitioners from all over the world gathered in Ontario, Canada, for the first K* conference. Experts met to find common ground on the scope of an emerging and complex system of knowledge fields, and to find ways to improve its coherence and avoid the duplication of resources. Earlier, the term K* (KStar) had been coined as a convenient catchall when referring to the various professional subsets working in the field.

The concept paper that emerged from the conference, "Expanding Our Understanding of K*", defines the term as "the collective term for the set of functions and processes at the various interfaces between knowledge, practice and policy. K* improves the ways in which knowledge is shared and applied; improving processes already in place to bring about more effective and sustainable change."

The paper examines how the various fields that make up K* intersect, and it is also a starting point for greater understanding of the fields, how they can interlink and how we can gain a systemic understanding and share experiences across disciplines, sectors and space.
An enabling environment, together with mechanisms to accommodate and advance RUM are necessary if professional Research Uptake Managers are to get on with the business of getting research into use.
This is all very significant for DRUSSA, as the team works with its 24 partner universities to strengthen institutional capacity for Research Uptake (RU) and Research Uptake Management (RUM). An enabling environment, together with mechanisms to accommodate and advance RUM are necessary if professional Research Uptake Managers are to get on with the business of getting research into use (see Building institutional capacity for Research Uptake below). For our purposes, it is therefore necessary to translate and contextualise the K* thinking into the RUM discourse. Here are our current definitions for RU and RUM:
 
Research Uptake (RU)* is the process where research findings enter the domains of intended but also unintended audiences. It is a complex process, as the audiences can be wide-ranging (practitioners, policymakers, scholars, general public, etc.); the notion of "uptake" -- which corresponds to "utilisation" -- can assume different meanings (being aware of findings, quoting findings, implementing findings, etc.); and a variety of modes exist whereby research can reach user audiences (via the internet, publications, brokers, media campaigns, workshops, etc.).

It therefore has an additional and equally important focus: ensuring the accessibility of research findings by communicating and disseminating knowledge in different ways for different categories of users. It is undertaken in the context of rapidly improving ICT capacity and integration that provides research institutions with the means to reach multiple audiences and readerships in innovative ways.

Research Uptake Management (RUM)* is an emerging university management field with a practical, cost-effective and sustainable approach to making research accessible and getting research into use. It requires specialist individual capacity, aligned organisational structures and strategic management processes to optimise conditions for the accessibility, dissemination, uptake and application of scientific evidence.

Public policies underpinned by sound research evaluation, impact assessment and demonstrable RU can lead to higher impact interventions and programmes for poverty reduction and improved quality of life for Africa`s children, women and men.
It is clear that “Research Uptake” incorporates several of these fields, but grounds it in the capacity to operate effectively in the knowledge--policy--practice nexus.
And here are some of the K* definitions contained in the Ontario conference paper:
  • Knowledge Management (KM): the process of ensuring that knowledge is available. It is sometimes used to describe the suite of activities from the storage of information through to its dissemination. However, with the emergence of other terms and greater differentiation between roles, it is beginning to refer more to the collection and storage of different types of knowledge so that they can be accessed when needed.

  • Knowledge Transfer: a one-way process of sharing knowledge which can be construed as more of a teacher-student relationship than other knowledge-related activities and perhaps associated with mutual exploration of an issue.

  • Knowledge Translation (KT): the process of translating knowledge from one format to another so that the receiver can understand it; often from specialists to non-specialists. KT is sometimes represented as a one-way, and sometimes a two-way, process.

  • Knowledge Exchange (KE) or Knowledge Translation and Exchange (KTE): a two-way process of sharing knowledge between different groups of people.

  • Knowledge Brokering (KB): a two-way exchange of knowledge about an issue, which fosters collective learning and usually involves knowledge brokers or `intermediaries`.

  • Knowledge Mobilisation (KMb): a two-way process that makes use of the existing stock of knowledge and co-creates new knowledge to foster change. The term KMb is most used by the Canadian network Research Impact, which helps translate/transfer university-based knowledge to help citizen groups.

It is clear that “Research Uptake” incorporates several of these fields, but grounds it in the capacity to operate effectively in the knowledge--policy--practice nexus.
 
Linda Cilliers ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) is the DRUSSA online editor
 
 

Building institutional capacity for Research Uptake

by Dr Sara Grobbelaar

The work DRUSSA does with its 24 partner universities is groundbreaking. It focuses on building capacity for Research Uptake (RU) and its management (RUM) in two ways, firstly by finding ways to support capacity at organisational level at these universities, so that each university finds ways to arrange its structures and resources to accommodate and advance RUM. Secondly, individual capacity is developed by offering professional training to individuals in the form of postgraduate short courses, as well as MPhil and PhD degrees through the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST) at the University of Stellenbosch. Pulling these two strands of work together is a strong digital support facility that includes the DRUSSA blog and the DRUSSA App, built for online and offline use on a wide variety of devices.

While it is important that individual actors be enabled to become proficient in the management of Research Uptake (RU), efforts to get research into use will not come to fruition unless the institutional environment is conducive to such activity. Although institutional capacity building may be the more difficult goal to achieve in the short term, it has the potential to produce more impactful and sustainable long-term results.
Although institutional capacity building may be the more difficult goal to achieve in the short term, it has the potential to produce more impactful and sustainable long-term results.
This article sets out key areas on which university leadership can focus to strengthen institutional capacity. It is part of a larger literature review that was undertaken, from January 2012 till May 2013, and it is a synthesis of findings from academic literature and DRUSSA`s work with the universities. The latter includes statements of good practice that were developed at a participatory benchmarking exercise last year, as well as observations made at 16 university workshops, most of which were made by the DRUSSA Monitoring and Evaluation team.

A very useful piece of work for university leadership to consider is the framework developed by *Ellen et al (2011) on identified key areas where capacity for knowledge utilisation at institutional and systems levels can be built. This framework was developed for the healthcare sector, but the structure has proved useful in the university context as well, as it could be elsewhere.

Five areas are identified for “linking research efforts with action”:
  • Climate for Research Uptake
  • Facilitating push factors
  • Exchange mechanisms
  • Facilitating pull factors
  • Evaluation efforts
... the complex and non-linear nature of the Research Uptake Management (RUM) process is acknowledged by the inclusion of suggested exchange mechanisms.
Although the approach set out below describes mechanisms for facilitating supply-push (from universities) and demand-pull efforts (from university stakeholders), the complex and non-linear nature of the Research Uptake Management (RUM) process is acknowledged by the inclusion of suggested exchange mechanisms.

Climate for Research Uptake

The university`s culture and strategic thrusts need to incorporate RU and support it at institutional level. Mechanisms may include:
  • Integration of the need to support RU activity in the mission and vision strategies
  • Integration of RU goals into research strategy and policies
  • Considerations of and plans for implementation of RUM
  • Awareness campaigns for RU
  • Culture change and encouragement of researcher engagement by means of incentives such as promotion and recruitment criteria, and capacity development.
The university`s culture and strategic thrusts need to incorporate RU and support it at institutional level.
Facilitating push factors

The university needs to facilitate the process of pushing knowledge into its external environment. This could be achieved by focusing on staffing for RUM and establishing an enabling environment for the RU process.
  • Staffing for RUM: Staffing is a big consideration: Sufficient capacity should exist within the university to manage and facilitate the RU cycle. It is also important to ensure that individual researchers` skills and capacity are developed so that they have a good grasp of the process of RU for knowledge to practice and policy.
  • Establishing an enabling environment: Appropriate procedures need to in place to push knowledge into the external environment by, inter alia:
    • Establishing procedures that will enable the university to know about and identify projects with potential;
    • Ensuring individual responsibilities as far as RU is concerned, as well as those of departments and units, are clearly understood;
    • Building awareness of and training researchers to consider RU an integral part of the research process -- for example, RU should be included in the budget during the planning phase, as should planning for dissemination and uptake.
    • Utilising the physical assets of the university -- the university should consider how it can improve interaction between itself, the community, private sector and government through the use of its facilities and equipment.
    • Utilising the central organisational resources of the university – aligning the management of research, publicity, extension work, health support services and commercialisation to optimise the universities` capacity to meet stakeholder needs.
The university needs to facilitate the process of pushing knowledge into its external environment. This could be achieved by focusing on staffing for RUM and establishing an enabling environment for the RU process.
Exchange mechanisms

Exchange efforts should be carefully strategised and implemented to make sure two-way communication channels are established and sustained between the university`s researchers and stakeholders. Mechanisms should be in place for the university to support external-facing activity in the following categories:
  • Knowledge sharing and diffusion through, inter alia, websites, social networking, the media, fairs, databases and the library;
  • Support for staff to engage with stakeholders and the community (and vice versa), by establishing effective points of access to the university;
  • Support for staff to access external enabling networks, development research funders, and other “neutral environments”, and informal contact.
Exchange efforts should be carefully strategised and implemented to make sure two-way communication channels are established and sustained between the university`s researchers and stakeholders.
Facilitating pull factors

This refers to the stimulation of demand for knowledge products. The DRUSSA team has found that universities do not seem to have, at present, much control over creating such demand, which makes it difficult to explore activities in which they can engage. However, some fieldwork examples have surfaced of the work that Vice-Chancellors and other university leaders do to forge relationships with influential stakeholders, and of researchers stimulating demand for their research. Some researchers have managed to develop absorptive capacities for the uptake of research in their communities and governmental sectors, social as well as in the private sector.

Evaluation efforts

Given the increased emphasis on accountability by donor organisations and governments, universities need to ensure that monitoring and evaluation (M&E) capacities are established. These include:
  • Support for research M&E capabilities;
  • Integration of research M&E into policies and annual reports;
  • Sharing of development research success stories to build momentum.

Conclusion

Building capacity for RU at institutional level entails developing mechanisms to push knowledge into the external environment and ensuring that sufficient access points, enabling mechanisms and facilitators are in place to engage with stakeholders. However, the key question remains, how can universities and government now develop instruments to stimulate a pull for the knowledge products developed in universities. Regional and national government can play a distinct role in exploring what can be done to stimulate a demand in both the public and private sectors to make better use of the resource potential that is available to them in the university sector.

Dr Sara Grobbelaar ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) is a senior researcher at the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST) at the University of Stellenbosch

* Ellen, M, Lavis, JN, Ouime, M, Grimshaw, J, Bedard, P. (2011). Determining research knowledge infrastructure for healthcare systems: a qualitative study. Implementation Science, Vol 6
 

RUMeL -- a new Research Uptake Management resource available from DRUSSA

A major part of strengthening Research Uptake Management systems includes getting the institutional framework right. What policies and procedures need to be in place at an institution to best structure effective engagement, external stakeholder/researcher identification of problems that need solutions, and communication and dissemination of research findings to the universities` external stakeholders?
To enable universities to use the experience of other universities to inform their RUM framework DRUSSA has developed the Research Uptake Management eLibrary (RUMeL), an online compendium of university strategies, policies, procedures and guidelines.
 
To enable universities to use the experience of other universities to inform their RUM framework DRUSSA developed the Research Uptake Management eLibrary (RUMeL), an online compendium of university strategies, policies, procedures and guidelines. We`re now building and managing this eLibrary so that users can find good practices, sample policy documents, web-based services and other tools developed at universities worldwide -- all relating to how they structure the management of Research Uptake and stakeholder engagement.

The goal is to give users a resource to be able to quickly compare and contrast different approaches in place in a whole range of contexts, to learn more about the international landscape in Research Uptake and to identify some particular models that might be useful in institutionalising Research Uptake Management in African universities.

RUMeL: Structure and rationale

As a starting point, we have so far identified several themes for RUMeL. Documents that are being made available cover the following eight themes:

Knowledge mobilisation; Extension, service learning and community engagement; Industrial liaison and technology transfer; Communication and dissemination; Copyright/Intellectual property and Open Access; Libraries/information repositories; RUM at organisational level (RUMOrg); and RUM in practice (RUMPrac).

Besides these themes, and as a secondary classification, we`re also categorising publication types in several ways:

Policies; Strategies; Course materials; Journal articles; DRUSSA reports; Guidelines/manuals; Research studies/technical reports; Forms; Brochures; Presentations; Theses; Textbooks; Online tools

Each of these themes and publication types helps us encapsulate different aspects of the Research Uptake Management functions. So, if you`re searching for examples of university/stakeholder engagement strategy documents, you can select the theme and type, and narrow your search that way. If you`d like to see academic articles detailing the meaning of knowledge mobilisation, or guidelines on how to communicate and disseminate research for multiple types of readership, or organise public events, you can narrow your search that way, too.
Each of these themes and publication types helps us encapsulate different aspects of the Research Uptake Management functions.
Documents are also arranged by authoring university, country and year of publication, so you are able to either browse the eLibrary content, or narrow your search down quite specifically.

Populating RUMeL and starting conversations

The number of documents in the eLibrary will grow all the time. We upload documents weekly in batches, allowing us to focus on one theme at a time, to define the theme and explore what kinds of documents we have for each, and most importantly, to kickstart blog discussions around each theme. These discussions can only thrive with your input and your comments -- so please do participate! {url!]

How to search in RUMeL

Documents are tagged under at least one theme and in most cases under more than one, depending on their content. Users can search by specifying in the search box a document type, theme and country or even university. Each result generates links to documents in RUMeL that match the search criteria, as well as URLs to their institutional pages. Users can also search by free text for a link to the DRUSSA blog discussing a document -- so you have several ways into the eLibrary, and several ways out of it, and into specific discussions around key areas of interest to you.
The range of documents will be broad enough to allow comparison between many different institutional contexts.

A knowledge resource

We hope RUMeL will prove a useful resource to you in analysing how Research Uptake Management is being structured at universities from Kenya to Canada, and from large traditional public universities to technical colleges and younger universities. The range of documents will be broad enough to allow comparison between many different institutional contexts. As always, your feedback and participation in the blogs and discussions will make this all the more useful.
 

Social engagement -- seeking viable models

by Liam Roberts

As we ask ourselves how we can build effective, sustainable Research Uptake systems at African universities, we should remind ourselves that similar questions are asked around the world. So, what lessons can be shared across borders, and what are the unique distinctions that differentiate effective Research Uptake systems elsewhere?

Professor Emeritus Hans Schuetze from the University of British Columbia in Canada is a leading figure in the field of university/community engagement, with a particular focus on the implications of engagement on intellectual property and the commercialisation of research. Research commercialisation, which is intrinsically confidential, may not be considered central to the overall research strategy at many institutions, but it is but one strand of engagement. What Schuetze asks is how universities can better design viable, sustainable systems of public and private engagement that correspond with a given university`s established research priorities.

Writing recently in Interact, the newsletter of the Association of Commonwealth Universities` Extension and Community Engagement Network, Schuetze addresses some of the wider questions around the nature of engagement and how universities can balance the need for greater public engagement with other institutional pressures -- for example, meeting academic research assessment criteria -- while also fostering commercialisation.

"How can the traditional university activities of research and teaching be translated into relevant services and contributions to help resolve community needs?" He asks.
 
"How can the traditional university activities of research and teaching be translated into relevant services and contributions to help resolve community needs?"
And what would be the African university`s response to this? Development challenges across the continent vary widely in type, extent, urgency and people involved. Can universities be nimble enough to engage their communities, not only by disseminating relevant developmental research outputs, but also by carrying out research to meet economic and social needs? The impact of social engagement on the wider higher education landscape is complex. So what are some of the key issues to consider.

"The phrase `communities have problems, universities have departments` summarises succinctly one of the problems of community engagement," Schuetze says. "Another problem is the different use of language and differing understandings between the community and the academic world, as well as the time frames in which collaboration takes place (`research projects and funding come to an end, communities are permanent`)."

Defining engagement is difficult, since the end goal of the engagement will vary from country to country, institution to institution and even from department to department. Defining the purpose of public engagement is one difficulty, another is the challenges around assessing and meeting social needs with limited time, limited funding and perhaps limited motivation for Research Uptake.

"What about the community partners?" asks Schuetze. "What are their problems and expectations? And how easy is it for universities to hear (relevant) community voices and assess community needs, especially if these are not clearly defined and articulated -- sometimes, perhaps, because of conflicts of interests within the community?"

For Research Uptake Managers in Africa, this points to two things – one is the engagement of community actors and stakeholders at the inception of a research plan, the other is convincing them that they have an interest in utilising the research findings. To be effective, whether in the North or the South, research managers can`t rely only on communication channels to disseminate research outputs once the research has otherwise been completed -- real uptake best occurs when the agents in the community feel they have a stake in the research and they`ve contributed to informing research priorities. This means locating and maintaining community relationships.
For Research Uptake Managers in Africa, this points to two things – one is the engagement of community actors and stakeholders at the inception of a research plan, the other is convincing them that they have an interest in utilising the research findings.
Schuetze points to institutions that were designed expressly with social engagement -- and Research Uptake -- in mind.

"In the US, where `town and gown` relationships and `land grant` universities have a long tradition, the scholarship of engagement (as defined by Ernest Boyer) was conceptualised as a natural evolution of the university`s mission of service to recognise and actively strengthen ties to its community as part of the social contract between society and higher education."

This model may not be as foreign to the African context as it appears -- land grant universities in the rural and sparsely populated regions of the western US of the early 20th century, and some of the best-regarded business and management universities in South Asia in the middle of the century, were explicitly designed with local development in mind. When the focus of the university is to foster research that is developmentally beneficial, success springs from the generation of effective social engagement models at the same time. Good development research can`t have its intended impact unless channels to the public are robust -- those include adequate policy frameworks, dedicated university resources, political will and metrics to measure what successful engagement means at the institution and in the community.

While the traditions of engagement at development-focused universities may be a source of inspiration, other pressures mitigate against Research Uptake in the 21st century.
"Is this commitment to engagement going to last, and possibly even grow in importance? Or will it become marginal and eventually disappear with the discontinuation of soft money grants by governments and foundations?"
"Is this commitment to engagement going to last, and possibly even grow in importance? Or will it become marginal and eventually disappear with the discontinuation of soft money grants by governments and foundations? In other words, is active community engagement still viable, especially since the concept challenges the traditional values and indicators of scholarship and academic prestige and, hence, the academic reward system on which the selection and promotion of academics are based?" Schuetze asks.

This brings us back to the question of metrics, evaluation and resources. When academic research output is assessed bibliometrically, we gain a clear sense of peer uptake, but no sense of its impact or uptake by policymakers or the wider community. When the research being communicated and delivered for uptake is expressly developmental in nature, and is directed towards poverty reduction, health and food security, there are advantages to measuring impact, since it can be more visible and tangible in the shorter term. The key, though, Schuetze says, is for universities to consider the viability and sustainability of their own engagement models across the research process, from conception to delivery.

Liam Roberts ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) is a Programme Officer (Policy) at the Association of Commonwealth Universities
 

Winemakers, trains and knowledge

by Dr Nelius Boshoff
 
A bottle of wine is a knowledge product. Its features, like aroma, taste and texture, are the end result of various sources of knowledge and skill. One could rightfully ask what knowledge sources winemakers rely on when making wine and specifically to what extent they use scientific research findings.

Reflecting upon this question, I remember what a winemaker once told me: the process of winemaking is like a train running along a track. The world of winemakers can thus be seen as a large railway station. It consists of many platforms and trains to cater for every taste and desire, and on each platform is a person in charge of a specific set of trains. The platforms are the wine cellars and those in charge of the trains are the winemakers. It is the winemaker`s responsibility to watch over his or her selection of trains, ensuring that these remain on track through the tricky process of fermentation, and safely reach their destination – wine. The winemaker would normally step in only when facing a situation that could cause derailment. But where do winemakers get the necessary knowledge from, to safely guide their trains to their destinations, whether it is to intervene or merely to fine tune the schedules?
The answer is simple. While standing on the platform watching over their trains, winemakers do the most human thing possible: they talk to fellow winemakers.
 
The answer is simple. While standing on the platform watching over their trains, winemakers do the most human thing possible: they talk to fellow winemakers. In a recent survey of more than 200 South African winemakers, I found that 81% consult other winemakers for advice at least once every three months. Many winemakers are also technologically informed. It came as no surprise that they surf the internet while watching over their trains; 78% of winemakers said they did so at least once every three months. Having something to read is also very handy while waiting on a platform. For winemakers in the Western Cape Winelands of South Africa it is a section in the WineLands magazine called Wynboer. Seventy-four percent read the section every month, either in part or in its entirety. Through the train`s open windows winemakers also engage in small talk with some of the passengers sitting in some of the carriages. These are wine consumers who have a clear end destination in mind -- again, 74% of winemakers said they obtained feedback from wine consumers on the quality of wine products at least once every three months.

Chatting to other winemakers and wine consumers, surfing the internet and reading the wine industry magazine are things that winemakers most frequently do while watching over their trains. These represent frequently used knowledge sources and they are important knowledge sources. And the survey revealed that about 76% of winemakers regarded their own experience as extremely important to their winemaking.

Compared with all of these knowledge sources, a mere nine percent of winemakers cited the South African Journal of Enology and Viticulture, the leading science journal in its field in the country. Thus, personal knowledge and experience is what winemakers predominantly use to keep their trains on track. I would even go so far as to say that for some winemakers scientific research is no more than a news agent tucked away in a corner of the station.
I would even go so far as to say that for some winemakers scientific research is no more than a news agent tucked away in a corner of the station.
The irony is that researchers often don`t even realise that their scientific contributions are in those crumpled old magazines gathering dust next to a railway track. In their minds their articles are at the top of the pile at the station`s newsstand.

Researchers need to start thinking in terms of the world of their users when communicating their research findings, if they are to successfully bridge the gap between knowledge and practice.

Dr Nelius Boshoff ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) is a senior lecturer at the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST) at the University of Stellenbosch

 

Benefits of Fort Hare Nguni Cattle Project to be felt for generations to come

by Prof Voster Muchenje
 
A while ago, the DRUSSA website published a blog about the successes achieved in the Nguni Cattle Project at the University of Limpopo in South Africa. This project is, in fact, part of a larger one taking place in seven provinces. A university in each of the provinces collaborates with the country`s department of agriculture and Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to work with emerging farmers to increase their Nguni herds. Farmer communities are given a number of pregnant heifers and one or two bulls on loan and, over a period of five years, have to return the same number of heifers and bulls. Meanwhile, their own herds continue to grow.

The project has been operating at the University of Fort Hare (Eastern Cape province), the University of Limpopo (Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces), the University of the Free State (Free State and Northern Cape provinces), the University of Zululand (KwaZulu-Natal province) and North West University (North West province) for some years now. Three of the universities are DRUSSA participants, namely the Universities of Fort Hare, Limpopo and the Free State.
This joint project ... has significantly contributed to rural development, knowledge generation, human resource development and improved incomes.
In the Eastern Cape, this joint project between the Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (EC DRDAR), the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the University of Fort Hare (UFH) has significantly contributed to rural development, knowledge generation, human resource development and improved incomes. So far, more than 70 communities have benefited since the project`s launch in 2004. But it is not only rural communities that have benefited. The project has demonstrated the efficacy of university/community engagement in one of the poorest provinces in the country. It has provided fertile ground for research and the University has produced and continues to produce PhD and MSc graduates from it.

To date at least five PhD and six MSc graduates have been directly or indirectly produced from the project. At least two more PhD and 15 more MSc students have graduated from meat science research projects that emerged from the Nguni Cattle Project. Several honours and undergraduate students have also benefited.One PhD and one MSc student who worked on the Nguni Cattle Project graduated in May this year. In addition, two PhD students and five MSc students who worked on meat science projects graduated at the same time. And for the first time in the history of the University, a female South African PhD (in animal science at UFH) student also graduated.

Because of the project`s positive effect, more than 60 publications in local journals have been realised over the last five years. Most of these publications are highly cited and downloaded internationally. Several international and local conference papers have also been presented on work related to the project, and several others are under review. Another milestone is the registration of a patent on the meat science project, something from which the Nguni Cattle Project itself can benefit.
 
The impact of the Nguni Cattle Project in the Eastern Cape ... will be felt for generations to come.
 
The project has also seen some offshoots and collaborations emerging, specifically the South African Research Chair Initiative SARChI Chair in Meat Science, which is shared with Stellenbosch University and the Technological and Human Resources for Industry Programme (THRIP) in Animal Welfare and Meat Science, in partnership with the Red Meat Research and Development of South Africa (RMRD-SA)

The impact of the Nguni Cattle Project in the Eastern Cape and at the University of Fort Hare in particular will be felt for generations to come.

Prof Voster Muchenje ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) is the Head of Department and Professor (Meat Science) at the University of Fort Hare, as well as Co-Chair of South Africa's National Research Foundation SARChI Chair in Meat Science-Genomics to Nutrinomics
 
DRUSSA Network News is published quarterly. It is available on the DRUSSA blogsite, the DRUSSA App (register here to get the app) and via email (if you`re registered on the DRUSSA Network).
 
© Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa (DRUSSA)

Content created by DRUSSA and featured here is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) licence and may therefore be reproduced free of charge without requiring specific permission.

DRUSSA as a source should be acknowledged as follows:
“First published at www.drussa.net/drussa.mobi under the CC BY NC SA 3.0 licence.“

If you are the owner of any content on this site that may be incorrectly attributed, or published unintentionally without the requisite prior permissions having been obtained, please contact  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  so that we can correct the attribution or remove the item from our database.