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  • on 18.04.2015
  • at 10:00 AM
  • by Kevin Hind

Meeting reveals ways to get R&D findings into policies 0

[KAMPALA] Evidence-based research from African universities is in great demand, but it is not generating adequate knowledge for use in policymaking, education experts say. Karrine Sanders, the programme manager of Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa (DRUSSA) of the United Kingdom-headquartered Association of Commonwealth Universities, there is a growing concern that although billions of dollars are invested in university research, much of it is not applied into policymaking.

“People are asking about what more universities can do to influencepolicy,”Sanders told a symposium on higher education in Uganda last month (16 March) that looked at ways of scaling up evidence-based university research for policymaking and practice.“Policymakers are asking what they can do with research from universities to support policy and to benefit end users.”

Augustine Omare-Okurut, the secretary-general of the Uganda National Commission for UNESCO, said African universities may have not effectively contributed to policymaking either due to the production of low quality research or because policymakers are not making good use of research from universities.

According to Omare-Okurut, there should be university policies that promote the use of good research to get into the public domain, adding: “It should be a triangle of policymakers, researchers and implementers, which must keep flowing.”

Uganda Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) and the Uganda National Council on Science and Technology (UNCST) convened the symposium with support from DRUSSA, a programme that aims to support 24 universities in 14 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda.

“It is vital to start this conversation. We have policymakers who do not seem to have grasped how to infuse research into policy. Now we can explore avenues for this to be done,” said UNCST assistant executive secretary Ismail Barugahara.

Continue reading on SciDev.net

by Esther Nakkaz

Photo Credit: Flickr/IITA

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