H7. HR&S Network of Scientific Researchers in Sub-Sahara Africa

Network Management

Felix LOMPO, Secretary
Burkina Faso.
Mariam SWALEH, Time manager and link with Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).
University of Mombassa, Kenya.
Joan Chepkemei KOECH
University of Eldoret, Kenya.
Makerere University, Uganda.


Burkina Faso

  • Stéphanie MAÏGA
    Ouagadougou University.
  • P. Felix LOMPO
  • Brice Alain KABORE
    Joseph KI-ZERBO University.


  • Joan Chepkemri KOECHAT
    Acting Chief technologist, Dep.Biological Sciences. University of Eldoret. Also member of Operations team in HR&S Network for Technicians.
  • Mariam SWALEH
    University of Mombassa.
  • Millicent SIFUNA
    University of Nairobi.
  • Kevin Daniel WERUNGA


  • Valens HABIMANA
    University of Rwanda.


  • Simon LUKATO
    Graduate Research And Teaching Assistant, Makerere University. Studying in Poland.
  • Atwine AMBROSE


  • Swivia HAMABWE

With support from

Cecilia ÖMAN, CEO, HR&S HQ Sweden.
Millicent SIFUNA, Head of Operations, HR&S Branch Kenya (anglophone).
Stéphanie MAÏGA, Head of Operations, HR&S Branch Burkina Faso (francophone).
Dr. Krishna MURTHY, HR&S expert adviser, India.

Strategy for Change


Lack of a network for researchers targeting all SSA countries.


During HR&S impact survey, researchers often state that they lack networking.


Membership is free of charge financially, instead everyone contribute with their own work effort.


  1. Address the outcome challenges of individual researchers.
    • Support each other
      • Share knowledge
      • Give advice on scientific matters.
      • Exchange views.
    • Solve work problems.
    • Facilitate the submission of manuscripts to peer-reviewed scientific journals.
    • Facilitate the implementation of scientific findings.
    • Strengthen each other to become financially self-sustained.
  2. Strengthen the multidisciplinary capacity.
  3. Support the establishment of links between HR&S and Academic Institution managements for the Institution management to benefit from the SfC and other HR&S tools, in order to empower their Institutions Scientific Capacity Strengthening strategy.

Outcome challenge

  1. Network efficiency.
  2. Lack of quality internet which hinders frequent sharing.
  3. Fragile scientific capacity strengthening strategy at Institution level.
  4. Language barrier between Francophone and Anglophone Africa.


Network efficiency

Activities: Members have to be active. Members have to feel part of the group. That is why we distribute small  assignment.
Recognicians: Appreciate in the chat and also give out certificates of achievements at the end of the year.
Time-management: Improve capacity for time management.
Time-line:  We should have a timeline for the work. We can for example identify the milestones for 2022. We should have a certain amount of trainings, workshop and seminars. What did the members achieve during the training, did they hold mini-seminars at the institutions for example. We can celebrate small achievements. We can have small assignments per person and larger ones that we all contribute to.
A coordinator fort the HR&S webinars of the year 2021 (four). We shall assign someone from the team of operations to coordinate among network members. Plus the two trainings by AuthorAid.
Status and reflections 2022, March: Maybe slowly but firmly are we building the platform and the procedures for our network. We always honour our ActionPrinciple No1, needs and user driver instead of aid driven. Thus, we want to identify those who are leaders and who wants to actively push the network forward. We are benefiting from the HR&S Management Strategy that firmly helps us to be effective and efficient. It may take a little time to get used to the way of working and building the team. But we will.
Maybe we can make a review among those who have signed up as leaders, and those who have signed up as members. If the leaders have noticed that they do not have much time actually right now to be active, you may want to take a member role instead. Those who are members and have leadership aspirations may want to become leaders instead. Being a leader is a huge responsibility and also rewarding. Being an inactive leader is not good at all, in damages all the efforts put in by others. Please reflect and let us know.


Network Coordination

  1. Benefit from HR&S strategies and develop a SfC for the network. Identify progress markers.
  2. Find a person who has a better command of both English and French and who could act as an interpreter. However we must recognize the international language has become English and we will have to master it at some point, both written and spoken. (by Brice Alain)

Network activities

  1. Support University management with HR&S training and coaching. Network members identify individuals within their academic institution to reach out to. Persons with intrinsic motivation, agency for change and potential to understand the HR&S Strategy for Change.
  2. Support each other: share knowledge and give advice on scientific matters.
    – Visit other universities: Search for travel grants.
  3. Ensure that the network members benefit from Free AuthorAID online courses in research communication and proposal writing. https://www.authoraid.info/en/e-learning/. Compile a list of those who will attend
    Mariam kindly agree coordinate around the upcoming AuthorAid course; ensure everybody is aware, compile a list of those who will attend, make a small review after about what we thought about the course.
    Upcoming dates 2022
        5th April to 16th May 2022 – Research Writing (6 weeks)
        6th September  to 1st November 2022 – Research Writing and Proposal Writing (8 weeks).
  4. Ensure that the network members benefit from the AuthorAID Resources. https://www.authoraid.info/en/.-Team of operations prepares training for members on research grants and publications benefiting from the AuthorAID resources.
    Can we please also have a coordinator around the AuthorAid resources presentations. That is: Who will present and what and a make compilation of the material presented.
    After we will discuss and agree on how the network will benefit from the resources presented.@Atwine AMBROSE
    Atwine, we want to propose you. Do you agree?
  5. Ensure that Network members benefit from INASP.
    Members ensure that they benefit from the INASP access to publications free of charge through their librarians.

Institutional level

  • Offer training and coaching to the institution and department management on the HR&S SfC at a reasonable cost.  Work with progress markers and thereby measure progress or no progress. Institutions agree to pay for HR&S support to strengthen the scientific infrastructure.

Progress marker

  1. 90% of the team members attend the monthly HR&S planning meetings.
  2. Number of webinars by external trainers.
    Leven ONE: Two per year
  3. Number of certificates.
  4. Internal knowledge sharing.
  5. Staff exchange and training.
  6. AuthorAid courses.
    – Each network member attends one or both of the courses offered in 2022.
  7. AuthorAid resources
    The network selects five of the resources and implement those during 2022.


Operations network members

  1. Compilation of network participant data: We are all researchers, among us we do not know the different fields of activity. Maybe it would be better to strengthen the links of the network by knowing what each other is doing, field of research, level, difficulties if any, needs. This will allow to create a collaborative activities, collaboration of research and other. Mariam and Valens will develop a survey tool, and think through how to compile and analyse that data. Mariam may want to see how such a compilation can be useful for RSC.
  2. Present resources shared by AuthorAid.
    Felix  will present in our June meeting and Valens will present in July.
  3. Develop network review webinars addressing the topics presented from the AuthorAid resources, where we also take the opportunity to strengthen each others work. These will be manuscript and grant application review meetings and and we will be experts on the topic that we have presented on.
  4. Ensure that all network members have access to a very good internet.
    We need to generate income that can be shared among the network members to ensure internet.
  5. Felix will coordinate the network member presentations. Ensure that each member shares a written presentation and then Felix will compile all this into a report.
  6. Develop and maintain a platform for effective and efficient internal knowledge sharing – NN
  7. Coordinate webinars by external trainers – Cecilia, Millicent, Stéphanie and NN
    Date, agenda, trainer, invite, compile participants, ensuring access to internet, coordinating the logistics
    around the examinations, developing and distributing certificates.
  8. Support from Dr Murthy:
    There are many opportunities..
    1. Another training, maybe even regular training events…?
    2. Direct advice, maybe on research plans.
    3. What else?

Reaching out to institution management

  1. Each network member identifies minimum one person for HR&S to reach out to at the institution management level.
  2. Compile a list of academic institutions linked to this programme – NN
    That will initially be just informal, thus the institutions of the researchers who are members of the network. Compilation of physical locations , their operations, and contact persons. The purpose with a list of institutions could be for the researchers to know the areas of capacity of institutions that also have a welcoming attitude towards visitors and sharing.
  3. Designing procedures for how HR&S can support institutions – NN
    We develop a customer survey template. We  collect information on which type of services that HR&S can provide to institutions that they would seriously benefit from. And how much they would be willing to pay for the service. The main first questions would be; i) which are the outcome challenges that the institution faces and ii) how to they handle these challenges today.  Then we use this information to propose a solution based on the HR&S tools and experiences.

Achieved Output

  1. The network is formally established under HR&S and benefits from the HR&S webpage in 2021.
  2. Name agreed on in 2021:
    HR&S Network of Scientific Researchers in Sub-Sahara African countries for quality research management.
    the HR&S REACH Network.
  3. WhatsApp Chat group established in 2021.
  4. Team of Operation established in 2021.
  5. Team of members established in 2021.
  6. Two webinars were held during 2021:
    SfC by Cecilia and the scientific method by Dr. Murthy.
  7. Monthly zoom meetings were established in 2021
  8. Brice gave a presentation from AuthorAid resources in February 2022 on “how to read and understand a scientific paper- a guide for non- scientists”. Kevin shared about writing a scientific paper in our April 2022 meeting and we learnt about the different components of a scientific paper.Mariam held a presentation on “data collection” during our meeting in May.


It is a members-driven network. We request that the network members put own effort into the network. All in relation to what we decide to achieve. We reflect over and agree together, what the network wants to achieve. We set up a SfC for the network, then activities and milestones.

We are always happy to welcome new members.

The eligibility criteria are: 

  1. To have attended minimum one of the HR&S training sessions and having passed the training examination.
  2. Be committed to be active in the network.
    Regular members are expected to invest minimum one hour per week, and the team of operations to invest minimum two hours per week, and more when temporarily required.
  3. Also to attend monthly one hour network zoom-meetings, well prepared for the meeting and with good internet connections.
  4. Meet assignment dead-lines and report back during the monthly meetings.


Members are:
1. Invited to upcoming events, such as webinars. Fee Eur
2. Invited to benefit from any activity arranged through the network.

Monthly meeting, one hour, 1st Friday of the month, zoom
12 noon pm Burkina Faso, Togo, Liberia
1 pm Nigeria, Sweden (winter time)
2 pm Zambia, Rwanda
3 pm Kenya, Uganda
5.30 pm India