The purpose with the Research management Support programme is to support scentific Institutions with generating and implement scientific findings.
We compile and address the necessary conditions required to bring about a given impact, including truth, trust, state-of-the-art knowledge, sustainable economy, institutional capacity, transparency, accountability, cross-cultural understanding, evaluation planning, and testing the strength of evidence for social impact.
HR&S seek collaboration with Scientific institution stakeholders in Sub-Saharan African countries and internationally. We propose to continue with the workshops as well as coach on follow-up activities:
1. Ensure research management at scientific institutions enabling researchers to generate and disseminate scientific findings.
2. Ensure access to advanced scientific equipment.
3. Ensure access to scientific literature.
4. Coach on the implementation of scientific findings.
Although scientific researchers and innovators in Sub-Saharan Africa present amazing solutions to national and international challenges, their ideas are often unrecognised and unsupported. Consequently, findings tend not to be implemented, and businesses not to be started. As a result, the society lack access to products, services and employment opportunities that would have strengthened the society. This also reduces the tax income to the government and thus creates a lack of advanced education, social security and resourceful institutions. Moreover, international negotiations and international trade tend to be unbalanced and some countries tend remain behind on the international competitive development arena. The number of extremely poor people are increasing every year.
Human Rights and Science (HR&S) claims that the efficiency of implementation of locally developed solutions is strengthened through international equal partnership collaboration. We argue for truth, trust, harmony, equity, resilience, mutual knowledge sharing, sustainable economy, institutional capacity and cross-cultural understanding. We have developed six unique tools and strategies (TAct, ROPE, TRUST, CROSS, RISE & TestE) while targeting scientific research, innovations and social enterprising. With ten years of experience, with operations in twelve Sub-Saharan African countries, and with evidence of outcome and impact, we can state that our model is successful.
As mentioned the evaluation planning of the Research management programmes follow the Real-time Outcome Planning & Evaluation (ROPE) strategy. A new ROPE programme starts with setting a goal and to develop indicators to measure results. Then we develop an implementation plan, we secure finances, staff, and infrastructure, then we ensure knowledge sharing, the accounting procedures and the cross-cultural understanding. Then we make an activity plan and assign to people and institutions; who will do what, how and when. Now we implement, and after we measure the results and analyse. Thereafter we complement with what did not go well until we reach the goal we set up in the beginning. HR&S offers to coach through the procedures.
We only work in areas identified by our local partners, and besides programme design and implementation coaching, HR&S contributes with expert advice on the scope of the programme, international state-of-the art knowledge, facilitation of accounting and auditing, cross-cultural understanding, monitoring and evaluation as well as start-up loans. The ROPE practical strategy is useful for the implementation of development programme management, scientific research management, laboratory management. The ROPE strategy is likewise useful for scaling small activities to profitable social enterprises.
Quality scientific research depend on a sustainable economy. This can be achieved through i) professional and continuous research grant seeking and publication of scientific findings, and ii) by interacting with the non-academic sector to implement scientific results through social enterprising and take on new research assignments that are paid for.
Already 20 workshops have been held benefitting from the HR&S strategies. We have target Burkina Faso, Benin, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The programme addresses five categories of Target partners (TPs):
TP1 Research: TP1A. Researchers: PhD students, Post-doc researchers, Professors. TP 1B. Research Students: MSc students. TP 1C. Supervisors, TP 1D. Entrepreneurs from the university. TP2 Education: TP 2A. Lecturers. TP3 Research services: TP 3A. Laboratory Technicians, TP 3B. IT technicians, TP 3C. Librarians. TP4 Research management: TP 4A. Department management, TP 4B. University Top management; VC, DVC research, innovation and enterprising, DVC administration, DVC academic, Finance manager, Bursary, TP 4C. Top management Administration; Accountant, Procurement officer, Public relations and communication. TP5 External Research services: TP 5A. Agreed Suppliers.
The output from these workshops includes the below:
Professional Ambitions of the researchers have been found to be:
1. Individual career goals. 2.Perform high quality research. 3.Disseminate scientific findings. 4. Implement scientific findings. 5.Enable talents of Africa.
Outcome challenges for the researchers have been presented as:
Lack of: 1. motivation to do research, 2. time management, 3. collaboration & networking, 3. theoretical research capacity, 4. practical research capacity, 5. capacity to address the needs of the rural and urban civil society, 6. Dissemination of scientific findings, 7. Implementation of scientific findings. 8 business development capacity.
Activities to address the challenges have been agreed on as well as indicators to measure outcome and impact.
Strategy for Change - RESEARCHERS
- Individual career goals.
- Perform high quality research.
- Disseminate scientific findings.
- Implement scientific findings.
- Enable talents of Africa.
- Solve the challenges of the country.
- Motivation to do research.
- Time management.
- Collaboration & networking.
- Theoretical knowledge.
- Practical research opportunities.
- Dissemination of scientific findings
- Implementation of scientific findings.
- Addressing the needs of the civil society.
- Business start-up & management.
Output – Local
- Manage a grant management club; set times, venue and appoint coordinator.
- Manage a publish club; set times, venue and appoint coordinator.
- Manage an English language club; weekly, set time and venue. Appoint English language teacher and coordinator. Homework: learn three new words per day.
Collaborate & network
- Find opportunities to do things together. Capture opportunities for collaboration.
- Share knowledge and experiences. Create knowledge sharing platforms.
- Give time and attend the meetings.
- Be positive to all contributions by others. We should help people to get more motivation.
- Address team building.
- Build research teams. Network among research teams.
- Partner-up with departments of the same discipline worldwide
- Build a network of all African scientists. Establish pan African networks with regular meetings in domains without (mathematics). Build a network of all African scientists to do basic and applied research together.
- Arrange with collaborative platform between researchers, students and technicians.
- In order to have a reliable and functional team, then it is necessary that the objectives of the project are well defined.
- Increase direct research collaboration through identifying authors as new potential collaborators.
Ensure state-of-the-art knowledge
- Be up-dated bout the state-of-the art knowledge.
- Identify quality pieces of equipment that are suitable for African conditions.
- Create a good atmosphere and a collaborative platform between researchers, students and technicians.
Output – Sweden
- Individual time management. Ensure enough time to do research through own well-disciplined time management.
- Individual long-term planning with measurable mile-stones.
- Know how to seek research grants and how to invest them well, so that the career is promoted.
- Identify the appropriate grant giving institutions.
- Send grant application to donors supporting research and scientific meetings.
- Seek funding from the government, send grant application to the government.
- Know how to publish.
- Manage the English language.
Attitude – Lack of motivation due to limited financial support
- Change attitude from focusing on money to focusing on research output.
- We should think that we make the investment in ourselves.
- Team work can also motivate.
- Develop novel ideas.
- Develop products and services.
- Develop patents.
- Access to a quality laboratory with functioning advanced equipment and well educated technicians.
- Develop a proper business situation around laboratories.
- Convince the authorities through policy-briefs and Round table sessions to equip the laboratories.
Address the needs of the civil society
- Analyse the mind-set of the community.
- Sensitise the local community on development, promote the usage of developed products.
- Developing products and services, for example: use local material as pigment, know how traditional medicine can be used to overcome health problems in Africa.
- Benefit from and collaborate around local knowledge when developing products and services.
Collaborate with policymakers
- Support policy development.
- Support politicians to develop national policies to promote community development
- Lobby among the politicians.
Collaborate with the private sector
- Address the needs of the private sector.
Disseminate scientific findings
- Disseminate results through workshops and conferences.
- Share with the government; Inform about scientific findings through policy briefs. Inform about products and services through Round Table discussions. Prove to be useful to the government in order to motivate them to invest in scientific research.
Implement scientific findings
- Work in research areas with practical applications.
- Reach out to the society. Have knowledge in their areas of research. Have knowledge about the problem before starting the research work. Focus on impactful research to the society.
- Discuss with industries to identify the gaps, then research on what the industry need.
- Work in collaboration in order to come up with impactful research. Compare with others, ensure interdisciplinary collaboration.
- Establish local research institutions besides universities and government institutions.
- Adopt competency based training.
- Do more research even with the available inadequate pieces of equipment.
- Implement work directly after publication.
- See how money can generate income.
- Believe in ourselves.
- Avoid depending fully on aid. The prolonged provision of aid became a problem since it discouraged creativity, innovation and creative thinking as the researchers focus on the money rather than the impact of the research.
- Improved service delivery.
- Generate start-up capital; Take bank loan or seek investor; needs guarantee which can be a home or a piece of land.
- Address National fund for investment for farmers.
- Involve everyone, also those lacking tuition fee.
- Empower women; ensure women researcher role-models, seek research grant for women. Ensure gender balance.
- Promote African researchers at other continents.
The Research management support programme has been developed by Assoc. Prof. Cecilia ÖMAN.
She is grateful for the support provided by friends, colleagues and partners all over the world.