Over the last decades, Africa has experienced intense research and policy activities in various sectors especially health, agriculture, energy and lately climate change and other disasters. Similarly, the continent is home to numerous national and multilateral policies on trade, environment, food security among others.
Despite these efforts, there is still limited information about what works in various African contexts and the capabilities needed to translate available research into impactful outcomes. Furthermore, the extent to which existing policies are interpreted, evaluated and are actually effective in response to the continent’s needs is widely unknown, poorly documented, and underreported. Part of the reason is the lack of a dedicated platform to bring talented African researchers together to exchange ideas, learn from each other, and leverage their capabilities towards analyzing and identifying Africa’s research priorities.
The continent has experienced intense research activities in various sectors especially health and agriculture. Similarly the continent is home to numerous national and multilateral policies on trade, environment, food security among others. Despite these noble steps there eisit little evidence on what is needed i.e. pathways to help translate available outputs into impactful outcomes. Further, the extent to which evsisting policies are interpreted, evaluated and made effective and responsive to the continent’s needs is widely unknown poorly documented and reported. Some of the reasons behind this include:
- Lack of dedicated platform for research reviews , gap analysis and forecasting
- Lack of dedicated platform for policy reviews, interpretations, evaluations and forecasting
- Lack of clear understanding of the pathways for promoting research into use
- Lack of intellectual capacity to undertake research and policy reviews, gap analysis and forecasting
- Lack of innovative networks of scientists, policy makers and other key actors working together to design interventions from scientific evidence.
In the context of transformative sustainable development and applying knowledge to drive innovation, there is urgent need to clarify pathways and options through which past, present and future research can effectively inform policy/ development actions and support research organisations towards pursuing these pathways.