Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa

Status: Completed project

Duration: 2011-2016

Project lead: The Association of Commonwealth Universites, United Kingdom

Project partners: Centre for Research into Evaluation of Science and Technology (CREST), Stellenbosch University, South Africa; Organisation Systems Design, South Africa; Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (CSIR-STEPRI), Ghana; Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST)

Funder: Department for International Development (DFID), United Kingdom

Summary: Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa (DRUSSA) was a five-year, DFID-funded programme supporting 22 universities across Africa to strengthen the management of research uptake. It ran from October 2011 to September 2016.

The purpose of DRUSSA was to help improve the capacity of universities to contribute research evidence in pro-poor policy and practice. DRUSSA achieved this through sharing learning on institutional change and research uptake strategy, supporting training of university staff in research uptake and communication, and through facilitating and strengthening networks between DRUSSA universities, other research management bodies, external stakeholders and research users, including policymakers.

Outputs: Although the DRUSSA programme completed its mandate in September 2016, there remains a wealth of programme-derived knowledge, tools, and resources that university leaders, research staff and research uptake managers can continue to use as they strengthen their own systems for getting research into use.

To keep this knowledge accessible, we are currently developing the DRUSSA Learning Resource which will serve as the on-going home of the programme’s research uptake resources. We hope it will be used by DRUSSA partner universities, and by any other university interested in research uptake, for the long-term.

The 160 documents that will make up the DRUSSA Learning Resource will be housed here on the ACU website, and will be organised into six searchable categories: 

  • Reports and guides, authored by the DRUSSA programme team, including research uptake benchmarking reports, event reports and case studies
  • Research uptake policies and strategies implemented by universities across Africa and around the world 
  • Open access research uptake literature, published by think tanks, journals, research associations and funders 
  • Research uptake resources and templates – tools and exercises used by the DRUSSA programme team in facilitating workshops, gathering evidence and motivating research uptake work
  • Presentations delivered by DRUSSA partner universities and programme team at a range of programme conferences, symposia and workshops
  • Open access training in research uptake, including for civil servants, research communicators, and academics

We currently have 44 reports and guides available to peruse on the ACU publications database, and 32 policies and strategies available to view in the ACU Policy Index. All of the remaining documents will be available in mid-2017.