Improving agriculture development in Sub-Saharan Africa requires increased synergies between scientific research findings and policy and practice. This evidence-based approach needs to be tailored to specific local conditions while emphasising knowledge co-creation through facilitating interactions between scientists, smallholder farmers and relevant agricultural sector actors.
In order to bridge the disconnect between scientific findings, policy and farmers’ local needs, the AgriFoSe2030 programme in collaboration with researchers from Kyambogo University (Uganda), the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden) is organising a three-day training to build the capacity of African-based researchers in translating scientific research findings into policy and practice.
The training workshop which is scheduled to be held from March 26 to 29, 2023 will have participating researchers from Uganda, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. The training also aims to support the development of science translation courses in local partner universities, strengthen individual researcher’s capacities, promote knowledge diffusion within national and regional agricultural networks and emphasise sustainable agriculture and food security strategies that integrate scientific and local knowledge.
Dr. Judith Irene Nagasha, one of the course coordinators in Kyambogo University (Uganda) observed that “The translation of research into policy and practice is a daunting task globally and more especially in Africa. Therefore, the course aims at enhancing the researchers’ understanding of the science-policy interface, risks, constraints, and opportunities, learning how to conduct effective research-policy engagement, and improving their research-to-policy communication skills”
Course participants will be trained in presentation of scientific results, understanding and describing their roles in policy-making processes, mapping the policy landscape relevant to their research and identifying possible research-policy and practice linkages. They will also develop practical modes of implementing scientific research findings while considering the value of indigenous knowledge and how to effectively communicate research findings to varied agricultural policy and practice audiences.
The training is supported by funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The office of the Vice Chancellor at Kyambogo university also provides administrative and operational support for the training.
The training hopes to inspire a new generation of science translation researchers equipped with skills in policy engagement and an increased ability to contribute to improved agricultural strategy planning and practical decision-making by smallholders.