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22 September 2019
DRUSSA launches PLATFORM2013 Print
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 00:00
The Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa (DRUSSA) programme is taking the opportunity to officially launch PLATFORM2013 tomorrow at the Association of Commonwealth University’s Centenary Celebrations in London. This conference addresses higher education questions around the theme “Future forward: taking charge of change”, which is a good fit for the introduction of this groundbreaking regional publication.
PLATFORM2013, a print and digital publication, comes from the DRUSSA universities in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It gives readers a quick and fascinating round-up of some of the excellent evidence-based development research that is happening here. Curated and edited in collaboration with the DRUSSA universities by DRUSSA Work Programme 4 | Engagement and Communications, managed by South African-based Organisation Systems Design, the theme and intention behind the first issue of this publication is “to get SSA research to policy influencers in an easily accessible way”. The purpose is to get the research featured in PLATFORM2013 into use to make a difference to the human and economic development of the Sub-Saharan African region and beyond. PLATFORM2013 was made possible by specially established Research Uptake teams at each of the DRUSSA universities. Each team comprised a Vice-Chancellor, a DRUSSA Leader and Champion, and a researcher selected on the strength of strategic criteria. 
Future thinking in the now
PLATFORM2013 features academic research in the form of short, focused and easy-to-read features written in plain language. This accessible style opens up a conversational gateway between the academic community and the general public—including policy influencers—by presenting research information in a way that makes each article an easier, more interesting and useful read to people who are not necessarily learned experts of the subject matter. The conversational editorial style is intended to open up discussions around getting featured research into use, prompting readers to both find out more online, and to get in touch with the DRUSSA universities to start conversations about getting research into use.
Themes covered in the 20 articles featured include food security, water quality and accessibility, empowerment of women and youth, environmental management, income generation in rural areas, agriculture and health.
As a whole, PLATFORM2013 offers a snapshot into the breadth and quality of research happening in the SSA region, as well as insight into the impact these could have in the real world if put into use, or used more widely, through policy. 
PLATFORM2013 is named after DRUSSA’s groundbreaking digital platforms—designed to facilitate conversations around getting research into use both on- and offline—as well as for the association of platforms being interesting places of arrival, departure and connection.
Next steps
DRUSSA universities will feature their PLATFORM2013 articles on Research Uptake pages on their university websites, while DRUSSA Work Programme 4 rolls out an awareness campaign about this publication, which was curated using third-party (DRUSSA university) material. 
Following the success of the PLATFORM2013 articles, DRUSSA Work Programme 4 | Engagement and Communications has invited each of the DRUSSA universities to work together to develop their articles into policy briefs, to add even more value to this project. This valuable skill-building exercise will result in a strong, complete and useable policy brief for use by each participating DRUSSA university. 
Watch this space and join the conversation
Over the course of this week DRUSSA will be spreading the news about PLATFORM2013. Please visit us online at | for blogs about this print and digital publication, and follow us on:
Follow us on @DRUSSAfrica and join us in the conversation about #PLATFORM2013 #ItsHappeninginAfrica #AfricaItsHappeningHere. 
And visit us on: 
Louise McCann is the editor of PLATFORM2013