|DRUSSA’s Research Uptake Communication Peer-learning Approach|
|Monday, 18 January 2016 16:07|
RUC2016, the fourth activity in the Research Uptake Communications (RUC) series is underway, integrating digital and face-to-face team-mentored learning exercises that guide each team to strategise, plan and complete a RUC campaign.
The DRUSSA universities have taken a peer-learning and sharing approach to learning Research Uptake Communication (RUC) knowledge and skills, both within their own university teams, and at every opportunity with the RUC teams in the other universities taking part in the programme. It has been an annual mentored digital learning exercise, with a face-to-face exercise in 2015, that has guided each university RUC team to strategise, plan and complete a RUC campaign.
Stakeholder Engagement Campaigns
Each University’s RUC2016 campaign will involve each team actively managing a Reseach Uptake Campagin cycle. The campaign shall culminate in each team producing, in collaboration with the researcher whose work and publications are being featured, a research feature that shall be posted on the university’s website. Based on the purpose of their particular campaign strategy, the teams will select and employ additional dissemination modes so as to maximize the opportunities to connect and engage with identified potential users and beneficiaries of the research.
RUC2016 dovetails with previous RUC campaigns. Topical communications produced by the campaign participants themselves can be seen in the RUC2013 blog series and RUC2014 and 2015 blog series as part of the ongoing line up of features in DRUSSA.net’s ‘Africa: It’s happening here’ news feed. DRUSSA Universities also posted content on their own Research Uptake websites. For example, an article on the University of Nairobi's Livestock Expo was posted on their website, another article on Land Inequality and Family Planning was posted on Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) website, and, amongst others, an article on "Where Should We Stay? Exploring the Options for Caring for Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Ghana ‘’ was posted on University of Ghana website.
The University of Nairobi’s chronicle of its RU water sector reforms and interventions in Urban Kenya based on a multi-year funded research programme is a particularly interesting example with a 2014 blog that came out of a collaboration with the researcher providing a distillation of this life-changing research on the general community and a gender-focused blog that evolved out of a collaboration between the same researcher and an emerging Research Uptake Communicator published in 2015 zoning in the particularly positive impact of the water intervention on women and girls in the area.
The RUC2016 activity gets underway in February, and in April each university’s RUC representatives will meet in Johannesburg to present their 2016 campaign plan and draft materials to their DRUSSA colleagues in a cross-university peer-coaching and learning format. The workshop will be an opportunity for the participants to share their RUC2016 experiences and insights, and to review their campaign strategies.
The DRUSSA universities have put in place systems and processes, strategies and plans that embed Research Uptake in both the academic sphere and in their management systems. In this final year of the programme, among the outcomes that are planned, the results of their RUC2016 campaigns will be a practical demonstration of how the various strands of activity that the DRUSSA programme has supported have come together.