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24 June 2019
The DRUSSA Digest | Vol 3 No 3 | Oct 2014
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The DRUSSA Digest is published online at and distributed electronically, four times a year. The Digest features articles about Research Uptake and Research Uptake Management (RUM) with a strong emphasis on the accomplishments of the DRUSSA universities, and the progress of the project. Please do forward this eDigest to your colleagues and suggest that they register as members of the DRUSSA Network.
In this edition of the DRUSSA DIGEST
This issue of the DRUSSA Digest features diverse Research Uptake activities at four of the DRUSSA universities; they illustrate the breadth and importance of incorporating Research Uptake into institutional strategies and practices. 
There is an increasing focus on strengthening the Research Uptake Communication skills of the DRUSSA universities' communications professionals;  the 2014 Research Uptake Communication campaign is concentrating on using university websites, radio and email to reach readers; formal training activities commence in 2015 with an accredited online course being offered by the University of Stellenbosch, and a number of other events in the planning.
Dr Sara Grobbelaar and Caite McCann write about useful tools for research uptake managers, and Dr Tomas Harber describes the new work being done to increase the use of research evidence in government ministries.
We hope you find this an interesting read. Please do follow the links to the full blogs on, and add any feedback or comments to particular features there. If you have any suggestions or feedback we would love to hear from you. Please email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Advancing responsible and ethical conduct of research at Kenyatta University

Research integrity is an important aspect of the moral character and experience of any researcher or institution. It involves above all a commitment to intellectual honesty and personal responsibility for one's actions and to a range of practices that characterize responsible research conduct. Kenyatta University has been at the forefront in promoting responsible and ethical conduct of research in the community among the staff members through the activities of the Initiative for Research, Innovation and Management (iRIM), and Partnership for Innovative Medical Education in Kenya (PRIME-K) programs.
In addition to the above activities, Kenyatta University has initiated several other mechanisms of research dissemination to stakeholders. These include participating in national and regional trade fairs, organizing an annual career and culture week (an international event hosted at the university), holding scientific conferences and participating in international ones, and publishing a quarterly newsletter that dedicates a substantial section to Research Uptake. The university also has a vibrant FM radio station that airs discussions on research and progress of scientific knowledge to an audience of members and students.
For more about this read the full blog here
Research into Practice: Participatory research strengthens Research Uptake and crop yields in Nigeria
 Agricultural production in Nigeria is mainly undertaken by smallholder farmers who are challenged by under-investment in basic infrastructure and disregard for their innate wealth of traditional knowledge about biological resources, practices and potential for innovation. A System Of Crop Intensification developed by the University of Ibadan’s Department of Agronomy in collaboration with Ajibode Organic Farmers in Nigeria has made a significant impact.
Ajibode Organic Farmers were asked to contribute to an agricultural research study carried out In 2010 and 2011 by University of Ibadan in the Ajibode area, which is near the University’s Teaching Research Farm. A group of farmers of short-season organic vegetable were involved in determining the effects of poultry manure extract and seeding rates on two popular leafy vegetables (namely, cockscomb (Celosia argentea) and jute mallow (Corchorus olitorius).
The results showed that in cockscomb the best fresh plant yield (54.7t/ha) was achieved by using a low seeding rate, and an application containing manure extract. Consistently, in the jute mallow an increased fresh and dry weight total of crop yield was achieved using low seeding rates and an application containing poultry manure extract.
A participative process meant that the innate wealth of traditional knowledge about biological resources was taken into account, and testing practices and potential for innovation was a collaborative exercise. The research proved the value of using poultry manure extract and low seeding. The visible evidence persuaded the organic farmers to change their practices so as to benefit from lower input costs and greater yield.
Read the full blog here
CPUT : A Strategic Approach to Research Uptake

A researcher at CPUT developed a research communication strategy for her valuable research findings on rooibos tea. In so doing, she’s helped shape her institutions’ Research Uptake strategy.
Based at the Oxidative Stress Research Unit at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), Professor Jeanine Marnewick made a significant contribution to health research in 2011 when her clinical trial revealed that drinking six cups of rooibos per day holds definite health benefits, and specifically helps to reduce oxidative stress in the body and lowers the risk of heart disease.
While her research findings have been featured in several journal articles (see the footnote at the end of this blog), Marnewick didn’t stop there, but is ensuring that these findings reach those who need it – from industry to the health conscious individual.
For more read the full article here
Tracking Research Output at KNUST to support Research Uptake

Before the introduction of the DRUSSA programme, KNUST had an Institutional Repository for research undertaken by its staff and students. This stored not only information on the completed research, but also a digital copy of published articles and student thesis reports: essentially completed research. The Quality Assurance and Planning unit of the Vice-Chancellor’s Office also collated the annual research output of the University, which is published annually in the University’s Basic Statistics, as well as the Facts and Figures brochure produced during congregation.
However, with the introduction of the DRUSSA programme, it became evident that KNUST needed to work towards having a Research Information System, which stored metadata on all completed and on-going research undertaken in the University. This was because a lot of work had to be done to gain access to information on on-going research in particular, in order to choose a few to support in terms of strategic Research Uptake planning and implementation.
For more about this read the full blog
Part 3: Research Uptake Policy series: Key heuristics, metaphors, theories and frameworks

In Part 3 of this  four-part “Research Uptake: Knowledge to Policy” blog series, Dr Sara Grobbelaar, DRUSSA Researcher at CREST, considers two frameworks through which policy analysis can be done - Policy Networks and Communities, and Institutional Analysis and Development.
Policy networks and communities
This concept became useful as it assisted in capturing the fluidity of the interactions of people that may be relating at a range of levels and highlights the mechanism through which people and organisations interact in a political setting.The network approach focuses on patterns of formal and informal contacts and relationships that have an influence on how policy agendas and decision making are shaped.
Institutional Analysis and Development framework
The IAD framework aims at identifying the various types of structural variables that exist within institutional arrangements so as to understand how these variables differ from one situation to another. The IAD framework has at its unit of analysis a specific policy arena.
The framework is problem-oriented and can explain how actors organize in order to solve the problem. The goal is to identify patterns of interaction where activities may generate specific outcomes that will be assessed through evaluation criteria. Actions are affected by the actor’s biophysical situation and also institutional attributes, rules and norms and problems on either the operational level, the policy level or constitutional level.
For more about this read the full blog
RUC 2014

Communications Professionals from the DRUSSA Universities are working through a coach-facilitated exercise to strengthen their RUC skills while building their University’s Research Uptake Communications portfolio.
RUC2014 provides a user-centred coaching programme to support the DRUSSA Universities in taking a RUC campaign approach to building a RUC portfolio for their University. Each University’s RUC2014 Campaign pivots on a foundation document selected by the Leader, Champion and nominated Communications Professional. The foundation document is an existing published, peer-reviewed research article from a field that provides gender-orientated solutions to national development poverty reduction initiatives.
Communications Professionals from DRUSSA Universities are working in collaboration with the author(s) of the selected research article – who has been requested to participate in the rollout of the campaign – to produce three useable pieces of communication material appropriate to the identified audiences and communications platforms chosen.
For more information please see the full blog here
ACU/SARIMA Conference May 2015

The Research and Innovation for Global Challenges conference is being organised by the Association of Commonwealth Universities, in partnership with the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) and will be held in Johannesburg from 11 - 15 May 2015. Dr John Kirkland, Deputy Secretary General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities tells us more about the event.
Key issues related to Research Uptake will be considered at a policy level as well as institutional and practical level. The conference should appeal to a wide audience – combining a strategic level approach, with practical discussion for institutions introducing new structures to maximise their impact, and training for individual practitioners at every stage of their career. It will put also put the issues into a global perspective, with speakers expected from all five continents. An early keynote speaker to confirm is Sir Mark Walport, the Chief Scientific Officer of the UK government who will discuss the incentives and environment that governments can put in place to support Research Uptake.
For more information read the full blog here
The DRUSSA programme extends its activities in Ghana and Uganda

Effective and sustainable Research Uptake also includes demand-side activities that facilitate and contribute to the use of research evidence by policymakers. In recognition of this, the DRUSSA programme was awarded additional UKAID funding in 2013 to support ‘demand-side’ capacity in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
A pilot initiative is currently underway in Ghana and Uganda to build capacity amongst public sector policy-makers to use research evidence to inform policy decision-making.
Improving Policy with evidence
The initiative is built on the understanding that policies underpinned by a sound evaluation of research evidence lead to higher impact interventions and programmes for poverty reduction and improved quality of life. The DRUSSA programme team, in conjunction with our partners in Ghana and Uganda, are implementing approaches to collaborate with six development focused government ministries to strengthen demand-side capacity.
For more information read the full blog here
Tools for Google searching: hot tips to make it easier to find what you’re looking for on websites

DRUSSA’s resident technology guru Caite McCann gives us some intel on how we can benefit from the billions of dollars spent on Google’s search functionality.
Google is dedicated to searching. In fact, they spend billions of dollars developing the most advanced search algorithms – but what use is all that power if you can't find what you’re looking for?
Most people never go beyond the basic Google search function. You know the one. When you just type in a couple of search terms and then pick the best options from the first results page. Well, the Google search function is capable of a lot more than that. Here are some easy tools to get more of that billion-dollar searching power behind you.
Easy ways to make Google search work harder for you
Tool 1: Did you know that the simplest search options are right there on your screen?
If you Google search, you’ll see a short menu of items right beneath the Google search box.
Look out for ‘Search Tools’: Click on that and you’ll find a sub-menu that will allow you to refine your search by: ‘country’; ‘time range’; and/or ‘visited/not yet visited/reading level/verbatim’.
Read the full blog here

ONLINE Course: Science communication: An introduction to theory, best practice and practical skills.   
19 January - 28 February 2015
This is the first online accredited short course for in-service training for communications professionals and research managers responsible for Research Uptake.   
Its development has been supported by UKAID through the DRUSSA programme. It will commence on 19 January 2015 and will be presented over six weeks until Friday 28 February. It will presented by DRUSSA partner, the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST) at Stellenbosch University. Please visit for more information and the link to the online application form. Applications close on 30th November.

WARIMA 2015 Annual conference University of Elizade, Nigeria.     
24 - 26 Nov 2014 

With the theme “Enhancing University-Government-Industry Research and Innovation Partnerships for Local Relevance and Global Competitiveness” this conference aims to ignite proactive collaboration between key players from University, Government, and Industry, the so-called Triple Helix, to develop indigenous technologies to  meet West Africa’s infrastructural and industrial needs.
The main conference will include three keynote addresses, a round table discussion (with television coverage and live streaming) as well as parallel and poster sessions related to the conference sub-themes: Challenges of conducting quality research in Africa; Identifying research needs of industries in West Africa; Challenges of disseminating research and innovation outcomes; Problems and prospects of technology uptake and application by Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Multinationals; the Role of industry/commerce for the generation and uptake of local research and innovation solutions; The role of government in the generation, diffusion, and application of research outcomes; Intellectual Property Rights; and contemporary research and innovation management practices. For more information visit WARIMA's website.
Other events coming up:
DRUSSA Leaders and Champions meeting  Hilton Hotel  Addis Ababa 10 - 12 Nov 2014  
CARIMA 2014 Annual Conference  provisionally re-scheduled Jan 2015  
DRUSSA Communications Training Event   March 2015
DRUSSA Vice-Chancellors Event  Indaba Hotel      Johannesburg South Africa   10 May 2015
ACU/SARIMA Conference  Indaba Hotel      Johannesburg South Africa   11-14  May 2015
DRUSSA short course 2015  1 - 4 June 2015 in Stellenbosch South Africa
EARIMA Conference 2015  (revised dates)   28 August to 2 September 2015


DRUSSA Network News is published quarterly. It is available on the DRUSSA blogsite, the DRUSSA App(register here to get the app) and via email (if you`re registered on the DRUSSA Network).
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