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22 September 2019
When Research Uptake Communications Comes Alive

The series of three structured and mentored Research Uptake Communications (RUC) training activities run by DRUSSA partner Organisation Systems Design over a  five-year period  for the DRUSSA programme culminated with a sense of a positive onward journey. A fitting place to begin a retrospective look at the RUC Campaigns is the 6 April 2016, the day fifty-three RUC course participants gathered in one room in Johannesburg, South Africa as part of the face-to-face element of the RUC2016 activity. It was a rare opportunity for this RUC community, who have networked digitally and only met at one previous event, to be in the same physical location.

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Working with Policy Makers

How research is undertaken, made available, accessed, applied and used is at the heart of Research Uptake. In order to address a range of developmental challenges research needs to be disseminated outside the academic domain to meet policy- and decision-makers needs for reliable evidence from science, technology and social science research. The DRUSSA programme piloted an approach to support capacity building for government staff to access and use research evidence. The purpose is to have university researchers and ministry advisors better understand and appreciate how and when research evidence can inform policy decision-making.

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Online Learning Resource

Over the five years of the Programme the selection of resources to support Research Uptake capacity strengthening has been ongoing, curated and published on by the Communication and Engagement unit, directed and run by Organisation Systems Design in South Africa. Karrine Saunders, the ACU's DRUSSA Programme Manager, takes us through the key resources and their availability in the future.

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Strong indicators for the sustainability of Research Uptake in Africa

At this stage of the DRUSSA programme there is a tendency to focus our attention to questions of sustainability. Will the new Research Uptake expertise and skills be further embedded, and will the universities continue to support institutional research culture shifts? How will the universities’ adapted policy and strategy frameworks support Research Uptake in the medium- and long-term?

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Contemplating the achievements of the DRUSSA Universities

John Kirkland, DRUSSA Lead and Deputy Secretary General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, reflects on the Programme’s success in supporting Research Uptake capacity at African universities.

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