Work package 5

This work package is led by Imelda Bates and Justin Pulford in the Centre for Capacity Research (CCR), LSTM and Innocent Valea, CNRFP. The activities in this work package are designed to identify and address key gaps in institutions’ capacity to support both research and uptake of research findings via the application of an iterative ‘5-step’ approach to institutional capacity strengthening. The 5-step approach is designed to achieve autonomous, self-sustaining, problem-solving research institutions and systems and has been successfully employed in numerous sub-Saharan universities and research institutions. The steps include: (1) define the goal of the research capacity strengthening activities and the pathway to change by all project stakeholders; (2) use published evidence to create a description (‘benchmark’) of all the components of research infrastructure and systems needed to achieve the defined goal; (3) determine existing institutional research capacity and identify strengths and gaps against the pre-determined ‘benchmark’; (4) devise and implement an action plan in consultation with institutional stakeholders to fill the research gaps and include progress indicators; and (5) regularly revise the plan and indicators which need to increase in sophistication as capacity is strengthened.

This approach has been initiated in the four partner research institutes within PIIVeC (CNRFP, IRSS, MAC, CRID). Capacity assessments have been completed and action plans are currently in place. Progress review and revision of the action plan (step 5) for each institute will be completed at the programme mid- and end-points.