A team of LSTM’s Capacity Research Unit has visited Ghana and Tanzania as part of an evaluation of the Royal Society-Leverhulme Africa Awards. The evaluation was undertaken as part of the team’s mission to develop the Capacity Research Unit as a global leader in evaluation of capacity strengthening programmes and expand their networks in capacity strengthening beyond health initiatives.
The three-year Africa Award is for scientists who want to develop a collaborative research project between the UK and research institutions in either Ghana or Tanzania.
The Award aims to support universities and institutions in Africa to develop sustainable research and research training capacity. The scheme covers all areas of the life and physical sciences, with a focus on national research priorities in Ghana and Tanzania including: agriculture; water and sanitation; basic human health research; biodiversity and energy.
The objective of the evaluation is to determine whether or not the Africa Awards scheme has been successful in strengthening the research and research training capacity of individuals and institutions in Ghana and Tanzania. The Unit developed tailored, evidence based tools to guide the evaluation so that progress in achieving capacity strengthening could be measured.
The evaluation included meetings with award holders and other staff at their institutions including PhD students, research assistants, and directors.
Back in the UK, the team will now be interviewing UK-based award holders to understand their experiences as part of the research team.
The evaluation will be completed by November 2013 and presented to the Royal Society. The findings of the evaluation will allow the Royal Society to understand the contribution of the initiative in order for them to effectively tailor such initiatives for the future.