The purpose of the Leverhulme-Royal Society Africa Awards is to strengthen the research and research training capacity of individuals and institutions in Ghana and Tanzania. The meeting was attended by 20 people including Royal Society fellows from a diverse range of disciplines and institutions in the UK, Tanzania, and Ghana, and Royal Society staff based in London. Professor Bates and Dr. Njelesani’s presentation included an overview of LSTM, an introduction to the Capacity Research Unit at LSTM including the nature and scope of its work, and an overview of their evidence-based approach for evaluating changes in research capacity achieved through the Africa Awards.
The presentation was well received by the Award Committee and many commented on the value of taking such a rigorous approach to capacity strengthening evaluation. Pre-designed in-depth interviews with some of the panel members followed the presentation and will provide us with valuable information as part of our evaluation process. The Capacity Research Unit will be travelling to Ghana and Tanzania in July to collect information about changes in research and research training capacity from Award Holders and staff at their institutions in order to inform the evaluation.
The evaluation will be completed by November 2013 and presented to the Royal Society.