DFID Research Strategy (2008 - 2013). Consultation - Africa. Country Report for Uganda

Abstract

This report presents the results of the consultation undertaken in Uganda to determine what research DFID should be funding in the period 2008-2013. Information was gathered through one-on-one key informant interviews, focus group interviews and discussions, and a stakeholder workshop. Altogether 83 people, including researchers, civil servants, private professionals/think tanks, politicians, practitioners and end-users, from the key areas of agriculture, health, governance and climate change, participated in the consultation process. Views from Northern Uganda, an area characterized by conflict and war for the past 2 decades, were sought, in particular. Respondents expressed opinions on what they thought were critical areas for investment to stimulate economic growth, and which would have significant impact on the poor.

The major outcomes of the consultations were shared in a meeting attended by ten staff based at the DFID office in Kampala. The comments and opinions expressed in that meeting are integrated in this report.

The research priorities identified for the different sectors are as follows:

Agriculture
Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for over 70% of the population. Stimulating agricultural production is seen as key to improving economic growth, and could contribute to increased investment in industry and service sectors in the long term. Specific priorities include:

  • Improvements in post-harvest handling to reduces losses (estimated at 30% of production) and adding value to agricultural products
  • Markets and market access
  • Development of sustainable production systems for crops and livestock
  • Development of technologies, such as biotechnology, for increased production and productivity
  • Study of the inter-relationships between agriculture and other disciplines such as health and environment
  • Generation of evidence needed for policy formulation to support agricultural financing and attract investment in agriculture
  • Methods of increasing the uptake and utilization of agricultural research products
  • Knowledge management systems for agricultural development
  • Doing agricultural research for impact

Health
Good health is a pre-requisite for all development endeavours as it directly affects the productivity of the labour force. Specific priorities include:

  • Management of communicable and infectious diseases, in particular, increasing the uptake of known interventions
  • Management of life-style and nutrition-related diseases
  • Alternative mechanisms of health service delivery, particularly in remote areas where most of the poor live
  • Development and quality assurance of pharmaceutical products

Environment and climate change
Areas of priority for research in environment and health include:

  • Understanding climate change and improving communications about it
  • Forecasting, monitoring and mitigating the effects of climate change
  • Studying the cross-sectoral impacts of climate change

Governance
Good governance is considered to be the most critical factor in national development, and it can have direct impacts on research in all sectors. Research priorities in this area are:

  • Analysis of leadership and democracy in an African context
  • Developing institutions and accountability systems
  • Empowerment of society to demand services and ensure accountability
  • Examination of policy development processes and their impact on implementation
  • Strategic policy research for equitable utilisation of natural resources, such as oil
  • Monitoring and evaluation of policies to determine their impact on development

Cross-cutting areas
A number of priority areas cutting across all sectors were identified:

  • Education, including curricula reform at all levels, partnerships for improving quality of education and civic education for empowerment
  • Demonstration of returns to research investment
  • Development of partnerships in research and service delivery, such as Public-Private- Partnerships (PPP)
  • Gender issues in research
  • Motivation and commitment of researchers

Implications for DFID
The report draws a number of implications for DFID with regard to its support of research for development. In outline, these are:

  • As a first step, there is a need for an institutional framework and processes for generation of a prioritized national research agenda
  • Investments need to be long enough (around 5 years) to sustain engagement with a variety of stakeholders
  • More innovative ways of doing research need to be pursued
  • Communication must be part of the project inception, and should be managed by professional communication experts
  • The sectors need to be helped to set up institutional frameworks and procedures for a national research agenda
  • Building the capacity of local institutions is critical for the sustainability and relevance of research

The 2 annexes to this report comprise a list of the people consulted and the report of the stakeholder consultative workshop held at Entebbe.

Citation

People Innovations and Change in Organisations (PICO), Uganda, 83 pp.

DFID Research Strategy (2008 - 2013). Consultation - Africa. Country Report for Uganda

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