This publication describes a small-scale exploratory study of factors underlying the poor capacity for health-related social science research in East Africa, the processes that perpetuate this situation and possible ways to improve it. The research questions were addressed in relation to Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, with a particular focus on Uganda. Most interviewees agreed that there was a serious problem. Explanations included poor supply of undergraduates, poor university education, poor supply of postgraduates, poor postgraduate training and the impact of AIDS, research consultancies occupying researchers' time, drain of expertise abroad, short-term perspectives, salary issues related to the global research economy, and the pull of capital cities. However, some researchers were committed to developing research capacity. Suggested improvements included greater collegiate support within departments, consultancies contracted through departments rather than individuals, career development in long-term research programmes, improved postgraduate training, and better funding. At the end there is a list of remaining research questions.
Occasional Paper 14, MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Glasgow, February 2005. Full text available.