SARIMA was selected as the Collaborating Technical Agency (CTA) to provide expertise in capacity strengthening in the management of research at Science Granting Councils (SGCs) in 15 African countries. These are Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Senegal. SGCs are considered important role players in the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) system; acting as crucial “intermediaries” in the flow of local, regional and international funding and technical support to research and development (R&D) performing institutions in a country. Effective research management is an essential tool for research excellence and the management of research, and one of its natural outcomes, innovation. This has emerged as a specialised area in government and funding agencies, requiring specific development and professionalization support to address . There is a variation in capacity, expertise and experience in research management amongst the SGC’s in Africa.
SARIMA’s key contirbutions to this large scale project include:
- undertaking a skill gap/needs analysis of all SGCs,
- providing on-site training, mentorship and technical assistance,
- supporting the research management professional recognition process to enable SGC staff to attain professional status,
- establishing and rolling out university accredited, virtual training courses,
- developing a guideline for SGCs to improve their competitive calls processes, and
- providing guidance to improve SGC’s grant management processes.