As a LASER-PULSE Consortium member, Makerere University – ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) set out to assess and understand the research context, research capacity and capacity gaps in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in fragile and conflict affected states: a Case Study of Somalia and South Sudan.

A highlight of the research findings

Participating Universities were highly variable in size and ownership. They included both privately-owned and Government-owned institutions. Overall, the research ecosystems of the surveyed HEIs were found to be strong in the following aspects: existence of technical linkages with national level sector ministries, existence of linkages with communities and community-level presence, presence of functional and adequately supported research support offices, and availability of systems to track financial spending against budget and accountability for research projects.

The HEIs were found to be weakest in the following dimensions: human capital development, participation of females in research, the relationship between HEIs’ research departments with the respective Governments departments, research infrastructure such as well-equipped laboratories and stocked libraries; and partnerships with HEIs from high-income countries (HICs). Findings from the research capacity assessment cover the areas of research infrastructure, continuity and sustainability, linkages, partnerships and collaboration, leadership, empowerment, dissemination, knowledge translation and research applicability.

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By: Harriet Adong, RAN Director Communications, Learning and Knowledge Management