Scientific Research Capacity Strengthening In Kenya: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

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dc.contributor.author Njunge, Rachel Wanjiku
dc.date.accessioned 2019-02-07T07:59:01Z
dc.date.available 2019-02-07T07:59:01Z
dc.date.issued 2018
dc.identifier.uri http://erepo.usiu.ac.ke/11732/4314
dc.description A Research Project Report Submitted to the Chandaria School of Business in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirement for the Degree of Master of Science in Management and Organizational Development (MOD) en_US
dc.description.abstract The purpose of the study was to examine the trends, challenges and opportunities in research institutions as they seek to strengthen their scientific research capacity. Strengthening the capacity of scientific research in local research institutions in Kenya is key to accelerating economic development of the country. Data on the status of institutional scientific capacity in the country is limited. This study evaluated the existing state of research capacity in research and academic institutions in Kenya focused on the health and agricultural sectors. It examined the systematic and practical approaches adopted in the study institutions to promote research capacity and support transfer of knowledge, and identified the challenges faced by research scientists. A self-administered web-based questionnaire was developed on the Survey Monkey® platform and distributed widely through email targeting researchers, university lecturers, PhD and post-doctoral fellows, managers and research support staff in four research institutions and three universities in Kenya. Quantitative data collected from respondents was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) to produce descriptive statistics. Qualitative data of secondary data obtained from previous studies and the open-ended questions in the questionnaire were analyzed thematically. A total of 79 respondents filled the online questionnaire survey. Females comprised 42% of the respondents, with age groups of 20-30, 31-40, 41-50, and 51 years and above representing 30%, 39%, 21% and 10% respectively. Most of the respondents (59%) had a masters as their highest degree, while only 7% had a PhD, with the rest (34%) having only an undergraduate degree. More than two-thirds (71%) of the respondents reported having applied for at least one grant, with slightly more than half (55%) reporting success, with 75% of the successful grants being $100,000 and below. More than three-quarters (78%) of the respondents reported having published in scientific journals. The study results showed researchers with international exposure during their studies had higher odds of success in grants [Odds ratio 3.25, 95%CI (1.06, 10)] and [Odds ratio 10, 95% CI (1.6, 85)]. There were gender differences in the odds of publishing with male researchers having 4.6 odds (95% CI 1.4, 14.7) of publishing than females. The study revealed that many efforts to increase research funding have been made by both external donors and the Kenyan government. Mentorship programs and increased focus on both bachelors and masters’ students in research programs has built the local research capacity and has been acknowledged as the most successful knowledge transfer mechanism. Increased investments have been made in research related activities in both agricultural and health sectors by the government but there is heavy reliance on external funding which has not necessarily led to increasing the local research capacity nor drive the local research agenda. Many of the research capacity strengthening challenges are hemmed from lack of adequate funding for both research capacity strengthening and research infrastructure development; lack of policy or institutional frameworks to guide knowledge transfer thus hindering research capacity strengthening of emerging researchers. These have been cited as the major hindrances for enhancing research capacity in Kenya. The study offered further perspectives on scientific research capacity strengthening, which is an area that is receiving a great deal of attention in Kenya. It captured the state of institutional research capacity, the challenges faced by researchers in research institutions and universities in Kenya and this study will complement the discussion taking place and the perspective on research capacity through the lens of researchers. The study recommended that to achieve sustainable research systems in Kenya, having dedicated capacity development in which outcomes areas are equally valued as research outputs is necessary. Research institutions can also strengthening research capacity by establishing research journal clubs and seminars to develop interest in research and critical thinking to enable research scientists to be more competitive globally and publish more papers based on the local development agenda; Motivating researchers with higher salaries or funded research time to off-set private-practice incentives; Ensure mentors are supported with long-term funded positions and recognition; Develop research scientists with multi-disciplinary skills such as leadership, project and human resource management skills; Strengthen the regulatory agencies capacity to coordinate, put in place and clarify guidelines, map and review capacity as well as streamline procedures; Build the capacities of policymakers to demand evidence that can inform policy; Develop locally driven research agenda evidence repositories and use research-to-action-groups to develop and package findings appropriately for dissemination. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher United States International University - Africa en_US
dc.subject Scientific Research en_US
dc.subject Scientific Research Capacity en_US
dc.subject Kenya en_US
dc.subject Trends en_US
dc.subject Challenges and Opportunities en_US
dc.title Scientific Research Capacity Strengthening In Kenya: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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