Workshop to Enhance Research Capacity of African Scholars

Prof. Abukutsa makes her address when she officiated the opening of the workshop

A two-day workshop to induct participants on research data processing and analysis; as well as disseminating strategies got underway at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, on Monday December 18, 2017.

Besides enhancing research capacity of the beneficiaries, the workshop that brings together scholars from the DAAD In-country and In-region as well as from the Horticultural Innovation and Learning for Improved Nutrition and Livelihood in East Africa (HORTINLEA), is also primed to create multidisciplinary networks that could form long term basis of scientific research collaborations.

Addressing the participants, Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) in charge of Research, Production and Extension, Prof. Mary Abukutsa noted that data analysis and dissemination remain problematic to a number of researchers yet the concepts also important lenses of gauging success of any research activity.

“If you fail to properly, collect, curate and analyze research data, you will not end up with useful results,” Prof. Abukutsa cautioned.

The DVC also encouraged the participants to learn of various dissemination strategies in order to improve the visibility of their research.

Dr. Emil makes a presentation on dissemination tools and knowledge exchange strategies at the workshop

Welcoming the participants to the workshop, Prof. Losenge Turoop said the event also aimed at strengthening the link among diverse higher education and German funding institutions. He urged the participants to prioritize learning and forge meaningful networks.  He mentioned that the Workshop is geared towards a monitoring and evaluation tools for the DAAD in-country and in-region scholars in the region.

Isaac Nyangena, a masters student at JKUAT pursuing a degree in Food Science and Nutrition said the workshop had come in handy for him as he would learn about data analysis tools and how best to disseminate research findings. Hoped that this will be an annual event to enhance research capacity for the DAAD supported scholars.

“I also hope to meet and interact with other scholars in the region,” Isaac said.

Another participant, Diana Nakobe said a major challenge for young researchers in the data management and analysis.

“Many times, we end up collecting data that could provide insights beyond the scope of the research one is undertaking. Much of that data therefore end up underutilized,” Diana opined.

On dissemination, Diana who is a student at University Hohenheim, Germany, hoped to learn more strategies and avenues beyond scientific publication outlets.

In his presentation to the participants, Dr. Emil Gevorgyan from Humboldt Universität’s Center for Rural Development, said dissemination is about creating awareness, and fostering engagement about science and innovation activities in order to cement lasting impact.

A good dissemination strategy, Dr. Emil added, must take into account the stakeholders involved, how they are linked together and respective interests, power and resource matrices.

The resulting understanding would then inform the medium or channel to be adopted in order to effectively reach the stakeholders, Dr. Emil said.

The participants were drawn from four countries namely: Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and Germany.

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