Eliya Zulu, the director of the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) based in Nairobi, talks about the challenges of communicating development research across Africa at the AusAID, DFID and UKCDS workshop held in November.
Eliya identifies three challenges of communicating development research:
(1) the fragmented nature of research knowledge, (2) the weak capacity to translate knowledge, and (3) researchers focus too much on delivering evidence to donors, rather than ensure the evidence is of high quality.
In order to combat these problems, AFIDEP works to synthesize, summarize and package research evidence to ensure that it is available in a form that policy makers can use. They also strive to develop and build capacity in knowledge translation. A lot of pressure can be placed on researchers to communicate research and in some cases a rush to do this means that the evidence is not quite robust enough, AFIDEP is striving to strengthen local institutions in order to prevent this occurring in both policy and practice.