On 22-24 October, a high-level meeting will bring together members of national research institutions, policy institutions and government within Uganda, including senior decision makers, to explore approaches to enable an equitable research system in the country. The meeting will tackle important questions such as: how national research systems can nurture a wider pool of research talent and how to foster an inclusive research and knowledge system that enables a diversity of voices and opinions to contribute to national development.
The event will be hosted by and has been developed in partnership with Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST). Based in Kampala, UNCST develops and implements ways to incorporate science and technology in Uganda’s national development process and advises the government on relevant policy matters and coordinates research and development activities in the country.
The meeting aims to define a shared vision; articulate the key challenges and gaps that limit equitable access to, use of and full contribution by researchers and institutions to the national research and development agenda; and develop a plan for a holistic, equitable, collaborative and sustainable research system that is capable of contributing to national development priorities of response. It will include speakers from Uganda’s Ministry of Science and Technology, Resilient Africa Network, universities across the country, UNESCO and Sida, as well as from UNCST and INASP.
UNCST and INASP have identified six key areas for discussion:
- Uganda’s national research system and who is shaping the future
- Research funding and its drivers
- Gender inequity
- The obstacles within the global economy that impede African knowledge transfer and application
- The dynamics of North-South research collaborations
- The global knowledge pool: is it restricted and who determines access and contribution?
The topic of gender equity will be picked up again on the third day of the meeting in a satellite event for those who want to commit to systematically learning how to address the issue of gender parity within higher education and research. This satellite meeting aims to establish a national gender learning alliance to focus attention on gender inequities in research and higher education as a priority and to grow the impetus for change.
The event will result in a plan to make the institutionalization of an equitable research system a national priority in Uganda. It will also identify “champions” to advocate for this vision nationally. Reflections, learning and outcomes from the meeting will be shared publicly.