The joint NEPAD-SARIMA workshop for the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Directorate of the Ghanaian Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, was been held in Accra, Ghana, from 13 to 17 March 2016. With the NEPAD Agency’s segment, the content aimed at helping the newly established directorate, in its capacity as a Science Granting Council (SGC), to strengthen its capacity in research and experimental development (R&D) and innovation data collection and interpretation of related indicators.
Participants were actively involved in a simulation of R&D surveys after receiving training on STI concepts, definitions and related measurement guidelines (OECD Frascati and Oslo manuals) by Dr Tichaona Mangwende and Mr Lukovi Seke. Among the 20 trainees, females represented 30% of the audience and key STI national stakeholders invited by the Ministry were the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute, the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute of the Ghanaian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (STEPRI/CSIR), the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education, the University of Ghana and the Kumasi Technical University. Dr Ereck Chakauya (Southern African network of Biosciences - SANBio) shared experience on the role of CSIR South Africa in that country’s national system of innovation.
SARIMA expert trainers, Dr Robin Drennan and Prof Thandiswa Mgwebi covered a comprehensive 3-day programme on key topics in Research and Grants Management. The session began with Ms. Adelaide Asante, AG. Director STI at MESTI setting the scene on the research and funding landscape in Ghana. Diverse and rich discussion on the nature of the Innovation system in Ghana, the strategic approach employed by government in setting funding priorities, and MESTI’s existing funding mechanisms ensued between the different stakeholders in the training.
Amongst other topics the SARIMA training was customised to interactively cover funding strategies and action plans; partnerships and collaboration; merits and pitfalls of peer review; developing funding initiatives; processing proposals; financial control and monitoring and evaluation of funding programmes. It ended with participants being encouraged to reflect on how the learning will be applied in their respective settings, and a set of research and grants management actions being prioritised by MESTI.