Dr. George Owusu Essegbey, Director of CSIR Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI), has said that the institute is concerned with the application of Science and Technology to address development challenges in Agriculture, Industry and the Environment.
He said the CSIR- STEPRI was focused on demonstrating the practical relevance of research in all its features.
Dr Essegbey made these remarks at a sensitization workshop organised by CSIR/STEPRI, in conjunction with the University of Ghana’s Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, for stakeholders on the Development Research Uptake in Sub- Saharan Africa (DRUSSA) Project.
He said Ghana is seeking for innovative ways to solve its socio-economic challenges, as such, the DRUSSA project can demonstrate the out of the box thinking, that enables the country to meet the challenge of effective policy formulation and implementation.
Dr. Essegbey noted that in order to move forward as a country, there is the need to bridge the gap between researchers and policy-makers, to enhance research results update, for effective policy-making and implementation.
“Policy-makers need access to robust evidence about interventions and strategies that work and about those that may be potentially useful,”,he added.
Dr. Essegbey said Ghana needed relevant research and this could be done if there was effective communication and flow of information between research/academia and policy-makers.
He said, while policy decisions will always be influenced by factors, other than evidence, including political, economic, cultural and sociological factors, strengthening the use of research evidence is a critical challenge that holds the promise of leading to significant development gains.
He, therefore, expressed his gratitude towards the three key ministries, namely, the Ministries of Finance and Economic Planning, Food and Agriculture, and Trade and Industry, as stakeholders.
Mrs. Justina Onumah, Research Scientist, STEPRI , told the Ghana News Agerncy in an interview that the DRUSSA Project will update the activities of research works in the country, and report back to where it is supposed to be used.
She said the participation of the three ministries; so far as the workshop was concerned will enable CSIR- STEPRI develop effective modules, adding that “we will engage them, for them to tell us their actual needs.
The programme, funded by the Department for International Development, is committed to strengthening research uptake capacity and participation in the international development research system at 24 sub-saharan universities across 12 countries.
Aside its goal of improving the accessibility and utilization of locally relevant research evidence to inform sub-saharan and global development policy and practice, it will also work towards strengthening the capacity of policy-makers in Ghana and Uganda to use research evidence.
The programme consists of ‘Policy symposia for senior officials on key debates in the sciences’, ‘Professional development courses on handling science and evidence for junior and mid-level policy advisors, and ‘Early career policy fellowship scheme’. GNA