Recognizing that it takes a research team time to conduct a study, players (the research team, the public and the decision-makers) need to be involved at conceptualization and at the beginning of the research if they are to be enlightened on the research product. Researchers produce scientific evidence, techniques, innovations and practices for the public good. The process of policy oriented research arrives at a product (useable knowledge) which needs to be made visible and available to the public and decision-makers. The research process and findings should therefore be aligned with political and institutional context to ensure that the researchers and the public or decision-makers (i.e. the target audience) connect around the product. The directorate will support researchers to infuse early communication of priorities and politically feasible options in their research if their research is to make a difference to society and industry.
The directorate therefore aims to:
Support researchers in framing their research problem and aligning it with evidence base.
Strengthen the capacity of researchers to engage in demand driven research that responds to, and supports the need of the public and the private sector in their daily work
Build the capacity of researchers in collaborating with the public and the private sector to generate essential information and to encourage active sharing, and identify pressing priorities
Support researchers in creating targeted messaging (e.g. policy briefs, press releases) emphasizing the role of research evidence in contributing to better programmes and improved interventions
Turn research evidence into compelling stories, that have the likelihood of influencing decision-making
Support researchers to pursue personal contacts with practitioners and built trust from personal relationships, thus connecting research and practice.
In collaboration with other units the directorate will institute continuous monitoring, evaluation and reporting of research as a culture in the University to help evaluate performance and engagement.