Research Capacity Strengthening in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: a Rapid Evidence Assessment of the literature
From the review it emerged that, while donor interventions can influence LMIC research systems, their positive impact is often short-lived unless activities align with national priorities and are defined alongside national stakeholders
Some important conclusions:
In order to be sustainable, capacity strengthening must take a systems approach that responds to capacity needs at different levels (individual, organisational, and environment or network) and is tailored to the context where they are being implemented.
Several interventions stressed the importance of long-term donor support to deal with these structural deficiencies. In order to maximise the positive impact of research, interventions should focus on generating long-term commitment to research between relevant stakeholders in government, civil society and the private sector.
Research management capacity across LMIC universities is very limited. This, in turn,affects researchers’ ability to effectively obtain research funding and manage research projects. Common areas in need of improvement are financial management, grants management, and monitoring and evaluation.
A key barrier to research production is the lack of incentives to produce research. Academic staff often carry large teaching, administrative and consultancy workloads which means that the time available for research is minimal
The further barrier affecting research production and research management in LMICs is the lack of adequate ICT infrastructure underpinning an organisation’s research information system.