Research Uptake and Utilisation


The Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa (DRUSSA) programme is a new initiative aiming to assist universities in getting research into use. DRUSSA is the undertaking of a partnership of two Sub-Saharan based organizations: The Centre for Research into Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST) at the University of Stellenbosch and Organisation Systems Design (OSD), a South African based consultancy specialising in facilitating change in the research management and capacity-building sectors in Africa; and the UK-based Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU). Funded by the Department For International Development DFID/UK, the DRUSSA programme commenced on 1st October, 2011 and will roll-out over a 5-year period.


The programme focuses on strengthening research uptake management capacity and participation in the international development scientific research system in 24 Universities: Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa.

Through the introduction of Research Uptake Management, a new specialist university management field, DRUSSA will focus on strengthening these universities' capacity to engage with their national stakeholders. The objective is for universities to fulfill their unique role as primary knowledge producers and key intermediary contributors to the major developmental poverty-reduction programmes in their countries and the Sub-Saharan African region

The DRUSSA programme will:

  • address the demand for stronger Sub-Saharan African (SSA) participation in local pro-poor development research programmes
  • help Sub-Saharan Universities efforts to ensure their local pro-poor research impacts on policy and practice in their countries.
  • promote the dissemination of poverty reduction research beyond the academic domain to include and build a socially interactive community of organisations and individual working in pro-poor development.

The DRUSSA intervention will provide solutions at individual, institutional and systems levels in order to achieve overall viability and impact in terms of improved participation and policy, and practice impact. A package of Research Uptake Management work programmes has been designed to attend to specific areas, and together these consolidate and strengthen existing capacity to an operational level that can be sustained in the long-term by the universities themselves.

In addition, DRUSSA aims to influence over 110 other Sub-Saharan universities to improve their capacity. DRUSSA aims to improve the accessibility, uptake and utilization of locally contextualized development research evidence on climate change and environment, health, information, education, governance, food security, gender analysis and livelihoods for children, women and men in Africa, to inform Sub-Saharan and global development policy and practice.