The Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), through the Directorate of Life Sciences (DLS) recently embarked upon developing a Research and Innovation Impact Bulletin which gives details of research results funded by the National Fund for Advancement of Science and Technology (NFAST). The Bulletin is aimed at delivering the research results to COSTECH stakeholders including policy and decision makers, innovators, entrepreneurs as well as the general public.
Delivering the welcome remarks, at the bulletin launch, held during the 6th Annual National Science, Technology and Innovation Conference, the Acting Director General of COSTECH, Dr. Amos Nungu noted that, “COSTECH is mandated to advise the government in all matters related to science, technology and innovation. This bulletin will be one of the mechanisms to deliver research results to research stakeholders and also be used as a proof as to why it is important for the government to continue investing in research and innovation.” Dr. Nungu also noted that that was a move towards engaging private sector and development partners to fund research as most of the captured results in the bulletin show the return of investment. He ended by saying that from this financial year, COSTECH will no longer fund research just for the matter of generating knowledge but rather research which have potential impacts for socio-economic development. “We want to see the monetary value of our investment and the translation of research into solving societal problems. We want the research results to have direct impact to the national development,” he ended.
Dr Nungu briefing the media during the launch of the Bulletin
Delivering the closing remarks, the COSTECH Acting Director of Knowledge Management, Dr. Joyce Nyoni revealed that the production of the bulletin was in line with one of the COSTECH functions which is to acquire, store, process and disseminate scientific information to end users. “As a knowledge broker between researchers and policy makers, COSTECH is supposed to repackage and disseminate STI information in a manner that can be understood by our stakeholders who include decision and policy makers so as to assist them in making informed decisions while formulating policies, planning and practices. That is the essence of the intended bulletin,” she noted. Dr. Nyoni also revealed that the exercise involved both researchers and journalists whereby the latter is expected to translate the scientific language into plain language that can be understood by the general public.
“Researchers have their own way of communicating which may not necessarily be understood by the general public. We have decided to invite journalists hoping that they will assist in bridging the language gap and deliver the intended message to the public. We expect our policy makers and other research stakeholders, including an average person, will read the bulletin and be able to understand and therefore make evidence-based decisions,” she added. Since 2010, the Tanzanian government, through COSTECH has funded more than 100 research projects. Over fifty percent of the funded research have been completed, some of which their results are being disseminated to end users using various mechanisms such as scientific conferences, workshops, seminars, policy and project briefs, brochures, banners, flyers, TV and radio programs, newspaper articles, social media pages as well as research and innovation impact bulletin.