Universities responding to advancing community transformation through action research in Africa

Universities have a critical role to play in community transformation through technology and knowledge transfer whilst staying on course with teaching and research functions. Community action research is a remarkable approach to facilitating research in development. The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) runs the Community Action Research Programme PLUS (CARP+) that engages universities to work with communities, private sector, and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions. The CARP+ is a competitive grant under the RUFORUM Competitive Grants Scheme (CGS) whose integrated suite of grants are focused towards supporting agricultural transformation in Africa. Under the CARP+, a grant is competitively awarded to a principal investigator to support agricultural research and the training of at least one PhD, five MSc. students, five undergraduate intern students and a cohort of TVET based students. This CARP+ call is the second in a series of action research calls since the launch of the CARP+ grants component. A total of 38 proposals were received, and all 38 complied with the application guidelines. About sixteen percent (15.8%) were led by female principal investigators. Forty two percent of the proposals focused on crop production, 34 % on animal production, 10.5% in cross-cutting thematic areas (agribusiness management, rural development and socio-economics, food science and nutrition, climate change and natural resources management as well as agricultural extension, communications and information systems) and the remainder of the proposals addressed farm management and agriculture/natural resource economics (3%), land, soil and water management (5%) and other production systems (5%). Disaggregated submissions by commodity focus showed that 18.4% of the proposals focused on cereals and another 18.4% focused on ruminants. Less attention was given to some thematic areas, like farm management and natural resources; land, soil and water and, agroforestry. Given the low responses to other thematic areas, it is paramount that RUFORUM undertakes strategic interventions to empower the universities’ scientists to be competent in these areas and uplift the participation of women scientists in the CARP+ process.
Date of publication: 
Region Focus: 
Africa Wide
RUFORUM Working document series
Agris Subject Categories: 
Licence conditions: 
Open Access
Access restriction: 
Web resource