ASFI’s program theme for 2023 “Research Quality, Productivity, and Impact in Africa.” Compared to other regions of the world, the quality and quantity of scientific outputs from Africa have ranked both the poorest and least. In working through its various programs during this year, ASFI aims to help African scientists and researchers consciously cultivate a research culture that has a strong foundation on quality and has a positive impact on the society. In the same vein, they will be equipped with tools required to both undertake high quality research and increase their productivity threshold. This year’s focus on quality, productivity and impact is very important given that many African researchers struggle with producing high quality research and achieving increased research productivity that has an impact on the larger society.
Good quality research provides evidence that is robust, ethical, stands up to scrutiny and can be used to inform policy making. It should adhere to principles of professionalism, transparency, accountability and auditability. Research training and skill, financial support, technical and logistic support, mentorship and team-work are the main factors affecting quality academic research. ASFI will help researchers navigate through all these skills and factors all through the various programs and courses scheduled for 2023.
Productivity is essential to any profession. A researcher’s job comes with its own set of responsibility and challenges. Despite these, productivity needs to be constantly maintained. Research productivity is essential in attaining success in academia as it provides motivation for promotion and tenure, salary, and the fringe benefits of the profession. It is therefore necessary that researchers know how to measure and improve their research productivity. ASFI will take participants through various methods and techniques of having high research productivity.
Research impact is achange or a benefit a piece of scientific research brings to the the larger society - and can be in the areas of economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life. A one-word definition is simply benefit: how our research benefits society and the economy. ASFI knows how vital it is for researchers to have impactful research, especially to the African continent. This is one of several aspects that ASFI will focus on this year.