The Ghana chapter of BRECcIA has held a policy forum to discuss ways through which leaders and decision makers can be engaged to bridge the gap between science and policy.
The forum which was held on Tuesday, November 24, 2020 was part of measures to building research capacity for sustainable water and food security in drylands of sub-saharan Africa.
Chief Research Scientist at the Council for Scientfic and Industrial Research (CSIR), Science and Technology Unit, Dr. Godfred Frempong, stated emphatically that policy influence in scientific research has become relevant in the quest to enhancing food and water security.
He added that this is necessary to establish the potential effects in the synergy between existing policies and science.
“We need policy influence because we want to address the potential effects of synergy in existing policies. You know policies are there but you influence policy because we see some effects in it.
“So you influence policy that can incorporate these emerging technologies, take on board the good sides and of course the negative sides,” he said.
Dr. Frempong further admonished scientists to seek the unflinching support of government and other relevant stakeholders who matter in propagating research findings in the country.
He explained that researchers must engage policy makers from the onset of their projects as they become a driving force to the implementation of the projects,
“In terms of water and food securities, it is very important that when you’re forming the research team you need to get partners from key institutions or ministries. So when you add them they become part of the driving force because most scientist have been accused of doing work without engaging stakeholders.
“Therefore government should be committed in implementing research findings,” he urged.
On the score of how policy makers can bridge the gap, Member of Parliament for Buem constituency, Honourable Daniel Kwesi Ashiamah mentioned that value must be added to scientific research by fusing it into policy planning and implementation.
“It is very essential because if we don’t start to put the research into policy planning and implementation, going forward we will be importing water and food because we are not adding value to it and they are not safe,” he stated.
What is BRECcIA Ghana?
BRECcIA Ghana is part of three countries, including Kenya and Malawi, that have been selected by lead research institution, University of Southampton (UK) to develop research capacity and strengthen existing research capabilities in sub-saharan countries in related areas of water and food security.
In 2017 the University of Southampton launched a 4-year (2018-2021) project which is expected to bring research findings from various institutions across all three sub-saharan countries on the best ways to develop research capacities aimed at improving food and water security for the poorest of society.
Story by: David Kofi Asante | universnewsroom.com