An evaluation of the University of the Witwatersrand refugee research programme : the impact of research findings on implementation of projects

Wright, Alan (2001-03)

Thesis (MPA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The viability of a research programme is dependent on its sustainability. The life span of a programme is determined by the sustainability achieved as a result of its activities. Within any successful research initiative, there is a progression from the research findings to the implementation of those findings. This study examines the effect that the implementation of research findings has on the initiation of new research projects within a research programme. The distinctions between academic research programmes and the implementation of the research findings were identified. By unobtrusively applying these definitions to a process of self-evaluation, a theoretical model was identified for the evaluation of the University of the Witwatersrand Refugee Research Programme and one of its projects. Advocacy research, which focused on policy intervention, was not seen as being sustainable as a programme output, as it is dependent on funding. Sustainability in advocacy is linked to research skills enabling pilot intervention. Pilot intervention in tum requires funding that research programmes sometimes use for their basic survival. This should not be interpreted as contributing to the sustainability of the research programme as funding activities are driven by the needs of the pilot intervention. This is significant as these needs can through demands from the funders of pilot intervention, contribute to changes in policies, goals and objectives of the research programme. It was found that the progression to implementation within a rural academic research programme does limit the initiation of new research proposals. Research initiatives tend to become tools of funding agencies with the focus being placed on the implementation of the research findings. This study recommends that the implementation of research findings should be limited to pilot projects, that there should be defined time frames for pilot implementation and, that there should be a clear division of responsibility between research activity and pilot implementation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Om lewensvatbaar te wees moet 'n navorsingsprogram gehandhaaf kan word. Die lewensduur van 'n program word bepaal deur sy handhawing as gevolg van sy aktiwiteite. Binne enige suksesvolle navorsingsinisiatief is daar 'n progressie van navorsingsbevindings tot die implementering van daardie bevindings. In hierdie studie word die effek van implementering van navorsingsbevindings op inisieëring van nuwe navorsingsprojekte binne 'n navorsingsprogram ondersoek. Die verskil tussen akademiese navorsingsprogramme en die implementering van navorsingsbevindings is geïdentifiseer. Deur op 'n onopvallende wyse hierdie definisies toe te pas op 'n proses van selfevaluasie is 'n teoretiese model geïdentifiseer wat gebruik is om die Universiteit van die Witwatersrand se Vlugteling Navorsingsprogram en een van sy projekte te evalueer. Voorspraaknavorsing wat fokus op beleidsintervensie is nie gesien as handhaafbaar in terme van programopbrengs nie aangesien dit afhanklik is van befondsing. Handhawing van voorspraak is gekoppel aan navorsingsbekwaamheid wat dit moontlik sal maak om intervensie te loods. Intervensie loodsing op sy beurt benodig befondsing wat soms deur navorsingsprogramme gebruik word vir hul eie oorlewing. Dit moet nie gesien word as bydraend tot die handhawing van die navorsingsprojek nie, want befondsingsaktiwiteite word gedryf deur die benodighede van die intervensie. Dit is belangrik aangesien hierdie behoeftes deur die eise van die befondsers van die intervensie kan bydra tot veranderinge in beleid en doelwitte van die navorsingsprogram. Dit is bevind dat die progressie tot implementering binne 'n landelik akademiese navorsingsprogram inisieëring van nuwe navorsingsvoorstelle beperk. Navorsingsinisiatiewe neig om middels van befondsingsagentskappe te word met die plasing van die fokus op die implementering van die navorsingsbevindings. Hierdie studie beveel aan dat die implementering van navorsingsbevindings tot loods projekte beperk moet word, dat daar 'n gedefinieerde tydraamwerk vir implementering van loodsprojekte moet wees en dat daar 'n duidelike verdeling van verantwoordelikheid tussen navorsingaktiwiteite en loodsprojek implementasie moet wees.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52109
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