Kenya's NRF set to launch a national research Repository to elevate research accessibility

The National Research Fund (NRF) has initiated the development of a Repository project in a significant stride towards enhancing Kenya's research landscape. This cutting-edge research repository, set to be commissioned in February 2024, will serve as a comprehensive resource for research papers, data, articles, and journals.

The repository's primary goal is to provide policymakers, researchers, and academia with easy access to valuable data and insights. It aims to facilitate the dissemination of research findings crucial for industries and innovators while fostering collaboration opportunities among local and international researchers.

Dr Beatrice Inyangala, the Principal Secretary of the State Department of Higher Education and Research, lauded the partnership with the British Council in this endeavour. She emphasized that the open-access nature of the repository will accelerate research by eliminating bureaucratic and financial barriers that often hinder scholarly progress.

During a stakeholder's Consultative Workshop held in Nairobi, Dr Inyangala highlighted that the repository would not merely be a repository of documents but also a platform for increased dissemination and improved research accessibility. By encouraging the reuse of research data, it will create a self-sustaining cycle of inquiry and confirmation, enhancing the quality, relevance, and applicability of future research.

Furthermore, Dr Inyangala stressed the repository's alignment with Kenya's national agenda, particularly in economic transformation sectors such as agriculture, micro, small, and medium enterprises, healthcare, and the digital superhighway. It is poised to become a real-time tool for economic and social advancement, in line with the government's commitment to digitizing public services.

Prof. Emeritus Ratemo Michieka, Chairman of NRF, emphasized the repository's significance for national development and collaboration within the academic and research communities. He noted that the project would empower the government and various stakeholders to spearhead national development, elevate the quality of education and research, and facilitate policy formulation and implementation.

Prof. Dickson Andala, CEO of NRF, assured that the research materials in the repository would be easily accessible, each assigned a unique identifier for easy location. The NRF has undertaken stakeholder mapping and identified 30 Kenyan universities and research institutions with rich repositories in thematic areas such as land, water, and energy.

The NRF has partnered with the Kenya Education Network to install and customize D-space software and provide the necessary cloud infrastructure. Training for data collectors is set to commence soon. Its mandate is to compile and maintain a national database of research and innovation, enabling discovery and innovation in research—a leap forward in Kenya's research landscape.


Article by Nyokabi Wanjiku