Enhancing the Capacity of African Science Academies

  • AuthorInterAcademies Council
  • TitleEnhancing the Capacity of African Science Academies
  • Release Date30 September 2015
  • Copyright2014
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Appendix H: SWOT Analysis of the ASADI Process
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At a Washington summit meeting in August 2014, ASADI participants were asked to carry out a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of the ASADI experience. Respondents included both the intense ASADI partner academies as well as those that received more limited support. These are their responses, lightly edited for clarity 

Strengths

The annual meeting
Evidence-based policy discussion
Its governance
Wide variety of approaches adopted
Access to expertise
Links to funders
Support to secretariat
Helping with credibility
Door to collaboration
Technical report writing
Shared responsibility to the community
Workshops
Links to young people
Strengthening membership and visibility
Studies carried out
Confidence-building workshops and meetings
Valuable experience
Potential role for NASAC if ASADI reports, lessons and network potential can be used to develop and connect with young academies globally and with the senior academies of the ASADI network
Supporting young academies
Enabling and empowering
Training members and staff
Linking with other academies
Focus on the purpose of the Academy
Appropriate and timely
Bottom-up
Availability of publications
ASADI has helped academy transformation from honorific to advisory

Weaknesses

Stratification into partnerships of different strengths
HR capacity development
Physical infrastructure development
Funding
Lack of coordinated mechanism for partnership with African academies
Bias to health
Not enough African academies benefited directly
Not enough support for equipment, training etc
Absence of strategy for sustainability of ASADI
Little partnership in problem solving
Measures of success not clear
No clear, innovative means of public engagement
Not enough staff for implementing projects
Not enough interactions between projects
Reports and outputs were not disseminated to all NASAC members
Many issues still not addressed eg energy, climate, poverty
Too much control of ASADI-organised meetings – “This is how we do it, so be it”
Reports only in English
Short-lived

Opportunities

Develop demand for evidence based policy
More partnerships
Economic growth in Africa
Relevance and influence to Africa
Global diplomacy
Experience sharing
Appointment to boards in Africa and USA
Grow understanding of African problems
Consolidating and extending partnerships
Diversifying work
Better focused studies
Solving serious basic problems by sharing study findings
Being emulated
Catalyse development
Institutional support
Supporting young academies
Greater and more diversified impact
Wider reach globally
The world is one
Access to more global intelligence
Better relations with US as a nation

Threats

Sustainability of partnerships
Human capacity turnover
Political stability
Lack of recognition in own country
Resources
Legal establishment for academies
Lobbyists
Quality control in report reviewing
Corruption
Conflicts
Lack of balance of language and geography (N and W Africa)
Lack of political, financial and institutional support
Losing US NAS as partner
Apathy from members
Lack of internal African coordination between Academies
Isolation
Threats to liberty and suppression of freedom of speech and democracy
Rivalry within academies
Lack of any, or strong, strategic plan

Document Date: September 30, 2015
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