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Health Research Policy and Systems

, 13:14

First Online: 12 March 2015Received: 29 July 2014Accepted: 11 February 2015DOI: 10.1186-s12961-015-0002-2

Cite this article as: de Haan, S., Kingamkono, R., Tindamanyire, N. et al. Health Res Policy Sys 2015 13: 14. doi:10.1186-s12961-015-0002-2


BackgroundIdentifying research priorities is key to innovation and economic growth, since it informs decision makers on effectively targeting issues that have the greatest potential public benefit. As such, the process of setting research priorities is of pivotal importance for favouring the science, technology, and innovation STI-driven development of low- and middle-income countries.

MethodsWe report herein on a major cross-sectoral nationwide research priority setting effort recently carried out in Tanzania by the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology COSTECH in partnership with the Council on Health Research for Development COHRED and the NEPAD Agency. The first of its type in the country, the process brought together stakeholders from 42 sub-sectors in science, technology, and health. The cross-sectoral research priority setting process consisted of a ‘training-of-trainers’ workshop, a demonstration workshop, and seven priority setting workshops delivered to representatives from public and private research and development institutions, universities, non-governmental organizations, and other agencies affiliated to COSTECH.

ResultsThe workshops resulted in ranked listings of research priorities for each sub-sector, totalling approximately 800 priorities. This large number was significantly reduced by an expert panel in order to build a manageable instrument aligned to national development plans that could be used to guide research investments.

ConclusionsThe Tanzania experience is an instructive example of the challenges and issues to be faced in when attempting to identify research priority areas and setting an STI research agenda in low- and middle-income countries. As countries increase their investment in research, it is essential to increase investment in research management and governance as well, a key and much needed capacity for countries to make proper use of research investments.

KeywordsGovernance Priority setting Research systems Science and technology Tanzania AbbreviationsCOSTECHTanzania Commission for Science and Technology

COHREDCouncil on Health Research for Development

GDPGross domestic product

NGOsNon-governmental organizations

RandDResearch and Development

STIScience, technology, and innovation

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s12961-015-0002-2 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Sylvia de Haan - Rose Kingamkono - Neema Tindamanyire - Hassan Mshinda - Harun Makandi - Flora Tibazarwa - Bruno Kubata - G


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