Touching base with the RISE networks

Countries participating in RISE networks

Capacity building is a buzzword in African science policy circles, but we journalists have a hard time writing about it. A story may appear when a new initiative is launched; another if a promised result fails to materialise. But the slow bricklaying of most capacity-building programmes is difficult to fit into the cut-and-thrust of the news pages.

This week, the SciDev.Net blog will put one of those programmes in the spotlight. The Regional Initiative in Science and Education (RISE) networking programme has been active since 2008, aiming to strengthen graduate training in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The programme is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and administered by the Princeton-based Science Initiative Group at the Institute for Advanced Study in association with the African Academy of Sciences.

I will be blogging from a meeting organised by the RISE programme in Benoni, a suburb of Johannesburg, to showcase its successes. To date, some 90 students from 14 institutions have benefited from the programme. Some of them will be here to speak to me about their experiences.

But the meeting will also bring together policymakers to discuss African governments’ role in supporting graduate training in their countries. I’m looking forward to that discussion, and to asking those in charge of the programme: What’s next for RISE?

RISE on the web

Linda Nordling, SciDev.Net columnist

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