The Developing Excellence in Leadership Training and Science in Africa (DELTAS AFRICA) launched the second phase of the program on March 14, 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya. As one of the 14 grantees of DELTAS Africa II, CARTA joined funding partners, government representatives, the diplomatic community, and international development organizations to celebrate the key milestone.
The prestigious and high-level launch event was convened by the Science for Africa (SFA) Foundation and was followed by a three-day inception meeting (March 15-17, 2023). Collectively, the event sought to engage the African and global scientific and funding community; project the visibility of the DELTAS Africa program at the continental and global level; profile the DELTAS Africa II grantees and their expertise; highlight the continental significance of the challenges being addressed in phase II of the program; and provide a platform to build new relationships, productive partnerships, and networks.
DELTAS Africa is a long-term, multimillion-dollar program launched in 2015 to support collaborative consortia led by Africa-based scientists to amplify Africa-led development of world-class research and scientific leaders on the continent while strengthening African institutions. The first phase of the program was implemented between 2015-2021 and awarded grants to 11 consortia headed by world-class senior researchers from 8 African countries. While DELTAS Africa I focused on transdisciplinary research, the second phase will extend to new priority research areas including non-communicable diseases, public health research, social sciences and humanities, implementation science, and climate change.
As a program dedicated to building research capacity in Africa and promoting the development of a vibrant African academy, CARTA benefitted tremendously from the first phase of the DELTAS Africa initiative and is hopeful that the program will equally contribute to a significant shift in the research ecosystem towards impacting development in the African Region during the second phase.
“The Science for Africa Foundation has emerged as a new bold player in promoting excellence in science on the African continent. We at CARTA are thrilled to be part of the DELTAS Africa II initiative. We cannot do science in a business-as-usual way.”
Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi, CARTA Co-Director and Executive Director of the African Population and Health Research Center
The DELTAS Africa I grant supported CARTA’s goal of rebuilding and strengthening the capacity of universities in Africa to produce well-trained and skilled researchers and scholars, to be change agents within their respective universities, and promote and/or lead active research and training programs. As a result of the grant:
- The number of quality multidisciplinary Early Career Researchers (ECRs) at the doctoral level increased across the African partner institutions. Consequently, the capacity of partner institutions to conduct research and contribute to quality postgraduate training was strengthened.
- Gender parity among PhD fellows improved. To date, the program maintains a strong gender policy that levels the playground by ensuring equity in access to our training programs and opportunities.
- From partner institutions, 162 faculty and administration staff had their capacities strengthened to support the institutional research ecosystem; 127 supervisors participated in a supervision capacity-building workshop to enhance their supervision skills; six senior faculty exchange visits took place; and institutionalization and infrastructural projects were carried, consequently contributing to the strengthening of the research ecosystem within African partner institutions.
DELTAS Africa II grant will be instrumental in the implementation of CARTA’s current strategic phase, CARTA2025 which has four interlinked objectives of maintaining a pipeline of high-quality ECRs; creation of research hubs in partner institutions; mainstreaming of CARTA interventions at partner institutions; and facilitating the engagement of the CARTA community with society.
CARTA2025 aims to address the problem of inadequate production and utilization of quality research by strengthening research and related capacity of Early Career Researchers (ECRs) and the environments in which they work while also growing towards independence and research leadership in Africa. The ultimate goal is to build a critical mass of well-trained and motivated researchers supported by a conducive environment, who can produce high-quality research that can solve common health and development problems in Africa.