Enhancing the Capacity of African Science Academies

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  • Appendix H: SWOT Analysis of the ASADI Process

    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 


    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
    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
    Availability of publications
    ASADI has helped academy transformation from honorific to advisory


    Stratification into partnerships of different strengths
    HR capacity development
    Physical infrastructure development
    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


    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


    Sustainability of partnerships
    Human capacity turnover
    Political stability
    Lack of recognition in own country
    Legal establishment for academies
    Quality control in report reviewing
    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
    Threats to liberty and suppression of freedom of speech and democracy
    Rivalry within academies
    Lack of any, or strong, strategic plan