Project Title: Investigating the Capacity of Researchers to Disseminate Scientific Advice to Government on Environmental Policymaking in Nigeria: A Case Study of the University of Lagos, Nigeria

By: Temitope Olawunmi Sogbanmu, PhD

 

Abstract:

Sustainable environmental management especially within the global discourse on sustainable development goals (SDGs) requires the inputs and collaboration of all stakeholders. The stakeholders include international governmental and non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, academic and research institutions, national, state and local environmental regulatory agencies, ministries, departments and agencies/parastatals tasked with the mandate of providing and implementing relevant policies, among others.

At the national level, policymakers in government institutions are saddled with the responsibility of formulating relevant policies which would support the achievement of the SDGs. In Nigeria, the lack of capacity to utilise research evidence to inform decision making by policymakers (evidence users) is a major challenge (Gonzalez-Block and Mills, 2003; Uneke et al., 2013).

On the other hand, researchers (evidence producers) often do not engage policymakers in their research agenda and have little or no experience in providing science advice (Uneke et al., 2017). This project builds up on a study conducted at the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Abuja, Nigeria over a period of six (6) weeks from July to August, 2019 and commissioned by the African Academy of Sciences (The AAS).

The study investigated the capacity of policymakers at the organisation, its departments and agencies to utilise scientific evidence for policymaking. The outcomes which were disseminated at a public seminar identified the need to evaluate the capacity of researchers at academic institutions in Nigeria to disseminate science advice to government in order to achieve evidence-informed decision making by government.

Consequently, the aim of this project is to investigate the capacity of researchers at the University of Lagos, Nigeria engaged in environmental science research to provide science advice to government in order to promote the utilization of scientific evidence for evidence-informed decision making by government.