Accepted Paper:

Challenges, Interventions, and Opportunities in the Promotion of Knowledge Production in Zambia  


Jessica Achberger (Michigan State University)

Paper short abstract:

Research capacity in higher education in Zambia faces numerous challenges, but there are several recent interventions working to alleviate issues and explore new opportunities. This paper examines the issues, interventions, and possible future work that can be done to promote capacity in Zambia.

Paper long abstract:

This paper builds on my personal experience in working for the Southern African Institute for Policy Research, an independent academic institute located in Lusaka, Zambia, which is dedicated to knowledge production and capacity building in research, publication, and documentation, including archival, library, and other resources. After completing my PhD fieldwork, affiliated to the University of Zambia, I stayed in the country to work and assisted in building several capacity building programs in Zambia, as well as regionally. My experiences, as well as those of my colleagues, will form the foundation of this paper, and will be supplemented by other studies, including some regional and continental comparisons.

Many of the challenges that Zambia faces in the promotion of higher education, research, and publishing are similar to counterparts in Africa as well as in the wider developing world. Teaching loads are high, research funding and support is minimal, and resources are limited. Zambia also faces more unique challenges, including a focus on donor driven research, policy, poor higher education policy development, and political disruptions.

It is the intention of this paper to consider not only the many issues and challenges that higher education, and specifically research capacity, in Zambia face, but also the interventions that have been taking place over the past several years and the new opportunities that exist for partnership and greater capacities, particularly as concerns new technologies.

Panel P006
Africa and Higher Education - A Transnational Perspective