It is apparent that, similar to higher learning-teaching institutions in Ethiopia, undertaking demand driven and problem solving research and community engagement activities are the two among the three core mandate areas of Oda Bultum University. The aim is to generate knowledge, information and technology, and disseminate their findings to end-users that geared toward solving societal problem and provide input for policy makers, and improve the quality of life of the citizens at various levels. For this purpose, Research and Community Engagement is one of the directorate structured under the office of Academic and Research Vice President of Oda Bultum University.
The directorate has been aggressively working toward initiating, organizing, directing and managing the whole research and community engagement activities. So that, the directorate has responsive for the whole process of research and community engagement related business with collaboration of academic and research vice president, two coordinators (Research & extension, and Community engagement coordinators), colleges, institutes and department heads in OBU.
It is obvious that, research priority area setting is a vital activity in research undertaking. This greatly assists identification and implementation of research programs that address critical problems of both science and society. Accordingly, the directorate has identified seven major research thematic areas with 36 sub-research themes which will serve as a research road map of the University. Within the context of OBU’s research thematic and catchment areas, so far, 102 research projects were funded based on their scientific merit, originality and problem solving potential. Besides, 34 demand driven community developments projects were also implemented since the inception of OBU with collaboration of all academic units in OBU.
It is evident that, management of the whole research and community engagement process has own its paramount importance which need to be governed by procedures, guideline and policy which provide good research environment, promote research culture and creating enabling environment for its staff and govern efficient uses of research resources and facilities. In line with this, the directorate of research and community engagement in collaboration with all academic units in OBU has meticulously prepared holistic research and community engagement policy, procedures and guidelines that govern the whole research and community engagement process of OBU.
Furthermore, the office of research and community engagement has facilitated the execution of several agreements that Oda Bultum University has signed with different key stakeholders that make platform for OBU for collaboration with different key stakeholders and industries. Hence, in the last two years, the University has signed memorandum of understanding with: Oromia Urban Job Creation and Food Security, Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute, Ethiopia Milk and Dairy Development Institute, Chiro TVET, With West Hararghe ADPLC members, With CUSO International, With Kensus State University, Haramaya University ISSD Project and Consortium of Universities and Colleges in Oromia National Regional State.
The vision, mission and core values of the office of research and community engagement are:
Vision: To be one of the top five leading universities in Ethiopia, and recognized in East Africa in conducting demand driven, problem solving research, serving the community, providing extension and consultancy services by 2035.
Mission: To generate and disseminate technologies and scientific information through basic and applied research which contribute for the enhancement of sustainable social, economical, environmental and political stability of the nation.
Strive for quality
Facts and figures regarding the activities conducted under DRCE:
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