Does Universities’ Research Output Aligned to National Development Goals Impact Economic Productivity? Evidence from Kenya
Madara Ogot, George Mark Onyango
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Few studies on developing countries have investigated the alignment of research output to a country’s development agenda and economic productivity. Using evidence from Kenya, this study sought to empirically determine whether the country’s research output is aligned to its development agenda in the first instance and to establish the output’s relationship to economic productivity. Journal publications were used to measure research output. From the analysis, 86% of the publications fell within one or more of the national development priority areas, though 60% were in only 6 of the 35 areas. Several areas had no publications at all during the period under investigation. Furthermore, excluding the health and education sectors, a strong positive relationship was established between the number of publications in different priority areas and those areas’ contribution to Gross Domestic Product. The Government, therefore, needs to avail research funding to research institutions, which, in turn, need to focus their research effort on all identified national development priority areas if Kenya’s development aspirations are to be achieved and the desired economic growth attained.