Bridging the Gap Between Researchers, Policymakers and End Users through Open Distance Learning: Experience at The Open University of Tanzania
This paper is premised on an unmistakable fact of the existence of a hiatus, a disjuncture between knowledge production and knowledge utilization. It argues that there is need for change of mindsets at both ends, and proposes a programme of action that involves all stakeholders into a partnership. The experiences gained through different research activities at The Open University of Tanzania are analysed bringing out their strengths and weaknesses in transmitting the knowledge generated to end users and proposes what needs to be done in order to move forward by widening research objectives which go beyond intellectual needs and desires. This enlarged scope should include a dissemination strategy which leads to utilization of knowledge so produced. The paper concludes with a proposal for a national dialogue which will lead to identification of priority areas in the national and regional economy that can be addressed through University research and dissemination plan in collaboration and with the support of government and the private sector.
Key Words: research utilization, policy makers and end users; open and distance learning