The process of strategic research design for the Centre for Applied Social Sciences in the University of Zimbabwe: opportunities and obstacles
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The Centre for Applied Social Sciences has a vision to become a pre-eminent Research unit in Zimbabwe. Southern .Africa, and the world. It is a unit that wishes to pursue policy relevant research and teaching programmes that service a constituency of stakeholders that includes policy-makers, and various agents in the field of societal transformation and rural development. This is not a new thinking. CASS has always been relevant for change and policy processes in the region. The Centre holds tremendous pride in the role it has played at national and regional levels in the evolution of policy emphasizing community based natural resources management, and the whole paraphernalia of activities related to community participation in resource management. The history of research at CASS can be summed up as focussed on livelihood strategies. The Centre emphasizes the potential of marginalized members of societies, more specifically the rural poor, who have to change their own socio-economic circumstances in the existence of a conducive socio-political environment.