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Mak Launches Resilience Innovation Acceleration Program

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ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) held an Innovations Exhibition in the Makerere University Main Hall on Friday March 14th, 2014. This was an opportunity for the faculty, students, private sector, Government, NGOs and the community at large to showcase their prototypes or projects that would be considered for acceleration in the Eastern Africa’sResilience Innovation Lab (EA RILab).

This type of exhibition is one of the main ways that RAN is using to identify promising innovations from within partner universities and local innovation hubs. Such innovations will be entered into RAN’s Resilience Innovation Acceleration Program where teams will receive technical support by leveraging expertise within RAN and the HESN, mentorship, capacity building and financial support to help them, accelerate the development, piloting and scaling up of their innovations.

The Makerere University Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe graced the occasion and officially launched the EA RILab’s Resilience Innovation Acceleration Program. “It is such programs like ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) that have enormously contributed to Makerere University’s great achievements including being the 4th best University in the whole of Africa. Faculty, students and the community benefit a lot from such initiatives.”He was flanked by Prof. Celetino Obua, the Deputy Principal at the Makerere University College of Health Sciences who noted in his remarks that “Mr. Deputy Vice Chancellor, RAN is yet another testimony that we, who you sent out to do the work, are actually doing it. We pledge to further take Makerere University greater heights”.  He also noted and acknowledged the great work by the students, faculty and community innovators both present at the exhibition and elsewhere.

The event was a great success and it was exciting to see over thirty projects being exhibited by both students and faculty teams. In line with RAN’s strategy to foster multi-disciplinary collaboration, these teams were drawn from six out of eight colleges, representing atleast 15 different academic disciplines from Makerere University (Software Engineering, computer Science, Data Communications and Networking, Architecture, Survey, Electrical Engineering, Forestry, Environmental Geographical Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Food Science, Nutrition and Bio-Engineering, School of Law, Animal Resources and Bio-Security, Humanities and Social Sciences, Peace and Conflict and School of Health Sciences).There was also a huge turnout from the university community and the general public who engaged the exhibitors on their innovations. In acknowledging the great turnout and vibrant atmosphere in the hall, Prof. William Bazeyo in his remarks noted,“ Look at the brains in this room, the potential this institution brings together and the ability of Africans to provide solutions to their own challenges-solutions through innovations. All is evidenced here”.

Selection of the promising innovations was done by a competent and experienced team of judges drawn from within and outside RAN. These included Prof. David Serwadda-RAN Technical Advisor, Dr. Wanjiku Nganga-RAN Director of Innovations, Dr. Roy William Mayega-RAN Deputy Chief of Party, Dr. Dorothy Okello-EA RILab Director, Dr. Julius Ssentongo-RAN EA RILab Program Coordinator and Mr. Michael Niyitegeka-Facilitator at Franklin Covey Uganda, and a well-respected innovation thought leader in the region. In making their selections, the judges were required to ascertain the potential for an innovation to strengthen resilience in line with the EA RILab thematic areas of climate change and chronic conflict, as well as establishing technical and financial feasibility and potential to scale in target communities. The judges took time to appreciate and understand all aspects of a given innovation, by interacting with the teams, asking questions, testing some of the innovations and awarding scores. It was also an opportunity to emphasize the linkage between the innovations and resilience arms of the RAN project.

Out of the thirty-two projects exhibited, six including;RootIO, KUDU, Unearthing the potential of Earth Worms as livestock feed, FINDIT, Improved Pull & Push Approach in Northern Uganda and Integrated Backyard Farming were selected after a very thoroughvetting by the judges. These six teams were further required to pitch their innovations to the judges and the public during an interactive question and answer session. Three projects,namely,RootIO, KUDU and Unearthing the potential of Earth Worms as livestock feedwere finally selected for consideration to join the EA RILab’s Resilience Innovation Acceleration Program. These innovations address key resilience aspects that were identified from the EA RILab’s community consultations including community mobilization and knowledge sharing, economic empowerment/poverty eradication, diversification of livelihoods and environmentally friendly production methods. The exhibition participants had been asked to vote for their preferred innovation with a view of enriching their experience and participation, and the team ‘Community-based legal mobile clinic’ led by female students from Makerere University’s School of Law, which provides legal assistance pro-bono to vulnerable communities received a unanimous vote for the “Peoples Choice” Award.

RAN is proudly led by Makerere University (School of Public Health) as one of the seven development labs within the USAID-funded Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN). It is a partnership of 20 African Universities in 16 countries focused on strengthening the capacities of vulnerable communities to withstand natural and man-made shocks and stresses.  One of the core objectives of RAN, is to strengthen resilience at the individual, household, and community levels to natural, man-made stresses and shocks through innovative technologies and approaches to development, which will be identified, incubated, tested, scaled and evaluated through the RAN in collaboration with its partners http://www.ranlab.org.

RAN carries out its operations within four Resilience Innovation labs. These are: The Eastern Africa RILab, Horn of Africa RILab, Southern African RILab and West Africa RILab. The Eastern Africa RILab is located in Makerere University School of Public Health with a mandate to source innovative ideas in line with RAN’s thematic focus from within the academic community and support their incubation, areas of development and piloting. This was the first event organized by the Eastern Africa RILab to source for innovations that provide solutions to community challenges.

 

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Engineering, Art & Tech

A Successful Ph.D. Defense by Vianney Andrew Yiga

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The CEDAT community is proud to share our congratulations to Vianney Andrew Yiga following his successful Ph.D. defense that happened yesterday Monday 3rd October 2022 at the College of Engineering, Design, Art, and Technology (CEDAT).

His Thesis was titled; Thermal Stability of Fiber- Reinforced Polylactic Acid Composites for Flameretarded Applications.

The candidate was supervised by Eng. Dr. Michael Lubwama and Eng. Dr. Peter W. Olupot both from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, at CEDAT.

Dr. John Wasswa, Department of Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences (CONAS), Makerere University was the opponent that interrogated the candidate to enable a clear understanding of the study.

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Makerere University Launches National Parenting Draft Manual

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The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo (Centre) and Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC (Right) interact with a participant at the workshop on 22nd July 2022, Kampala.

By Agnes Namaganda

On July 22nd 2022, Makerere UniversityChild Health and Development Centre (MakCHDC) launched a draft manual for the National Parenting Standards. The Centre has been working together with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) with funding from UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund), to develop standards that are agreeable to all organisations in the country that are involved in parenting work. The draft manual was being presented to members of a consortium that brings together all these organisations together, called the Parenting Agenda Consortium.

“We produce many documents and they are shelved,” Irene Ayot Chono, who was speaking on behalf of UNICEF said. “We hope that this document will not be one of them,” she emphasized.

Irene Ayot Chono-UNICEF, urging participants to utilize the manual once it is complete.
Irene Ayot Chono-UNICEF, urging participants to utilize the manual once it is complete.

Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC who presented the draft manual to participants, emphasized that if any organization is doing parenting work, there should be a minimum package that they should offer.

Draft Manual Content

The manual which will have several modules. These modules will be delivered face-to-face in 1.5 hour sessions. Some of these include; Module 6 which will focus on “understanding responsible masculinity and fatherhood” and on “understanding the concept of head of family.”The draft manual also proposed that Module 11 focuses on Parenting in the 21st Century. Some of the sessions in this module will include Children and Technology, Contemporary Influence on Children and Modernity, Culture and Morality.Module 9 will focus on Parenting for Adolescents and some of the suggested sessions within this module are Needs for Adolescents and The Art of Communicating with Adolescents. Module 5 will focus on Preventing Violent Parenting and Promoting Alternative Discipline Strategies while Module 10 will be about Parenting to Address the Mental Health for Children and Adults.

Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC presenting the contents of the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual.
Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC presenting the contents of the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual.

Participants’ suggestions

After the presentation, participants raised several suggestions for discussion and consideration. These included whether there should be a module on spirituality since Uganda is a strongly religious nation. There was also the concern of how children in remand homes should be parented. Another concern raised by a participant was as to whether teachers who make an undeniable contribution to parenting, should be taken through the parenting manual.

A participant gives her input at the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual launch.
A participant gives her input at the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual launch.

In her closing remarks, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo, the Director of Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) said that the manual is for the parenting organisations to utilize and not for MGLSD.

The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo making closing remarks at the workshop.
The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo making closing remarks at the workshop.

Ms. Chono also adjured the team behind the manual to use picture illustrations in the manual that can be relatable by the Ugandan parents.

Contact: Agnes Namaganda – agnesvioletnamaganda@gmail.com

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Launch of Mak-RIF Round 4 Awards & PhD Call for Proposals

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Mak-RIF 4 Awards and PhD Call For Proposals, 29th September 2022, 9:00 to 10:00 AM EAT.

Makerere University received funding from the Government of the Republic of Uganda, earmarked to support high impact Research and Innovations. This unique initiative arose after engagements between the top University Management and the Government of Uganda. This fund illustrates the increasing importance that the Government attaches to Research and Innovation as a driver of development and transformation. The objective of the fund is to increase the local generation of translatable research and scalable innovations that address key gaps required to drive Uganda’s development agenda. 

In the Financial years 2019/2020, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 the Government of the Republic of Uganda through Mak-RIF has funded implementation of over 750 multidisciplinary research and innovations within the various Colleges, while engaging multiple stakeholders within and outside Makerere University. The Grants Management Committee (GMC) has finalized the award process for the Mak-RIF round 4 call for funding for this Financial Year 2022/2023.

The Grants Management Committee (GMC) hereby invites you to the Launch of the Mak-RIF Round 4 awards and PhD Call for Proposals scheduled to take place tomorrow Thursday 29th September 2022 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. EAT. 

Please use the following details to join the launch.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcu-urDIjE9ZgxdsbEmA2IkNMMiJVECt_ 
Meeting ID: 884 5662 9992
Password: 292624

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