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Research and Innovations Communication Strategy under way

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Makerere University held her first consultative meeting to discuss the Research and Innovations Communication Strategy (RICS) on 13th July 2015 at the College of Engineering, Design Art and Technology conference hall. The RICS document aims at addressing a key challenge on how to effectively communicate research outputs from Makerere University to both national and international audiences. The draft document was prepared by the Makerere University Department of Journalism and Communication with Dr. William Tayeebwa as the lead consultant, Marjorie K. Niyitegeka as a Consultant and other team members from this department. The Department won the tender after a competitive bidding process; with sponsorship from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).Some of the members in a group discussion at the meeting.

Among the hindrances/constraints to research output pointed out in the RICS document include; apathy by researchers who do not feel obliged to share their research and innovation outputs with Makerere University, competing research dissemination activities, inadequate funds for research dissemination and absence of a Communication Officer at the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT). Nonetheless, the University prides in a coveted brand which continues to attract research funding, increase in research by both staff and students and presence of a research management structure within DRGT.

The RICS document streamlines the officers in charge of communicating the university’s research and innovation output. These include the Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Deans, Principals, Deputy Principals, Researchers and Innovators. It proposes various channels of communication ranging from traditional to online platforms including social media. For purposes of monitoring the efficiency of all these, the document advocates for a monitoring and evaluation mechanism involving both internal and external checks and balances.

 

 According to the Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza, “the ultimate benefit of research lies not only in the generation of new knowledge but also in its uptake through the translation of knowledge into technologies, interventions and strategies effectively and appropriately delivered to the end-users. In order to reach this objective, we intend to pursue the entire research process within the context of contemporary knowledge, good ethics, effective policy, adequate resources and international cooperation.”

Dr. Tayeebwa explained that RICS is a result of a consultative process with different stakeholders including Principals, deputy principals, researchers, DRGT, Communication Officers and the directorate of ICT Support. It draws input from the Research and Innovations Policy 2008, the University Research Agenda 2013-18, the ICT Policy and Master Plan 2010-2014 and the Communication Policy 2013.

“Universities are expected to change their role from simply knowledge generation to a more proactive role of generating knowledge that contributes to development. This is because the 21st century is now based on a knowledge economy, where policies and development agenda are informed by knowledge. The knowledge economy implies also that the economies are private sector led and hence Makerere needs to partner with the private sector regarding the graduates it produces as well as the research it conducts. It is heartwarming to note that the University has a vast amount of research outputs that could be shared with other stakeholders nationally and internationally,” added Prof. Buyinza.

During the consultative workshop, participants divided into five groups, discussed the RICS document in detail and provided input. In their proposals, participants suggested that the University holds a Research Week every Semester in order to promote research and innovation output.

 "The ideas provided during this workshop have greatly enriched the draft strategy. I must however emphasize that it is important to ensure that funding is available to implement the dissemination activities. The Mak Public Relations and Communications team is ready to perform the tasks within their mandate for the successful implementation of the strategy to internal and external stakeholders," said Ms. Ritah Namisango, the Senior PRO of Makerere University in her vote of thanks.

Mrs. Niyitegeka explained that the consultants will take two weeks to incorporate the proposed amendments and share the document with the wider university community. The consultative meeting was attended by College Principals and their deputies, Researchers, Mak PR office, Communication officers, Web Administrators, the University Librarian, DICTS, DRGT and the Department of Journalism and Communication.

Story by  Marion Alina

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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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