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Vice Chancellor, Swedish Ambassador Hold Productive Research Meeting

The Swedish Ambassador to Uganda-H.E. Per Lindgärde (C) and Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (3rd R) with L-R: Prof. John Kabasa, Dr. Sarah Ssali, Dr. Gity Behravan, Dr. Eria Hisali and Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi after a meeting to discuss sustainable funding for research on 31st January 2019, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

On Thursday, 31st January 2019, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe hosted a high-level delegation from the Embassy of Sweden, Kampala, Uganda, led by the Ambassador H.E. Per Lindgärde. The cordial meeting was attended by the Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs (DVCAA), Prof. David Kabasa, Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration (DVCFA), Prof. Eria Hisali and Dr. Gity Behravan, First Secretary Research Cooperation at Embassy of Sweden.

It is standard procedure for the Embassy to conduct a routine analysis of the research cooperation in relation to its effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, sustainability and impact of the programme. At this time, the Embassy is interested in open, constructive engagement with Makerere University in order to jointly explore plans that will sustain what has been achieved, and evaluate strategies to ensure enhanced Government funding as well as methods to continue successful partnerships beyond 2020 when the Sida funding comes to an end.

The meeting reflected on Makerere’s level of institutional preparedness, capacity in terms of resources (human, physical infrastructure and financial), mechanisms, policies and structures to continue implementing the research programme activities beyond 2020. This calls for a realistic Sustainability strategy.

Amb. Per Lindgärde (Left) and Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Right) take a walk after the 31st January 2019 meeting. Prof. Nawangwe appreciated the discussion on issues of research impact and sustainability

In an effort to improve the scale, productivity and quality of research at graduate level and more specifically for doctoral programs, the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) is promoting the approach of collaborative graduate training as a means of sharing capacity and experiences. Makerere is increasingly promoting and encouraging the creation of collaborative doctoral programs in a number of fields. For instance, through the Swedish Embassy, 11 Swedish Universities partnered with five public universities in Uganda to collaborate on a research program.

The current effort builds on the successful completion of other collaborations between Makerere University and Swedish Universities since 2000 when such initiatives were first conceived and implemented.

Makerere therefore needs to embark on a stakeholder consultative process with the aim of establishing mechanisms to fund research programme activities beyond 2020. In this regard, DRGT will identify Champions to initiate sustainability strategies, and discuss the findings at the Annual Research Planning Conference in April 2019.

Article by Professor Buyinza Mukadasi, Director, DRGT

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