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Persuasion-an effective tool to communicate research for social change



The Executive Director for National Planning Authority (NPA) Dr. Joseph Muvawala has highlighted the importance of using persuasion to communicate research for social change. This was during the Makerere University PhD Convention held on 14th November 2019 under the theme; “Communicating Research for Social Change.”

Speaking to Makerere University Postdoctoral Fellows, Dr. Muvawala said that while research is an instrumental factor in causing social change for development, its communication and delivery can either yield positive or negative results. He was much concerned about the vast amount of research that remains unutilized largely due to weak communication procedures when he suggested persuasion as an effective communication tool, researchers can adopt during the dissemination process of their findings.

“Persuasion can shape and reinforce the response of your audience by altering their beliefs, attitudes, intentions, motivation and behaviors. It also helps the researcher to drive his or her audience towards a certain direction,” he said.

He pointed out the critical modes of persuasion developed by Aristotle and how they can be used to effectively communicate research for social change: The three modes are;

Pathos: emotional appeals designed to arouse feelings among the recipients. Emotional appeals are effective when you are trying to influence a behavior or when you want your audience to take immediate action.

Ethos: the credibility of a researcher/ speaker. This includes three dimensions; competence, trustworthiness and dynamism.

Logos:   the reasoning, logic and rationality behind the research paper and answers to questions of what is stated.

The Director of Research and Graduate Training Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi handing over a cap and a tie to the Geust Speaker of the day Dr. Joseph Muvawala. on the Left is the President of the PhD Fellows Mr. Simon Peter Okiror.

“To anticipate the reader’s expectations, the author must ensure credibility and authority while undertaking research. His work should reflect well contextualized and evidence based recommendations. the information to be disseminated  should have relevant, specific, unbiased and credible facts which are also warranted by citations,” he stated.

Dr. Muvawala outlined some of the research communication strategies for social change and these included;

  • Providing a clear, concise and defined thesis
  • Providing a clear, organized and conceptualized structure/framework
  • Ensuring logical and well-controlled progression of ideas
  • Using meaningful transitions and strong sentence-to sentence connections
  • Building strong introductions
  • Constructing a well-developed argument with strong evidential support
  • Building strong conclusions
  • Using purposeful and precise word choice

The PhD Convention is an annual event organized by the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training in conjunction with the PhD Forum at Makerere University. According to Mr. Simon Peter Okiror, the President of the PhD Fellows, the PhD Convention presents a platform for both late and early stage PhD students to reflect on their identified research topics.

“The convention also aims at establishing a supportive worldwide community of doctoral students and promoting social and intellectual interactions among students and researchers from academia, industry and government,” he said.

The Director of Research and Graduate Training Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi who is also the Patron of the PhD Fellows at Makerere University recognized the PhD Convention as an important platform to discuss how the on-going research output at Makerere University can be translated into policy that will socially, economically and politically empower the citizens of Uganda to lead better lives.  He stressed that the day’s theme; “Communicating Research for Social Change” rightly depicts the role that Makerere University has to play in national and regional development.

“The challenges to society today are increasingly becoming more complex in a world that is witnessing emerging and re-emerging development challenges resulting from health-related epidemics and pandemics, climate change, energy and renewable energy concerns, natural disasters, food insecurity, human rights abuse and conflict and insecurity among others.  Makerere University continues to address these challenges through impact oriented research,” he said.  

The Guest Speaker of the day, Dr. Joseph Muvawala posing for the photo with some of the PhD fellows.

According to Prof. Buyinza, the current drive by Ugandan Public Universities to quickly transition into centre of excellence in graduate training is a commendable sustainability plan.  He mentioned that the ultimate benefit of research lies not only in the generation of new knowledge but also in the translation of knowledge into technologies, interventions and strategies effectively and appropriately delivered to the communities.

He applauded the Government of Uganda for recognizing the crucial role of Universities as vital sources of new knowledge and innovative thinking when he said, “The government-funded initiative to strengthen doctoral training and supervision and to develop the institutional capacity of participating universities to conduct and lead internationally-competitive, cutting-edge research will go a long way in supporting Makerere University to realize its vision and strategic goals, 2020-2030.”

Over 100 students presented their research work, proposals and research topics for constructive feedback.

Article by Mak Public Relations Office


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Makerere University Launches National Parenting Draft Manual



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 –

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



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: 
Meeting ID: 884 5662 9992
Password: 292624

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Notice: Makerere Disability Scheme 2022/23 Medical Review Exercise



One of the PWD graduands at the 69th Graduation during the Session held on 17th January 2019.

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites persons with disability who applied for admission to public universities under the disability entry scheme for 2022/2023 Academic Year to appear for medical/review exercise at Makerere Unive, Senate Building, Level Two (2) in the Telepresence Centre.

NOTE: Only those who have the minimum entry requirements of at least two principal passes at A’ Level or its equivalent and at least five (5) passes at O’ Level or its equivalent will be interviewed.

 Only candidates who sat ‘a’ level in 2020, 2019 and 2018 are eligible for admission.

THE EXERCISE WILL BE CONDUCTED ON 3rd, 4th and 5th October, 2022 respectively from 9.00 A.M – 1.00 P.M each day.


(i) If you fail to appear on any of the given days above, there will be no other chance for you.

(ii) Applicants with Government Scholarship for the previous years are not eligible for admission



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