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Carnegie-Supported NERLP Project Teams Disseminate Research Findings

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Today, Wednesday 28th October 2020, we held a successful dissemination conference of the Carnegie-funded postdoctoral research training project titled “Nurturing Emerging Research Leaders through Post-Doctoral Training at Makerere University, NERLP”, 2017 – 2019. In his opening remarks, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the Vice Chancellor and Chief Guest applauded the Carnegie Corporation of New York for being the one of the foreign partners that played a crucial role in the process of revitalization of Makerere University.

He reminded the participants that Carnegie support for Makerere goes as far back as 1943.  The Vice Chancellor noted that over the last decade, a deliberate effort was made to build a critical mass of staff with PhDs. He noted that the postgraduate training and postdoctoral research has helped Makerere not only to nurture but also to retain its staff. Likewise, the beneficiaries of the travel and publication grants and the participants of the skills enhancement workshops have also come to develop a stake in the Makerere system. The international stature of Makerere has in the process been enhanced along with the deepening of Makerere’s linkages with partner research institutions.

Prof. Nawangwe appreciated that the postgraduate training and postdoctoral research under NERLP project has appreciably helped to strengthen the early-career academics’ research skills and turned many into research leaders that are capable of writing grant applications, publishing their research results, supervision and mentoring graduate students, and transforming society through policy dialogue.

This project’s architecture fits in well the current staffing constraints at Makerere University, because it was difficult to grant participants sabbatical study leave. It is for this reason that the fellows have conducted their research projects within the country with short research visits to regional Universities and research institutions and travel to disseminate research findings at international conferences.

The Vice Chancellor commended the project’s successes record including the increased the fellows’ capacity to carry out quality and relevant research at the University; improved research environment and retention of academic staff at the University; increased visibility of the University as a key policy influencer and adviser in Uganda and the region; improved publication culture contributing to better university ranking; and most importantly enhanced international exposure and opportunities for collaboration as a result of growth of international stature of Makerere University.

The workshop was graced by the former Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs) Prof. Ernest Okello-Ogwang, who gave a resounding keynote address on the importance of research leadership and the need to nurture early-career Faculty if Makerere University is to remain a premier University. Prof Okello-Ogwang emphasised the critical need to nurture the fresh PhD graduates by providing research funds to train them at Postdoctoral level. This, he noted, would enhance their research productivity and create a community of scholars with the potential to become leaders in their fields. This will in turn improve the quality of supervision, publication scholarship and contribute to the strategic direction of Makerere as a research-led university.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor  (Academic Affairs) and current Chairperson of the Carnegie Project Implementation Committee, Prof. Umar Kakumba, observed that the  success of the NERLP project has totally depended on the effort, talent, and energy of postdoctoral fellows who have written and submitted papers on a variety of topics. He paid special gratitude to Ms. Andrea Johnson, the Program Director, Higher Education and Research in Africa, International Programs, Carnegie Corporation of New York for her vision and strategic focus on research training in Africa.

The project has supported 15 teams to conduct research. These comprised of the Senior Mentor, the Postdoctoral fellow, and a Masters degree to conduct quality research. The support has included funds to conduct quality research; professional skills enhancement training courses; tuition and research costs for the masters degree student attached to the teams; mentorship and research team building; grants to enable fellows travel and disseminate their research results at International conferences; dissemination and outreach activities; maintenance and sustenance of web portal as a source of  research information; and provision of funds for academic writing and publication.

All the 15 Postdoctoral fellows presented their research findings highlighting the key results (academic and innovations) and salient policy recommendations. Evidently, the project has had a great impact on
society, the University and the research community in different forms. We are proud of the 15 Postdoctoral  fellows and wish them a rewarding research career as they transit into research leadership.

Please see Downloads for the NERLP Book of Abstracts

Professor Buyinza Mukadasi, Director, DRGT, Makerere University

General

Advert: Admission to PhD in Public Health Programme 2024/2025

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The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites applications from suitable candidates for admission to a Three Year Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health (By Coursework & Dissertation) with the following Tracks for the 2024/2025 Academic Year tenable in the College of Health Sciences:

  • Health Systems,
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics,
  • Community Health and Behavioural Sciences,
  • Disease Control and
  • Environmental Health

In addition to the general admission requirements of Makerere University, Applicants should possess the following qualifications:

A master’s degree from a recognized and chartered university in health sciences e.g. Medicine (Human and Veterinary), Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Public Health, etc;

OR

A masters’ degree in Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences, or Laboratory Sciences;

OR

A masters’ degree in Social Sciences i.e. Social Work, Sociology, Economics, Statistics, Demography, Monitoring and Evaluation with at least three consecutive years’ working experience in a health related program.

Candidates whose first language is not English or did not go through an education system with

English as the medium of instruction will be required to prove that they have sufficient command of the English language to cope with post-graduate studies at Makerere University.

Candidates for the Epidemiology and Biostatistics track should have undertaken both MPH 7103 Applied Biostatistics I and MPH 7203 Applied Biostatistics II, and any other course in statisticswith equivalent content, with a pass grade point of at least 3.0.

Candidates for the Health Systems track should have had at least three consecutive years work in a health related program except holders of master’s in health sciences.

Strictly observe the closing date of 31st May, 2024

Contact the offices of the Dean, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences for any further information regarding the programme.

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Research

11 CARTA Fellows Triumph with Postdoctoral Awards

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Dr. Henry Zakumumpa, Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH). Photo: YouTube/Uppsala Monitoring Centre (UMC). Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

We celebrate our 11 outstanding fellows for receiving postdoctoral awards from CARTA after a competitive selection process. Among them are four recipients of fellowship grants: Nanfizat Abiket Alamukii, Adeyinka Olufolake Adefolarin, and Blessings Nyasilia Kaunda-Khangamwa. Additionally, seven fellows have received re-entry grants: Skye Nandi Adams, Christine Minoo Mbindyo, Priscille Musabirema, Oyeyemi Olajumoke Oyelade, Eniola Olubukola Cadmus, and Alex John Ntamatungiro. Join us on a journey to explore the topics, significance, and uniqueness of each fellow’s research, deserving of this prestigious recognition.

Fellowship Grants

Henry Zakumumpa

Affiliation: Makerere University, School of Public Health

Host institution: Moi University, College of Health Sciences

What is your research topic?

Leveraging differentiated service delivery models in Uganda to address the syndemics of HIV, hypertension, and diabetes

Why is your research important?

In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), we’re confronting a health crisis with rising non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like hypertension and diabetes, alongside ongoing challenges in HIV treatment. While diseases like HIV and malaria receive global support, NCDs like diabetes and hypertension often get overlooked. It’s frustrating, but we must bridge this gap to ensure care reaches those in need.

What is unique about your research?

Since 2004, Uganda’s received $5B+ in donor aid for HIV, driving innovations in care and treatment access. Building on this success, my study leverages HIV care platforms to combat hypertension and diabetes epidemics. Exploring community-based drug distribution, I aim to extend medication access for HIV and NCDs in Uganda and beyond.

What can you tell CARTA and your affiliation?

Thanks to CARTA and Makerere University, I can conduct crucial research on rising non-communicable diseases in Africa, contributing to vital solutions. Their commitment to empowering African-led research is pivotal in advancing agendas continent-wide. Grateful for this opportunity!

Source: CARTA

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Business & Management

Study Reveals Taxation Issues in Uganda’s Informal Economy

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Lack of a structured taxation framework for informal businesses - a significant cause of tax non-compliance among traders in Uganda. Underlying factors contributing to the shadow economy and its implications for the national tax system, a collaborative research project involving eight university scholars. Dissemination workshop by Principal Investigator Dr. Ismail Kintu and others, 25th April 2024, Nansana Municipality Council, Wakiso District, Uganda. East Africa. Group photo of the workshop participants.

A recent study by researchers at Makerere University’s College of Business and Management Sciences has identified the lack of a structured taxation framework for informal businesses as a significant cause of tax non-compliance among traders in Uganda. This revelation came from a collaborative research project involving eight university scholars, who examined the underlying factors contributing to the shadow economy and its implications for the national tax system.

The findings were presented by Dr. Ismail Kintu, the study’s Principal Investigator, at a dissemination workshop held in Nansana Municipality Council, Wakiso District, on Thursday. The research, initiated in 2022, aimed to assess traders’ perceptions of fairness within the taxation system and how this relates to voluntary tax compliance.

“Traders said the system is unfair to them,” Dr. Kintu explained during the workshop. “Our research aimed to understand what fairness means in Uganda’s context.” According to the study, fairness in the tax system is crucial for voluntary compliance, suggesting that taxes should be aligned with one’s revenue, and penalties should be applied equitably.

Dr. Kintu the PI of the research project. Lack of a structured taxation framework for informal businesses - a significant cause of tax non-compliance among traders in Uganda. Underlying factors contributing to the shadow economy and its implications for the national tax system, a collaborative research project involving eight university scholars. Dissemination workshop by Principal Investigator Dr. Ismail Kintu and others, 25th April 2024, Nansana Municipality Council, Wakiso District, Uganda. East Africa.
Dr. Kintu the PI of the research project.

The researchers developed a proposed framework for taxing the informal economy, emphasizing the importance of consulting key stakeholders, such as district commercial officers, tax consultants, and leaders from traders’ associations, before implementing tax policies. The framework recommends engaging these stakeholders in meetings with the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and the Ministry of Finance to ensure that new tax policies are inclusive and fair.

The study also suggests the need for flexibility in tax collection, advocating for payment in installments and prior notification to traders before collecting taxes. This approach, the researchers argue, would help build trust and encourage compliance among informal traders.

The researchers’ proposed framework includes annual mapping of policy gaps in the informal economy and developing solutions to address them. This process would involve regular consultations with stakeholders to refine the tax system and maintain fairness.

Mr Festo Tandeka, the Town Clerk of Nansana Municipality. Lack of a structured taxation framework for informal businesses - a significant cause of tax non-compliance among traders in Uganda. Underlying factors contributing to the shadow economy and its implications for the national tax system, a collaborative research project involving eight university scholars. Dissemination workshop by Principal Investigator Dr. Ismail Kintu and others, 25th April 2024, Nansana Municipality Council, Wakiso District, Uganda. East Africa.
Mr Festo Tandeka, the Town Clerk of Nansana Municipality.

Local officials who attended the workshop expressed support for the research findings. Mr. Festo Tandeka, Nansana Municipality town clerk, encouraged traders to cultivate a culture of paying taxes but cautioned against excessive taxation. He recommended allowing tax payments in installments to avoid overburdening traders.

Similarly, Mr. Shaffic Ali Nsubuga, Nansana Municipality Deputy Resident District Commissioner, urged tax officers to approach tax collection with compassion, suggesting that prior notices be given to traders before taxes are collected.

The findings of the Makerere University study arrive at a critical time, as Ugandan traders have recently protested against increasing taxes. Mr. Joshua Mawerere, a youth representative from the Kampala City Traders Association, welcomed the study, noting that it brings clarity to issues surrounding tax policies. He urged the government to raise awareness about new tax systems, like the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS), which some traders mistakenly perceive as additional taxes.

The study’s comprehensive approach to understanding the informal economy’s taxation challenges may pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable tax system in Uganda, fostering greater compliance and reducing the size of the shadow economy.

The research was funded by the government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF). Speaking at the stakeholders’ engagement on April 25th, Ms Evelyn Nyacho who represented the chair of the grants committee, congratulated Dr. Kintu and team upon the timely research finding. She said the findings would help URA and the traders coming after a traders’ strike over taxation. She said Mak-RIF was happy to sponsor research that is aimed at solving society issues like taxation. “I was happy to learn that taxes can be pay in installments. I hope traders can embrace this flexibility in paying taxes,” she said. She appreciated government for the research funding to the university. The government commits Shs30 billion annually to research at Makerere University in an effort to spur development of the country.

The research team

Dr Kintu (PI), Prof Eria Hisali (Co. PI), Dr Fred Bateganya, Dr Willy Kagarura, Mr Patrick Lumala, Mr Nicholas Musoke, Ms Marion Atukunda, and Ms Winfred Nalwoga.

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