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EfD-Mak Launches two  projects on Uganda’s National Water and Forest Authorities

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The Environment for Development Initiative (EfD) Makerere Centre has launched two new collaborative projects – on improving water bill payments in the National water authority and a quasi experimental  analysis of the Forest Authority Afforestation projects. The launch is a significant achievement for the year 2021/2022.

The projects were launched during the centres seminar series held on 13th October 2022 at the EfD Confrence room. The function was graced by the Principal College of Business and Management Scieces Prof. Eria Hisali as chief guest. It was also attended online by the EfD Global hub Manager for Research Dr. Amuakwa-Mensah, Franklin and project collaborators ,

While officially launching the projects, Prof. Hisali said as a developing country the  university cannot afford to do research for the sake of doing research but research   that is going to have an impact on policy, change people’s lives and have  findings that are immediately useful.

Prof. Eria Hisali speaking during the event

“This does not mean that that it should not be rigorous. It should be as rigorous as possible but  it should be immediately relevant to our environment and needs”, Hisali stressed.

To achieve that, the Principal expressed the need for policy makers and implementers, the researchers and the private sector to come in one room and discuss some broad thematic areas and agree on areas   immediate relevancy and the biggest knowledge gaps.

The second phase according Hisali is to prepare some few background papers around the broad thematic areas that give the scope and insights of the advances of the methodological approaches and a few other things and then commission relevant studies.

“If we take that route, we are going to come with findings that are immediately useful. As researchers in this part of the world we cannot afford at all to do research for the sake of doing research. We should do rigorous research that links to the problems that we are facing as acountry and that speaks to providing solutions to the list of problems”, Hisali re – emphasized

As the leadership of the college, Hisali pledged to remain committed to working  closely  with  patners  and to continue permitting  all processes required to support the colleagues doing research.

The new  projects

Project one titled, “Improving Bill Payments for Water and Sanitation in Uganda” is spearheaded by Prof.  Edward Bbaale as  the Principal Investigator . Bbaale is also the  Director EfD Mak Centre. He assisted by Co-Principal Investigators. Dr. Nicholas Kilimani (EfD-Mak & Makerere University) Dr. Rose Kaggwa (National Water and Sewerage Corporation), Dr. Nicholas Mwebaze (National Water and Sewerage Corporation) and Dr. David Fuente (EfD & University of South Carolina).

Prof. Edward Bbaale speaking.

Prof Bbaale said the  motivation behind the study was based on the global water and sanitation infrastructure challenge and the need to respond to the SDG 6  on the provision and attainment of “Safe and affordable water and sanitation for all by 2030” and Uganda’s NDPIII and Vision 2040- increasing access to safe water for all.

“Arrears undermine utilities financial sustainability. For Example in  South Africa: households owed municipal governments 40 billion Rand (about 4 billion USD). In Nairobi, Kenya: ~60% of customers have arrears while in Kampala, Uganda (study location): 57% of residential customer accounts have arrears”, Bbaale said.

He said the study will  be conducted in Kampala – National Water and Sewer Corporation (NWSC) aimed at reducing customer arrears and bill non-payment,  improve financial sustainability of utilities, boost the agency’s financial position to cater for its investments and also increase the social welfare benefits from the agency’s investments

The project according to Bbaale will document pathways through which improved billing can result in better bill payment hence sustained revenue for the agency.

“Improving agency’s financial sustainability enhances its ability to improve the quality of services and the expansion of access to households who lack access to piped water and sanitation services.

There are welfare benefits associated with the improved quality and coverage of the agency’s services, i.e., improved health, increased time for productive work, increased school attendance”, He added.

Established in 1972, NWSC, is a public utility company 100% owned by the Government of Uganda and is  mandated to supply water and sewerage services to 257 cities and towns across the country with a customer base standing at 711,556 accounts.

The Customer base  of the NWSC currently stands at 711,556 accounts with total arrears level of Uganda Shillings 69,471,961,698 billion government arrears inclusive and 32,962,667,390 billion non-government arrears.

Participants

The project area of study that is, Kampala water area, has total customer base of 357,342 accounts.  Out of these accounts 202,484 are domestic accounts with non-government arrears of Uganda shillings 10,584,626,646 billion (2.8 M USD) contributing 69% of the total non-government arrears.

Policy implications

Reduce customer arrears and bill non-payment and improve financial sustainability of utilities and ensure households maintain access to services

Documentation of the implications of an efficient revenue mobilization in harnessing resources for effective service delivery

Direct engagement of National Water in the project will increase potential for using the study’s results to inform policy and practice.

Knowledge co-production and policy engagement

The second projects titled, “ Quasi-Experimental Analysis of National Forestry Authority Afforestation Projects in Uganda”, is being led by   Dr. Patrick Byakagaba of Makerere university . The Project Co-PIs are  Professor Katrina Mullan (university of Montana), Professor Jeff Vincent (Duke university),  Mr. John Diisi (National (Forestry Authority Uganda)and Mr.  Mr. Peter Babyenda of Makerere University.

Dr. Byakagaba said Uganda continues to experience wood deficit and natural forest loss and this led to NFA and partners to invest afforestation projects

This study intends to evaluate these afforestation projects in terms of their contribution to well-being and landuse/landcover dynamics

Dr. Patrick Byakagaba presenting

The study sites according to Byakagaba will  be villages  adjacent to each reserve and control communities will be >5km from reserve within the same landscape. The selected study areas are Katugo (Nakasongola) – long history of planting (multiple harvests) and mostly planted by NFA; Kasagara (Nakasongola) – more recent planting, by many small private planters; Bujawe (Hoima)- more recent planting, small private planters and; Kachung (Dokolo) – more recent planting, single large private planter with FSC certification

The aim is to evaluate the socio-economic and forest-cover impacts of the forest plantations but specifically to analyse the impacts of NFA afforestation programs on human well-being

 and also to assess the impacts of NFA afforestation programs on land use/land cover dynamics

The proposed proxy indicators for household well-being that will be studied include;  employment, income, food security,  poverty” Byakaga explained adding that spatial land use/cover datasets from the National Forestry Authority will be used for assessing landuse/landcover dynamics, and,  the Theory of change by SPGS will be applied in interrogating the impacts

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Jane Anyango

Communication Officer

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Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence awards certificates to 30 Officials

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Dr. Peter Babyenda (Front Row Right) and Dr. Willy Kagarura (2nd Row 2nd from right) pose for a group photo with participants. Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence (PIM CoE), College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala, five-day training workshop for public officers from various government agencies and universities, 1st-5th July 2024, Jinja, Uganda, East Africa.

The Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence at the College of Business and Management Sciences, has successfully concluded a five-day training workshop for public officers from various government agencies and universities. The training, held in Jinja, was attended by 30 participants who received certificates of completion at a closing ceremony on July 5, 2024. The event was graced by the Principal of the College of Business and Management Sciences, Makerere University, who delivered closing remarks and awarded the certificates.

In his closing address, the Principal expressed deep gratitude and pride, thanking the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development (MoFPED) for their generous financial support, which made the training possible. He highlighted the Ministry’s crucial role in identifying and nominating participants from various government bodies, emphasizing the importance of professional development in improving public investment efficiency and effectiveness.

Prof. Edward Bbaale (Right) presents a certificate to one of the male participants. Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence (PIM CoE), College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala, five-day training workshop for public officers from various government agencies and universities, 1st-5th July 2024, Jinja, Uganda, East Africa.

The Principal also extended special thanks to the Permanent Secretaries, Vice Chancellors, and Executive Directors of the participating institutions for recognizing the significance of the training and nominating their staff to attend. He commended the dedication of the faculty members from Makerere University, MoFPED, and the National Planning Authority for their expertise and time, which ensured a fruitful learning experience for the participants.

Addressing the participants, the Principal lauded their commitment and resilience throughout the week-long training. He noted that the program equipped them with essential skills and knowledge in Public Investment Management (PIM), including project preparation, execution, procurement, Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), monitoring and evaluation, and integrating climate change, social, and environmental risk management in project preparation.

Prof. Edward Bbaale (Right) presents a certificate to one of the male participants. Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence (PIM CoE), College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala, five-day training workshop for public officers from various government agencies and universities, 1st-5th July 2024, Jinja, Uganda, East Africa.

He encouraged the participants to view this training as the first step in their journey to becoming experts in PIM, emphasizing the importance of continuing education through advanced modules in Financial and Economic appraisal of projects. The advanced training, conducted in collaboration with Cambridge Resources International (CRI) and Queens University in Canada, offers a tripartite certificate from Makerere University, MoFPED, and Queens University.

In his remarks, the Principal highlighted the broader scope of the Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence, which extends beyond training to include research, outreach activities, and advisory services to the government. He announced the Centre’s ongoing efforts to revise the Development Committee guidelines for MoFPED and assess the performance of projects selected since the first National Development Plan (NDP I). Additionally, he proposed organizing a one-day Public Investment Management Conference in October 2024 to evaluate the current state of public investments in Uganda and develop future strategies.

Prof. Edward Bbaale (Right) presents a certificate to one of the female participants. Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence (PIM CoE), College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala, five-day training workshop for public officers from various government agencies and universities, 1st-5th July 2024, Jinja, Uganda, East Africa.

The Principal concluded by congratulating the participants on their achievement and expressing confidence in their ability to effect positive change in the management of public investments in Uganda. He acknowledged the invaluable support of the faculty, mentors, and coaches, as well as the excellent work of the PIM CoE Secretariat, headed by Dr. Willy Kagarura.

As the training workshop came to a close, the participants left with a sense of accomplishment and a renewed commitment to enhancing public investment management practices in Uganda, contributing to the country’s economic development and prosperity.

Prof. Edward Bbaale (Right) presents a certificate to one of the male participants. Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence (PIM CoE), College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala, five-day training workshop for public officers from various government agencies and universities, 1st-5th July 2024, Jinja, Uganda, East Africa.

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2,000 Ugandan Households to Participate in FamiLEA Project

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Prof. Edward Bbaale, Principal of the College of Business and Management Sciences (Seated 2nd Right) and Dr. Stephen Wandera, the Principal Investigator (Standing Rear Right) and other partners at the training on 1st July 2024. School of Statistics and Planning, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, Remaking of the Family in East Africa (FAMILEA) training for Research Assistants, 1st July 2024, Kabira Country Club, Kampala Uganda.

Scholars from Makerere University, in partnership with researchers from Europe, have launched the Remaking of the Family in East Africa (FamiLEA) project, focusing on 2000 households in the Kampala Metropolitan Area. This 3-year research initiative, which began on July 1st, includes households in Kampala, Wakiso, and Mukono Districts and will continue until mid-2027.

The FamiLEA project examines families and the factors influencing changes in family structures. This research responds to the rapid and significant changes in family dynamics across Africa, including innovative kinship practices.

Dr. Stephen Wandera (Left) with participants at the training. School of Statistics and Planning, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, Remaking of the Family in East Africa (FAMILEA) training for Research Assistants, 1st July 2024, Kabira Country Club, Kampala Uganda.

Dr. Stephen Wandera, the Principal Investigator (PI) from Makerere University, stated that enumerators will conduct door-to-door data collection using structured questionnaires. “Our enumerators are students from Makerere University’s Population Studies program, both undergraduate and postgraduate. We expect them to gain valuable field experience and provide validated results,” Dr. Wandera explained during the training.

The study focuses on household changes such as marriage, divorce, intermediate relationships, and networks to understand the reasons behind family changes in East Africa. Following data analysis, dissemination meetings will be held with stakeholders, including government ministries, departments, and agencies.

Participants pose for a group photo. School of Statistics and Planning, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, Remaking of the Family in East Africa (FAMILEA) training for Research Assistants, 1st July 2024, Kabira Country Club, Kampala Uganda.

Earlier this year, a stakeholders’ meeting in Kampala included representatives from the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development and the Uganda Bureau of Statistics. Researchers will submit reports to policymakers and prepare policy briefs to support informed policy-making and programming.

Yonatan N. Gez, Co-Principal Investigator from ISCTE University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal, highlighted that the FamiLEA project is being conducted in both Kenya and Uganda, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. This interdisciplinary project involves scholars from demography, anthropology, political science, geography, and history, collaborating with universities from Switzerland, France, Kenya, Canada, and Portugal, with Makerere University as the key collaborator.

Participants pose for a group photo. School of Statistics and Planning, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, Remaking of the Family in East Africa (FAMILEA) training for Research Assistants, 1st July 2024, Kabira Country Club, Kampala Uganda.

Gez noted, “We will conduct extensive surveys using both qualitative and quantitative methods in Nairobi and Kampala. Given the project’s focus on family structures and their transformation, religious and cultural leaders will play a key role in the study.”

The survey will include parents and guardians from 2000 randomly selected households, targeting individuals aged 18 to 64. The questionnaires will cover topics such as intermediate networks, emotional connections, and the impact of these factors on family changes.

 Prof. Bbaale, the Principal of CoBAMS shares a light moment with Dr. Stephen Wandera the PI of the project. School of Statistics and Planning, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, Remaking of the Family in East Africa (FAMILEA) training for Research Assistants, 1st July 2024, Kabira Country Club, Kampala Uganda.
Prof. Bbaale, the Principal of CoBAMS shares a light moment with Dr. Stephen Wandera the PI of the project.

Prof. Edward Bbaale, Principal of the College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), officiated the training. He emphasized the alignment of this research with Makerere University’s strategic direction of being a research-led institution. “This research is within our university’s strategic direction, and I congratulate all the principal investigators for securing the grant,” Prof. Bbaale said.

Prof. Bbaale also highlighted the importance of international collaboration in research, encouraging scholars to pursue similar research projects. He advised enumerators to exercise patience, intelligence, and care in the field to ensure high-quality research findings.

On behalf of the university, he thanked the African Population and Health Research Centre for their collaboration with Makerere University. “Engage with line ministries and the private sector to ensure the implementation of the research project’s recommendations,” Prof. Bbaale urged researchers.

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Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence at Makerere University Trains Over 30 Public Officers

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Prof. Edward Bbaale (Centre in suit) with Participants at the launch of the training. Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence (PIM CoE), College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa five-day intensive training program for over 30 public officers from various government agencies, Jinja, 1st-5th July 2024.

The Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence at Makerere University has launched a five-day intensive training program for over 30 public officers from various government agencies. This significant event is being held in Jinja, aimed at enhancing the skills and knowledge of public officers in effective investment management.

The training program was officially opened on July 1, 2024 by the Principal of the College of Business and Management Sciences, Makerere University, under which the Centre of Excellence operates. In his opening remarks, the Principal emphasized the importance of building capacity within public institutions to ensure efficient and effective management of public investments.

Prof. Edward Bbaale (Right) officially opens the training. Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence (PIM CoE), College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa five-day intensive training program for over 30 public officers from various government agencies, Jinja, 1st-5th July 2024.

“We are committed to equipping our public officers with the necessary skills and knowledge to manage public investments efficiently. This training is a testament to our dedication to excellence in public service,” stated the Principal.

The opening ceremony was also attended by Ms. Getrude Basiima from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the funding agency for this training program. Ms. Basiima highlighted the Ministry’s commitment to supporting capacity-building initiatives that contribute to the country’s economic development.

Ms. Getrude Basiima from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the funding agency for this training program. Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence (PIM CoE), College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa five-day intensive training program for over 30 public officers from various government agencies, Jinja, 1st-5th July 2024.

“The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development is proud to support this initiative. We believe that investing in the professional development of our public officers is crucial for the sustainable growth of our nation’s economy,” Ms. Basiima remarked.

Proper Public Investment Management (PIM) is critical for ensuring that government resources are used effectively to achieve development goals. It involves rigorous planning, allocation, and monitoring of public funds to maximize socio-economic benefits and minimize wastage. Effective PIM leads to improved infrastructure, better public services, and enhanced economic growth, ultimately contributing to the overall well-being of citizens.

Some of the participants taking part in the five-day training. Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence (PIM CoE), College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa five-day intensive training program for over 30 public officers from various government agencies, Jinja, 1st-5th July 2024.

Throughout the five-day training, participants will engage in a series of interactive sessions and practical exercises designed to enhance their competencies in public investment management. The training covers various topics, project proposal writing including project planning, financial analysis, risk management, and performance evaluation.

This initiative by the Public Investment Management Centre of Excellence at Makerere University underscores the institution’s role as a leader in fostering professional development and enhancing the capacity of public sector professionals in Uganda.

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