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EfD-Mak Center Passes Evaluation for Re-Accreditation for the next 5 years

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A panel of external evaluators from the EfD Global Hub at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has consented to recommend the re-accreditation of the EfD-Mak Center Uganda for another five years.

 Edwin Muchapondwa from the South African EfD centre at the University of Cape town, Precious Zikhali from Nairobi Kenya and Ted  Horbulyk  from Canada were in Uganda on  a three-day evaluation exercise  on 23rd – 25th October 2023.

Every five years, the EfD Global hub evaluates its over 15 centres across the world on various parameters including institutional development, capacity building, research, policy engagement and outreach, performance and also on publication as a research output.

The evaluation panel Left to Right Precious Zikhali, Ted Horburyk and Edward Muchapondwa. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
The evaluation panel Left to Right Precious Zikhali, Ted Horburyk and Edward Muchapondwa.

The EfD Uganda was established in Honai in 2018 and launched at Makerere University August 2019 funded by Sida.

The panel heard testimonies from the administrative staff, students the research fellows that work with the center, the university administrators, right from the Head of Department to the Dean, the College Principal and the Academic Registrar, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor as the Chief Executive of the university.

The trio visited government ministries, departments and agencies including the National Planning Authority, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the Ministry of Water and Environment, Wakiso district local government, and ACODE-a civil society organization to find out how collaborative engagements with the EfD-Mak center have shaped the policy environment and practice, as well as the plans and areas they felt the centre could serve better to make more impact.

Evaluators posing for agroup photo at the National Planning Authority after engaging with Ronald Kaggwa (3rd Right) one of the pioneer IGE fellows. Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Evaluators posing for agroup photo at the National Planning Authority after engaging with Ronald Kaggwa (3rd Right) one of the pioneer IGE fellows.

In a closing meeting with the centre administrative staff and researchers, the Lead Evaluator Edwin Mchapondwa gave a glimpse of what the evaluation report will look like outlining some of the themes and pledged to produce the report within a month.

“But the headline is that the panel has agreed that we will make a recommendation that the center should be re-accredited for five more years. Okay, so with this, we have come to the end of the review process. So we thank the colleagues for tolerating all our hard questions, imposing on your time, not allowing you to attend some meetings you should have been attending. That way, it has been good for the center,” Mchapondwa announced.

The Panel in a group photo after meeting Commissioner Sam Mugume (3rd Left) at the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
The Panel in a group photo after meeting Commissioner Sam Mugume (3rd Left) at the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

Under the institutionalization, the team commended Makerere University for its plan to position the center between the two colleges as a good strategy for sustainability and encouraged the staff to maintain the team spirit and dedicate more time to serve the centre.

“With respect to engagement, I am very impressed with the people we spoke to as entry points into getting ongoing collaborations with people in government and civil society and local government and so on. I think the challenge I see is getting good traction with them” Canadian external evaluator Ted Horbulyk said.

The centre also scored highly in terms of its policy engagement with government ministries, departments and agencies, academia, civil society and local governments. The team advised on the need to formalise the collaborations to ensure they are institutionalised within the university.

“I see policy engagement as a great platform, which a lot of work has really been done, that there is a lot of dedication, I think everybody that we spoke to said they are very engaged, I think that presents a very great opportunity. But of course I think that there is also more that can still be done, just to build on the foundation that has been made. I’m really happy about the potential that you have and the links that you’ve established”, the Kenyan external evaluator Precious Zikhali added.

The evaluators also commended the centre for capacity development initiatves for students, researchers and policy makers in a range of aspects in Environment and Natural Resources Economics but advised on the need to narrow down its focus on areas of field.

The Panel in a group photo with the CoBAMS Principal Prof. Eria Hisali (2nd Right) Deputy Principal Prof. Bruno Yawe (Left) and Director EfD Uganda - Prof. Edward Bbaale (2nd Left) after the engagement. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
The Panel in a group photo with the CoBAMS Principal Prof. Eria Hisali (2nd Right) Deputy Principal Prof. Bruno Yawe (Left) and Director EfD Uganda – Prof. Edward Bbaale (2nd Left) after the engagement.

“…You are doing well with your programs. And we heard the numbers of typical enrollments. And you seem to be inspiring students right from the undergraduate level. I think that is the right way to go. And we also appreciated hearing about this collaborative program you have in particular, the Masters in Environmental and Resource Economics, which is supported by both colleges.

“What you are doing with the policy makers, particularly IGE, and soon RAMP is also quite good. We saw some evidence that there is some impact that is coming across from there.” The team leader, Edwin Mchapondwa stated.

With respect to publications and papers, the evaluators tasked the centre to submit all publications to justify that there is an active body of scholars at the centre who are doing work.

Evaluators further observed the need for the centre researchers tap into each other’s expertise and narrow the scope of the fields into something that is of high impact when it comes to policy engagement.

Evaluators (seated) in a group photo at the Ministry of Water and Environment after meeting the Commissioner Mr. Steven Mugabi (Right) and IGE fellow Moreen Aneno (4th Left). Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Evaluators (seated) in a group photo at the Ministry of Water and Environment after meeting the Commissioner Mr. Steven Mugabi (Right) and IGE fellow Moreen Aneno (4th Left).

On the gender side the centre was also advised to continue to think about initiative to expand the meaningful participation of women, both within EfD Uganda and EfD Global collaboratives.

EfD Uganda has created a mark in the country through policy engagements and outreach.

The Director Edward Bbaale said entering the EfD network is a prestigious issue that has contributed to the internationalization agenda as Makerere drives towards the research-led university status.

The center, he reported, was given notice more than a year ago that it was due for evaluation, and requested to conduct a self-evaluation and ranking on a number of parameters for which it is charged to deliver .

Bbaale said, the center has been preparing a document of self-evaluation which involved appending evidence of MoUs, outcomes of the engagements, and caused policy changes in government.

“And we prepared ourselves to receive this evaluation team. And in the three days of evaluation, we have endured a lot of questions, which, to the best of our ability, we responded to very well”, He said

Bbaale described the evaluation exercise and conversations as enjoyable, and one that gave him pride as he observed people give testimonies about the impact that EfD-Mak has made over the years.

“And as a result, we have not been shy at all to interface with this team. Our heads have been high up, confident, and we tried as much as possible to respond to each of those parameters the way we are supposed to deliver”.

The evaluation panel in a group photo after interacting with the Deputy Director ACODE, Onesmus Mugyenyi at his office. Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
The evaluation panel in a group photo after interacting with the Deputy Director ACODE, Onesmus Mugyenyi at his office.

“And then the D-Day, and the awaited hour was at 4 o’clock today 25th October 2023 where the evaluation team chose to give highlights of what they have observed. They highlighted a  a number of strengths and gaps to be worked on.”

“But finally, what made us very proud this afternoon is that the EfD evaluation team, all the three panelists agreed that the EfD-Mak Center is worthy to be accredited for the next five years, which was a great thing we celebrated and are still celebrating,” the Professor remarked.

Lessons from the evaluation and way forward

Bbaale appreciated evaluators for pointing out different perspectives and great opportunities to engage more with line ministries.

“We should always be in the corridors of the Ministry of Water and Environment to show case of what we are and what we can do, to let them know that in the EfD-Mak Center resides great expertise that can give answers to a number of questions that the government workers may not have answers to.

“We are going to write a profile about what we are as EfD-Mak, our research team,  what we have done over the years, and tell the ministry that we are ready to offer solutions to some of the things they have been grappling with”. He pledged.

The other lesson, he said, is interesting students to like environment and natural resource economics right from undergraduate and graduate students that come as freshers and creating a pool of fellows to offer supervision as well as  participating in the EfD Global Hub competition for the best dissertation.

Evaluators in a group photo with Rebecca Ssabaganzi a Local Government Representaive (Centre) at Wakiso District headquarters. Uganda, East Africa.
Evaluators in a group photo with Rebecca Ssabaganzi a Local Government Representaive (Centre) at Wakiso District headquarters.

On international collaborations, the Director clarified that the center belongs to the Forestry collaborative where center researchers Peter Babyenda and Patrick Byakagaba are having a forest project. Babyenda and a representative from the National Forestry Authority under the same collaborative will be travelling to Nepal under the same arrangement for a study on how the country has succeeded in the forestry policy. The center is active in SETI collaborative, that deals with energy and the very first center’s project was on electricity, which was done by Dr. Nicholas Kiliman followed by Dr. Aisha Nanyiti.

In addition to providing a write-up on each of those collaboratives that exist and encouraging people to always be part, Bbaale promised to submit a detailed list of publications from the research fellows.

On the question of gender and ensuring women full participation in the centre activities, Bbaale said Makerere University has been deliberate and intentional to balance gender and to  protect women in general including against sexual harassment.

“With government addition of 1.5 points to women, its fruits have been seen after very many years. Now we graduate 52% female. We are yet to see the fruits translate into graduate programmes and when that happens, we shall be sure that we are in the position to have more women researchers in the center.” He said.

Audit process as a reflection for improvement while re-accreditation offered confidence

Delivering the vote of thanks, the Dean, School of Economics Dr. Ibrahim Okumu described auditing as a way that allows institutions to reflect for purposes of improvement.

The Dean School of Economics, Dr. Ibrahim Okumu (Right) speaking to the evaluators. CoBAMS, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
The Dean School of Economics, Dr. Ibrahim Okumu (Right) speaking to the evaluators.

Okumu was happy that the evaluators engaged with a number of stakeholders,

“And the outcome tells me that it’s been a really positive engagement. And of course, the last strong point that I got out of this was the positive feedback we got from the policy arena that we are positively contributing to their area of work.

 “And of course, the greatest thing today was the fact that we have an additional five years of contributing to the development of environment, economics, within our space and within the global space. All the areas of strengthening would indeed come through as positive as you suggested.” The Dean noted.

Jane Anyango is the Communication Officer EfD Uganda

Business & Management

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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