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The Academia & Government Officials Identify Research & Data gaps in the Management of Natural Resources in Uganda

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Environmental economists and graduate students from Makerere University held a meeting with government officials to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda.

The two-day researchers’ training organized by EfD Uganda was held at Esella Country Hotel in Kampala, on 14th and 15th March 2024,

The Deputy Principal, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) Dr. Yawe Bruno officially opening the workshop. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
The Deputy Principal, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) Dr. Yawe Bruno officially opening the workshop.

Local Government (LG) representatives were brought on board to help understand policy research questions in the local government that researchers can leverage to generate evidence to inform policy implementation and improvement in service delivery and environmental protection in general. The District Natural Resources Officer for Wakiso, Rebecca Ssabaganzi, was the lead facilitator.

Rebecca Ssabaganzi presenting the status of Local Governments in the Management of Natural Resources. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
Rebecca Ssabaganzi presenting the status of Local Governments in the Management of Natural Resources.

The national policymakers, on the other hand, presented policy, capacity, research, and data gaps that researchers can focus on to improve their work. Ronald Kaggwa from the National Planning Authority facilitated the training.

Dr. Ronald Kaggwa presenting on the national priorities. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
Dr. Ronald Kaggwa presenting on the national priorities.

Center Director Edward Bbaale said the purpose of the workshop was to identify what natural resources and environmental issues are being pitched in National Development Plan (NDP) IV and how Uganda is transiting from NDP III to NDP IV to inform their research.

Prof. Edward Bbaale making his remarks during the opening session. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
Prof. Edward Bbaale making his remarks during the opening session.

“This is a great opportunity for our researchers to have a deeper discussion with the local government and National Planning Authority on critical issues and that the government is focusing on so we can ensure that our research is policy-relevant,” said Edward Bbaale.

He urged the government to reduce taxes on renewable energy as a key tool to encourage the public to drop the use of biomass which has negative effects on the environment and human health.

Some of the participants engaged in a group discussion. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
Some of the participants engaged in a group discussion.

“Transitioning from the dirty sources of energy to the cleaner sources of energy is a very expensive venture and it requires infrastructure investments.  We would like to hear about green financing and what the government is planning to do to raise the money,” he remarked.

Rebecca Ssabaganzi makes her presentation. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
Rebecca Ssabaganzi makes her presentation.

From the Local Government presentation, Ms. Rebecca Ssabaganzi focused on the role of Local Government in protection of natural resources, the structures, challenges and capacity gaps for research. Ssabaganzi stressed the need to raise public awareness on the sustainable use of  the environment and conservation as  an obligation for everyone, the need for mindset change for the public to adopt alternative energy sources and investing in eco-tourism as well as the  regulation of  building substances and valuation as a basis for revenue assessments and best development use.

Rebecca Ssabaganzi responding to questions from participants. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
Rebecca Ssabaganzi responding to questions from participants.

She  explained that poor management of water, environment, and natural resources coupled with the worsening effects of climate change have resulted in high exposure to hazards and disasters, with limited capacity for climate change adaptation and mitigation, low disaster risk planning and rampant degradation of the environment and natural resources caused by low enforcement capacity.

From the national planning perspective, Ronald Kaggwa highlighted the persistent ENR management challenges inherited from NDPI, II, III to IV.

Researchers and policy makers that convened at Esella Country Hotel. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
Researchers and policy makers that convened at Esella Country Hotel.

These include deteriorating state of ENR, enforcement and compliance challenges, limited use of economic incentives and income poverty among the ENR-dependent populations. Kaggwa also reported that there is low value-addition to ENR, excessive reliance on the market prices to make major decisions and challenges on how to balance the benefits and real costs of natural resource conservation.

Kaggwa proposed some thematic areas for research to inform policy. These include reviewing policy, legal, and institutional frameworks for effective ENR governance and management; reviewing the effectiveness and efficiency of the program approach to ENR governance and the likely impacts of the rationalization of ENR institutions on performance;

A section of participants in a group discussion. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
A section of participants in a group discussion.

Other research areas proposed are coordination, regulation, and monitoring of ENR management at LG and national levels, exploring the feasibility of economic instruments for ENR management, and the public good and trans-boundary nature of ENRs and governance challenges.

Key takeaways from the workshop

From the presentations and group discussions, the meeting agreed on key thematic areas for research including valuation of existing resources, appropriate mix of policies, stocktaking of existing data and the role of decentralization in protecting the environment. Other proposed areas are climate financing and transitioning to a low-carbon economy, cost-benefit analysis for an energy transition  and climate change and its effects

One of the research fellows presenting after the group discussions. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
One of the research fellows presenting after the group discussions.

The meeting also resolved to strengthen collaborations between Makerere University‘s existing projects, government ministries, departments and agencies, development partners and international agencies, financial institutions, and civil society organizations.

EfD-Mak to prepare research proposals and tailored courses

Uganda’s IGE policy engagement specialist Peter Babyenda said the meeting identified the capacity gaps in Local Governments that the center can fill, by preparing tailored courses to address gaps. The courses would entail training Local Government workers in data collection, evaluation of natural resources, stakeholder engagement, mindset change, and feasibility studies

IGE engagement specialist Dr. Peter Babyenda speaking during the workshop. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
IGE engagement specialist Dr. Peter Babyenda speaking during the workshop.

For the researchers, the meeting informed them of where they are needed and their role at a national level.

“We are preparing our research proposals to have multidisciplinary research projects, which means, we need sociologists, accountants, statisticians for data collection, etc. but also, a partnership between academia and policymakers”, Peter Babyenda said.

Dr. Nicholas Kilimani wrapped up the workshop proceedings. EfD-Makerere University Center, Kampala Uganda, training to identify research and data gaps to address the persistent environmental and natural resources (ENR) challenges in Uganda, 14th to 15th March 2024, Esella Country Hotel.
Dr. Nicholas Kilimani wrapped up the workshop proceedings.

The center will build on key issues generated from the meeting.

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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