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A FRAMEWORK FOR ENHANCING THE INFLUENCE OF EVALUATION IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AFRICAN PEER REVIEW MECHANISM

The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), a governance evaluation framework established by the African Union, aims to promote good governance and sustainable development in Africa.

However, its influence on public policy outcomes has been limited due to inadequate evaluation research and a focus on outcome-oriented approaches.

A study by Dr. Martin Kizito, a senior lecturer at Uganda Christian University (UCU) proposes a framework to enhance the APRM’s influence, addressing knowledge gaps and recommending inclusive participation, aligned activities, and a well-domesticated legal framework.”

This study analyses the implementation of APRM as a governance evaluation framework mandated by Article 5(2) of the African Union (AU) Constitutive Act of 2000.

 It aimed at generating a framework for enhancing the APRM and in turn positively influence public policy outcomes.

The study observes that, in researching evaluation influence, limited empirical field studies have been conducted especially about African home-grown initiatives, to guide stakeholders on how evaluation inputs translate into activities and consequently policy outcomes.

It argues that APRM, as Made in Africa Evaluation (MAE), adopts a rational and outcome-oriented approach to evaluation, focusing on direct use of data, with good performance primarily evidenced by ratification of agreed governance standards.

So, limited attention to the process has resulted into concerns about emerging patterns of evaluation under-use, misuse and non-use. This trend if not researched may result in an evaluation crisis, affecting the sustainability of the APRM as a catalyst to the realisation of the AU Agenda 2063.

Using a mechanism-based approach, this thesis aims at bridging the knowledge gap by empirically drawing on qualitative data of 35 stakeholders’ perceptions on how evaluation inputs, activities, and outputs affect the use of APRM data in Uganda’s public policy.

It takes a case analysis of Uganda’s first and second-generation peer reviews as well as the refugee policy framework between 2005 and 2018.

The findings reveal that, well as the APRM’s first National Plan of Action (NPoA) was among the 23 core studies that directly informed the formulation of Uganda’s initial National Development Plan (NDP I), its influence is declining to showcase best practices, with increasing, symbolic use but also misuse of APRM recommendations.

 This is attributed to inadequate financial and technical capacity inputs, lack of a well-domesticated legal framework supporting APRM structures and activities, stakeholders without a well-established culture of evaluations, and a political context that allows selective use of evaluations in national policies.

In the proposed framework, the study recommends inclusive participation in evaluation input, activities aligned with government plans; institutionalizing government-wide reporting on NPoA implementation and establishing a well-domesticated legal framework.

Compiled by: Irene Best Nyapendi

Edited by: Jimmy Siyasa

UCU

Food waste supply and behavior towards its alternative uses in Kampala City, Uganda

By Irene Best Nyapendi

Solid waste management is a major challenge in sub-Saharan Africa. The rapid population growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Uganda, has led to an increase in food waste.

Food waste poses environmental and health burdens, but it also has alternative uses such as animal feed, compost, and energy generation.

 A study by Dr. Geoffrey Ssepuuya, a senior lecturer at Uganda Christian University (UCU), Elsie Nsiyona, Moses Kakungulu, Jane Frances Alowo, and Paul Nampala aimed to quantify the types and amounts of food waste and assess the attitudes and practices of food waste generators towards its disposal and potential use.

The study was conducted in Kampala city, with a sample size of 330 respondents, including households, institutions (hotels, restaurants, and schools), and markets.

The majority of respondents were youth and adults, with a minimum literacy level, and were married. Women in households and business owners in markets were identified as key gatekeepers of waste generation and management.

The study found established that there is a daily production of 768 metric tons of food waste in Kampala, with an estimated 312-380 kt of food waste generated annually. The majority of respondents disposed of food waste through dumping, with only a few considering alternative uses.

In a week, about 96, 72, and 93% of all the respondents in households, institutions and produce markets respectively experienced food waste at least one to three times.  

Over 90% of the respondents recognized food waste as a problem, and as a resource especially for use in livestock feed production, and were willing to consume house crickets raised on feed from food waste.

The study also found that literacy and education level, marital status, and income level influenced respondents’ attitudes and practices towards food waste management.

As a result of the research, the team led by Ssepuuya have launched a project aimed at converting food waste to a safe and shelf-stable cricket feed. 

Sustainable Development Goals publication

UCU Professor Omona and 3 Scholars from Kenya and Zimbabwe Co-author Remarkable Publication in Sustainable Development Goals Series

The Rev. Assoc. Prof. David Andrew Omona, a scholar at Uganda Christian University (UCU) and three other academics have co-edited a book that was recently published under Springer Nature’s inaugural Sustainable Development Goals Series.

The book titled Religion, Climate Change and Food Security in Africa examines how and the extent to which religion in Africa serves a resource in responding to the Sustainable Development Goals 13 (action on climate change) and 2 (achieve zero hunger, food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture).

The other editors of the book include Loreen Maseno ( Senior Lecturer, Department of Religion, Theology and Philosophy at Maseno University, Kenya), Ezra Chitando ( University of Zimbabwe) and Sophia Chirongoma ( Midland State University, Zimbabwe).

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Abstract

There is a growing realization that the earth is clearly warming at a worrying pace. Goal 13 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicates that climate change is an existential crisis, while Goal 2 seeks to achieve Zero Hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. Climate change has far-reaching effects for agriculture and other livelihood activities which ensure the availability, suitability, distribution, and accessibility of food.

In the midst of the war in Ukraine and its ripple effect on food prices, it is therefore urgent to interrogate how and to what extent religion in Africa serves as a resource (or confounding factor) in responding to Sustainable Development Goals 13 (action on climate change) and 2 (achieve Zero Hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture).

The themes in this book are approached from diverse disciplinary and methodological angles to cover four main aspects: first, to probe the potential role of religion in Africa in accelerating the achievement of these two SDGs. Second, to problematize the influence of religion and the challenges it poses toward responding to the climate emergency and the elimination of hunger in Africa.

Third, to approach the religions of Africa in their plurality, guaging their strategic significance in light of the two emergencies. Fourth, to probe religious teachings, practices, personalities, and institutions in Africa in the wake of SDGs 13 and 2 as they wrestle with the interplay among religion, climate change, and the dimensions of food security in Africa.

About the Sustainable Development Goals Series

The Sustainable Development Goal Series is Springer Nature’s inaugu­ral cross-imprint book series that addresses and supports the United Nations’ seventeen Sustainable Development Goals.

The series fosters comprehensive research focused on these global targets and endeavours to address some of society’s greatest grand challenges. The SDGs are inher­ently multidisciplinary, and they bring people working across different fields together and working towards a common goal.

In this spirit, the Sustainable Development Goals series is the first at Springer Nature to publish books under both the Springer and Palgrave Macmillan imprints, bringing the strengths of our imprints together.

The Sustainable Development Goals Series is organized into eighteen subseries: one subseries based around each of the seventeen respective Sustainable Development Goals, and an eighteenth subseries, “Connecting the Goals”, which serves as a home for volumes addressing multiple goals or studying the SDGs as a whole. Each subseries is guided by an expert Subseries Advisor with years or decades of experience studying and addressing core components of their respective Goal.

About Prof. Omona

The Rev. Assoc. Prof. David Andrew Omona is Dean of the UCU School of Social Sciences and an Associate Professor of Ethics and International Relations at Uganda Christian Christian University. His research interests are in Ethics and International Relations. Currently he is engaged in researching on climate change, as an ethical issue that has affected humanity globally. He has done substantial work on peace and security at international level. He therefore, looks forward to get people of like minds for collaborative research experience in his area of expertise.(More About Assoc. Prof. Omona)

UCU

UCU researchers seek to multiply bamboo production for more benefits

By Pauline Luba
Micropropagation refers to the growing of plants in closed vessels that contain culture media with nutrients and growth regulators. Since the plants are grown in glass, they are described as in vitro, as opposed to in vivo plants that are grown in soil.  

Knowing the multiple benefits and uses of the bamboo plant, Winnie Namutosi, a Uganda Christian University (UCU) alum and lecturer, and her co-researchers are currently in the laboratory in a bid to micropropagate this member of the grass family, using a growth medium that has nutrients and hormones.

To produce the micro propagated plants, clear protocols are needed. These protocols are not yet known, and that is what Namutosi and her colleague researchers— Prof. William Kisaalita, Joel Karama and Joseph Galiwango  — are attempting to develop. Namutosi also has worked with UCU academics and researchers Bulyaba Rosemary, Nakanwangi Mildred Julian, Buteme Ruth, Sseremba Godfrey and Kizito Elizabeth Balyejusa to decipher the reproductive barriers that hinder improvement of African eggplants. The study findings were published in Euphytica under the title “Compatibility Barriers affecting Crossability of Solanum aethiopicum and its relatives” 

15APRIL2024Winnie2
Specimens of bamboo multiplication in the laboratory

It is no surprise that Namutosi is part of the group that is developing the bamboo tissue culture protocols. She comes from Sironko district in eastern Uganda, where smoked bamboo shoots are one of the staple foods. Locally known as malewa, the staple was originally served as a complete meal, but was later transformed into sauce, prepared with simsim paste or peanut butter. 

Bamboo shoots, which are eaten like vegetables, are a source of protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins E and C. It also can be burned for fuel, taking pressure off dwindling forest reserves of eucalyptus and other natural resources. 

But Namutosi is looking beyond just the malewa that bamboo provides. For her master’s research, she focused on the study of improving crops (African eggplants). It was then that she realized how charcoal is a major source of fuel in many households in Uganda. However, it is that great need for charcoal that has conspired with other factors to lead to deforestation in the country.

Namutosi believes that the bamboo plant can help to reduce carbon emissions to the atmosphere, hence mitigating the effects of climatic change.
Namutosi believes that the bamboo plant can help to reduce carbon emissions to the atmosphere, hence mitigating the effects of climatic change.

“When you look at the environment, it needs to be conserved,” said Namutosi, who has experience in plant breeding and agricultural research.

The wood asset in Uganda reduced by 45 per cent between 1990 and 2015, from 355.5 million to 197.1 million tons. According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, after an initial 4 per cent increase in wood biomass between 1990 and 2000, the national stock suffered a significant reduction of 42.5 percent between 2000 and 2005. Despite a modest 3 percent recovery between 2005 and 2010, the aggregate stock fell by another 9 percent between 2010 and 2015.

Uganda’s total forest land area was 4.93 million hectares (12.2 million acres) in 1990, which decreased by 60 percent to 1.95 million hectares (4.8 million acres) by 2015, according to the Ugandan government statistics. However, by 2023, the forest cover had shown a reversal in the trajectory, improving by four percentage points. 

Namutosi and colleagues are now exploring possibilities of large-scale production of bamboo so it can serve the high demand for wood from charcoal burners. Bamboo is a fast-growing plant and easily adapts to many weather conditions. A hectare (2.47 acres) of a bamboo plantation is said to absorb more than 60 tons of carbon dioxide per annum, which is 30 percent more than the case with other plants. Bamboo is said to release more oxygen to the atmosphere than other plants. As such, Namutosi believes that the plant will help to reduce carbon emissions to the atmosphere, hence mitigating the effects of climatic change.

The second born of eight siblings, Namutosi is a daughter of farmer parents — Patrick and Olivia Nabitu. She attended Mahempe Primary School in Sironko district and Bugisu High School in Mbale for both O’level and A’level. In 2015, she joined UCU, where she obtained a Bachelor of Agricultural Science and Entrepreneurship. After doing research on animals for her undergraduate, Namutosi opted to focus on crop improvement for her master’s research, graduating with a Master of Science in Agriculture. She is currently an assistant lecturer and a researcher at UCU. 

UCU

Role Conflict and Burnout among Administrators in Higher Institutions of Education in Uganda.

In the world of higher education, attention often gravitates towards lecturers and professors, the individuals responsible for teaching and research. However, another crucial cohort operates behind the scenes: administrators. These individuals, including deans, directors, and academic registrars, are instrumental in the seamless operation of universities. Yet, the challenges they encounter, particularly in Uganda, are frequently overlooked.

A recent study by Faith Mbabazi, Wilson Eduan, and Mary Kagoire Ocheng from Uganda Christian University (UCU) delved into a significant challenge confronting administrators: role conflict and burnout. Published in the East African Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, this research investigates how these issues impact administrators in Ugandan universities.

Role conflict occurs when an individual’s job responsibilities clash, leading to stress. Conversely, burnout manifests as emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and decreased effectiveness at work due to prolonged stress. Understanding the interplay between these phenomena is crucial for ensuring the well-being of administrators and the smooth operation of universities.

The study employed surveys to inquire about the experiences of administrators from various Ugandan universities. It aimed to ascertain whether role conflict exacerbates burnout among these administrators.

The findings yielded unexpected insights. Initially, the study did not identify a direct correlation between role conflict and burnout. However, upon closer examination, a noteworthy factor emerged: age. Older administrators were more susceptible to experiencing emotional exhaustion due to role conflict.

This shows the importance of recognizing individual differences, particularly in age, in understanding how role conflict impacts burnout among administrators. This understanding holds significant implications for universities. It proves the need for university leaders to be attuned to the well-being of their staff, especially older administrators who may be more vulnerable to burnout resulting from role conflict.

Overall, this study sheds light on a critical aspect of university life in Uganda. By comprehending the relationship between role conflict and burnout, universities can foster healthier work environments for their administrators, ensuring the sustained effectiveness of their operations while prioritizing the well-being of their staff.

Compiled by: Irene Best Nyapendi

Edited by: Jimmy Siyasa, Head of Communications and Public Relations Department at UCU

Team-UCU-celebrating-victory

Uganda-UCU to host the 6th All Africa Horticultural Congress in 2028

MARRAKECH, MOROCCO: At the 5th All Africa Horticultural Congress (AAHC) held in Marrakech, Morocco, from February 28 to March 1, 2024, Uganda has been voted to host the 6th All Africa Horticultural Congress in 2028. Uganda Christian University (UCU) will serve as a lead convener, representing Uganda on the global stage. The UCU team to Morocco was led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi.

Prof. Mushengyezi said, “This is a big win for Uganda, which has become one of the top destinations for international visitors including investors and tourists. Hosting AAHC 2028 also indicates growing confidence in UCU as a reputable university in Uganda and the region. We pledge to continue diligently serving humanity as a Centre of Excellence in the heart of Africa”.

UCU Vice Chancellor
Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi, Vice Chancellor UCU speaking at the 2024 AAH Congress in Marrakech, Morocco.

The AAHC attracts over 500 delegates, scientists, researchers, companies and private sector investors in the agricultural value chain from Africa and all over the world. The theme for this year is Unlocking the potential of a resilient Horticulture in Africa.

UCU will be the key convener, and is working in conjunction with Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries; Makerere University Regional Centre for Crop Improvement (MaRCCI), represented by the Director, Dr. Richard Edema; and National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO).

Another Win for UCU
Kizito UCU
UCU Director of Research, Partnerships and Innovation, Prof. Balyejusa Elizabeth Kizito, Director making a presentation to the AAHC audience, during a panel discussion. Courtesy photo

At the AAHC 2024 congress in Morocco, Prof. Elizabeth Balyejusa Kizito of UCU was elected as the new President of the All Africa Horticultural Congress, taking over from Prof. Abdelhaq Hanafi of Mohamed VI Polytechnic University in Morocco.

The election of Uganda was announced by the President of the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), Prof. Francois Laurens from France.

Uganda is a top destination for large international events because of its stability, hospitable people, beautiful weather, a great variety of foods, and numerous tourism attractions. In January and February 2024, Uganda hosted large international events, including the 19th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the G77+China Summit, and the Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth held at the Speke Resort Convention Centre in Munyonyo, Kampala. Over 124 countries and 1,700 delegates attended.

Team-UCU-celebrating-victory
Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi, Vice Chancellor UCU (centre in a grey suit) flanked by part of the UCU delegation to Morocco and Dr. Richard Edema, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Agricultural Production Makerere University and Centre Director, Makerere University Regional Centre for Crop Improvement (MaRCCI) – second from the left-hand side.

Uganda also hosted the International Conference on Food Safety Management Systems and Quality in Food Science (ICFSMSQFS) in February 2024, and the Renewable Energy Conference and EXPO (REC23 & EXPO) in November 2023.

Previous AAH congresses were held in Kenya in 2009, South Africa in 2012, Nigeria in 2016, Senegal in 2020, and now Morocco in 2024.

UCU Delegation in Morroco

UCU bids to Host All Africa Horticultural Congress 2028

By Jimmy Siyasa

For the 5th edition of the All Africa Horticultural Congress, a delegation from Uganda Christian University (UCU), led by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi, has convened in Marrakech, Morocco. Notably, they are not only participating in the event but also actively bidding for UCU to host the next Congress in Uganda in 2028.
This prestigious conference typically draws over 500 delegates, scientists, and researchers from various corners of the globe. UCU is collaboratively working on this with key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries, the Makerere University Regional Centre for Crop Improvement, and the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO).

ucu in morroco

Delegates gathered during one of the sessions. Courtesy picture.
The UCU delegation comprises, notably, the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, Mr. David Mugawe, and Director of Research, Partnerships, and Innovation, Assoc. Prof. Elizabeth B. Kizito, among others, who are actively involved in advancing the university’s initiatives.

The conference themed “Unlocking the potential of a resilient Horticulture in Africa” started on February 26, 2024, at the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Benguerir. It will end on March 1, 2024.

Kizito UCU
UCU Director of Research, Partnerships and Innovation, Prof. Elizabeth. B. Kizito, addresses the AAHC audience, during a panel discussion. Courtesy photo.

About All-Africa Horticultural Congress (AAHC)

Screen at All African Event

The All-Africa Horticultural Congress (AAHC) is the most important scientific event organized every four years in the fields of Horticulture in Africa under the auspices of ISHS. Morocco was assigned the organization of the fifth edition of this Congress, and this will be the first time such event will be held in North Africa.

The previous four AAHC took place in Kenya in 2009, South Africa in 2012, Nigeria in 2016 and Senegal in 2020, corresponding to East Africa, South Africa, Central Africa and Western Africa, respectively.

The International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) is the largest global horticulture network comprising over 6,000 members. Its aim is to promote and foster research and education in horticultural science, support industry and to facilitate cooperation and knowledge transfer on a global scale through events and publications.

The development of Horticulture in Africa is one of the main tools that can help ensure food security by increasing agricultural productivity and improve the competitiveness of its products. It can also strengthen its contribution to the overall wellbeing of the population, improve dietary and nutritional behavior, create wealth, alleviate hunger, and reduce dependency on food imports.  

The African population is essentially rural and contributes significantly to agricultural production which in turn contributes to nutrition, food security and socio-economic development of these populations.

In Morocco, Agriculture contributes, on average, 13% to Morocco’s GDP and employs about 40% of the nation’s workforce. The country has several agroclimatic regions including Mediterranean in the North, semi-arid in the Middle and arid-to-desert in the South with somewhat mild/cold in the higher altitudes and, thus, produces a great diversity of agricultural products including horticultural crops such as fruits, vegetables, medicinal and aromatic species, flowers, and ornamental plants.

Production is mostly in open field but crops such as tomatoes, pepper, berries, banana, and flowers are also produced under plastic-covered greenhouses. Most of the production is for the domestic market but a significant percentage, particularly fruits, vegetables and flowers go to export markets including Africa, Europe, and North America. Operators of the sector are all private.  Many small-scale growers are organized in cooperatives and associations to ease their production, marketing and export.

In recent years, the horticultural sector in Africa has been facing several constraints and worldwide challenges including climate change with global warming, outbreaks of new pests and diseases, pandemics such as Covid-19, low precipitations and water shortage for irrigation, heat stress and scarcity of investment and funding of new development projects.

“Unlocking the potential of a resilient Horticulture in Africa” is the theme of the fifth AAHC, with the objective to discuss and promote the huge potential of African Horticulture. The event will provide a platform for professionals of horticulture, researchers, young scientists, and entrepreneurs, where they can share their research results, experiences and latest innovations. It will be an occasion to consolidate and expand a network of technical cooperation between professionals of horticulture throughout Africa and the rest of the world. Young and more experienced scientists will have ample opportunities to interact and explore scientific and technical exchanges and partnerships for research and development initiatives. In addition, the Congress will raise and discuss aspects related to the impact of climate change, invasive diseases and pests and other biotic and abiotic stresses on current and future horticulture.

Furthermore, socio-economic, and financial aspects related to food security, market issues, best use and management of natural resources in the fields of horticulture will be tackled.  Issues such as contribution of horticulture to wealth creation, alleviating poverty, empowering youth, and women will also be discussed.

The organizing committee is deploying all means possible to make the Marrakech edition of the AAHC Congress (AAHC2024) a successful and an exceptional one. The meeting will focus on hosting an outstanding scientific and technical event, reinforcing the links between research and development, education, industry, public and private and non-government organizations and enhancing the links between African countries as well as between Africa and the rest of the World.

Head Teachers' Publication UCU education

Education: UCU Researchers Reveal Head Teacher’s Critical Role in Inclusive Education

By Jimmy Siyasa

Overview of Research

In a joint research publication by Dr. Mary Kagoire Ochieng and Dr. Faith Mbabazi Musinguzi, alongside three scholars from Busitema University and Health Tutors College Mulago, a significant correlation between the head teacher’s support role and the achievement of quality inclusive education in selected secondary schools was discovered.

The study, titled “Head Teacher’s Support Role on the Quality of Inclusive Education in Secondary Schools in Iganga District,” established that secondary school administrations implementing certain best practices are more likely to realize inclusive education quality. These practices include;

  • Continuous professional development workshops
  • Staff welfare initiatives
  • Support supervision
  • Provision of teaching aids, among other constant factors.

These research findings in the U.K-based Advances in Social Sciences and Management, a monthly online publication by the Open-Source Journals under the Public Knowledge Project, shed light on the importance of effective leadership in fostering inclusive education environments.

Publication Abstract

The study investigated the Head Teacher’s support Role in the Quality of Inclusive Education in Secondary Schools in the Iganga District. It examined the head teacher’s mandates in the realization of quality inclusive education in selected secondary schools.

Explicitly, the study determined the influence of the head teacher’s support role on the quality of inclusive education in secondary schools. This study adopted a cross-sectional survey design, drawing on quantitative and qualitative research approaches with a sample size of 83 respondents. Interview guides and questionnaires were used for data collection. SPSS software version 23 was used with a focus on descriptive statistics. The verbatim method was used for qualitative data.

The study revealed that there was a moderate positive or constructive significant correlation between the head teacher’s support role and achievement of quality inclusive education in selected secondary Schools. The study established that putting in place continuous professional development workshops, welfare, giving support supervision and provision of teaching aids, while other factors or issues remain constant, is most likely to better the process of inclusive education quality in secondary school.

Conclusively the study revealed that the Head teacher’s planning, support and motivation cannot work in isolation in the attainment of quality inclusive education. Monetary and non-monetary ways greatly influence the quality of inclusive education. Also, the study recommends head teachers make relevant plans and increase support and motivation to uplift secondary schools’ quality of inclusive education.

For more information and to access the full study, click here.

About the authors

Lastone Balyaino, researcher at Busitema University; Dr. Charles Muweesi, a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Sciences and Education, Busitema University; Dr. Kagoire serves as the Dean of the UCU School of Education, Isabirye Christopher from Health Tutors College; and Dr. Faith Mbabazi, Head of the Education department at UCU.

UCU

UCU Empowers Researchers with Grants and Periodic Trainings

By Irene Best Nyapendi
In a strategic move to strengthen its research capabilities, Uganda Christian University (UCU) is taking its support for researchers to the next level with comprehensive grants, grant writing, and training sessions.
This initiative, under the direction of Dr. Angella Napakol, Head of Department Grants and Partnerships, demonstrates UCU’s dedication to fostering innovation and community impact beyond its focus on teaching.

Recognising the need to address low research engagement among its staff, UCU initiated research to uncover the underlying challenges. Feedback revealed critical gaps in funding availability, institutional support, and capacity-building opportunities.
In response, UCU instituted the Directorate of Research, Partnerships, and Innovation (DRPI), along with allocating funds to facilitate UCU researchers annually.

Now in its third round, the research funding initiative has been coupled with training sessions to equip staff with skills in grant writing and intellectual property management. The training has been carried out at UCU’s Arua campus, Mbale University College, and most recently at UCU Bishop Barham University College (BBUC).

“We realised that funding alone wasn’t sufficient to drive impactful research,” Napakol said. “Capacity building is equally essential.”

UCU Research Funding Opportunities

The initiative targets staff members at various career stages, offering tailored support ranging from associate professors to Ph.D. and master’s degree holders. Associate professors and professors have the potential to secure a funding allocation of up to 150 million shillings. Likewise, PhD holders stand to gain up to 50 million shillings, and Masters holders can access funding of up to 15 million shillings, based on the reviewer’s assessment.
The deadline for applications to the UCU Research Funds is fast approaching this Thursday, February 29, 2024. The funding, for instance, serves as a training ground for Master’s students through engagement in grant writing and management.
Napakol explained the crucial need for funding to support Master’s holders in grant management, research methodologies, and publication strategies.
“We realised that our staff needs financial support,” Napakol said. “The ultimate objective is to empower them to confidently pursue external grants.”
During the training at BBUC, Napakol led engaging discussions on grant writing, emphasising the importance of visibility, publications, and professional networking.

ANGELLA PRESENTING
Dr. Angella Napakol guiding participants through grant writing at BBUC.

Participants were guided through the application process for grants, strategies for identifying funding opportunities, with a keen focus on enhancing their research profiles.

By encouraging staff participation in research and facilitating publication opportunities, UCU aims to elevate individual profiles while strengthening the university’s research portfolio.
Napakol further noted that the more staff write and publish, the better their profile becomes. This way, when they apply for an external grant, their profile looks attractive and credible, and they stand a higher chance of winning.

“As each individual in the university grows, so does the university because our profiles make up
the university profile,” Napakol said.
The three-day training attracted over 60 lecturers from BBUC. Moving forward, UCU remains dedicated to nurturing a research ecosystem that empowers its staff to make meaningful contributions to knowledge creation and societal advancement.
For more information, visit: https://grants.ucu.ac.ug/

Mutyaba on Cage fish farming

Cage Fish Farming in Uganda: UCU Agricultural Scientist releases insightful discoveries

By Jimmy Siyasa

After an extensive research study within fishing communities in Uganda, Livingstone Mutyaba, Head of the Department of Natural Resource Economics & Agribusiness, at Uganda Christian University alongside Prof. Margaret W. Ngigi and Dr. Oscar Ingasia Ayuya ( both scholars from Egerton University, Nairobi) have published the results of the rigorous investigation among small holder cage fish farmers.

The findings of the study titled Determinants of knowledge, attitude and perception towards cage fish farming technologies among smallholder farmers in Uganda have been published in Issue 1, Volume 10 of the Cogent Food and Agriculture Journal, by Taylor and Francis

Screenshot 393 e1708698870302

Abstract

Cage fish farming is essential to increasing fish output, alleviating the declining capture fishery resources, and advancing aquaculture development in Uganda. There are limited studies assessing farmers’ knowledge, attitude, and perceptions towards cage fish farming technology.

This study assessed the knowledge, attitude, and perceptions (KAP) of fishery-dependent communities around Lake Victoria towards cage fish farming technology. Using a simple random sample approach, 384 respondents from fourteen districts provided information on demographic traits, knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions towards cage fish farming.

The analysis utilized descriptive statistics and a multinomial logit model. Results revealed that cage fish farmers’ knowledge, attitude, and perceptions were significantly associated with age, level of education, extension visits, social capital, experience, and television access. In conclusion, this study recommends that extension visits be enhanced to develop farmers’ knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions towards cage fish farming. The study’s implications underscore the importance of developing and implementing farmer-centered policies in the aquaculture sector.

Gender of Respondents in the Cage fish farming research
Pie chart illustration of gender of respondents in the cage fish farming-oriented study.

Public Interest Statement

This study focuses on the aquaculture sector in Uganda, specifically the emerging cage fish farming sub-sector and its contribution to national development under the blue economy.

The study findings presented are from the 384 smallholder cage fish farmers interviewed during a survey conducted between July 2021 and February 2022. The aim was to understand their knowledge, attitudes and perceptions towards cage fish farming technologies. The study found out that Age, years in practicing cage fish farming, extension services, social capital, access to market information, number of stocked cage units owned by an individual and type of cage technology used had an effect on the fish farmers’ knowledge, attitude and perceptions.

The study highlights the need for an increase in extension services, education and training on marketing information related to fish produce, and appropriate policy frameworks that favour smallholder fish farmers for inclusiveness and sustainable development of the fisheries industry in general.

Related article may be found here

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