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The Research Methodology workshop took place on the 8th Nov 2017 at the College of Computing and IS and hosted by the School of Computing and Informatics Technology (SCIT).
The objective of the workshop was to provide an opportunity for Ph.D. research students to interact with the keynote speaker Prof. Henk G. Sol, provide an insight into research strategies, and an opportunity to present their research papers. In attendance for the workshop were Prof. Tonny Oyana (Principal, CoCIS), Assoc. Prof. G. Maiga (Dean, SCIT), Dr. Paul Ssemaluulu and Ph.D. research students.

In officially declaring the workshop open the Principal emphasized on the fact that the objective of pursuing a Ph.D. degree was to add the vast body of knowledge and not specifically to get rich. He encouraged the participants to not focusing on only teaching but endeavor to focus on research and writing as many papers as possible. Assoc. Prof. the moderator for the workshop then called upon Prof. Henk Sol to deliver his presentation on Navigating in the Sea of Information: Ennovations for Delivering Shared Value. His presentation focused on enhancing decisions that matter as a major challenge in our ambient society, where we have to navigate in the sea of information to deliver shared value. Agile, analytic, big, intelligent, smart, sustainable data describe the potential for decision enhancement.

Prof. Henk G. Sol presenting

He also spoke about delivering shared value calls for: conversations to collectively identify locally relevant problems, governance to make political and administrative decisions about tackling such problems and engaged innovations to develop localized solutions. Prof. Henk G. Sol additionally mentioned the COLLAGEN (Collective Learning and Agile Governance Environment) approach that provides a set of services for scoping, facilitation and enhancement of decision-making processes, packed into decision apps and providing guidelines for conversational inquiry. The approach he mentioned supports smart governance for policy development and engaged implementation, and delivers shared value to resolve issues that matter in society.

Professor Henk G. Sol challenged the academia to undertake research and create solutions in areas of agricultural information services, disaster preparedness, health as well as governance. He recommended that Uganda needs to focus on sustainable initiatives which also require incentives for both public and private sectors.

Hasifa Namatovu presenting her research concept

During the workshop several Ph.D research students also presented their concept and research papers namely;

  •          Enhancing Maternity and Postnatal Care Decisions Among Pregnant Women by Hasifah Kasujja
  •          Spatial-temporal and System Dynamics Model for Disease Surveillance: A Case of Nodding Syndrome by Ongaya Kizito

During the presentations and Q/A sessions participants provided positive criticism that was well received and in closing, Prof. Henk G. Sol thanked and appreciated all that transpired and was looking forward to more similar workshops in the future.

The DI research group hosted a talk/seminar session on Thursday 2nd November (11:00 - 12:30pm). The speaker was Dr Julius Otim – the current Manager of Medical Health Services at Kampala City Central Authority (KCCA). He is a medical doctor by profession and a public health specialist and oversees all health facilities under KCCA ensuring;
·         Quality Assurance
·         Implementing Service Delivery programs and
·         Health Research plans
He has previously worked with Marie Stopes Uganda as a Quality Assurance Manager, Malaria Consortium as a Technical Team Leader and as a District Health Officer for Kumi District (Local Government). He is also a life member of the Uganda Red Cross Society, a Board Member of Makerere University Hospital and a member of the National Task Force on Non-Communicable diseases.
During his presentation Dr. Otim highlighted a number of health challenges that ICTs can contribute towards and identified possible areas of collaboration with KCCA. In attendance were Masters and Ph.D researchers from the College who interacted with him and provided feedback. Some of the feedback included;
·         Guidelines and procedures to follow in creating a partnership (MOU) between the College and KCCA.
·         How to source for funding on the discussed research projects through current partners of KCCA i.e. Infectious Disease Institute (IDI), Intra Health – Uganda Capacity Program, Joint Clinical Research Centre (JCRC) etc.
·         Setup a technical group between KCCA and SCIT that can assist in streamlining the use of ICT to address the objectives, challenges of KCCA as well as enhance their public health services.
The seminar concluded with closing remarks from Dr. Rehema Baguma, who on behalf of all participants appreciated the eye opener into the challenges faced by KCCA but also not noted the potential ICT has to offer to address the issues. She also thanked Dr. Otim for taking the time out to honor the invite and looked forward to a strong positive future collaboration between the College and KCCA.

  

The team led by Dr. Ssekakubo (Africa Development Bank), Prof. P. Muyinda (Principal, College of Education and External Studies) Dr. John Okuonzi (Kyambogo University), and Sybyl former Computer Point (Project contractors) met with College Representatives Assoc. Prof. Gilbert Maiga and Dr. Florence Kivunike (Head of ICT Support Services) to appraise the donation of 200 thin client computers, 6 servers and 4 switches to setup a new computer laboratory at the College.
The Support to Higher Education, Science and Technology (HEST) Project aims to contribute to building Uganda’s human capital skills development capacity—particularly in education, science and technology—to respond to labor market demands and spur productivity nationally. Its objective is to improve equitable access, quality and relevance of skills training and research leading to job creation and self-employment. It involves the active participation of six public universities and two degree awarding tertiary institutions in skills training, at the various levels of higher learning. The strategic outcomes of the project are access to HEST and information and communication technology (ICT) for delivery of HEST and improved quality and relevance of HEST in target public universities and degree-awarding tertiary institutions, leading to stronger links to the productive sector. The project is aligned to the country’s National Development Plan 2010/2011–2014/2015 that aims at making Uganda an industrialized economy in 2025 through the provision of higher level skills.
The team concluded the visit by getting the opportunity to tour some of the latest research project going on at the College specifically in the Artificial intelligence Lab.

The Makerere University-SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) Annual Review Meeting (ARM) under the theme "Multidisciplinary Research for Social Transformation” visited the College of Computing and IS to review the following projects;
  • Training for Sustainable Spatially Enabled e-Services Delivery in Uganda (TSSEED). This project supports students to train along the themes of: spatial predictive modeling for prevalence of infectious diseases, epidemiology intervention without location, a public participatory GIS for planning e- services for solid waste management, Spatial-temporal modeling of nodding syndrome and spatial temporal Modeling of Mobile Microscopic Diseases. (Principal Investigator: Assoc. Prof. Gilbert Maiga).
  • Empowerment for Strengthen Research Capacity in Library and Information Science education to support Knowledge and Information Production and Sharing for Sustainable Socio-economic Transformation and Development in Uganda. (Principal Investigator; Dr. William Kiyingi).
  • Building Research Capacity in Innovative Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) for Sustainable Socio-economic Growth in Uganda. (Principal Investigator; Assoc. Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha).
The meeting was scheduled with the aim of discussing the current status/progress of the above-mentioned projects. This was achieved through getting feedback from the relevant stakeholders (i.e. Principal Investigator’s, Ph.D. student etc.) regarding challenges, successes, and any other issues faced over the past year.
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