In 2019, Makerere University, with support from the Government of Uganda, introduced a special Fund to support high impact Research and Innovations that inform National Development Priorities. The objective of the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) is to increase the local generation of translatable research and scalable innovations that address key gaps required to drive Uganda’s development agenda. Other objectives include supporting the dissemination of high quality research and innovations in a way that impacts on development policies and programmes, and supporting the growth of research leadership capacity in the university. The Research and Innovations Fund is open to researchers from all Colleges of Makerere University which have research that aligns with National Priorities. The Government has so far extended UGX60 billion towards the Fund.
Since FY 2019/20, the fund has supported 587 multidisciplinary research and innovation projects across the 10 colleges of Makerere University. Of these, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) has obtained 61 projects across the two financial years.
In line with Objective Two of the Fund – “Supporting dissemination of high quality research and innovations in a way that impacts on development policies and programmes”, Mak-RIF in collaboration with CHUSS held an Open Day on 29th April 2021 to showcase some of the outputs of the different research and innovation projects at the College. The event held in the Arts Quadrangle at CHUSS was presided over by the First Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs, Dr. Umar Kakumba. It was graced by among others, the Chairperson of Mak-RIF, Prof. William Bazeyo; representatives from the Mak-RIF Secretariat led by Ms. Phoebe Kamya Lutaaya; the Principal of CHUSS, Dr Josephine Ahikire; the Ag. Deputy Principal, Dr Julius Kikooma; the Dean School of Psychology, Dr Grace Kibanja; the Dean School of Languages, Literature and Communication, Dr Saudah Namyalo; and the Dean School of Liberal and Performing Arts, Dr Patrick Mangeni.
Projects showcased at the event included; “Whole University Approach: Kicking Sexual Harassment out of Higher Education Institutions in Uganda” led by Prof. Grace Bantebya – Kyomuhendo, “Men and Gender-Based Violence: Changing Masculinities for Effective COVID 19 Social Response in Uganda” led by Dr. Josephine Ahikire, “Adherence, lived experiences and resilient transformation among slum dwellers (ALERTs) in COVID-19: A study of Ki-Mombasa and Kabalagala Kataba slums in Kampala” by Dr. Gloria Kimuli Seruwagi, “Drug and Substance Abuse (DASA) in Primary and Secondary Schools in Uganda: Baseline Survey Implications for National Sensitisation, Curriculum Development and Capacity Building among Teachers” led by Dr. Leonsio Matagi and “Children’s Tales: the reality of Covid-19 related trauma on school children in rural Busoga, Uganda” by Mr. Richard Balikoowa. Other projects showcased at the Open Day are; “Transforming Ugandan Folktales in Digital (Animation) Films for Educational and Leisure Purposes” led by Prof. Dominica Dipio, “Many peoples, many cultures, many heritages: Going Beyond nature-based tourism in Uganda” by Dr. William Wagaba, “Mainstreaming Kiswahili in Uganda’s National Agenda for Regional Integration and Sustainable Development” by Dr. Caroline Asiimwe, “Corpus Development of the “SO” Language”, led by Dr. Celestino Oriikiriza, “Communicating COVID-19-related messages in multilingual contexts” by Dr. Allen Asiimwe, “National Symbols and Values: Implications for Patriotism and National Development” by Dr. Paddy Musana, “Building peaceful communities in Kampala City amidst COVID-19 and beyond” led by Dr. Samson Barigye, “Use of episodic dramatics in promoting uptake of behavioural measures for prevention of COVID-19” led by Dr. Michael Muhumuza, and “Leveraging Civic Technology To Address COVID-19 in Uganda” by Dr. Firminus Mugumya Kabuzaranwa.