Government of the Republic of Uganda stakeholder engagement to review the Mak- RIF Research Agenda

 Government of the Republic of Uganda stakeholder engagement to review the Mak- RIF Research Agenda

On Tuesday August 29th, 2023, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Vice Chancellor Makerere University working with Prof. Fred Masagazi Massaazi, Chairperson Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF), the Mak-RIF Grants Management Committee and Secretariat convened an engagement with representatives from Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to review the Mak-RIF Research Agenda.

This engagement took place in the Makerere University Council Room. It brought together representatives from Uganda’s Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Water and Environment, Appropriate Technology Center, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Finance, Uganda Registration Services Bureau, National Planning Authority, Uganda Media Center, National Agricultural Research Organization, Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Public Service, Ministry of Tourism, Uganda National Council of Science and Technology, Ministry of Education and Sports, Uganda Revenue Authority, Uganda Communications Commission, National identification and Registration Authority, Uganda Wild Life Authority and Kampala Capital City Authority among others.

For the last 4 Financial Years, Makerere University is utilizing funding from the Government of the Republic of Uganda to support high-impact Research and Innovations to drive Uganda’s Development Agenda. This initiative is being implemented under the Makerere University – Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF). To-date, Mak-RIF is supporting 1,060 multidisciplinary research and innovation projects across all the Colleges at Makerere University. To guide identification of research and innovation projects to fund, support and implement, the Mak-RIF team under the leadership and guidance of the Vice Chancellor widely consulted government, private sector and civil society organizations including agencies to feed into formulation of a Research Agenda. This agenda mainly focused on the need for Uganda to transition from the middle-income status which increasingly requires that countries invest in research and innovations that provide solutions to persistent development challenges. To develop this Research Agenda, the Mak-RIF Grants Management Committee (GMC) conducted a comprehensive review of documents in addition to the multidisciplinary stakeholder consultations. The documents reviewed included the National Development Plan III, the Makerere University Strategic Plan, the existing Makerere University Research Agenda and the project summaries from the Research and Innovations Fund Round 1 Grant Awards that were issued in the Financial Year 2019-2020.  The Stakeholder consultations included two workshops: One with representatives from key government Ministries/sectors and semi-autonomous government agencies and the other with the private-for-profit sector and civil society. The GMC triangulated this information with that from the literature review. The information was then synthesized to develop the thematic areas that were included in the Research Agenda. This Research Agenda is still informing work at Mak-RIF; however, it was due for review in an effort to keep in line with the country’s priorities as we strive to contribute to Uganda’s development efforts.

Beyond the review of updated documents in the different sectors, the Mak-RIF team will host targeted stakeholder engagement sessions to review the running Research Agenda. One of the engagements entirely focused on bringing together, generating and sharing knowledge with government stakeholders and this is the one which took place on August 29th, 2023. This engagement created a platform for the team to identify the gaps in the operational Research Agenda to accommodate the emerging needs from the different sectors of Government.

The next engagement will be held with key private sector and civil society players. This is to be scheduled within the coming months before end of the year 2023.

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