Seven universities have been awarded grants to conduct, publish and disseminate child-focused research by the center for the study of the African Child (AfriChild).
The universities which include Muni University Arua, Makerere University, Uganda Christian University Mukono (UCU), Uganda Martyrs University Nkozi, Kyambogo University, Gulu University and Nsamizi Training Institute where awarded the Shs20million grants (each) after a series of trainings where their respective lecturers received skills in conducting child focused research at UCU.
The first workshop conducted between January 22 and February 2 was followed by a second one from June 18 to 29. Both trainings were aimed at equipping participants in data entry and analysis and grants writing skills.
Speaking at the awarding ceremony over the weekend, Joyce Wanican, the Executive Director of the AfriChild Center, said the training is significant because it equips university faculty with professional knowledge and skills to enable them conduct child-focused research.
"Articles on child-focused research that will be published by the trained cohort will go a long way in adding to the existing body of knowledge and shape child-focused research in the region," she noted.
The training brought together lecturers from the different academia; social workers, doctors, scientists, social scientists and artists. These started implementing their research skills yesterday, July 1 and results are expected to be handed in by March, 2019.
"The knowledge we have got from the training has built our competencies in child-focused research. We know that children will participate fully in our research in generating data, analysis and probably in interpretation. We have been doing research on children but now this is research by and with children. To me, that is interesting and a trend I intend to take forward and commit to see that it carries on in my institution but also in my home," Bernadette Naggayi a lecturer and participant from Nsamizi Institute of Social development, says.
This comes at a time when the ministry of Gender, Labor and Social development is reviewing the National Children Policy which is expected to replace the existing National Policy on Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Uganda. The research findings by these universities are therefore envisioned to shape such national policies.