The Annual Review Meeting between Makerere University and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) came to a close on 27th November 2013 with a call for more efficiency ahead of the Sida Phase IV funding.
The well attended wrap-up session in the Main Library attracted participants from Makerere, Kyambogo and Busitema Public Universities, who sought clarification on the nature of the much-anticipated Phase IV Sida funding.
In reference to the Science day held at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-Security (CoVAB) on 19th November 2013, the Sida Desk Officer, Dr. Katri Pohjolainen, noted that Makerere University produces a lot of new knowledge in science which should not go to waste. “We need to improve how to use these results to crystallize policy implementation. We are eagerly waiting for a Research and Innovations Communication Strategy from you,” she said.
Assoc. Prof. George Nasinyama of the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) explained that the Research and Innovations Communication Strategy had reached procurement stage and the formulation process would soon get underway. Dr. Pohjolainen also urged all students and their supervisors, both in Uganda and Sweden, to expeditiously finish their research projects and graduate. “I urge all students and supervisors to set new targets and finish within the project period. Lets us start 2015 with a whole new lot of students,” she encouraged.
The Head of Development Cooperation at the Swedish Embassy, Ms. Susanne Spets, pointed out that the Swedish Government is preparing a new strategy for the bilateral development cooperation with Uganda. She explained that a proposal highlighting the results to be achieved by Sida, will be approved by the second quarter of 2014. “The proposal contains result areas of Child and maternal mortality (sexual and reproductive health and rights); Participation, accountability and non-discrimination; Growth and employment,” she said.
These broad areas include themes like Child and maternal health, social protection, gender related violence, Human Rights, democracy, access to justice, and a strengthened civil society. “For the last 3 -4 months, we’ve been looking at what kind of results to expect from Uganda and other partners too. We want to mainstream Gender-related violence; Private sector development, trade, employment (with focus on youth and women), mobilization of resources (taxes, revenue from extractive industries and agriculture), public financial management and anti-corruption,” she added.
Sida will also pay attention to innovation and innovation systems and will seek partnership with Government institutions, the private sector, civil society, and multilateral agencies. In particular the private sector will be given importance to achieve long-term and sustainable results that go beyond aid. Aid financing will thus be used to complement other resources as opposed to replacing them.
The Director Research and Graduate Training (RGT), Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza, appreciated Sida for the continued support and pledged maximum utilization of the funds. “The Mak-Sida bilateral collaboration has given us enough fruit. We’ve been able to build capacity, developed a research-agenda to feed into the national focus and highly enhanced our research culture, among many other benefits. We look forward to the next funding for more output,” he said.
Beneficiaries were advised to consider applying for resident permits to allow them uninterrupted periods of study in Sweden. The wrap-up session allowed all beneficiaries to share past experiences. The Phase IV Sida funding will run from 2015 -2020.
Article by Marion Alina, Makerere university Public Relations Office