In the year 2022, the research unit secured two external research consultancies, research on the conceptualization, expression, and promotion of the care economy in mid-western Uganda, commissioned by from Mustardseed Trust, and research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the school girl-child, aged 12-18 years, in mid-western Uganda, commissioned by Carnegie Social Initiative. Both consultancies were commissioned through URDT, and they were accomplished as planned. In addition, the Unit was commissioned by URDT to complete seven pending (7) baseline and end-line survey reports. Following are the highlights of the consultancies.
a) Research on the conceptualization, expression, and promotion of the care economy in mid-western Uganda
Together with the Executive Director, MST, Emmy Van Kleef, and Katrina Bull, the ARU research team discussed feedback on the findings of the care economy research. The impression was that the feedback was comprehensive, constructive, and generous. ARU’s reactions to the feedback were appreciated, and commitment was made to revise the report as agreed. Subsequently, the feedback was integrated into the report the final version of which was then submitted to MST. There is an opportunity to publish the findings in Eisler’s journal.
b) Impact of COVID-19 on the school girl-child aged 12-18 years
As one of the URDT institutions, ARU was commissioned by CSI to conduct research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the school girl-child, aged 12-18 years in 20 districts of mid-western Uganda. Although a sample of eight (8) districts had been targeted, eventually data was collected from six (6) districts, two districts (Bundibugyo and Ntoroko) having been omitted due to insecurity concerns in these districts bordering on the war-torn DRC. The purpose of the research was to generate information on the impact of COVID-19 on the school girl-child, to inform the formulation of policies and other interventions to ensure the rehabilitation of school girl-children adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study proposed strategies for improving the post-COVID-19 situation of the girl-child, and the research report is available on request.
c) Baseline and end-line surveys of Pupil-Managed School Farm Project (PMSFP)
The ARU research team completed four (4) baseline line reports (2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019) and three (3) end-line reports (2017, 2018 & 2019), all of which had been long overdue, and submitted them to URDT.
d) Review the needs assessment report of the FOFAUPOPU project
Uganda Rural Development Training Programme (URDT), with funding from the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM), is working in partnership with National Museum of Natural History (MNHN), Kinome, and Projet pour la Conservation des Grands Singes (PCGS) from France, as well as Sebitoli Chimpanzee Project (SCP), National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), Kahangi Estate and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to implement the “For a new forest-fauna-populations balance in Uganda (FoFauPopU)” project in the northern part of Kibale National Park (KNP) in mid-western Uganda.
To assess the socio-economic, political and cultural ramifications for increased participatory governance in the communities adjacent to Kibaale National Park, URDT conducted a needs assessment of the collective mindset and perceptions of sub-county government personnel and community members in the project area. Ate ARU research unit was commissioned to analyze data collected by URDT, and write the needs assessment report. This was done, and the final report was submitted to the project manager.
e) Evaluation of the PMSFP project
Having implemented the five-year pilot, pupil-managed school farm project interventions, URDT needed to document the activities undertaken, and the achievements realized thus far, report to the donors and other stakeholders, using the same methodology that had been used at various stages of the project.
ARU was commissioned by URDT to conduct an evaluation of the pilot phase of the project in two (2) districts (Kagadi & Kakumiro) in mid-western Uganda to measure the extent to which the project goals had been achieved at the three levels: pupils, schools, and homes. Specifically, the evaluation was to establish whether the project methodology, with all that it entails, had delivered the project outcomes, whether the schools had become effective vehicles of nutrition-based farming, and whether the pupils had become effective change-makers.
First draft of the report has been prepared and shared with URDT, and what remains is validation of the results by the project participants prior to submission of the final report.
2.2 Concept Notes/Proposals Developed
Farm Radio International made a call for consultancy to conduct formative research and a baseline study to generate information to facilitate understanding of the current situation regarding the needs, perspectives and priorities relating to access to, and use of, sustainable communication services by rural women, men and youth. The information generated had to include key content themes and value chains of importance in selected locations. The ARU research unit responded to the call by writing a proposal to Farm Radio International.
2.3 Reports Due for Publication
a) Impact of COVID-19
b) Baseline and end-line PMSFP survey reports
Reports on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the school girl-child, aged 12-18 years, and on the PMSFP baseline and end-line surveys have been submitted to Patty Seybold for review, and the Unit is expecting feedback on the way forward.