gulupic

Some of the staff and students of Gulu University pose for a photo after a training in Scientific Data Management

The diversity and the complexity of data from scientific experiments and natural systems constitute serious challenges for students and even scientists in the universities and research institutions. Lack of data management and data analysis skills among graduate students often causes a waste of productive time, with negative consequences on successful thesis completion and student graduation. Short training courses in Scientific Data Management provide students with the right analytical skills on application of cutting-edge technologies and solutions for managing and analyzing vast amounts of data, thereby helping them focus on their scientific goals.

The Regional University Forum for Capacity building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), in collaboration with Gulu University  organized a five-days training in Scientific Data Management for staff and students drawn from several departments in the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, the Faculty of Business and Development Studies and the Faculty of Sciences. The training was held from 3rd to 7th April 2018 at the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment of Gulu University, with the objective to improve understanding of various biometrical components pertaining to design and analysis of experiments/surveys; as well as optimal application of various statistical techniques at different stages of research. More specifically, the training provided participants with:

  • statistical knowledge in design, analysis and result interpretation, of surveys/experiments applied to agricultural, socio-economics and other biophysical studies;
  • skills and ability to manage complex data, analyse data using statistical software and interpret results for scientific production;

In total, 50 staff and students (19 Females and 31 males) were trained and provided with knowledge and hands-on skills in use of software (GenStat & SPSS) in data analysis and presentation of results in a format that would ensure their wide dissemination as in theses and peer reviewed publications. The training was facilitated by a team of three experts: Dr Susan Balaba Tumwebaze and Dr Thomas Lapaka Odong, both from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (Makerere University), and Dr Vincent Oeba from the Kenyan Forest Institute (Kenya).

The workshop was opened on behalf of the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, by Dr Collins Okello who recognized the importance of the training for both students and staff, but also called for participants’ attention to maximize the benefits from the workshop. The delivery of the courses was mixed mode, including interactive lectures and practicals designed to complement the lecture material. A participatory approach was used, enabling participants to be active learners, and to commit themselves to intensive and critical self-study. In terms of content, participants were taken through several statistical aspects related to (i) data management; (ii) experimental designs; (iii) sampling designs and techniques (elements of sampling, sampling techniques and sampling size, etc); (iv) design of spreadsheet and data checking techniques; (v) data management and analysis; (vi) data exploration and manipulation; (vii) inferential statistics, among others. They were also introduced to the environment of two software packages, namely GenStat & SPSS, and intensively learned how to analyse and interpret results and outputs from the two statistical packages. The training ended with a half-day session on student clinics to deal with specific challenges and issues related to research design and proposal, as raised by individual students.

At the closing ceremony of the workshop, participants were awarded certificates of completion, and provided positive feed backs and were appreciative of RUFORUM support. On behalf of RUFORUM, Dr Sylvanus Mensah, in charge of the Recruitment and Training for mastercard foundation at RUFORUM, expressed his gratitude to Gulu University for hosting the event, but also pointed out the necessity for the participants to build on the acquired statistical knowledge to widen their skills in Scientific Data Management.


New call for experts for Value Chain Analysis for Development VCA4D for a new exciting adventure!!! Analysis of processed fruits (mango, avocado and pineapple) in the Dominican Republic. Here below you can find the profiles of the experts needed. The deadline for presenting CVs is on Friday 13th April 2018.

1) Agricultural economist

S/he is a senior expert with deep knowledge of and experience on value chain analysis from an economic point of view. S/he will elaborate financial and economic accounts of the VC actors and the VC (and VC sub-systems) as specified in the toolkit.

  • S/he is able to undertake a full functional analysis with the support of his/her colleagues.Experience on economic analysis
  • in value chains, and in particular on tropical fruits, i
  • n developing countries, is required.Knowledge on the Dominican Republic will be appreciated.
  • Experience in economic analysis on fair trade certifications and schemes is appreciated.
  • Knowledge of Spanish is an asset.
  • Experience in stakeholder management or policy and practice capacities are a plus.
  • S/he will provide a report on Functional Analysis and Economic Analysis that will be included in the final report.
  • A collective training or at least an individual introduction to the software AFA will be made to the Economist prior to the first mission. In the very rare case the training cannot be done before the first mission, it will be done before the second mission.
  • S/he will help the team leader to formulate an executive summary and conclusions that combine the results of the different analyses in order to answer the framing questions and to finalise the report (rereading, formatting the report…).

2) Social expert
S/he is a senior expert with deep knowledge of and experience on social issues related to value chains in developing countries the project wants to deepen (gender equality, land and water rights, working conditions, living conditions, social capital, food and nutrition security).

  • S/he has experience at least in one of these domains, better in 2 or 3 of them, and be able to handle and inform the other ones.
    Specific experience in social analysis of the agricultural sector in developing countries is an asset.
  • Experience in social aspects of the value chains, including tropical fruit, is an asset.
    Knowledge of the Dominican Republic and of Spanish is compulsory.
    Experience in stakeholder management or policy and practice capacities are a plus.
  • S/he will provide a report on Social Analysis that will be included in the final report, based on a completed Social Profile.
  • An introduction to the Social Profile as a guiding tool will be made to the Social Expert prior to the first mission.
  • S/he will help the team leader to formulate an executive summary and conclusions that combine the results of the different analyses in order to answer the framing questions and to finalise the report (rereading, formatting the report…).

3) Environmental expert

S/he is a senior expert with deep knowledge of and experience on the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA).

  • Experience on LCA value chain analysis in developing countries is appreciated.
  • Experience in value chains, including in tropical fruit, is required.
  • Knowledge on the Dominican Republic will be appreciated.
  • S/he will preferably use the SimaPro software for LCA.
  • S/he will provide a report on Environmental Analysis that will be included in the final report.
  • S/he will help the team leader to formulate an executive summary and conclusions that combine the results of the different analyses in order to answer the framing questions and to finalise the report (rereading, formatting the report…).

4) Mango, Pineapple, Avocado Value Chain National Expert

S/he is a specialist of the at least on one of the three fruits (mango, pineapple or avocado) and have a good knowledge of the other two value chains in the Dominican Republic.
Relevant knowledge of the national institutions (technical, economic and political ones) and stakeholders involved in the vanilla value chain is required.

  • At the beginning of the study, s/he will provide overall information on the value chain, identifying key players and existing and relevant information and data for the analyses. The national expert will help to select the most relevant data from available sources, to clarify inconsistencies and to improve coherence between analyses.
  • S/he will facilitate and complete the data collection, in agreement to guidelines of the Team Leader.

For more details, please contact

Olimpia Orlandoni
Project Coordinator
Value Chain Analysis for Development
Email: olimpia.orlandoni@agrinatura-eu.eu

 


Gulu Exhibition

A Gulu University Student Exhibiting at the Uganda National Council for Higher Education 10th Education Exhibition, at Lugogo Exhibition Grounds, Kampala

The Uganda National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) held its 10th Annual higher education exhibition between 15th to 17th, March 2018. The event was held under the theme, Higher Education for the future: Strengthening Innovations for sustainable Development. The exhibition aimed at providing a one stop opportunity for higher education institutions, academicians, policy makers and the wider community to engage with each other. Higher education institutions had an open platform to showcase their various programs, opportunities and innovations to the general public as well as prospective students.

For Gulu University, the exhibition was an exceptional opportunity to showcase some of its research and training innovations. The focus of their exhibitions was on how the University connects its training and research with community development needs. Hinging on the Student Centered Outreach (SCO) and the Student Enterprise Scheme (SES), the exhibition presented aspects on community nutrition, low-cost borehole, ox-drawn planter and solar powered incubator. These student-led research innovations which are part of the RUFORUM TAGDev project activities aim at solving real community needs such as child malnutrition and unsafe/unavailable water among others.   Below is a summary description of the innovations that were exhibited.

Gulu VC

Gulu University Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Frederick Ian Bantubano Kayanja speaking to some of the student exhibitors

  • Tackling under nutrition in rural communities

The soy-sesame-millet composite: An output from the research of a MSc. Food Security and Community Nutrition student (Ms. Dorcus Alowo), this research innovation was motivated by the high prevalence of child under nutrition in northern Uganda. Consequently, there is a need to provide community level affordable complementary feeds for children.  Through malting, this research developed a soy-sesame-millet composite with high protein and balanced energy requirements for children aged 6-24 months. This product is highly accepted by local communities, not only because it is affordable compared to other formula feeds in the market, but also because it is formulated from locally available food stuff

  • Improving farm productivity

The multipurpose planter: Designed by final year students of Biosystems engineering, this is an ox-drawn planter designed to ease planting of cereals through optimizing the seed rates for better productivity. The planter targets majorly small seeded cereals such as millet and sorghum. However, the design has a replaceable seed plate; allowing for different seed types to be planted.

planter

  • Locally fabricated Borehole rope pump

Using used parts of tyres to prepare the piston, reams and the common nylon rope; it has capacity to pump underground water from up to 30 m deep. This is majorly for domestic uses, but can also be used for pumping irrigation water as well as watering animals –for example dairy cows under intensive zero grazing. This is a cheap innovation, costing up to 10 times less than the conventional Indian mark 2 pump.

borehole

Demonstrating how the Locally fabricated Borehole rope pump works

Besides the innovations that were exhibited, supported by RUFORUM and the Mastercard foundation, the exhibition also gave chance to Masters students from Gulu University to visit the different stalls of other higher education institutions. This enabled the MSc to network with other universities and create linkages that can be used in future career development.

 

 

 

 

 

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