By Marius Murongo, Graduate Teaching Assistant
Sixty five (65) staff and postgraduate students of Uganda Martyrs University in Uganda completed a five-day training in Scientific Data Management organized by the university’s African Centre of Excellence in Agro Ecology and Livelihood Systems (ACALISE) hosted by the Faculty of Agriculture, in partnership with RUFORUM. The training, which took place from 15th to 19th January 2018, covered topics such as data collection and management using Microsoft Excel; exploratory data analysis for survey and qualitative data using SPSS; and quantitative data analysis using Genstat. The workshop was facilitated by the three facilitators – namely, Dr. Susan Balaba Tumwebaze and Dr. Thomas Odong from Makerere University, and Ms. Nancy Chege from Machakos University in Kenya, also a RUFORUM alumnus.
The course targeted staff and postgraduate students in multiple fields including Agricultural Sciences, Natural Resource Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, Bioethics, Education, Information Technology, Built Environment, Development Studies, and Social Sciences. Its ultimate aim was to enhance the application of statistical techniques at all stages of research and thereafter report results effectively.
Speaking at the opening of the training, the Vice Chancellor of Uganda Martyrs University, Prof. John Chrysostom Maviiri, who also serves as a member of the RUFORUM Board Executive Committee, emphasized the need for young researchers in Africa to have deep understanding of the concepts of research and added that the Scientific Data Management trainings provided by RUFORUM are an excellent opportunity to build these skills. He also thanked RUFORUM Secretariat for backstopping his University to organize such a useful workshop successfully.
During the workshop, different participatory methods were adopted, including the use of PowerPoint, flipchart, small cards, Questions & Answers, Interactive discussions, Group works, plenary sessions, and home works. At the end of the training, the trainers exceeded the expectations of the participants that there was a popular request by participants for a follow up training so that the skills they acquired could be further developed.
The workshop was crowned with the award of certificates of completion to the participants during a closing ceremony.
At closure, the Acting Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, Dr. Joseph Ssekandi, thanked RUFORUM, for the apt selection of trainers, the trainers themselves; and the University for organizing the workshop successfully and pleaded for further collaboration
In her closing remarks, Dr. Sylvia Mkandawire, the Manager Training and Quality Assurance at RUFORUM, expressed gratitude to the university management and the ACALISE for making the training a success. She added that RUFORUM has other capacity building opportunities for students and university staff which UMU should tap into, including the Graduate Teaching Assistantship programme for staff of its member universities.
Scientific Data Management trainings are part of RUFORUM’s Postgraduate Training and Quality Assurance portfolio to enable scientists develop, gain, maintain and advance necessary skills in their respective areas of expertise. The multiplier effects realized through these trainings have improved the overall quality of the final RUFORUM product we want to see – the graduate student who fits in well in every niche of the economy.
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- RUFORUM trains 18 in Scientific Data Management in collaboration with the Innovative Agricultural Research Initiative (iAGRI)