Every country needs local capacity within the areas of medicine, technology and innovation in order to develop their own research base. Therefore, Makerere University together with four regional universities has been receiving Swedish support since 2000. Since then approximately 73.3 million USD has been granted to Ugandan and Swedish Universities for research cooperation. Over the years, the main focus has been to strengthen the research capacity in the country and thus increase the production and use of scientifically based knowledge that contributes to Uganda's development.
The current research programme (November 2015- June 2020) amounts to approximately 33 million USD. The program consists of 17 research projects where 11 Swedish Universities collaborates with 4 Ugandan universities with Makerere in Kampala as the primary responsibility for the program. Natural Science, Social Sciences and Health Sciences are the main areas for the cooperation with additional programs for institutional support. Focus for the current program is to strengthen the training of PhD locally, establishment of multidisciplinary research teams addressing broad thematic areas, training for partner public universities and establishing synergies and collaborations with regional programs supported by Sweden. Gender and social dimensions will be addressed in all research projects.
Example: Resilient eco-systems
Partnership for Building Resilient Ecosystems and Livelihoods to Climate Change and Disaster (BREAD) is one of the 17 research projects in the current research programme. The project is collaboration between Makerere University and Gulu University in Uganda, Lund and Uppsala University in Sweden. The overall objective is to increase society’s resilience to climate change and disaster.
Promising adaptation and mitigation technologies and practices in varied ecological zones will be tested and promoted. This project will increase exchange across the science-policy interface that builds community resilience and safety to disaster risks through knowledge generation and transfer.
So far the BREAD project has recruited 3 PhDs and 2 Post docs and has influence the national policy through dissemination of gained knowledge at the National Disaster Risk reduction Forum. Furthermore, research cooperation has been established between Makerere university and local governments (Kabale , Bududa districts, Shunya community based organisation, primary and secondary schools, Kwamwenge local community and Masindi Natural Resource Management); Office of Prime Minister. A new curriculum for PhD training in Disaster Risk Management (DRM) has been developed and presented for relevant stakeholder in Mbale district in order to get their input before finalizing and presenting to relevant organs of the university for approval.
A Centre for Hazard and Disaster research has been established at Makerere University.