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Projects & Collaborations (37)

The research project - 'Improving East Africa's Weather Information Management through the application of suitable ICTs' has received a grant from the Norwegian Programme for Capacity Building in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED). This grant will facilitate the process of writing a full proposal which is expected by 15th March 2012. The project is aimed at establishing a Centre for Appropriate Weather Information Management (CAWIM) that will design, implement and supervise improvement in Timeliness, Accuracy and Access of Weather information in the East African region.

Makerere University is the lead partner together with the University of Bergen as the Norwegian partner. Other partners include: Department of Meteorology (Uganda), University of Juba (South Sudan), Dar-es-Salaam Institute of Technology (Tanzania) and KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden).

The project is being spearheaded by Dr. Julianne Sansa-Otim, Chair Department of Networks, School of Computing and Informatics Technology (CIT).

Workshop:

Project Brain Storming Workshop held on 30th Jan - 1st Feb 2013 at Jinja Nile Resort.

The above-mentioned workshop was held at Jinja Nile Resort during the period 30th January 1st February 2013. The outcomes of the workshop are meant to contribute to the writing of the full proposal which is expected to be submitted to NORAD under the NORHED programme .

This workshop created a platform for regional and international partners to share experiences which formed a basis for writing the full proposal as required by the funder. The proposal is currently being sing written collectively by the key researchers on the project (both local, regional and international) and is to be submitted by 15th March 2012 as required by the funder.

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UNESCO Project

Written by Wednesday, 23 November 2011 17:45 Published in Projects & Collaborations comment

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Projectdescription

1. Abstractoftheproject

While brain drain is affecting most of academic institutions in developing world, the School of Computing and Informatics Technology of Makerere University has managed to be an exception so far. The School has attracted numerous PhD holders worldwide to deliver teaching and research in computing disciplines. These include local, regional, and international staff who obtained their PhDs in some of world's highly reputed institutions. The outflow of the PhD holders so far, although cannot ne neglected, is at minimum level. This cannot be generalized to the whole university however, neither can the number of staff at the School of CIT be confirmed retained for in the long run. For most of the staff in the School of CIT, the major challenge they face is the lack of necessary resources to execute relevant research for local communities. This has been frustrating and may well lead to enthusiast staff to decide to leave. There is a need to retain the existing capacity by engaging and facilitating them in developing innovative research leading to ICT-based solutions, mainly focusing on addressing unique community challenges. UNESCO-HP initiative is an opportunity that can lead to a significant step toward accomplishing this.

In addition, this project shall provide support to our long-term plan of establishing For most of the staff in the School of CIT, the major challenge they face is the lack of necessary resources to execute relevant research for local communities. This has been frustrating and may well lead to enthusiast staff to decide to leave. Thereis a need to retain the existing capacity by engaging and facilitating them in developing innovative research leading to ICT-based solutions, mainly focusing on addressing unique community challenges. UNESCO-HP initiative is an opportunity that can lead to a significant step toward accomplishing this.

In addition, this project shall provide support to our long-term plan of establishing an African Center of Excellence for Innovative ICT Solutions for Developing Countries. Such a center requires close collaborations and partnership with other institutions in developing countries in Africa and Asia, all of which share common challenges. The UNESCO-HP initiative we are responding to, through the promised e-infrastructure for education, will offer a perfect platform to facilitate such collaborations. We propose partnership and networking missions to initiate linkages between Makerere university and institutions in Western and Northern Africa and Arabic countries, which currently is completely nonexistent. Finally, although not least, we propose to enhance existing collaborations in the School of CIT with diasporas.

Download

UNNESCO-HP Project Report Click HERE

2. Objectives

In general, our project has three key objectives, namely, encouraging locally relevant ICT innovations, establishing collaborations with other institutions through networking, and building capacity in distributed networking. Our specific objectives in this project are as follows:

  1. Fostering ICT innovations that address local problems
  2. Facilitating existing staff in executing relevant research
  3. Enhancing partnership with local institutions
  4. Forging collaborations with other institutions in developing countries
  5. Building capacity in distributed computing in Uganda's higher education institutions
  6. Enhancing collaboration with partnering diasporas

3. Type(s) of activities

To achieve the above objectives, we propose the following key activities:

Project proposal and implementation
This activity shall involve calling for project proposals from staff and students in all Ugandan public universities. We shall identify projects 4 projects that target at addressing local challenges, and that propose implementing ICT-based solutions to address them. We propose to usesome of the fund that will be availed to facilitate implementations of these projects.

Visits to other beneficiary Institutions
Makerere University School of Computing and IT has established itself as a regional centre of excellence in ICT training and research. In turn, the School has established a huge network of partners (local, regional, and international; academic, public and private) from all over the world.

Unfortunately, most of our partners are from developed countries, or local/regional. We don't have any partner from West Africa, North Africa, and Middle East. This activity is proposed bridge the gap between the institutions in these regions in order to forge collaborations to institutions in those regions. To start with, we propose one visit to two of the three regions. A top university in computing discipline or beneficiary of UNESCO-HP project in two of the three mentioned regions shall be identified for the visit. Senior members of staff in School of ICT management shall be facilitated to visit the institutions to establish long term collaborations, mainly with ICT units of the universities.

Seminars on distributed computing
The seminars will train staff and students from Ugandan institutions on distributed computing. It is worth mentioning that the School of Computing and IT has already established very close links with other public universities, namely Kyambogo University, Mbarara University, Gulu University, and Busitema University. This was possible through previously funded projects by NUFFIC (and still on-going) that aimed at building capacity in public universities in Uganda1. This activity shall
further enable us to work together and enhance the existing relationship. In the long run, we expect to have all pubic universities connected using the e-infrastructure promised by UNESCO-HP project.

Visits to network with diasporas
Makerere University School of Computing and IT has established contact with a number of diasporas, and have initiated a number of collaborative activities in the past. For instance, Prof. Joseph Kizza of College of Engineering and Computer Science the University of Tennessee- Chattanooga USA, a Ugandan by origin and our partner in this project, has been closely involved in organizing an Annual International Conference on ICT research that takes place at Makerere. He is also the editor in chief of the International Journal on ICT research that is published at Makerere University. We have been inviting him to our School on annual basis to participate on related activities. This project is a perfect platform to enable us to further enhance and sustain the existing collaborations with him and his institution at large. We propose two visits in this activity.

4. Target beneficiaries

  1. The School of Computing and IT and Makerere University at large: Will benefit through proposed collaborative activities
  2. Undergraduate and Postgraduate students at Makerere University: Will benefit through facilitated projects and training seminars
  3. Staff at the School of Computing and IT: Will benefit from the training seminars on distributed computing
  4. Staff and students in other Ugandan Universities: through projects and seminars

5. Expected output/results and performance indicators

Expected Output:

  1. A list of completed projects addressing local challenges
  2. A cohort of staff and students with distributed computing skills
  3. Established collaborations with institutions in other developing countries. In the long run, this will be indicated by the number of MoUs signed under the initiative
  4. An established grid node · Enhanced collaboration with local institutions; indicated by staff from local universities who will participate the proposed training seminars
  5. A number of collaborative projects with other beneficiaries
  6. Enhanced collaboration with the International partner institution and the staff

6. Resources available for project implementation:

Students and School
Makerere University School of Computing and IT is perhaps one the world's largest computing School with about 5,500 students enrolled in a number of programs in its four academic departments. We have around 5,000 BSc students and roughly 500 post-graduate students of which around 55 students are enrolled in PhD programs and the rest are MSc students.

So far, the School has 17 PhD holders and more than 100 MSc holders who engage in teaching activities. In addition, the School is training more than 30 news PhD holders in collaborations with universities in Netherlands through NUFFIC support2. All these are available for implementation of different proposed activities in this project.

Support Staff
The School of CIT has four academic departments and three non-academic departments. Each academic department has one administrative assistant who can help to facilitate administrative matters to support the project. The other nonacademic department of close relevance of significant importance to the implementation of this project is the Department of ICT Support Services that provides technical support to the networked systems in the School. This department has more than 30 people in total that include computer engineers, network administrators, technicians and laboratory attendants. Other non-academic departments include accountant department with four accountants.

Physical Resources
The School of CIT has the largest computing facilities in Africa housed in 15,000 sq meters of space worth over $20million. Its two buildings can accommodate up to 10,000 students in one sitting. Block A building was donated by the Royal Kingdom of Norway to then Institute of Computer Science. The building has offices, 9 fully furnished labs and a conference room. Block B (funded from internally generated funds was completed in December 2008, and to be officially commissioned by His Excellence the President of the Republic of Uganda on January 28, 2009) has: 6 computer labs each accommodating 700 students of which one is fully equipped; 4 smaller computer labs each accommodating 120 students of which two are fully equipped; and 8 small and 6 big lecture theatres. Facilities in at CIT include:

  • Teaching Labs equipped with 2,000 computers
  • Advanced Geographical Information Systems [GIS] Lab
  • Network and Systems Lab
  • Mobile Computing Lab
  • Advanced Multimedia Lab
  • Pan African E-Network Tele-Education Labs
  • National Software Incubation Centre/Lab
  • E-Learning Lab
  • Online Networking Laboratory (iNetLab)
  • Cisco Academy Training Labs
  • Computer Engineering Lab

It is estimated that the School of CIT has more than half of the University's computers. The School of CIT is fully networked using wired LANs and wireless LANs, and the launch of the first submarine cable (SEACOM) in July 2009 will open doors for cheap bandwidth that will connect all our estimated 3000 PCs to the fast Internet. In addition, open wireless access points are rolled out around the campus which facilitate Internet access to students and staff who own laptops.

7. Implementation strategy

Management:
All proposed activities of the project are centred at Makerere University. The project will therefore be managed by the Principal Investigator at Makerere University School of Computing and Informatics Technology. The School establishment has the required human resources such as IT support staff, administrative assistants, and accountants to assist on administrative issues of the project.

Implementation strategy:

  • Call for projects and projects implementation: The call shall be announced in all CIT based units in public universities in Uganda. Researchers (staff and students) shall be eligible to submit proposals. However, students proposal must be accompanied with a consent of a supervisor.
  • Collaborative visits: The School management (Dean, and Deputy Deans) have a duty to publicise the School and forge collaborations and partnership with other institutions. They are therefore the right people in the School to execute this activity.
  • Training Seminars: Staff and students shall be invited to the two proposed training seminars. Students will only be invited from Makerere university whereas staff shall be invited from all public universities. It is expected that UNESO-HP will avail an expert who will facilitate the seminars

8. Plans to ensure project sustainability and its further development

Below are some of the plans to sustain and further development of the project:

  1. Having assured capacity in distributed computing for our School
  2. Involving other staff in Makerere University School of Computing and IT in managing and coordinating the project.
  3. Incorporating distributed grid computing in mainstream academic programs and research
  4. Establish partnerships and long-term collaborations with other project beneficiaries

9. Partnerships/networking

The School of CIT is proud of itself for having established a very large partnerships with international institutions (See Appendix C for details). Unfortunately, none of the partners are from Western Africa, Northern Africa, and Arabic countries. In fact, there is an clear disconnect between institutions in East Africa in general and institutions in these regions. We propose to travel to some institutions in these regions for a special mission aimed to forging partnerships and collaborations in research.

We propose some networking//partnership missions; we shall select the region where the two visits shall be accorded, preferably the visits will be to institutions that are already benefiting from this UNESCO-HP project. Each mission is proposed to take two days where visiting staff from Makerere will be required to make a presentation about Makerere University and School of CIT in particular and explore various ways collaborations can be made between the institutions. A report for each visit shall be produced at the end of the visit.

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UNESCO-HP Brain Gain Initiative Projects

Written by Wednesday, 09 November 2011 13:02 Published in Projects & Collaborations comment

Makerere University School of Computing and Informatics and‚  Technology‚  is currently implementing‚  an HP-UNESCO‚  funded project‚  entitled Towards Fostering Localized Innovative ICT Solutions under its Brain Gain Initiative.  Some specific goals of the project include:

  • Fostering ICT innovations that address local problems
  • Facilitating existing staff in Uganda in executing relevant ICT research
  • Enhancing partnerships with local institutions

This project provide two Powerful Enterprise Servers and Workstations which are suitable for scientific applications and applications that have high memory requirements. Under the project, the School will establish collaborations with partner universities on the same project to create  a grid computing environment. An agreement between the Meraka Institute/SaGrid and the Brain Gain Initiative, has already been reached to offer for broad technical support to all participants of the project.

Under this project implementation, we called for project proposals  that focus on exploiting ICT in  addressing local needs  Four innovative projects received funding of up to 1000$ each. The selected projects that were selected for funding are mentioned below;

{jd_file file==21}

1. SoS Mobile Service
Objectives:
- To generate a database of a mobile telephone contacts of service providers
- Develop an application which will use data at mobile phone masts and locate service providers who are closest to the querying phone and provide the contacts to the querying phone.
Download Report
{jd_file file==22}

2. Monitoring HIV/AIDS patients on ARVs using mobile phone  in Uganda
Objectives:

To develop a mobile phone based system for monitoring HIV/AIDs patients on Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ARVs)
Specific objectives:

  • To collect user needs for a  mobile phone based system for monitoring patients on ARVs
  • To design a  mobile phone based system for monitoring patients on ARVs
  • To implement a mobile phone based system for monitoring patients on ARVs
  • To test and validate the system.
Download Report {jd_file file==23}

3. Translation of VLC into  Rukiga:
Objectives:

The main objective of this project is to provide an opportunity for the Rukiga speaking communities in Uganda to be entertained by a media player that is configured in a language they are most familiar with that is their local language. Specifically, the project would like to:
a) Translate

  • VLC into the local language of Rukiga;
  • All related documentation about the applications above like templates, help guides, tutorials, FAQs user guide manuals, e.t.c.

b) Culturally localize the user interface content to better reflect into African notions the original western material. This will foster better understanding of technology and create a sense of ownership and pride by African people.

Download Report {jd_file file==24}

4. Going Open
The objective of this project is to create affordable computer access to students while Improving student learning opportunities with freely drastically and  available software
Specifically, we propose to implement a novel terminal desktop solution to support over 1800 terminals by adapting Sun Ray Server Software (SRSS), which has only been supported on Commercial/ Enterprise versions on UNIX based Operating systems (OS), to support open source Linux.

Download Report {jd_file file==25}

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E-Voting Application

Written by Monday, 01 August 2011 12:10 Published in Projects & Collaborations comment

In March 2009, Makerere University Office of the Dean of Students approached the Department of Software Development and Innovation (DSDI) and requested that an application be developed that could help to alleviate among other things election rigging, loss of votes, disparities in regard to how many voters registered and the number of votes counted and any other election malpractices that have plagued the university over the years. The system is supposed to be used in the Makerere University Guild Elections. A prototype of the system was used in the Guild Representative Council elections at the halls of residence where the students were electing student leaders. Basing on this, the system was enhanced and is now ready to be used in the entire Guild elections. Because of the project success, Makerere University administration asked the department to maintain it for future elections that shall be conducted at the university.

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After the start of the project Building ICT Training Capacity in Public Universities in Uganda, there was a realisation of the need to strengthen institutional capacity in technical colleges in Uganda. This project was subsequently awarded by Nuffic to the four technical colleges in Uganda namely: Uganda Technical College (UTC) Bushenyi; UTC Elgon; UTC Kichwamba and UTC Lira. The Lead institution in the North is Hanze University Groningen. Co-partners in the south are Makerere University and Kyambogo University. Its implementation started on 1st March 2006 and will end in 2009 with Nuffic grant of Euro 1,999,990.

 

 

 

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The main objective of this project is to harness ICT as a driver of socio-economic development within low-income communities in Uganda by collaboratively helping to increase the income generation of participating groups of women selling African artifacts and cultural goods around Kampala and organized in cooperative or small or medium enterprises (SMEs), by use of appropriate web technologies. Furthermore, the project allows rural communities to have access to cash money from any mobile telecommunication end-point service providers (TESP) in their immediate reach through the use of mobile airtime voucher-transfer system from their relatives living in the intensive economic activity areas like Kampala.

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This was a NUFFIC funded project dabbed NUFFIC One came to a close on 30th June 2008. NUFFIC One will be remembered in the corridors of CIT and the other beneficiary public universities as the catalyst that saw them catapult to greater heights. The lead institution in the South was Makerere University with partners; Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), Gulu University (GU) and Kyambogo University (KYU). The lead institution in the North was the University of Groningen (RUG) and the consortium partners in the project were Radboud University Nijmegen (RUN) and Hanze University of Professional Education (HHG).

The project aim was to address Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capacity building in the four Public Universities in Uganda. The target group was the staff and students in the Ugandan institutions and mid-career ICT professionals. The main activities required expertise from the Netherlands, for support in curriculum development and implementation, in development of research capacity and to advise in the establishment of a Centre of Excellence for ICT Training and Research. 38 members of staff from the four universities were trained and a few are in the final stages of their studies in the Netherlands (NL) and in Uganda (UG).

The maximum amount of the grant from Nuffic was 3,339,816 Euros. The Southern Institutions contributed 660,184 Euros in form of financial and material input such as payment of taxes e.g. Value Added Tax (VAT), complementary funding and equipment, physical infrastructure and human resource. At the time of completion, the project was worth 4,000,000 Euros. This project has had great impact in the areas of curriculum development and implementation, human resource capacity development, research capacity development, ICT infrastructure development, collaborations among the Public Universities, gender policy, ICT Policy and Master Plans, and the establishment of a Centre of Excellence for ICT Training and Research at Makerere University, for the public Universities in Uganda. As a result of this project, spin off projects have come up, such as: NPT Project on Strengthening ICT Training and Research Capacity in the Four Public Universities in Uganda and NPT Project on  Strengthening the Institutional Capacity of Uganda's Technical Colleges.

All the project activities and objectives were completed except for the continuing 5 M.Sc students and 3 PhD students. The first PhD students: Mr. John Ngubiri graduated on 15th September 2008; Ms. Josephine Nabukenya graduated on March 3, 2009; and Mr. Benjamin Kanagwa graduated on April 21, 2009. The remaining PhD students will all complete before June 2009. Summary of Project Progress as of 31st July 2009 Download Doc.

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Other Private Companies

Written by Monday, 01 August 2011 12:04 Published in Projects & Collaborations comment

In 2008, CIT also agreed to partner and collaborate with private companies such as; D-Mark Mobile Ltd, Yo Uganda Ltd, Centre for International E-Governance Solutions Ltd, and Jobs ICT Bangladesh. Areas of collaboration are but not limited to; ICT Application Development, research and Development, and Knowledge Exchange.

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First Exec Company

Written by Monday, 01 August 2011 12:02 Published in Projects & Collaborations comment

On August 8, 2008, CIT signed a MoU with First Exec Company on possible external recruitment of IT fresh graduates and professionals to help fill their (Mauritius) human resource gap. The MoU was seen as a first step in understanding and meeting the growing ICT needs of the region. 300 Ugandans IT professional will have an opportunity of working in the Indian Ocean Island of Mauritius.

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Fast Scanning

Written by Monday, 01 August 2011 12:01 Published in Projects & Collaborations comment

CIT signed a MoU with Fast Scanning in April 2008. FAST Scanning is a fast growing Business Company that does scanning of documents. An affiliation with universities in the State of California educational system; the Faculty gets bragging rights for students working on very important engineering documents for major universities throughout the United States; Students also gain experience working with Virtual Servers, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Citrix, Xen and many other advanced Adobe and Autodesk products.

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  • 25 Feb 11:56 am NORHED Project Weather Information Management through the Application of Suitable ICTs
    The research project - 'Improving East Africa's Weather Information Management through the application of suitable ICTs' has received a grant from the Norwegian Programme for Capacity Building in Higher Education…
  • 23 Nov 5:45 pm UNESCO Project
    Menu: Abstract Objectives Activities Beneficiaries Output/results Resources Implementation Sustainability Partnerships Projectdescription 1. Abstractoftheproject While brain drain is affecting most of academic institutions in developing world, the School of Computing and…
  • 09 Nov 1:02 pm UNESCO-HP Brain Gain Initiative Projects
    Makerere University School of Computing and Informatics and‚ Technology‚ is currently implementing‚ an HP-UNESCO‚ funded project‚ entitled Towards Fostering Localized Innovative ICT Solutions under its Brain Gain Initiative. Some specific…
  • 01 Aug 12:10 pm E-Voting Application
    In March 2009, Makerere University Office of the Dean of Students approached the Department of Software Development and Innovation (DSDI) and requested that an application be developed that could help…

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