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Wednesday, 17 January 2018 12:27

The College of Computing and IS through its Centre for Innovations and Professional Skills Department (CiPSD) conducted a one-week ICT skills training workshop from the 11th – 15th Dec 2017. The training was part of the College’s community outreach initiative to give back to the Makerere University community. The overall main objective of the training was to impart ICT skills to the youth of Uganda and empower them to realize the potential of ICT in unlocking their career paths for the future. The training was facilitated through by a Cisco grant that was awarded to the Cisco Networking Academy within CiPSD

The training targeted Primary 7, Senior 4 and 6 vacists and other interested youth. A total of 80 participants registered and participated in the training. During the orientation session, Mr. Robert Tuhaise (Legal Main Contact, Cisco Networking Academy) welcomed the participants and encouraged them to take this time and fully utilize this opportunity to understand what role ICT has to play in their future.

 

The one-week training session was customized around a Cisco Networking Academy programme called Get Connected. The Academy firmly believes in basic technology skills as essential for anyone who wants to participate and compete in today’s digital economy. Get Connected therefore introduced the participants to basic computer and Internet navigation skills. Some of these ICT skills included;

·         Identify different types of computer systems, components, printers, and other devices.
·         Understand Microsoft Windows and how to work with files and folders.
·         Understand computer networking, how to browse and search the Internet, and how to use email.
·         Create accounts for Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
·         Identify common problems and implement simple solutions for hardware, software, and networks.

  The facilitator’s during this training were all recognized Academy instructors namely; Mr. Robert Tuhaise (CCNP Instructor), Mr. Charles Halonda-Funa (ITE Instructor), Mr. Stuart Ssebulime (CCNA Instructor) and Ms. Barbara Nalubega (CCNA Instructor). The training sessions were 100% hands on and conducted from 8:30 am – 1:00 pm. The response and interest shown by the participants during the training was so positive that some of the training sessions would end at 2:00 pm.

 

At the end of the training participants were issued with Certificates of Completion but not before getting a few words of advice from Prof. Tonny Oyana (Principal, CoCIS). But before giving his remarks and advice, he randomly selected some of the participants to briefly introduce themselves and mention something that makes them happy. One of the participants, Mangusho Joram was happy to have received the opportunity to get ICT skills training while others promised to return for more training.

In his closing remarks Prof. Tonny Oyana encouraged the participants to embrace the ICT skills they had received, build on their self-confidence and communication skills and lastly earn to thrive in today’s world.

 

 

AirQo Monitor – a low cost air pollution monitoring technology.  Researchers at the College of Computing and Information Sciences have developed low-cost air monitoring devices to measure air quality.  Researchers have innovatively deployed a network of air quality monitors on boda-bodas and street lights and buildings in selected areas of Kampala city to produce a detailed and near real-time map of air pollution map.

The research team is led by Department of Computer Science Associate Professor Engineer Bainomugisha in partnership with Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), and University of Sheffield. Each AirQo monitor remotely sends air quality data for mapping and analytics. The air quality data includes levels of Particulate Matter (PM) particles of sizes 1, 10 & 2.5 micrometers, which are considered a key indicator of air quality. These particles are small enough to enter the lungs and cause major health problems. To put it in context, the diameter of a single human hair is about 30 times larger than PM 2.5 particle. The AirQo can be customized to measure other major health damaging pollutants including Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide.

 The WHO considers air pollution a major health and environmental risk, yet there is no regular air pollution monitoring or research into its spatial distribution in Kampala and other major cities in Uganda. This leaves citizens in the dark about their exposure.  The researchers believe that there is an urgent unmet need to identify the sources and quantify the scale of air pollution, its spatial and temporal distribution and causes. This is vital if we are to motivate the changes required to reduce or better manage the air pollution problem.

The AirQo innovation is a major improvement over the traditional air pollution monitors and deployment models. Air quality monitoring equipment has traditionally been prohibitively expensive and complex. Setting up a single air quality monitoring station currently costs over 150 thousand dollars. The AirQo innovation uniquely combines a cost-effective low-cost air monitors and use of mobile objects such as boda-bodas for collecting air quality data. Boda-bodas in Kampala are re-known to reach almost everywhere thus providing more fine-grained spatial data than you can ever collect with traditional monitoring equipment.

So far, the team has collected over one million records of data about air quality in Kampala.   The team believes that system’s low cost will ensure a long-term sustainable deployment, with data provided to the population through mobile phones, websites and social media. “Our innovation allows citizens make informed decisions. Citizens can where to use the information to decide where live and the school to send children to,” said Associate Professor Engineer Bainomugisha. “Policy makers will be equipped with scientific evidence on the magnitude, scale and sources of air pollution so as to better manage, regulate and contain the problem” More project information available at www.airqo.net

GetIN app Launched

Thursday, 16 November 2017 08:26

Getin app screenshot
The GetIN app is an online platform for health care providers to strengthen the linkage between health care providers and young pregnant women. The idea was developed during the UNFPA Hack for Youth Global challenge that took place at the Sheraton Hotel, Kampala in July 2015.
The team has six members namely; Penninah Tomusange (Programme Analyst, UNFPA), Gift Mbabazi (BA Industrial Phycology), Kirabo Hope (BA Industrial Phycology), Businge Joshua (BCSC Graduate 2016), Abdu Sekalala (Technical Developer), and Donald Rukanga Waruhanga  (BCSC).

Training community health workers

With mentors from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), UNFPA staff, and Assoc. Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha (HoD, Computer Science) for his mentorship, research, and understanding of the problem scope they commenced work in November 2015. They visited Kanungu to carry out a pretest of the prototype they had developed and also get feedback from the intended users (i.e. midwives and Village Health worker's).
Two years down the road and the team launched their Getin app on Thursday, 2nd November 2017 after training Community Health Workers and Midwives and giving them phones to "map" expectant young


Article published in the New Vision newspaper

Research Methodology Workshop

Thursday, 09 November 2017 07:52

The Research Methodology workshop took place on the 8th Nov 2017 at the College of Computing and IS and hosted by the School of Computing and Informatics Technology (SCIT).
The objective of the workshop was to provide an opportunity for Ph.D. research students to interact with the keynote speaker Prof. Henk G. Sol, provide an insight into research strategies, and an opportunity to present their research papers. In attendance for the workshop were Prof. Tonny Oyana (Principal, CoCIS), Assoc. Prof. G. Maiga (Dean, SCIT), Dr. Paul Ssemaluulu and Ph.D. research students.

In officially declaring the workshop open the Principal emphasized on the fact that the objective of pursuing a Ph.D. degree was to add the vast body of knowledge and not specifically to get rich. He encouraged the participants to not focusing on only teaching but endeavor to focus on research and writing as many papers as possible. Assoc. Prof. the moderator for the workshop then called upon Prof. Henk Sol to deliver his presentation on Navigating in the Sea of Information: Ennovations for Delivering Shared Value. His presentation focused on enhancing decisions that matter as a major challenge in our ambient society, where we have to navigate in the sea of information to deliver shared value. Agile, analytic, big, intelligent, smart, sustainable data describe the potential for decision enhancement.

Prof. Henk G. Sol presenting

He also spoke about delivering shared value calls for: conversations to collectively identify locally relevant problems, governance to make political and administrative decisions about tackling such problems and engaged innovations to develop localized solutions. Prof. Henk G. Sol additionally mentioned the COLLAGEN (Collective Learning and Agile Governance Environment) approach that provides a set of services for scoping, facilitation and enhancement of decision-making processes, packed into decision apps and providing guidelines for conversational inquiry. The approach he mentioned supports smart governance for policy development and engaged implementation, and delivers shared value to resolve issues that matter in society.

Professor Henk G. Sol challenged the academia to undertake research and create solutions in areas of agricultural information services, disaster preparedness, health as well as governance. He recommended that Uganda needs to focus on sustainable initiatives which also require incentives for both public and private sectors.

Hasifa Namatovu presenting her research concept

During the workshop several Ph.D research students also presented their concept and research papers namely;

  •          Enhancing Maternity and Postnatal Care Decisions Among Pregnant Women by Hasifah Kasujja
  •          Spatial-temporal and System Dynamics Model for Disease Surveillance: A Case of Nodding Syndrome by Ongaya Kizito

During the presentations and Q/A sessions participants provided positive criticism that was well received and in closing, Prof. Henk G. Sol thanked and appreciated all that transpired and was looking forward to more similar workshops in the future.

The DI research group hosted a talk/seminar session on Thursday 2nd November (11:00 - 12:30pm). The speaker was Dr Julius Otim – the current Manager of Medical Health Services at Kampala City Central Authority (KCCA). He is a medical doctor by profession and a public health specialist and oversees all health facilities under KCCA ensuring;

  • Quality Assurance
  • Implementing Service Delivery programs and
  • Health Research plans

He has previously worked with Marie Stopes Uganda as a Quality Assurance Manager, Malaria Consortium as a Technical Team Leader and as a District Health Officer for Kumi District (Local Government). He is also a life member of the Uganda Red Cross Society, a Board Member of Makerere University Hospital and a member of the National Task Force on Non-Communicable diseases.
During his presentation Dr. Otim highlighted a number of health challenges that ICTs can contribute towards and identified possible areas of collaboration with KCCA. In attendance were Masters and Ph.D researchers from the College who interacted with him and provided feedback. Some of the feedback included;

  • Guidelines and procedures to follow in creating a partnership (MOU) between the College and KCCA.
  • How to source for funding on the discussed research projects through current partners of KCCA i.e. Infectious Disease Institute (IDI), Intra Health – Uganda Capacity Program, Joint Clinical Research Centre (JCRC) etc.
  • Setup a technical group between KCCA and SCIT that can assist in streamlining the use of ICT to address the objectives, challenges of KCCA as well as enhance their public health services.

 

The seminar concluded with closing remarks from Dr. Rehema Baguma, who on behalf of all participants appreciated the eye opener into the challenges faced by KCCA but also not noted the potential ICT has to offer to address the issues. She also thanked Dr. Otim for taking the time out to honor the invite and looked forward to a strong positive future collaboration between the College and KCCA.

 

 

 

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