Project information

Fund local expertise to fight poverty in Uganda

Developing countries are heavily reliant on external consultants. By funding key masters’ courses at Ugandan universities for promising students, our project will help to equip the next generation of local experts with the skills to develop new solutions to poverty, health and food security.

May 2014 - August 2016

Charity information: Evidence For Development

Evidence For Development logo
  • Need


    Many developing countries rely on external consultants and expertise, and need to build their capacity to generate more of their own research for development. Local researchers are essential to ensure that development programmes are based on accurate information to deal with the persisting and emerging challenges caused by poverty. In Uganda, development research institutions are becoming well-established but vital postgraduate education is out of reach for many aspiring students.


    Our bursaries will help local students to study livelihoods and food security, allowing them to make significant contributions to the development of their region. We work with universities to build training and poverty research capacity for the next generation of innovators: the students supported by the project will be taught to assess causes of poverty in their communities, to design programmes to build resilience at a household level, and to monitor and evaluate the impact of these over time.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Building local research capacity to identify and solve poverty, health and food security issues


    » Support two students (one at each university) to complete relevant MA degrees by funding their tuition fees and living costs.
    » Work with the universities of Gulu and Mbarara to develop key curriculums, lead research projects and establish sustainable regional links.
    » Mentor the students while they produce their dissertations (on local food security issues) using rigorous methods of data collection and analysis.

    What success will look like

    Success will be demonstrated by the students graduating with strong degrees and theses and contributing to local development, as has occurred with a previous EfD project in Malawi.

  • Impact


    This project will be based on successful EfD capacity building efforts in Malawi, where a pool of graduates is now in place with important programme and poverty assessment knowledge and skills that are regularly drawn on for crucial work in their communities. The project has also created a group of academics with the high level expertise and capacity to provide regional training and lead policy-oriented research. Such outcomes would be indicators of long term success for our project in Uganda.


    The main risks relate to teaching staff changes and student drop-out. However, the value of the bursaries is such that students would only drop out in exceptional circumstances and we have on-going projects and strong links with several key academics at both universities. We will remain in regular contact (visits and email) throughout the project, receive termly reports of the students’ marks and support the students before and during project implementation to further monitor and minimise risks.


    We will send donors termly reports of the students’ marks, with further updates from the students and Evidence for Development to be posted regularly on our website, where we will also publish the students’ dissertations at the end of their courses.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,750

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      Amount Heading Description
      £2,715 Academic fees Tuition and other fees for masters' course (two years) at Gulu University for one student
      £3,075 Living expenses Living expenses for one student in Gulu (two years)
      £1,885 Academic fees Tuition and other fees for masters' course (two years) at Mbarara University for one student
      £3,075 Living expenses Living expenses for one student in Mbarara (two years)
  • Background


    Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world. Gulu University was founded in 2002 as part of post-war reconstruction efforts in northern Uganda. The region suffered terribly during the conflict: indiscriminate killing, abductions and the destruction of crops and livestock left many families destitute. Mbarara University is a science and technology centre of excellence and an outreach leader, aiming to make local communities better directed towards emerging needs in Uganda and beyond.


    Many current undergraduate students (especially in Gulu) have spent much of their lives in camps for internally displaced people, and have shown remarkable resilience and determination to secure educations and build better futures. Poor local students who otherwise could not afford the fees will benefit from these bursaries by earning MA diplomas and gaining crucial skills and knowledge which will benefit local communities if used to inform effective development and poverty reduction programmes.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We aim to reduce poverty by promoting rigorous and practical research methods for evidence based policy making and evaluation, and always strive for sustainable and meaningful outcomes. The continuing success of our previous bursaries project in Malawi and our capacity building partnership agreements with Gulu University and Mbarara University of Science and Technology give us a very strong basis for ensuring that this project succeeds in achieving its goals.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Moses Ntaro

    Moses Ntaro is a university lecturer at Mbarara University and will support their student during the course.

    Primrose Nakazibwe

    Primrose Nakazibwe is also a university lecturer at Mbarara University. Both Ntaro and Nakazibwe have strongly built field research capacity recently.

    Stephen Kalule

    Stephen Kalule has similar credentials at Gulu University as Ntaro and Nakazibwe, and will play the same role for the student there.

    Ipolto Okello-Uma

    Ipolto Okello-Uma will, together with Stephen Kalule, support the student at Gulu University.