Our research is key for the country

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Makerere University Business School yesterday graduated at least seven students with PhDs. These are among the more than 13,000 students graduating from Makerere University during week-long ceremony. The graduation ends today with students from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology

Dr Emmanuel Mugejjera (PhD in Information Systems)

He developed a framework for information management focusing on agricultural advisory information for small scale farmers. He used the design science research method to guide the development of this framework. Exploratory factor analysis and structural equation modeling were used

in the analysis and design of the framework respectively. Findings indicate that the critical success factors for management of agricultural advisory information include people and technology; funding, processes, and regulations; and information use outcomes and continuity.

Dr Godfrey Odongotoo (PhD in Information Systems)

He investigated the challenges of poor water resource management in Lake Victoria Basin and how an integrated water resource management ICT model can be used to address them. The model was found to address the challenges of inadequate stakeholders’ participation, inadequate accountability, poor financial and budgetary management and lack of transparency. The study recommended an improved enforcement of rules and regulations, increased involvement of communities, improved awareness creation, increased fight against corruption and enhanced communication strategies among stakeholders. The study further recommended water resource management frameworks, water resource management policies and effective decision-making as key variables in the design of an integrated water resource management intervention.

Dr Richard Kwizera (PhD Health Sciences)

He examined the burden of fungal asthma caused by aspergillus fumigatus in patients from Mulago hospital, where the frequency of severe asthma remains of significant public health importance.  Aspergillus fumigatus is a type of fungus that is typically found in soil and decaying organic matter. It is also one of the most common aspergillus species to cause disease in individuals with immunodeficiency such as lung infections and allergic reactions. Such people develop health problems after breathing in aspergillus spores. Mr Kwizera’s study review revealed that fungal asthma is a significant problem in Uganda and Africa, but there remains limited data on the epidemiology and associated complications. The aspergillus point-of-care test demonstrated a poor diagnostic performance for the diagnosis of both allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (mainly in patients with bronchial asthma or have cystic fibrosis) and severe asthma with fungal sensitisation.

Dr Brian Britex Owoyesigire (PhD in Agriculture, Animal science)

He studied climate variability extremes, pastoralists’ adaptation strategies, and future livestock productivity in the rangelands of Uganda.  The study reviewed data on daily rainfall, maximum and minimum temperatures from 1960 to 2013 obtained from the National Meteorological Authority.

It was observed that climate extremes in the form of erratic rainfall patterns, hot day and warm night temperatures, were fueling severe droughts and floods and thereby affecting livestock productivity.

Dr Martin Gordon Mubangizi (PhD in Software Engineering)

He investigated how dynamic Bayesian networks (DyBNs), a mature and tested 44 technology in other fields, can be applied in epidemiology to model and predict disease incidences using a case of malaria and cholera in Uganda. DyBNs are probabilistic graphical models that can model both temporal and spatial patterns, and also provide a way to reason about uncertainty by modelling an underlying disease process. A notable contribution of this work is a novel probabilistic framework for combining the two tasks of automatic disease diagnosis and disease density estimation. This framework allows both tasks to be carried out seamlessly in real-time, and this work demonstrated improvement in results when performed together.

Dr Hilary Semaana Rugema (PhD in Agriculture and rural innovation)

He studied the influence of partnerships in enhancing the functionality of one-stop centre association rice value chains in Uganda. The study revealed that inclusive engagement of smallholder farmers is important in identifying the right partners to match their diverse needs and to bargain for their interests in partnerships to minimise exploitation.  It showed that facilitating information flow enhances trust and transparency which motivate smallholders to pool resources for rice value addition and access to markets among others.

Dr Grace Nalweyiso (Doctor of philosophy)

She investigated relational people management in micro and small enterprises (MSEs) of Uganda. She specifically set out to examine mechanisms that MSEs can use to nurture positive workplace relationships which enhance their success and survival given the high failure rate in the country. Using a cross- sectional research design, she established that relational agency plays a mediating role in the relationship between generative leadership, positive emotions, generalized reciprocity and relational people management. She recommends that MSEs should embrace collective working, ignite people’s positive emotions and promote a culture of extending deeds towards others at work.

Dr Margaret Nagwovuma (PhD in Information Systems)

She investigated factors, status, reasons and issues associated with evaluating performance of eHealth information systems in Uganda. Her study revealed that minimal evaluation of these systems is done due to lack of guidelines to facilitate the evaluation process. Accordingly, major outputs of this research included a framework for performance evaluation of eHealth information systems, a performance evaluation checklist for eHealth Information Systems, and a corresponding prototype. Through rigorous evaluation, the study e

stablished that the designed framework was understandable, applicable and functional to fit in a developing economy context. The study recommends that there is need for adoption of mechanisms to support performance evaluation of existing and future eHealth Information System initiatives.

Dr Vicent Fred Ssennono (PhD in Energy Economics and Governance)

He investigated energy poverty among households in Uganda using capability theory. He set out to develop a Multidimensional Energy Poverty Index for Uganda (MEPI-U), and examine the effect of climatic shocks, household resilience and women empowerment on multidimensional energy poverty. Using a longitudinal research design, he finds that 66 per cent of the households in Uganda are energy poor and they are deprived of seven indicators out of thirteen thus the computed MEPI-U is 0.331. In addition, he finds that climatic shocks increase energy poverty while there is great potential in energy poverty alleviation when women are empowered in relation to men, but it’s even greater then both genders are empowered in the same household amid climatic shocks.

Dr Sylvia Aarakit Manjeri (PhD in energy economics and governance)

She studied the productive use of solar electricity by households in Uganda. She examined factors that explain adoption of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems and its productive use by households. She established that flexible payment mechanisms and neighbourhood effects increase adoption of solar PV; while the quality of solar PV, entrepreneurial skills, social network ties and financial inclusion increase productive use of solar electricity. She recommends that households should install high quality solar energy systems that can support productive use applications. She adds that households should leverage on their entrepreneurial abilities, network ties and available financial services to harness productive use opportunities arising from solar PV electrification. Policy wise, she recommends that the government should formulate a policy to regulates quality of solar PV systems imported and strengthen entrepreneurship skills initiatives to support productive solar electricity use in households.

Dr Moses Munyami Kinatta (PhD in Investment Decision quality in Commerce)

He investigated investment decision quality in commercial real estate (CRE) market in Uganda using modern finance and behavioural finance theories. He particularly set out to examine mechanisms investors in the CRE-market can use to enhance investment decision quality to achieve high returns and yields and subsequently create value growth. He established that de-biasing action plays a mediating role in the relationship between investor cognitive capabilities, investor intuitive attributes, information search precision and investment decision quality in CRE market. He recommends that CRE investors should continuously restructure their mindsets to respond to cognitive biases in order to make bias-free decisions. He further asserts that CRE investors should implement mechanisms that promote profitability, value-creation, cost-efficient and sustainability. From the policy perspective, responsible ministries should create a wing and Real Estate e-market database that provide a diversity of information that investors can base on to make CRE-decisions.

Dr Charles Kalinzi (PhD in Public Procurement)

He investigated the nature and magnitude of procurement performance expectations gap (PPEG) in community roadworks projects (CRPs), in Uganda’s District Local governments (DLGs) using a multiplicity of theoretical and methodological lenses.  Results showed DLGs have intensified engagement approaches, but haven’t yielded desired performance improvements in CRPs. He discovered that the Forced Account Mechanism (FAM) procurement method is implemented with mixed interpretations, but is a cheaper option; and should be streamlined to empower DLGs to “make, rather than buy” roadworks materials for sustainability of CRPs. The study implications ignite a meaningful debate on whether financing roadworks projects should be based on how narrow the performance gap should be, for improved utilisation of donor finances.

Dr Joshua Mandre (Doctor of philosophy)

He examined the associations between institutional isomorphism, agency relations, self-organisation and adoption of management controls. The research targeted Ugandan manufacturing firms. The results indicate that agency relations have the greatest contribution followed by institutional isomorphism, and self-organisation, while confirming the existence of both, partial mediation and full mediation. The study concludes that establishing agency relations enables the achievement of the firm’s objectives. Secondly, responding to institutional isomorphic pressure enables firms to adopt management controls, and a firm that rearranges its patterns of operation will adopt similar management controls with other firms. Firms also tend to be innovative when responding to coercive pressures, such as responding to the requirements of standards bodies such as UNBS. Therefore, manufacturing firms need to continuously re-arrange their patterns of operation.