Category Archives: Uganda

Uganda Progress through a National Dialogue on Open Science and Open Data, 25-26 & 27 April 2018, Kampala, Uganda

Through the network established on the continent, the African Open Science Platform project managed to make huge inroads into open data/open science policy discussions with many countries. One of these countries is Uganda, which hosted a high-level Uganda Open Data/Open Science National Dialogue and associated meetings during 25-26 April 2018 (separate meetings on 27 April 2018). We are incredibly thankful to the principal organizer, Mr Raymond Katebaka, Secretary General of the African Union of Conservationists, as well as to Prof David Bakibinga (Professor of Commercial Law, Makerere University), for their major contributions in taking the existing conversation forward, bringing all important stakeholders in Uganda together. The African Open Science Platform was a proud funder of the event which was coordinated together with the African Union of Conservationists, with great support from the Uganda National Council of Science and Technology (UNCST).

The meeting was well attended by more than 60 people, and included the Executive Secretary, Uganda National Council of Science and Technology (UNCST); Assistant Commissioner, Ministry of ICT and National Guidance; National Environment Management Authority (NEMA); Ministry of Health; Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS); National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U); with some key researchers from Makerere University.

The workshop discussed Uganda’s draft Open Data Policy, and workshop sessions discussed research data issues, incl. strategy and stakeholders, barriers and incentives, policies, technical infrastructure and training. Valuable meetings were held with the Vice-Chancellor of the Makerere University, the Executive Secretary and team at UNCST, the Director of Research and Graduate Training, Makerere University, and the RUFORUM Secretariat. Opportunity was also given to participants to share their projects on open data, subject repositories, visualisations and the much needed cyber infrastructure needed. The conference also had the underlying theme of how Open Science can address achieving the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Through this work AOSP managed to prioritise open science and open data in Uganda.

One of the deliverables is a report to inform the way forward on a Uganda Open Science/Open Data policy. Needs were expressed in terms of data training and infrastructure, and AOSP is looking forward continuing working with Uganda in taking all forward.

Selected presentations delivered are available as follows:

Thank you to all the presenters, and specifically Nozuku Hlwatika, Susan Veldsman & Simon Hodson representing AOSP during this highly successful event.

Comment by one of the participants:

“Although, I was only able to attend the last session, I felt that the dialogue triggered our thoughts on open data, and provided a platform to talk, participate and make critical efforts towards an open data policy in Uganda.Thanks for the opportunity and lets keep the dialogue going-on in anyway possible.”

Photo below: Meeting of Conveners of the National Dialogue on Mainstreaming Open Data with Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, 26/04/2018 — with Raymond Katebaka, Susan Veldsman, Simon Hodson, David Bakibinga at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.

Libraries as important stakeholders in data management: AOSP participation during SCECSAL XXIII, Entebbe, Uganda (23-28 April 2018)

Librarians are important stakeholders in providing research data support to scientists, because of the many skills they offer, their focus on providing and disseminating access to high quality research information resources, of which data sets one of many. ASSAf – through the AOSP project – contributed to raising awareness amongst librarians during the bi-annual SCECSAL XXIII Conference, hosted by the Uganda Library and Information Association, from 23 to 28 April 2018, in Entebbe, Uganda. In addition to a paper being presented on “The Role of Librarians in transforming the world through Open Data and Open Science”, ASSAf (AOSP) also hosted a workshop on Open Science for librarians, addressing library roles in terms of:

  • advocating for science and data to be open and transparent;
  • recommending data repositories for researchers to re-use existing datasets;
  • managerial and curation role in terms of managing institutional research data sets, and lastly,
  • integrating research data management training as part of information literacy skills training.

As with all areas, roles are evolving, and more can be added to the above. The Accord on Open Data in a Big Data World acknowledge the contribution librarians can make, and librarians agreed that more needed to be done in terms of embracing open science and open data, towards achieving the UN SDGs.

Valuable networking took place, and AOSP is looking forward welcoming more librarians across the continent to this conversation, also through AfLIA and IFLA.

Please get in touch with your library, and enquire about research data support. Also encourage librarians to become part of the conversation.