According to Mathew Amollo, the research manager at AfriChild Centre, the objective of the training was to build capacities of university staff in conducting participatory child focused research.

“When we conducted a training needs assessment, findings revealed that university faculties have a partial, disciplinary-shaped perspective on child focused research,” he said.

Thus, this training was initiated to refine university researchers’ knowledge on approaches to research ethics, data analysis and interpretation of findings when implementing projects focusing on children.RevFrDrPichoEpiphanyfromMuniUniversityengagesProfFredWabwireMangenfromMakerereUniversity


The training was loaded with different topics including ethics in research; models of child involvement in research; research paradigms and grants writing among others.

While doing research with children, Dr Deborah Odjiambo, a mentor from Makerere University, urged participants to consider ethics such as seeking informed consent; respecting children’s privacy and being mindful not to expose children to issues beyond their comprehension ability.

Rev. Dr. Epiphany Picho drew participants’ attention to common mistakes while developing the statement of the problem and literature review. These include: being repetitive and verbose; lack of organization and structure and monotony of a starting point.

The training also comprised of a grants writing component led by Prof. Wabwire-Mangen. He taught participants basics of grants writing and advance preparations before writing a grant. When preparing to submit a grant to a potential funder, he urged researchers to know the potential funder well; write the problem statement and select persons who will review the proposals before submission.

“As a way forward, there must be a line budget for research in every university. As researchers, you need to position yourselves as resource mobilizers,” Prof Wabwire-Mangen urged the trainees.

On its part, the AfriChild Centre is set to provide small research grants to these university researchers after they have submitted proposals.


A paradigm shift is happening in the world of research. Ugandan researchers are moving away from conducting research on children to doing research with children. Simply put, doing research with children engages children as architects of the research rather than just being researched on. Children constitute a significant proportion of our communities and the natural way to obtain information about them is to do work with them as researchers and informants.

“Child-focused research is vital for understanding children’s lives and ensuring that they participate in issues that affect them,” Prof Katahoire said.

In his closing remarks at the end of the training, Prof. Peter Ubomba urged the AfriChild Centre to create avenues where academics interface with policy makers.