The Promise of Science: Deliberating on biomedicine, health and democracy in the Ugandan parliament

Lead Research Organisation: Queen Mary, University of London
Department Name: Geography

Abstract

The proposed research explores science and democracy through the lens of scientific capacity building in Uganda. While scientific capacity building is often cast as a common good, its practices and implementation at the level of local institutions are little understood, and yet it broaches concerns about the globalisation of science and health governance, the spatialisation of development practices, and the relationship between liberal democracy and scientific knowledge. These concerns are contrasted against urgent calls to secure the health needs of poorer populations, and through international research networks, advance knowledge and understanding of major health issues affecting world populations, such as how to mitigate the health effects of environmental change, how to cope with growing populations, and how to contain infectious diseases.

The research focusses on the practices and perspectives of parliamentarians, parliamentary staff and researchers, donor agencies and research organisations in incorporating biomedical and health-related knowledge into parliamentary business. Drawing on text-based analysis of documents, in-depth semi-structured interviews and observational fieldwork of committee meetings, the study builds up a case study of science and health governance in the global south. The project examines the processes that bring scientific capacity into being, asking how 'capacity' is imagined by the different actors involved. By this means, it explores how knowledge production is translated into political communication and action, and how trajectories of health, biomedicine and democratisation converge in a legislative arena.

Political institutions are increasingly required to deliberate on issues that carry significant technical and scientific content. Parliaments emerge as important institutions that reassert the role of the state in development policy and carry the torch of democracy. Parliaments have the potential to bring together different sectors of society - experts, civil society, business, policymakers and donors - to develop informed, equitable and sustainable forms of governance. However, in a country such as Uganda, questions have been raised about the capacities of parliament to deliberate on complex issues as well as its actual power in scrutinising government. This is where scientific capacity building gains its impetus. While the rationale to intervene in African parliaments appears legitimate, practitioners of capacity building programmes struggle to reflect on the assumptions underpinning their work, in particular the relationship between knowledge and power; and local researchers are often not equipped with the skills and knowledge to do critical work at the science/society border that interrogates the effectiveness of donor programmes, and works to improve them in context.

This project aims to develop an impact agenda that addresses these gaps, and by doing so, capacity builds itself. The project aims to translate the research into the policymaking and practices of Ugandan (which include research participants, social scientists, scientists and researchers, donor and civil society organisations) and UK-based users (which include think tanks on development and science, donor agencies, and social scientists working in similar areas based at QMUL and other universities). Communicating with users will be accomplished through a structured dissemination path that involves publishing 2 journal articles and one single authored monograph, presenting at conferences, and attending seminars and reading groups. In addition, non-academic users in the UK and Uganda will be invited to participate in a series of four knowledge exchange events, in which they will be introduced and asked to engage in research design and data analysis. The research will be supported by a webpage and regular briefings will be sent to users, updating them on its progress at specific stages.

Planned Impact

The new knowledge, insight and skills I will develop during this project will enable the use and interpretation of qualitative research evidence in the work of researchers, political communities and donor agencies in the UK, Uganda and beyond. The project is expected to produce new knowledge and understanding about science governance, democracy and development in a LMIC. It has the potential to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of relationships between the Ugandan parliament and the international donor community, improving the efficacy of collaborative programmes and strengthening the political and social capacities of researchers and practitioners to govern science and technology. The research is expected to contribute to all three ESRC strategic priorities: economic performance and sustainable growth, influencing behaviour and informing interventions and the creation of a vibrant and fair society.

In developing my own research and leadership skills to manage a large research project and PGRA, I will acquire new skills and knowledge here at QMUL and elsewhere in the UK. These new skills will be applied to working in an international context in a complex and challenging area of research that is increasingly important to solving social problems related to health and biomedicine. The PGRA will have the opportunity to invest in their own professional and research development by being based at QMUL and having access to their range of training, and by also having access to training provided by other UK universities, as well as contributing to the dissemination and impact pathways of this project.

The knowledge exchange skills I will develop during this project will benefit parliamentarians and supporting staff working in the Ugandan parliament, as well as those working in political institutions across East Africa. The project will also have the potential to benefit the work of international donors working in research and capacity building on areas related to biomedicine and health in African contexts and beyond. In addition, policy makers and practitioners in development will benefit from the evidence base and insights produced by the project.

The workshop and communication activities that are part of this project form the base of a knowledge exchange plan that will outlast the life of the project, forging lasting relationships with a view to supporting future collaborations that work across international contexts.

Building on my consultancy work with the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology and the pilot study, this Future Research Leaders Grant will further strengthen my capacity to develop knowledge exchange and impact pathways from the emerging research results, forming the basis of a robust, socially responsive platform of research to take forward in my future academic career.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The key findings outlined below emerged from over 12 months ethnographic research. This intensive field research generated highly contextualised understandings of the meaning, uses and impacts of evidence in legislative business in Uganda. There are three key findings that are highlighted below that are currently in preparation for publication in the form of two journal articles and a monograph. To summarise, the findings emerging from this project attend to the original research questions that sought to investigate what constitutes research capacity building, the dominant epistemology of evidence informed planning and policymaking and knowledge translation (KT), and the politics of knowledge that underscore these practices.

1. The first finding relates to the form of evidence networks which continue to proliferate across African countries. Findings in this area address research questions concerned with what constitutes the form and function of research capacity building. The findings document the history of EIPM and knowledge translation in African contexts emerging through a confluence of influences from social psychology, evidence based medicine and good governance discourse. Findings further highlight the aesthetics of EIPM, illustrating a deepening focus on the techniques of knowledge translation, which are given life in various models, flows and diagrams that are applied through discrete and continuous training programmes. This focus on technique has implications for understanding the context in which capacity building programmes are developed.
2. Following on from a focus on the form of evidence networks, the second significant finding concerns the mediating effects of EIPM on political discourse and governing practices. Findings in this area address research questions concerned with the epistemology of EIPM and KT and the moral economies that underpin them. In documenting this finding we tracked the particular category of Traditional Birth Attendants from its original development and application in managing maternal healthcare provision in the colonial era. We highlight the mediating effects of the turn to evidence in the 1980s and continuing through to the present day, predominantly in the form of maternal health metrics, on the state's relationship to traditional healers, which moves from collaboration to criminalisation. Our intention was to follow the Traditional Healers Bill through the Ugandan parliament, but the bill was delayed beyond the timeframe of the field research.
3. The third finding concerns the politics of evidence focussing on the political philosophy that underscores EIPM and how this is put into practice in the context of the Ugandan legislative. The findings respond to research questions about the political underpinnings and transformative effects of evidence networks in African political institutions. Findings document the ways in which the space between evidence and politics is rendered managerial. Managerial practices aim for scalability and standardisation through evaluative processes that have influenced the restructuring of the parliamentary administration into units of evaluation, reinforcing a greater disparity between the form and function of legislative business.

The findings realised significant new research questions about the role and status of African legislatives in rapidly changing social and political contexts and in relation to increasing globalised forms of knowledge and know-how.
Exploitation Route This study has three significant impacts that are evidenced by the submissions to Research Fish

Contextual understanding: The study provides policy practitioners and makers with a rich contextual understanding of knowledge practices in the Ugandan legislative context. Understanding the contexts in which interventions in research capacity building take place has emerged as a major concern of EIPM and KT practitioners. This study advocates the use of ethnographic knowledge in understanding how the institutions and professionals that make up a context are co-producers of interventions that practitioners themselves can learn from. This impact will be articulated through a summary of findings report that will be circulated to relevant organisations in mid-2019.

Expertise: the study equipped the project leader and postdoctoral research fellow with substantial expertise in knowledge practices in African legislatives. This expertise has been called upon to advise on reports and policy programmes.

Networks: The project built up a network of contacts and collaborating partners interested in extending knowledge translation practices and deepening the way legislatives and governing bodies handle information and evidence. These collaborations have led to grant applications to fund new projects and programmes.

Knowledge infrastructures: the project team worked with colleagues in the Ugandan parliament to establish peer review and knowledge management systems. This attended to a gap in what we called 'knowledge infrastructures' that worked to improve the transfer and quality of information. This gap can be the focus of future interventions and initiatives.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Government, Democracy and Justice

 
Description The most significant impact of the research emerged as a consequence of undertaking in-depth fieldwork in the Ugandan parliament. Field research involved over 12 months ethnography based in the Department of Research Services in the Parliament of Uganda. The advantage of using the ethnographic method was developing close connections to research participants, learning a lot about their professional lives and potentially working with them - simply because you are there. By being embedded in the parliament, we were regularly asked to support and/or advise the team on issues relating to the handling and use of information or departmental strategy. In response, we organised writing groups with parliamentary researchers that supported the development of their reports. We worked with researchers to develop a peer review system that once enabled, would lead to improved knowledge management and standardised research practices. We provided feedback and commentary on departmental reports, making key suggestions based on what we learnt from participants. We maximised the Memorandum of Understanding between the Parliament and Ugandan National Academy of Sciences to organise a series of workshops that facilitated connections between parliamentary researchers and local researchers, research institutes and organisations, such as the UNDP, United Nations Pulse Lab, Makerere University and the Uganda National Health Research Organisation (UNAS). This enabled parliamentary researchers to link to an established knowledge base in-country and to benefit from the mentorship and peer review of established academics, researchers and policy practitioners. While we interacted with research participants, sharing our knowledge and expertise, it is difficult to mark the impact over time, to say with certainty that the work we did had an impact on the handling of research and information, and the quality of research reports. The research findings were used by the project team to inform the content and discussion of a series workshops that explored the knowledge base of the Sustainable Development Goals in Uganda and aimed to connect parliament to the wider research community. The research findings were also used to inform a report co-authored by the project leader and published by INASP called Evidence in African Parliaments (2017).
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Cultural,Policy & public services

 
Description Co-author on INASP publication Evidence in African Parliaments
Geographic Reach Africa 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact The report Evidence in African Parliaments has received citation and review in the digital outputs of international and trans-national civil society and non-governmental organisations, supranational governing bodies: 1. Agora portal training blog post 2. European Union Science and Knowledge Service, training in evidence use in parliaments.
 
Description SDG Workshops
Geographic Reach Africa 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact The evaluation of the SDG workshops showed that participants learned new knowledge, interacted with experts and parliamentary advisers and would be highly interested in attending similar events that link parliamentary and government research with the expert community in Uganda. The workshops responded to "an urgent need for parliamentary institutional strengthening in mainstreaming SDGs with the institutional processes for effective oversight to be made by parliament" (participant 1).
 
Description Clandestine Acts: Informality, Illicit Mobilities and Corruption in the Making of Global Health Science
Amount £37,702 (GBP)
Organisation Queen Mary University of London 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2020 
End 12/2020
 
Description Humanities and Social Sciences Strategic Impact Award
Amount £2,817 (GBP)
Organisation Queen Mary University of London 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 11/2017
 
Description Measuring Global Health: An International Workshop on the Political, Social and Ethical Aspects of Metrics and Quantification Practices in Global Health
Amount £9,660 (GBP)
Funding ID 200421/Z/15/Z 
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2016 
End 06/2017
 
Title Dataset 1: Interviews 
Description The full dataset of interviews collated during the project that includes 93 interview transcripts has been uploaded to ReShare. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact There are no notable impacts to report at the current moment. 
URL https://reshare.ukdataservice.ac.uk/cgi/users/home?screen=EPrint::Summary&eprintid=853471
 
Description Department of Research Services, Ugandan Parliament 
Organisation Parliament of Uganda
Country Uganda 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Collaborating with the Department of Research Services in the Ugandan parliament for seven months starting in June 2016 and continuing for five months in 2017. The collaboration is designed to facilitate ethnographic field research within the research team and to engage in capacity building in the Ugandan parliament by deepening networks and collaborative relationships with UK and Ugandan based organisations. The collaboration has involved peer review and research training. The field research has extended to following three committees in their first year of parliamentary work: the Health Committee, ICT Committee, and the Science and Technology Committee.
Collaborator Contribution This collaboration is now mid way through, I have spent seven months embedded within the Ugandan parliament and interacting with relevant organisations, Uganda, Pan African and International. The collaborating partners have all agreed to be interviewed and observed as part of the field research, they have participated in peer review exercises and writing groups, and in forging networks with research organisations in Uganda. In August, I established a weekly writing group with three principle parliamentary researchers whereby we sat together, wrote and then discussed and reviewed each other's work. This included writing from my own research project, and research and policy reports produced by parliamentary researchers. Through the seven month period I connected researchers with external organisations. Of particular note is the connection between the UN Pulse Lab (data science laboratory based in Kampala) and the researcher for the committee. The DRS was a collaborating partner on a recent grant application to the RCUK Global Challenges Research Fund that, unfortunately was unsuccessful, but have paved the way for future collaborations.
Impact The outcomes extend to impacts on policy and legislative processes including improved writing and reviewing procedures among researchers and the widening networks of research organisations and by extension, the broadening of the knowledge base informing parliamentary business in Uganda. The GCRF grant application was completed and submitted in December.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Developing a diverse knowledge base for the SDGs 
Organisation Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC)
Country Uganda 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The research team have coordinated and organised collaborative relationships linking Ugandan expertise with the parliamentary research services to develop a buoyant and relational knowledge base that can address the SDGs. The research team brought subjective specific expertise on knowledge practices and policymaking. They also brought expertise in networking and engagement in order to create the right kind of synergies between collaborating partners.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attended workshops that ran over three consecutive days and built relationships with parliamentary researchers that involved mentoring, peer review and research skill training. Partners have also committed to lending their support to future workshops and to the development of research networks.
Impact 1. SDG workshop report: Reports on the three workshops focusing on gaps in knowledge and training, and making recommendations for future collaborations. 2. Grant application: the SDG workshops fed into a grant application exploring evidence use at the level of district health committees.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Developing a diverse knowledge base for the SDGs 
Organisation Makerere University
Department Department of Geography, Geoinformatics & Climatic Sciences
Country Uganda 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The research team have coordinated and organised collaborative relationships linking Ugandan expertise with the parliamentary research services to develop a buoyant and relational knowledge base that can address the SDGs. The research team brought subjective specific expertise on knowledge practices and policymaking. They also brought expertise in networking and engagement in order to create the right kind of synergies between collaborating partners.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attended workshops that ran over three consecutive days and built relationships with parliamentary researchers that involved mentoring, peer review and research skill training. Partners have also committed to lending their support to future workshops and to the development of research networks.
Impact 1. SDG workshop report: Reports on the three workshops focusing on gaps in knowledge and training, and making recommendations for future collaborations. 2. Grant application: the SDG workshops fed into a grant application exploring evidence use at the level of district health committees.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Developing a diverse knowledge base for the SDGs 
Organisation Makerere University
Department Department of Political Science and Public Administration
Country Uganda 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The research team have coordinated and organised collaborative relationships linking Ugandan expertise with the parliamentary research services to develop a buoyant and relational knowledge base that can address the SDGs. The research team brought subjective specific expertise on knowledge practices and policymaking. They also brought expertise in networking and engagement in order to create the right kind of synergies between collaborating partners.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attended workshops that ran over three consecutive days and built relationships with parliamentary researchers that involved mentoring, peer review and research skill training. Partners have also committed to lending their support to future workshops and to the development of research networks.
Impact 1. SDG workshop report: Reports on the three workshops focusing on gaps in knowledge and training, and making recommendations for future collaborations. 2. Grant application: the SDG workshops fed into a grant application exploring evidence use at the level of district health committees.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Developing a diverse knowledge base for the SDGs 
Organisation Parliament of Uganda
Department Department of Research Services
Country Uganda 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The research team have coordinated and organised collaborative relationships linking Ugandan expertise with the parliamentary research services to develop a buoyant and relational knowledge base that can address the SDGs. The research team brought subjective specific expertise on knowledge practices and policymaking. They also brought expertise in networking and engagement in order to create the right kind of synergies between collaborating partners.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attended workshops that ran over three consecutive days and built relationships with parliamentary researchers that involved mentoring, peer review and research skill training. Partners have also committed to lending their support to future workshops and to the development of research networks.
Impact 1. SDG workshop report: Reports on the three workshops focusing on gaps in knowledge and training, and making recommendations for future collaborations. 2. Grant application: the SDG workshops fed into a grant application exploring evidence use at the level of district health committees.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Developing a diverse knowledge base for the SDGs 
Organisation Uganda National Academy of Sciences
Country Uganda 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The research team have coordinated and organised collaborative relationships linking Ugandan expertise with the parliamentary research services to develop a buoyant and relational knowledge base that can address the SDGs. The research team brought subjective specific expertise on knowledge practices and policymaking. They also brought expertise in networking and engagement in order to create the right kind of synergies between collaborating partners.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attended workshops that ran over three consecutive days and built relationships with parliamentary researchers that involved mentoring, peer review and research skill training. Partners have also committed to lending their support to future workshops and to the development of research networks.
Impact 1. SDG workshop report: Reports on the three workshops focusing on gaps in knowledge and training, and making recommendations for future collaborations. 2. Grant application: the SDG workshops fed into a grant application exploring evidence use at the level of district health committees.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Developing a diverse knowledge base for the SDGs 
Organisation United Nations (UN)
Department UN-REDD Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries
Country United States 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The research team have coordinated and organised collaborative relationships linking Ugandan expertise with the parliamentary research services to develop a buoyant and relational knowledge base that can address the SDGs. The research team brought subjective specific expertise on knowledge practices and policymaking. They also brought expertise in networking and engagement in order to create the right kind of synergies between collaborating partners.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attended workshops that ran over three consecutive days and built relationships with parliamentary researchers that involved mentoring, peer review and research skill training. Partners have also committed to lending their support to future workshops and to the development of research networks.
Impact 1. SDG workshop report: Reports on the three workshops focusing on gaps in knowledge and training, and making recommendations for future collaborations. 2. Grant application: the SDG workshops fed into a grant application exploring evidence use at the level of district health committees.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Developing a diverse knowledge base for the SDGs 
Organisation United Nations (UN)
Department United Nations Development Programme
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The research team have coordinated and organised collaborative relationships linking Ugandan expertise with the parliamentary research services to develop a buoyant and relational knowledge base that can address the SDGs. The research team brought subjective specific expertise on knowledge practices and policymaking. They also brought expertise in networking and engagement in order to create the right kind of synergies between collaborating partners.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attended workshops that ran over three consecutive days and built relationships with parliamentary researchers that involved mentoring, peer review and research skill training. Partners have also committed to lending their support to future workshops and to the development of research networks.
Impact 1. SDG workshop report: Reports on the three workshops focusing on gaps in knowledge and training, and making recommendations for future collaborations. 2. Grant application: the SDG workshops fed into a grant application exploring evidence use at the level of district health committees.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Evidence in African Parliaments 
Organisation African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs
Country Ghana 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The PI co-authored a policy practitioner report on Evidence in African Parliaments. The PI has shared findings and insights developed from the research and will continue to share outputs with the collaborating organisations.
Collaborator Contribution ACEPA has agreed to share its knowledge and expertise and participate in the research project through interview. ACEPA has also agreed to collaborate on future grant applications and provide consultancy and steering to projects. ACEPA works across Africa to improve the function and effectiveness of parliaments. It is a non-profit organisation funded via major donors that aims to build the institutional capacities and strengthen the autonomy of parliaments for better democratic representation and governance in policy making and legislation.
Impact A policy practitioner report Evidence in African Parliaments is an outcome from this project.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Evidence in African Parliaments 
Organisation International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The PI co-authored a policy practitioner report on Evidence in African Parliaments. The PI has shared findings and insights developed from the research and will continue to share outputs with the collaborating organisations.
Collaborator Contribution ACEPA has agreed to share its knowledge and expertise and participate in the research project through interview. ACEPA has also agreed to collaborate on future grant applications and provide consultancy and steering to projects. ACEPA works across Africa to improve the function and effectiveness of parliaments. It is a non-profit organisation funded via major donors that aims to build the institutional capacities and strengthen the autonomy of parliaments for better democratic representation and governance in policy making and legislation.
Impact A policy practitioner report Evidence in African Parliaments is an outcome from this project.
Start Year 2016
 
Description INASP 
Organisation International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The expected contribution involves including INASP in the research process and knowledge sharing. It also involves organising a policy/academic workshop in 2017/2018 to discuss scientific capacity building and evidence based policy making. I have collaborated with INASP throughout the project, which is not starting to take more substantial form through knowledge exchanges and mutual learning, consultancy and editorial work.
Collaborator Contribution INASP have agreed to participate in the research with a view to it providing more detailed evaluative information and an investigation into the role and impact of capacity building programmes in political institutions in the Global South. INASP collaborated on a recent Global Challenges Research Fund bid submitted by QMUL. Their role was defined as an implementing partner. INASP have agreed to participate on any further grant applications and have invited me to consult on workshops and policy documents.
Impact Expected outcomes and outputs include policy/academic workshop in 2017 or 2018 around evidence based policy making and scientific capacity building in the Global South. The workshop and resulting report will contribute towards INASP's capacity building work in the political institutions across the world where they are working to strengthen evidence-based policymaking. The GCRF grant application is an outcome of this collaboration. The policy document, Parliaments and Evidence Informed Policy Making (produced in collaboration with ACEPA), is an outcome of this collaboration.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Improving the knowledge base of the Ugandan parliament 
Organisation Parliament of Uganda
Department Department of Research Services
Country Uganda 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution In January, I met with the President and executive director of UNAS to discuss our collaborative partnership. I will follow and advise on UNAS's work with the Department of Research Services in the Ugandan Parliament, helping to arrange public engagement and training events and working towards greater integration of expertise in parliamentary business. I spent seven months conducting fieldwork in Kampala and working alongside UNAS to improve the research capacities of the Ugandan parliament. I attended a series of workshops and training sessions organised by UNAS. UNAS were a collaborative partner in the three Sustainable Development Workshops held in Kampala in November 2017. These were organised through the Memorandum of Understanding between UNAS and Parliament that caters for collaborative events and training programmes. From September 2017 onwards, the research team worked to implement a peer review programme in the Department of Research Services, working with the science and technology team.
Collaborator Contribution UNAS will contribute to the research project in terms of data, allowing me to follow and interview various members of the executive and steering committee. UNAS have participated in the research via interviews and by granting me access to workshops and training programmes. They have also sought out my advice and feedback regarding the quality and effectiveness of training. UNAS have partnered on the recent QMUL Global Challenges Research Fund bid as a collaborating organisation and have agreed to support any future research projects. UNAS were a collaborative partner in the three Sustainable Development Workshops held in Kampala in November 2017. They provided access to the fellows and supported the events administratively.
Impact The GCRF grant application is an outcome of this collaboration. The SDG workshops were an outcome of this collaboration.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Improving the knowledge base of the Ugandan parliament 
Organisation Uganda National Academy of Sciences
Country Uganda 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution In January, I met with the President and executive director of UNAS to discuss our collaborative partnership. I will follow and advise on UNAS's work with the Department of Research Services in the Ugandan Parliament, helping to arrange public engagement and training events and working towards greater integration of expertise in parliamentary business. I spent seven months conducting fieldwork in Kampala and working alongside UNAS to improve the research capacities of the Ugandan parliament. I attended a series of workshops and training sessions organised by UNAS. UNAS were a collaborative partner in the three Sustainable Development Workshops held in Kampala in November 2017. These were organised through the Memorandum of Understanding between UNAS and Parliament that caters for collaborative events and training programmes. From September 2017 onwards, the research team worked to implement a peer review programme in the Department of Research Services, working with the science and technology team.
Collaborator Contribution UNAS will contribute to the research project in terms of data, allowing me to follow and interview various members of the executive and steering committee. UNAS have participated in the research via interviews and by granting me access to workshops and training programmes. They have also sought out my advice and feedback regarding the quality and effectiveness of training. UNAS have partnered on the recent QMUL Global Challenges Research Fund bid as a collaborating organisation and have agreed to support any future research projects. UNAS were a collaborative partner in the three Sustainable Development Workshops held in Kampala in November 2017. They provided access to the fellows and supported the events administratively.
Impact The GCRF grant application is an outcome of this collaboration. The SDG workshops were an outcome of this collaboration.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Information systems and knowledge infrastructures at the district level in Uganda 
Organisation Makerere University College of Health Sciences
Country Uganda 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The research team provides expertise in qualitative research methods, specifically ethnographic methods, in developing a project that aims to evolve evidence informed policymaking and planning to the level of district health offices in Uganda. The contribution of the research extends to building networks between UNHRO and parliamentary research and to involving them in a future grant application.
Collaborator Contribution UNHRO is made up of highly trained public health specialists and researchers who provide an evidence based of synthesised health research to governing institutions. UNHRO has agreed to be a collaborating partner on a future grant application. UNHRO will provide specialist research support in developing knowledge translation programmes.
Impact A grant application has been produced and submitted to the Wellcome Collaborative Scheme in Humanities and Social Science to evolve evidence informed policymaking and planning to the level of district health offices in Uganda.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Information systems and knowledge infrastructures at the district level in Uganda 
Organisation Uganda National Health Research Organisation
Country Uganda 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The research team provides expertise in qualitative research methods, specifically ethnographic methods, in developing a project that aims to evolve evidence informed policymaking and planning to the level of district health offices in Uganda. The contribution of the research extends to building networks between UNHRO and parliamentary research and to involving them in a future grant application.
Collaborator Contribution UNHRO is made up of highly trained public health specialists and researchers who provide an evidence based of synthesised health research to governing institutions. UNHRO has agreed to be a collaborating partner on a future grant application. UNHRO will provide specialist research support in developing knowledge translation programmes.
Impact A grant application has been produced and submitted to the Wellcome Collaborative Scheme in Humanities and Social Science to evolve evidence informed policymaking and planning to the level of district health offices in Uganda.
Start Year 2017
 
Description African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The research team presented preliminary findings from the project to an audience at AFIDEP based in Nairobi. The audience was made up of AFIDEP staff, nearly the entire staff attended, which added up to 14 people. The presentation resulted in an enlivened discussion. The organisation was very happy to host the research team and the prospect of future collaborations and partnerships was mooted.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.afidep.org/
 
Description Centre for Policy Analysis (CEPA) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The research team made a presentation to the CEPA organisation. The presentation was based on preliminary findings from the project and explored links to CEPA's own work. CEPA were very enthusiastic to host the research team and to learn more about the project. The prospect of future engagements and collaborations was raised.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://cepa.or.ug/
 
Description Data Science workshop at United Nations Pulse Lab (Kampala) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I gave a presentation as part of the UN Pulse Lab workshop about Data Science Africa. This workshop brought together regional, mainly East African data scientists, to discuss the promises and potential of data science in providing solutions to some of the most pressing problems confronting African societies. My contribution was to introduce a social science perspective to studying and understanding the implications of data science and new technologies. The talk was well received and resulting in audience members pursuing me for further information about social studies of science, including requests for references, and them discussing being more reflexive in their own work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.datascienceafrica.org/dsa2016/
 
Description Evidence 2016 conference, Pretoria South Africa, engagement with the policy networks operating across African countries (SA) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I attended the Evidence 2016 conference in Pretoria South Africa that we organised by Africa Evidence Network. The conference involved a series of talks and workshops by professional practitioners in knowledge translation, evidence informed policy making and research capacity building operating across African countries. This presented an opportunity to engaged with this audience, develop networks of contacts and discuss the research project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.africaevidencenetwork.org
 
Description Global Evidence Summit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Cochrane, a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers, and people interested in health, joined with four other leading organizations - the Guidelines International Network, The Campbell Collaboration, the International Society for Evidence-based Health Care, and the Joanna Briggs Institute - to host the first 'Global Evidence Summit' (GES) in Cape Town, South Africa from 12-16 September 2017.

The theme of the GES, 'Using Evidence. Improving Lives', promoted evidence-informed approaches to health policy and development, offering the most cost-effective interventions. The PI attended this event in order to network with policy practitioners and to engage in prescient debates within the evidence informed policymaking paradigm.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.globalevidencesummit.org/
 
Description Network of African Parliamentary Committees on Health (NEAPCOH) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The PI attended the NEAPACOH meeting held in Kampala as part of field research. The meeting provided an opportunity to network further with parliamentary health committee.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Sustainable Development Goals Workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Three workshops were organised that connected local experts with members of the Department of Research Services (DRS) in the Parliament of Uganda. The workshop was organised as part of the Memoranda of Understanding between Ugandan National Academy of Sciences (UNAS) and the Parliament of Uganda. The workshops were funded by QMUL Humanities and Social Science Strategic Impact Award. The aim was twofold: to raise the profile of the DRS and to strengthen Uganda's knowledge base to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Traditional Birth Attendants and the State: the mediating effect of Evidence Informed Policy Making (EIPM) on maternal health policy in Uganda 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The paper, emerging from the research was presented at the inaugural meeting of the 4S STS Africa network, a newly formed network that seeks to connect and advance science and technology studies in Africa.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.stsafrica2018.com
 
Description UNAS Scientific Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The research team attended the annual Scientific Meeting hosted by Uganda National Academy of Sciences. We were able to network with fellows and discuss with them collaborations. Several fellows were approached to attend the SDG workshops.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.unas.org.ug/
 
Description VakaYiko Learning exchange (Uganda) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact I attended a closed learning exchange workshop organised jointly by ACEPA and INASP as part of the VakaYiko consortium between three parliaments: Zimbabwe, Ghana and Uganda. The workshop was designed to bring together information and research services from each department to discuss their work, its challenges and rewards and to exchange ideas and modes of learning. This provided me with an opportunity to introduce my research to members of the different parliaments and the supporting organisations, which also included AFIDEP (African Centre for Development Policy) and ACTS (African Centre for Technology Studies).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description WFD Deliberating Democracy Conference (London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The Westminster Foundation for Democracy organised a practitioner/policy/academic conference, Deliberating Democracy: Examining Democratic Change and the Role of International Democracy Support, which brought together leading figures in democracy support from around the world to debate and discuss capacity building and democracy strengthening in the context of LMICs.

The conference provided an opportunity to interact and network with leading organisations and to introduce the research to this audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Wellcome Trust funded 'Measuring Global Health' workshop (London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This workshop was the result of a collaborative award from the Wellcome Trust to host a 2-Day workshop to discuss global health metrics among epidemiologists, policymakers, science journalists, medical historians and social scientists. The workshop was unusual in that is brought together academics and practitioners from different fields to discuss and debate the production, consumption and politics of global health metrics. The workshop attracted practitioners from the Institute of Global Health Metrics in Seattle, funded by the Gates Foundation, members of the Lancet editorial team and the Guardian newspaper.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017