- May 7, 2022
- Posted by: Mariam Kasemiire
- Category: Uncategorized
The Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) in Leadership and Training Programme
Makerere University in collaboration with Michigan Fellows Agribusiness Initiative (MFAI) on 5th May 2022 held a workshop to deliberate on diversity and inclusion as major factors in ensuring equity and safer home and work spaces across the globe. The meeting held at Grand Global Hotel in Kampala was attended by senior administrators from Makerere University, Kyambogo University, Michigan State University and MFAI.
The Diversity and Inclusion in Leadership and Training project, funded by Michigan State University’s Alliance for African Partnership (AAP), under the Transforming Institutions Strategic Funding is implemented by Michigan Fellows Agribusiness Initiative (MFAI), Makerere University (Mak), and Michigan State University (MSU)-African Studies Centre.
The project features a series of training aimed at deepening the knowledge and sensitivities of participating administrators, faculty, staff and youth leaders on matters of diversity and inclusion. The overarching objective of the project is to increase the representation of categories of people typically marginalized from leadership and decision-making processes such as women, people living with disabilities and youth from low income earning families.
During the workshop, senior administrators in attendance delivered presentations on the successes registered and challenges undermining diversity and inclusion in their institutions.
Presenting a report on the D&I Capacity and Needs Assessment at Makerere University, Prof. Nelson Turyahabwe, Head, Department of Extension and Innovation Studies at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere noted that whereas the University had registered significant successes with the existence of a Gender Equality Policy, an Appointments Board with diverse representation, and equal opportunities in terms of appointments, integration of diversity, equity & inclusion in the University core mandate areas like teaching, research, and Knowledge Transfer and Partnership was still low. He called for increased sensitization on the significant of diversity and inclusion in promoting equity and safe work spaces.
In her presentation on Cultivating and Nurturing inclusive environments, Dr Euzobia Baine Mugisha, Director, Gender Mainstreaming Directorate at Makerere University called for recruitment of gender experts in all Units of the University to support and ensure equity in all processes including teaching and learning, research, financing, staff recruitment, promotions and all policies regarding staff welfare.
Dr Harriet Kebirungi, Director, Directorate of Gender Mainstreaming Studies at Kyambogo University, illustrated the different contexts in which diversity and inclusion manifest and the conscious andunconscious biases in recruitment and trainings in institutions of learning. In her presentation, she decried the unequal distribution of resources in the country.
The meeting was attended by Dr Damaris Choti from Michigan State University who shared an overview of the project, and Mr Raymond Musiima who presented the Diversity and Inclusion Institutional Capacity Assessment Report of 2022.
Participants called for increased sensitization on diversity and inclusion, and what needs to be prioritized in the planning processes. They also called for more trainings on gender and equity as a measure of facilitating safe home and work environments.
About the D&I training programmes
The D&I in leadership and training project is a timely intervention within post or prolonged COVID 19 recovery work environments to bring marginalized groups at the forefront of key decision making as equal partners and allies to institutional transformation.
The consortium partners have a shared vision of making their institutions, departments, and community outreach programs more sensitive to the needs of their members. The institutions are not always keen to involve underrepresented groups including students, women, PWDs, PL-HIV/AIDs, and youth from low-income families in top management planning, strategic decision making and leadership. Marginalized persons are consequently treated as recipients and not equal contributors to institutional affairs. Hence, their needs, views and voices are less heard and/or are silenced. The D&I activities ensure that key stakeholders are trained in D&I. Project participants are expected to use lessons learned to teach, train, and engage their students and community organization in more equitable and inclusive ways.