The Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) Bulletin
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A word from Prof. William Bazeyo, Dean Makerere University School of Public Health and RAN Chief of Party/Lab Director

Dear Reader,
Thank you for being an integral part of the Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN). We are steadily moving to impact the target communities and I must emphasize that “if you are doing something which is not targeting changing lives of those people who are in need in the communities, then you are not doing enough. An innovation must cause positive change in the communities”. It is therefore vital that, as we move into incubating some innovations for the benefit of the community, we are sure that these are all in line with the actual community needs/challenges. 

I welcome you to the January/February 2015 RAN Bulletin. In this issue, you will read about the Needfinding approach in relation to innovation, Deliberative Polling (DP) a method for community consultation-first of its kind in Africa, students’ engagement activities and the power of collaboration brought in by the greater Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN) under the US Global Development Lab among others.

Enjoy Reading!
Makerere University School of Public Health
ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) 

The ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) is a partnership targeting 20 sub-Saharan African universities led by Makerere University in Uganda, together with Tulane University’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy (DRLA), Stanford University, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in the United States. Supported by USAID, the architecture of RAN in Africa consists of four Resilience Innovation Labs (RI Labs) that are centers for tapping into the wide resource of students, faculty and the community for ideation, development and testing of innovations.

The RI Labs are also focal points of technology innovation and commercialization of university research attracting local and national resources, sustainably funded, with replication potential across sub-Saharan African cities as well as other university partners in other sub-Saharan African countries. RAN’s RILabs are the Eastern Africa RILab (EA RILab) hosted by Makerere University in Uganda, West Africa RILab (WA RILab) hosted by the University for Development Studies in Ghana, Horn of Africa RILab (HoA RILab) hosted by Jimma University in Ethiopia, and Southern Africa RILab (SA RILab) hosted by University of Pretoria in South Africa.

By applying science, technology, innovation and partnerships, and using evidence-based approaches, RAN seeks to identify, develop and scale innovative solutions that will strengthen the resilience of African communities afflicted by natural as well as man-made shocks and stresses.

West Africa Conducts Deliberative Polling Exercise
“Community consultations to inform interventions”
The West Africa Resilience Innovation lab (WA RILab) hosted by the University for Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale, Ghana in collaboration with Makerere University/ResilientAfrica Network (RAN), conducted a Deliberative Polling® (DP) in the Tamale Metropolitan Area from January 10-11, 2015.  The Tamale Poll was the first of its kind in West Africa and the second in Africa after Uganda’s Mt. Elgon region DP held in July 2014. 
Needfinding: A critical pillar of Innovation
“As an innovator; it is not about you but about the end user. By prototyping, you learn through doing. Everything can be prototyped.
RAN in collaboration with Stanford University-ChangeLabs, one of RAN’s core partners, conducted a two days engaging and exciting knowledge-building workshop focused on the human-centered approach to design resilience innovations.
The objective of the “NeedFinding” workshop was to introduce participants to the philosophy, techniques and methodologies of incorporating a human-centered approach throughout the innovation process.
Makerere University wins award to develop a solution to the challenges faced in fighting Ebola in sub-Saharan Africa
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development and in just two months, innovators from around the world submitted over 1,500 ideas focused on helping frontline health care workers to provide better, more timely care and to contain this devastating virus.
RAN’s proposed solution is a redesigned Ebola treatment tent that aims to substantially change the working environment for health care workers through its ergonomic design which allows for a significant increase in airflow and decrease in ambient temperatures in hot climatic conditions. 
#Ignite Innovator Series
“Creating an Enabling Ecosystem for Resilience Innovations”

The RAN’s Ignite Innovator Series, is an interactive session hosted by the Eastern Africa Resilience Innovation Lab (EA RILab) bringing together a community of resilience people from all walks of life. The evening of February 13th 2015 brought together over 100 such experts working to foster development of creative approaches and practices to address communities’ most pressing challenges.
  • RAN is pleased to announce its Video (MKITs) and Photo Contest. Deadline: March 20, 2015. Details can be found here.
  • ACIA Awards 2015. Deadline: April 10, 2015. Apply now here.
  • Global Center for Food Systems Innovation Grants. Details here. Deadline: March 16, 2015.
MUSPH ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) in Gulu University.
"Reaching out the the communities in Gulu"
The RAN Team visited one of RAN Eastern Africa Resilience Innovation Lab's network plus partner, Gulu University.  The aim of the visit was to among others brainstorm and develop a theory of change (hypothesis) in consultation with targeted communities for one of the projects, RootIO. The guiding question was; "What resilience question must RootIO answer?"- information dissemination using a Radio Station in a bucket.
Dissemination of results from the Deliberative Polling® exercise

Innovating for and with the communities in the Mt. Elgon Region, Uganda
It is not enough to engage the communities, consult them on various issues, write reports/books, individuals attain degrees and stop at that. RAN reached out to the Mt. Elgon region communities (Butalejja and Bududa districts) to establish the real life challenges in these communities to inform development of solutions through innovation.
Here is an opportunity to hear back from the community- Deliberative Polling® (DP) results dissemination. 
The Collaborative Resilience Innovation Design (CRID)
A powerful alternative approach to developing system level innovations aligned to RILab Intervention Pathways
The Collaborative Resilience Innovation Design (CRID) approach brings together teams of experts who are facilitated to develop system level projects. Implementation of these projects will then involve competitive bidding to identify qualified ‘Resilience Fellows’ and host organizations to lead the testing of the concepts. Here, stakeholders and experts use the Design Thinking approach to design Meta Pathway Projects (MPPs) and Platform Projects (PPs).This approach was first implemented in the Horn of Africa Resilience Innovation Lab in Jimma University, Ethiopia.
Managing Innovation Workshop
RAN partners convened a discussion to plan on the best strategies and approaches to ensure operational, successful and impactful RILabs, with respect to incubating and supporting innovator teams. 
Student Engagement at RAN
RAN hosted Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - IDIN students from the D-Lab who were in Uganda for 1 month pilot in Soroti - Eastern part of Uganda

Additionally, MIT – CITE (Comprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluation) students jointly worked with our team of students from Makerere University to do a study on post-harvest handling techniques.
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Contact information:
ResilientAfrica Network (RAN)
Plot 30, Upper Kololo Terrace
P. O. Box 7072, Kampala-Uganda

Phone: +256 414 343 597

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