A total of eight students participated in the research trip to Uganda at the beginning of September as part of the Transcultural Research Group that was initiated and led by the Leadership Excellence Institute Zeppelin | LEIZ. The objective of this 10-days-research project was to document the work of the Hope Development Initiative | HDI from a research angle. The HDI is a social-entrepreneurship venture that was founded by Dr Agnes Atim Apea who was one of the speakers at the last Transcultural Leadership Summit in autumn 2017. Her work aims to improve the situation of women in the Amolatar District of Uganda through rice farming.
Before the research trip, short seminars on the topic were organised including one on proper methodological preparation. The group started their research trip at the end of August. The first part of the agenda was to become familiar with the country and meet Dr Apea at the Ministry of Local Government in Kampala. Dr Apea offered numerous insights into her project and the situation in Uganda. The group then left for Amolatar, a district in the centre of Uganda, where the Hope Development Initiative conducts the bulk of its activities. Researchers and students from Makerere University accompanied the field trip.
The purpose of the visit to Amolatar was to experience the activities of the Hope Development Initiative on site. In this course the group visited several communities to gain in-depth insights into the work done there. The programme also covered visits to facilities such as the rice mill, the local office, and the radio station of the Hope Development Initiative. During the subsequent meeting in Lira, a regional centre in Northern Uganda, meetings were held with representatives of civil society.
After extensive data collection in Northern Uganda, the group met with students and researchers from Makerere University for a symposium on Women Leadership and Entrepreneurship. This event focussed on discussion of the group's research results as well as lectures by Ugandan scientists. Dominik Fischer, the LEIZ researcher who led the research group, presented the concepts of transcultural learning as realised at Zeppelin University. Moreover, further opportunities for cooperation were discussed. The overall research trip ended with further talks in the capital Kampala, for example, with representatives of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, as well as with local artists, and meetings with stakeholders of the Hope Development Initiative.
All participants reported extraordinary experiences and extensive data collections derived from the research trip. After their return to Germany, the results are now being evaluated, and research reports are being prepared. Further seminars, as well as a small conference on November 7, as a pre-event of the next Transcultural Leadership Summit, are already on the agenda. LEIZ is looking forward to the results of the studies and in-depth discussions as a follow up to the young researchers’ field trip.
Finally, and most importantly, we would like to thank all participants, supervisors, researchers, and students of Makerere University, and especially Dr. Apea and her staff for their excellent cooperation! We are looking forward to continuing this great experience.
For further information and pictures from the LEIZ Symposium held at Makerere University in Kampala, please click here.
To visit the project website, please click here.