Researchers meet virtually for the 2nd Research and Innovation Conference
The 2nd Research and Innovation Conference took place between November 2 and November 6, 2020. The conference was hosted online via zoom due to the prevailing circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the conference, whose theme was Collaborative Research for Sustainable Development, 70 presenters from institutions and organisations in six countries were scheduled to present findings from their latest research. The research conference proceedings included a seminar on Qualitative Research Methods that was facilitated by Dr. Winfred Kithinji.
In the opening session of the conference, Dr. Vincent Ogutu, Vice Chancellor Designate noted that researchers have to ask bold and daring questions. “We must look for the solutions to the unanswered questions surrounding us.”
He also encouraged researchers to reach out to the layman by speaking in a language that can be understood. “Researchers are often accused of speaking to themselves. It shouldn’t be enough that we find answers and justify them. We have to be good communicators, those that are able to speak a common language.”
In the clean energy track, Ignatius Maranga, from the Strathmore Energy Research Centre gave a presentation on energy consumption patterns in urban informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya: a case of Mukuru Slums. Rose Barasa, from @iLabAfrica, together with Ayan Keynan, a fourth year Informatics and Computer Science student, made a presentation in the Information Track on: Using VR/AR for conservation of elephants, water sanitation and educational literacy. In the public policy track, Prof. Jacqueline McGlade had two presentations, one of which focused on: Oceans of plastic: global governance and market failure.
Students also had their share in adding knowledge through their research and innovation projects. In the Law Track, Wabia Karugu, a fourth-year Law student, spoke on legislating ‘coercive control’ in Kenya: a study of the protection against domestic violence act. Deepali Bhatt, a fourth-year Bachelor of Business Information Technology, student presented her final year project on food distribution tracking mobile application using hybrid blockchain.
Deepali narrates her enthralling inspiration behind the birth of the idea, “I was scrolling through social media when I came across an article on how food aid in Kenya is being misused with millions of funds being stolen. It is this disheartening situation that got me thinking about developing an application that could be used to track disbursed food aid. I approached my final year project supervisor, Mr. Bernard Alaka, with the idea and he liked it. The app will be able to track food aid items brought into the country, and determine whether the aid has reached its destination. This creates a kind of transparency and accountability that curbs such disservice to the people intended to benefit from food aid.”
This article was written by Wambui Gachari and Francis Kabutu.
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