Taking part in training courses is a big eye-opener

Dr Connie Nshemereiwe is one of the instructors in the Advanced Research Design Course

Dr Connie Nshemereiwe is one of the instructors in the Advanced Research Design Course

Dr Connie Nshemereirwe considers her participation in the Advanced Research Design (ARD) course as one of the most transformative experiences of her life.

“It changed my whole approach to research and policy engagement,” the Director of Quality Assurance at Cavendish University in Uganda says. The don, who had just completed her PhD a year earlier, was teaching at PASGR partner Uganda Martyrs University when she undertook the ARD course.

Connie was soon invited to join the “college of instructors” that delivers the transformative course. “Even though I had already been struck by the quality of the group of instructors, working closely with them took my respect and admiration to a new level,” she says.

Since joining the community of facilitators, she has grown in skill and knowledge, and come to appreciate a new level of professionalism and collegiality, says Connie, for whom participating in the training of successive cohorts of researchers has been a big eye-opener on the depth and breadth of the issues Africa faces.

“I have come to appreciate the extent to which these challenges are similar. In this regard, communities of practice are essential in joining the forces of like-minded and highly skilled researchers across the continent to tackle these challenges”.

She concludes: “The cross-fertilisation that I have personally experienced, and the fact that any of the researchers that come through the PASGR programmes are only an email away, is testament that a community of practice can grow, and that it can result in huge gains for our societies.”

This post is from the 2016 PASGR annual report. Download a PDF copy to read other stories about our work.