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From 20th February to 19th March 2021 the ISOOKO project through Makerere University team conducted a pilot CPD programme in Digital Archiving and Peacebuilding. The programme attracted participants from the East African region (Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda) who were equitably selected; these were Waweru Samuel – Kenya, Okello Gilbert – Rwanda, Ninkusiima Moore – Uganda, Oscar Nkoobe – Uganda, Mwaurah Naomy – Kenya, James Oluka – Uganda, and Emmanuel Anguyo – Uganda. The CPD is a result of the Training Needs Assessment (TNA) that was conducted throughout the East African Region. The TNA birthed the month-long four-module virtual Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programme. The purpose of the training was to impart knowledge and skills to trainees in peace building and digital archiving. The participants were trained on four modules that included: Museum & Peace Education, Conflict Management & Peacebuilding, Digital Archiving & Photography, and Digital Security.

A walk through the Modules

From 20th February – 27th March 2021, Ms Lois Nankya Mutibwa and Dr Hellen Amunga, Lecturers of LIS courses at Makerere University and University of Nairobi respectively, conducted a one-week Museum and Peace Education module that was more participatory and engaging in nature. The module aimed at imparting knowledge of museums as peace building entities in modern society. Several activities were undertaken, including visiting museums and artefact centers for peace analysis.

From 28th February – 5th March 2021, Mr. Tuhaise Robert, the Makerere University E-Learning Coordinator, engaged the trainees on the Digital Security module. He thoroughly trained the students in digital data security, including data protection, Cryptography, Integrity and Authentication (CIA), Email protection, and other modern forms of data encryption. The purpose of this module was to instill practical skills in protecting both data at rest and data in motion. The module was intended to answer the question, “how could information be protected to avoid conflict that could arise from leaked information?”

From 6th – 12th March 2021, Mr. Luke Francis Kiwanuka, the Makerere University Library Digitization head, led the participants through photography for peace. The intention of this module was to use photography to build peace. He brought out many scenarios that could create conflicts if imagery is not handled well. The students gained hands-on experience of the editing, archiving and digitization of created images.

The last module was the Conflict Management and Peacebuilding that was conducted from 13th – 19th March 2021 by Dr. Helen Nkabala Nambalirwa, a Senior Lecturer at the Peace Center, Makerere University. She took participants through conflict genesis, analysis, management and prevention. The purpose of this module was generally to introduce participants to the genesis of conflicts and how to manage and prevent such conflicts from further devastating ugly scenes.

Comments from participants

Participants indicated that they took home digital archiving, digitization, and digital security skills. One trainee indicated, “I have understood that as a mediator, I should separate the deed from the doer”.  Another one said, Making use of digital photographs, museum artefacts and cultural heritage in building peace and also understanding conflict situations to be able to manage conflict were key takeaways from me”.