The visit to Gulu University in Northern Uganda, 8th- 9th April 2015 for Peer to Peer Learning was conducted under the theme “Embracing community led innovations”. Peer education involves children, young people, or adults educating others of similar age, background, culture, or social status, including those from disadvantaged social groups. The approach can take different forms, but in many cases entails providing academic support, enhancing communication and interpersonal skills, or counseling. For this particular activity, the outreach team implemented this approach by inviting existing local innovators to inspire fellow students and faculty to join or support them in their efforts directed towards sustainably transforming communities. The approach is based on the premise that people, especially the young, are more likely to listen to and respond to information being shared by their peers.
The Purpose of Peer to Peer Learning
Northern Uganda, where Gulu University is located, just like other areas in Uganda, is faced with various but (some) unique challenges as a community and a region. Among others these include; post war land resettlement wrangles, disease outbreaks, little or no mechanization and value addition on agricultural activities, a lacking educative and sufficient health care system, inadequate and inefficient education services, poorly executed governance/leadership system and post war psychosocial and psychological challenges. These pose as a risk to the efforts being made to sustainably develop the communities and region as a whole. This being the first activity the innovation lab was hosting at Gulu University, the Eastern Africa Resilience Innovation Lab in-country partner, the team thought it prudent to also use this opportunity to interact with the innovators breaking the ground in this community. During this interaction, the innovators freely shared the motivation behind their actions, their perceived future goals, current challenges, lessons learnt and most importantly how RAN can leap frog their innovations to scale. “The Peer to peer session was the best and most interactive the team could get its hands on” Ronald Kayiwa, RAN EA RILab Innovation Officer.
Objectives of the Exercise
• Introduce RAN, objectives, methodologies of work, target communities, partners, and achievements and how RAN intends to engage with the Gulu University community
• Explore existing innovations and innovators within the Gulu university community and how these can be successfully scaled
• Conduct a Needfinding activity to find out if the existing innovations match the community needs presented