Dissemination trip to Uganda

ESR Kirsten Nielsen went back to Uganda to share findings from her research in November 2022

Before arriving in Uganda in mid-November 2022, I had considered a few options for disseminating my research findings. One option was to organize a seminar at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kampala and extend invitations to leaders and policy makers in Uganda’s energy sector. However, an ongoing outbreak of the Ebola virus, which reached its peak during the days before my arrival in the country with a handful of cases having been detected in Kampala led me to the decision to not go to the capital for the sake of my own safety. Under these circumstances, it seemed more feasible to focus on disseminating my research to my interlocutors in the northern region where there were no Ebola cases.

 My research dissemination consisted of sharing drafts and published material with the people who featured in those texts. My former field assistant read two chapter drafts from my thesis. Together we contacted and met up with some of my interlocutors in the village where I conducted most of my fieldwork and I gave them printed copies of a published article that I had co-authored with my main supervisor. My intention was to show them how I had represented their stories and to what ends they had been used. Looking back, I regret that I did not spend more time translating the academic jargon for them during these relatively short interactions as it would surely have enhanced their understanding of the text and made my research more transparent.

Gleaning new ethnographic insights seemed to be a byproduct of my research dissemination. Discussions with my interlocutors provided with me interesting perspectives on the changes that had taken place at my field site since I left in late 2019. For instance, one person commented on the title of the article: “We no longer have a problem of power here.” Such comments as well as my field assistant’s feedback on my chapters are useful for me at this stage where I work on revising my thesis.