University-induced innovations for nurturing farm based micro-enterprises Experiences from engaging with refugee hosting contexts

Article Authors: Dr. Walter Odongo, Dr. Stephen Wamala Kalule, Dr. Irine Akite, Samuel Elolu


The linear approach of technology transfer is widely criticized for being non-responsive to the development needs of the marginalized and vulnerable communities. As such, universities have been urged to play an active role, within their community engagement mandate, in facilitating inclusive innovation. Accordingly, this papers uses experiences gained while facilitating the development of farm based micro-enterprises in refugee and host communities of West Nile in Uganda to show how university community engagement can be harnessed to facilitate an inclusive innovation system. An analysis in this paper reveals that the interface structures of community engagement models namely: The Student-Centered Outreach and the Student Enterprise Scheme with supervision from faculty-staff, and together with community leadership, facilitate successful university-community interactions, learning and innovation. We highlight that stimulating sustainable innovations in marginalized communities is dependent on how the interventions are packaged. Further, active engagement of marginalized communities in decision-making does not only give beneficiaries opportunity to contribute and own the development process but also enables the University to learn community challenges for appropriate response.

Bibliographical metadata

Journal African Journal of Rural Development
Volume 8
Issue No. 1
ISSN 2415-2838
Related Faculties/Schools