Overall Objective

Overall Objective

To enhance the contribution of Higher Education Institutions to food and nutrition security of communities in Eastern [ampersand] Southern Africa

Specific Objective:

Specific Objective:

To improve the capacity of Higher Education Institutions in Eastern and Southern Africa to provide practical training and research solutions in food and nutrition sciences.

Target groups

Target groups

The target groups for this action include participating universities, graduate students, university faculty and technicians

The final beneficiaries

The final beneficiaries

Include employers of food and nutrition science graduates (food industries, governments, food analysis laboratories, food regulatory agencies, agricultural produce handling companies), farmers and general public (food consumers).

Strengthening research capacity

Strengthening research capacity

This action seeks to strengthen research capacity, including the capacity to develop the required speciality foods. It will therefore contribute to addressing the problem of malnutrition.

© 2016 PASUFONS. All Rights Reserved.


Work Package 1: Project management and coordination structure established

Activity 1.1: Establishment of a Project Coordination Team, recruitment of project staff and office set up

The Project Coordination Team comprising of one representative from all the Partners and chaired by the Lead Applicant was constituted to oversee project implementation. Makerere University, Uganda. This was critical to ensure effective project implementation. There was a need to have a functional coordinating unit that includes project and finance management specialists to support reporting and consequently, the PCT identified and recruited key project staff; a full time project assistant, at the lead institution and part time project assistants at partner institutions. A part-time accountant, and part-time finance assistant were also recruited at the lead Institution. Recruitment sought for personnel with good project management experience to ensure proper project management and the positions were filled through a competitive process. Office set up was completed by September 2014 at the lead institution, Makerere University, and partner institution Stellenbosch University, South Africa. The project secured office space within the respective Food Science and Nutrition Departments.

Activity 1.2 Partner inception meeting

An inception meeting was held from 2nd to 6th December at Imperial Botanical Beach Hotel, Entebbe, Uganda. Participants included PASUFONS partner representatives (Makerere University, JKUAT, and RUFORUM). The major objective of the meeting was to bring together all the partners and associates to refine the implementation strategy and develop consensus on the roles of each partner. Other objectives were to enable partners to plan project activities in details and develop a framework for the monitoring of the project.

Activity 1.3 Establishment and populating of project website

As part of ensuring the visibility of the action and the EU funding, a website www.pasufons.org dedicated to project activities and linked to relevant websites such as partners’ institutions websites. The project website serves as one of the avenues for dissemination of project information. Website establishment was completed by April 2014, and population and/or updating is ongoing and will be done throughout the project implementation period.

Activity 1.4 Project launch

The general PASUFONS project launch was held on 4th June 2014 at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology AICAD center in Nairobi, Kenya. The Makerere University institutional launch was held on 14th May 2014 at the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering, and Stellenbosch University launches on 24th July 2014 and 30th July 2014 at the Department of Food Science. The aim of the project launches was to inform relevant stakeholders about the project, mobilise them to participate and ensure buy-in. These were also major visibility events of the project and stakeholders invited included representatives of the food industry, government, higher education regulatory agencies, food standards bodies, nutrition promotion organisations, universities management, researchers and students. The project objectives, planned activities and roles of different stakeholders were explained and stakeholder inputs were sought. In a bid to improve resource efficiency, the launches were also used as a fora to gather views on stakeholder needs and preferred means of engagement with universities, as well as to identify the competencies required of Food Science and Nutrition graduates.

Activity 1.5 Production & dissemination of project documents and publications

Project brochures and pull ups were developed, printed and used for publicity of the action. These targeted the beneficiaries and the general public and were displayed and disseminated at the various project activities such as sensitization meetings and project launches. Brochures were also distributed to stakeholders met at different occasions, including during interviews to establish their needs.

Activity 1.6Monthly virtual review and annual meetings

Monthly virtual review meetings were conducted using Skype every last Thursday of the month, and these commenced in February 2014.The aim of these meetings was to review progress on planned activities, discuss selected approaches for implementation of activities, and assess their effectiveness. These meetings also provided opportunities for continuous learning among partners during project implementation and helped to identify problems in project implementation early enough to permit timely intervention.

Activity 1.7Monitoring and evaluation

Two face-to-face meetings were held between partners and other industry stakeholders to undertake in-depth monitoring and evaluation of the project. These meetings were arranged to coincide with other team project activities to improve resource use efficiency. The first M&E meeting was held in June 2014 to coincide with the project launch and the second in October 2014. This activity focused on establishing a framework with clear targets, indicators and milestones.

Activity 1.8 Meeting to develop a communication strategy

A meeting to develop a communication strategy was held from 12th to 14th February at the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering, Makerere University. The main objective of the meeting was to agree on key communication products and the target audiences. Other objectives of the meeting were to clarify project objectives, review the outputs of the inception meeting, to develop detailed plans for activities to be done in the rest of 2014 (including specifying who, what, when, how and detailed budget and to plan for the project launch in the three partner universities. The meeting was attended by representatives from the main partner institutions (MAK, SU and JKUAT), as well as RUFORUM.

Activity 1.9 Staff sensitization meetings

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology held a staff sensitization meeting on 5th March 2014, Makerere University on 18th March 2014 and 20th November 2014, and Stellenbosch University on 27th June and 7th November 2014. The purpose of these meetings was to inform staff and graduate students about the project, and encourage staff participation in the various project activities such as collecting of information from stakeholders to inform curriculum review, participating in curriculum review and collaborative training and research with partner universities, undertaking short term training courses and dissemination of project outputs. During these meetings emphasis was placed on partner collaboration and improvement of what is already being done at the respective HEIs (Teaching and supervision, Research, Knowledge transfer, Academic collaboration). Exploration of prospects to leverage capacity (human and infrastructural) at partner institutions was also highlighted.

Activity 1.10 Participation in EDULINK stakeholder meeting

The PASUFONS project team including Prof. John Muyonga (Makerere University), Prof. Marena Manley (Stellenbosch University), Prof. Kamau Ngamau (Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology) and Ms. Cornelia Jacobs (Stellenbosch University) participated in the EDULINK stakeholder conference in Brussels, Belgium on 1st and 2nd April 2014. The objectives of the conference were to: Foster networking and co-operation among grant beneficiaries of the three programmes and enable participants establish contacts, share experiences, discuss plans and future collaborations. The conference provided an opportunity for partners to gain knowledge on how to appropriately manage the project.

Work Package 2 Academic programs reviewed and tailored to produce highly skilled food and nutrition science graduates.

Activity 2.1 Identification of skills needs

To appropriately contribute to alleviating problems of food and nutrition insecurity and to promote food value addition and quality improvement, the project identified a need for graduates with hands-on skills in different areas of food and nutrition sciences. In order to identify the key skill needs, an identification of skills survey was completed by September 2014 in all partner institutions. This activity engaged Food Science and Nutrition graduates with considerable field experience who conducted face to face interviews with thirty key employment sector representatives, including food industry, regulatory agencies, non-governmental organizations dealing with food and nutrition, food analysis laboratories and food and nutrition professionals, and sixty five graduates


Activity 2.2 Evaluation of current curricula

In order to enhance development of the required skills and help to make university Food and Nutrition science programmes more attractive, peer review of six post graduate programmes was completed by October 2014. Review of JKUAT's M.Sc. in Food Science and Nutrition, M.Sc. in Food Science and Post-harvest technology and PhD in Food Science programmes was coordinated by Makerere University. Review of Stellenbosch University's M.Sc.in Food Science and PhD in Food Science was coordinated by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, and Stellenbosch University coordinated review of Makerere University's M.Sc. in Food Science and Technology. The review took into account core competencies generally expected of food and nutrition graduates as well as current market needs determined through interaction with potential employers. For the Ph.D. programs, the review among others, considered the possibility for inclusion or exclusion of coursework. The different existing curricula were reviewed against international recommendations (including curricula from internationally highly reputable universities and recommendations from professional organisations such as the Institute of Food Technologists and IUFoST recommendations) and sought to establish coverage of the key competencies required of food scientists and nutritionists. The JKUAT curricula for M.Sc Food Science & Technology and M.Sc Food Science & Nutrition were compared to the recommendations of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and to the curricula of the Michigan State University, Oregon State University, University of Pretoria and Makerere University. The PhD curriculum was compared the PhD curriculum of Oregon State University and the University of Pretoria. For the nutrition component, the curricular were compared to the recommendations developed by 2 collaborative Edulink projects, i.e. Higher Education Network for Applied Human Nutrition Between East Africa and Europe (HENNA) and Enhancing Nutrition and Food Security through Improved Capacity of Agricultural Higher Education in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) curricular for nutrition. The Makerere University curricula were compared to University of California – Davis and University of Ghent. The postgraduate programme for the Food Science Department of Stellenbosch University was also included in the comparison, as it currently holds the third position of the ranking of African universities (www.webometrics.info/en/Africa). The “Core Competencies in Food Science” laid out by the IFT and by IUFoST were used as basis of comparison of the various curricula. The Stellenbosch University curricula was compared with existing curricula from the following universities: Cornell University, Michigan State University, University of Illinois, University of Massachusetts, Rutgers University, and Clemson University all in the USA, McGill University in Canada, University of New Zealand and University of Copenhagen.

Work Package 3 Institutional framework for identifying and responding to stakeholders' research and training needs established

Activity 3.1 Establishing acceptable framework for engagement between HEIs and target beneficiaries

This activity entailed consultative meetings between the representatives of participating universities and representatives of stakeholder groups, and was conducted simultaneously during the project launch in all participating universities. Face to face interviews with stakeholders to identify preferred means of engagement were also conducted, as part of the skills needs assessment survey.

Work Package 4 Training and research capacity in food and nutrition sciences at participating universities improved

Activity 4.3 Identification of infrastructural gaps and opportunities for research infrastructure sharing among participating HEIs

As a first step towards strengthening research infrastructure capacity, inventories of current research infrastructure were compiled and gaps were identified, based on identified training and research needs. Opportunities for collaborative use of equipment between partner institutions was then derived for each of the partner institutions.

Activity 4.4 Procurement and installation of virtual teaching and learning infrastructure to facilitate collaborative teaching and learning

Procurement of virtual teaching and learning facilities for installation at Makerere University and JKUAT to facilitate collaborative teaching and other academic activities is underway. Through this linkage, it will be possible to undertake collaborative teaching, with real time image and voice transmission. The virtual teaching facilities will be linked to existing telematics education facilities at SU. With support provided by the Centre of Learning Technologies, Stellenbosch University, the various options were discussed (Annex IX) and the equipment identified.

Work Package 5 Platform for research and training collaboration for HEIs in Eastern and Southern Africa established and operationalized.

In order to strengthen collaboration between partner institutions, establishment of a virtual forum is planned to serve as a platform for undertaking joint academic activities. The PASUFONS project team sought input from associate partner RUFORUM as well as the Makerere University e-learning center on the different options for consideration in the setup of an e-platform for research and training collaboration. Stellenbosch University, JKUAT and Makerere University all use MOODLE as a learning management system. The participating universities agreed to use the Makerere University MOODLE platform from which content developed (either jointly or by individual institutions) can be accessed by students and staff. The possibility of interfacing the installed telematics facilities to the existing web (MOODLE) based learning platforms used at the partner institutions to leverage current virtual teaching efforts is being explored.

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