Research Symposium April-May 2018

Land O’Lakes International Development is implementing the Cooperative Development Program (CDP) in Rwanda funded through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Cooperative Development Program works to increase access to self-reliant cooperative enterprises that meet the evolving needs of their members and contribute to improved quality of life for members, especially women, through the formation and increased competitiveness of self-sustaining horizontally and/or vertically integrated dairy cooperatives.

CDP is also working with a Rwandan university, the University of Lay Adventists of Kigali (UNILAK) on a local research initiative to study governance, youth, gender and disabilities inclusion within rice cooperatives in Rwanda, aimed at strengthening UNILAK’s outreach programs and Rwandan-owned cooperative research in the process.

On May 22-24, 2018, UNILAK will host an International Research Symposium along with support from the USAID funded Land O’Lakes CDP. The symposium will bring together researchers from Rwanda, East Africa and beyond, for 3 full-days consisting of a full-day conference, expert-led training on relevant research skills, and an interactive learning tour to UNILAK’s campus in the Southern Province.

The first day of the event will be a full-day conference at a venue to be selected in Kigali, under the theme: RURAL RESILIENCE - THE ROLE OF COOPERATIVES IN ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE RURAL DEVELOPMENT. UNILAK issued a call for abstracts, selected finalists to submit full papers, and reviewed and selected the best papers to be presented at the conference.

Days 2 and 3 are by special invitation, due to attendance constraints.

Day 2 of the event is planned to include a visit to UNILAK’s Nyanza campus in the Southern Province and a presentation by a professor from Moshi University in Tanzania on creating a cooperative center excellence, based on his own experience at Moshi.

Day 3 of the event will be hosted at UNILAK’s Kigali campus, and will feature lecture and hands-on learning sessions pertaining to qualitative research methods, utilizing research findings to create an outreach curriculum, and ethics in research and publishing.