It is enriching being part of the trickle-down effect. Collaboration is key in the success of any business, initiative and institution among others. Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) is proud to bring you Dr. Engineer Bainomugisha, an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the School of Computing & IT – Makerere University, the recipient of the a one-year Spring 2015 Development Impact Lab (DIL) Innovate Grant award to support the project entitled “Participatory Road Infrastructure Monitoring”. Opportunities like the DIL Innovate Grant are extended to the wider Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN) development labs which Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) is part of. RAN shared the DIL Innovate Grant opportunity in March and April 2015, encouraged but also guided students, faculty and the community through the application process. These efforts are directed towards developing solutions through innovation to address communities’ most pressing challenges. Now, we all join in celebrating success but most importantly building the project further to scale. One of the benefits that this Innovation Team will receive from RAN to help them effectively refine their prototype is smooth access to target communities through Needfinding to ensure a Human Centered Approach towards problem solving.

 The Problem and Innovation

Engineer Bainomugisha working with his research team aim at exploring the use of sensors (GPS and accelerometer) embedded in mobile telephones to automatically detect road damages (e.g., potholes) and provide a mapping of road damages to act as a warning to motorists and also inform the city authorities of the roads that need repair. Novel pothole detection algorithms will be designed in order to accurately detect road damages in Kampala’s road infrastructure where most roads are characterized by uneven road surfaces, road bumps and potholes. The research award will also facilitate campaigns for participatory road infrastructure monitoring with a selected number of motorists in and around Kampala city. The innovation is expected to result in early and precise identification of road damages (e.g., potholes), timely repair of road damages, reduced motor accidents and damages, and improved engagement of the road users in road infrastructure monitoring. His research team has interest in the area of mobile and cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), security and privacy, crowdsourcing and participatory sensing.

 About the Development Impact Lab (DIL) Innovate Awards

DIL Innovate Grants are awarded by the Development Impact Lab (DIL) of UC Berkely, which is part of USAID’s Higher Education Solutions Network,

The DIL Innovate Grants aim at supporting researchers to pilot or advance a technological innovation for international development. The innovation may be an intervention (a new technology-driven product or service that responds to a specific development challenge) or a measurement tool (an innovation which improves the capture of development outcomes).

DIL is committed to transforming the ways universities source, design, evaluate, and scale-up technologies with potential for breakthrough impact on pressing global challenges. Successful applicants demonstrated an inter-disciplinary approach to the design, evaluation, or translation of the intended innovation by pairing hard-science and engineering approaches with lessons from development economics and other social sciences. DIL Grant Competitions are shared annually and Awards may be used to support graduate student researchers, software developers, international travel, small-scale surveys, etc. which are open to students, Faculty, Innovators and community. We encourage you to visit their Innovation portfolio and submit your application to the next Request for Applications (RFA)

 “It is through collaboration and partnership that we can all realize the positive change we want to see in the communities. Each one of us comes in with a value add to the project, idea, prototype or innovation for the benefit of the vulnerable communities. Makerere University and the Development Impact Lab (DIL), great opportunities lie ahead of us as we strive to transform the communities” Prof. William Bazeyo, Dean Makerere University School of Public Health and RAB Chief of Party/Lab Director.