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The School of Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance Acquaints Its Researchers With Prospective Strategies for Successful Grant Writing

Participants of the Grant Writing workshop.

The School of Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (SDMHA), has acquainted its researchers with prospective strategies that are critical for successful grant writing. This was done through a grant writing workshop that was organized by the leadership of the School led by the Dean, Dr. Ferdinand Nabiswa, and the Associate Dean, Prof. Stanley Omuterema. The workshop highlighted the basic steps in drafting a winning grant proposal for funding, including planning, researching as well as best practices for following up with potential funders. The one-day workshop which was facilitated by experts drawn from different organizations took place on 9 May 2023, at the Golf Hotel.

Speaking during the opening ceremony, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Planning Research, and Innovation, Prof. Charles Mutai advised the researchers to utilize seed money offered by the University to fine-tune their proposals for better funding. Prof. Mutai added that the grant writing workshop is a key forum that will enhance better proposal writing at the University.

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The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Planning Research, and Innovation, Prof. Charles Mutai, speaking during the workshop.

“Acquaintance with today’s rapidly changing professional demands and economic conditions emphasizes the urgency for prospective strategies and skills for successful grant writing. Changing priorities and funding initiatives also emphasize the importance of keeping updated on these changes and knowing where to look for them. This is an important exercise for the growth of our institution in matters of research,” said Prof. Mutai.

Reiterating Prof. Mutai, the Registrar, Planning, Research, and Innovation, Prof. Alice Ndiema noted that competition for grant funds has increased appreciably in response to several national trends that go beyond the expected rise and fall of economic conditions.

Additionally, Dr. Nabiswa pointed out that acquiring grant writing knowledge entails learning new languages, conventions, processes, and skills that will enable successful grants in this increasingly competitive funding market. Further, he encouraged the researchers to maintain a steady stream of current information from funding sources.

“A key component of becoming a successful academic researcher is the ability to win funding for your research. This is a practical session that has offered us an opportunity to put the learning into practice in a safe environment. As grant writers, let us utilize this forum to share experiences,” he encouraged.

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The Dean- SDMHA, Dr. Ferdinand Nabiswa addressing the participants.

Similarly, Prof. Omuterema applauded such collaborative efforts that will yield cutting-edge research. “One of the most important attributes of a University is to engage in cutting-edge research that has high importance and applications to society. It also helps in preparing students to tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges including combating disasters,” said Prof. Omuterema. 

The Coordinator, Webometrics and Short Courses, Dr. Dennis Ochieno challenged the SDMHA researchers to uphold their online presence by developing their profiles and updating their research in the digital spaces.

“I believe there is a scope in an online presence for every researcher. Having an online presence helps others understand you and your research better. It encourages people to approach you for collaboration, job offers, funding allocations, and other opportunities,” said Dr. Ochieno.

One of the keynote speakers, Ms. Margaret Wanyonyi from the Kenya Red Cross Society noted that it is key to align to priorities and strategic plan of the funder. She added that there is a need to minimize operational costs and build a good relationship with the funders in order to tap into more opportunities. 

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Ms. Margaret Wanyonyi making her presentation at the workshop.

“It is important to align your needs statement with your proposed project to demonstrate to the funder why your project is important and how their support will impact those served by your nonprofit. Grant funders are keen on realistic goals and objectives that also make a true, lasting impact on those served through the project. Avoid having so many objectives,” she urged.

Notably, the workshop also outlined different types of funders, what a grant seeker should consider when developing a concept, understanding how a proposal will be reviewed, and the financial concerns of funders.  The researchers were guided on how to manage their relationship with a funder, whether the proposal was successful or rejected.

Certainly, such workshops are designed to provide insight into trends in the grant funding world that enhances proposal writing skills. Grant writing can seem like a daunting task and it’s easy to feel uncertain about how to write a successful proposal. However, mastery of the components of a good grant proposal will help you to improve your proposal writing process. 

By Linet Owuor

Photos by Shiundu Masafu

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