Prof. Mary Ssonko Nabacwa

Mary Ssonko Nabacwa is an Associate Professor in the department of Development Studies at Uganda Christian University and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences. She is also a Research Associate of Makerere Institute of Social Research. She holds a doctorate in Development Studies of the University of Wales, Swansea, UK. Her doctorate focused on interests and relationships among gender-focused NGOs with special focus on Ugandan NGOs.  She holds a Master of Arts, Women Studies and a Bachelor of Arts, Social Sciences degree, both of Makerere University.

She has supervised several undergraduate and postgraduate students to completion. Mary has been an external examiner for Makerere University, Nkumba University and Kyambogo University.

Mary initiated the Research Seminar series in the Faculty of Social Sciences that is now acting as a ‘sounding board’ for staff research.

Mary has worked as a lecturer, consultant, researcher and advisor on development issues especially in relation to gender and development. She has written a number of papers and publications and has undertaken a number of consultancies for organisations such as ActionAid International Uganda; Oxfam; Concern Worldwide, Uganda Chapter; OAK FOUNDATION; World Health International Uganda and GOAL.

Mary was the Coordinator of the Master of Development Studies course of Uganda Christian University. She initiated the UCU Development Studies annual conference that gives opportunity to academicians and development actors to present academic papers. She is a member of the UCU Social Sciences Administration Committee, Social Sciences Research Committee, School of Postgraduate Ethics Committee, and University Scholarship Committee. Mary has also contributed to the UCU Development Studies Self-Assessment and Revamp processes.

Mary is currently a board member of World Vision International Uganda, a child-focused NGO, and has served on the board of Self-Help International and on the Technical Advisory Committee of Mentoring Young Professional Women.

Mary has undertaken a number of project initiatives to promote positive changes within institutions and communities. She implemented a tailor-made training for ActionAid International Uganda that turned around the gender focus of the organisation institutionally and programmatically to women’s rights.

She participated in the initiation of a virtual platform that is now being used as a tool to focus universities on maternal health by the Save the Mothers Academic Programme of Uganda Christian University. She implemented a culture and traditions change project with women groups for improved maternal health in the districts of Gulu, Kotido and Moroto and a grand challenges project on bridging the communication gap between mothers and health facilities for improved maternal health. Presently, she is implementing a participatory learning approach for improved maternal and newborn health in Buikwe district.

Mary has been party to the teams that have written projects which have won grants such as the Save the Mothers, the East African Universities Contribution to the Millennium Development Goal 5 on Improving Maternal Health funded by the African Association of Universities; the UCU project on the Uganda Governance Platform funded by the Belgian government; and the UCU Mass Communication Capacity Development project funded by the Norwegian Agency of Development Cooperation (NORAD).

Mary has worked with several teams, including research and evaluation ones, where she brings her gender expertise. In the recent past, her major focus has been on gender-based violence and maternal health.

Contact Dr. Ssonko

Assoc. Prof. Mary Ssonko Nabacwa
Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences
Uganda Christian University
P. O. Box 4,
Mukono, Uganda.
Tel: +256-312350817
Mob: +256-794770834

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