My name is Kellen Aganyira, and I am the mother of two daughters and a son. I work as an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Adult and Community Education, Makerere University – Kampala, Uganda. I hold a Master of Philosophy in Development Studies from Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and a PhD in Environment and Natural Resources from Makerere University. As a researcher and an academician, my goal is to contribute knowledge on how to create a balance between natural resource conservation and local communities whose livelihoods depend on environmental resources. Growing up in rural Uganda, I witnessed how state-managed natural resource conservation strategies can be unfair to adjacent communities. Yet, I strongly believe that any initiative that caters for both ecological and social needs is desirable for the present and future generations. My desire therefore, is to engage in research and writing that creates a positive impact in the lives of unprivileged communities of the south who are often left out of the decision-making processes.

My research interests are in the areas of community development, natural resource governance, environmental policy, climate change and sustainable livelihoods. However, I am also curious to research and write across disciplines because this might broaden spaces for communities to effect change. The Sustainable Futures in Writing mentorship program creates an opportunity for me to achieve my objective of writing across disciplines. My major focus is writing journal articles, but I also hope to generate policy briefs that emphasize community-based voices and solutions to their day-to-day challenges. In this way, I hope my writing will influence the policy process by positioning it towards a bottom-up approach.  Nevertheless, I am aware of the challenges that exist between my research agenda and the related outputs. For instance, writing across disciplines may not be easy for me. I am grounded in community development and natural resource management, yet the article I want to write is broadened to include the context of community music and Covid-19. Again, influencing policy may not be easy because policy processes in most developing countries including Uganda often exclude local level stakeholders. The exclusion of local communities in policy processes possibly explains why most development policies fail at implementation stage. I hope to contribute to solving this dilemma through skillful research and writing.

Kellen Aganyira

My name is Kellen Aganyira, a Lecturer in the Department of Adult and Community Education – Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. I hold a PhD in Environment and Natural Resources. My research interest is in natural resource governance, climate change action and community development. My desire is to contribute knowledge that makes impact by changing lives of the vulnerable communities in Uganda and beyond.