A social scientist involved in interdisciplinary research on various issues affecting children including children’s rights, gender and education, child poverty, adolescent SRHR and LGBTQ young people and other issues in the social context of education specifically affecting children on the margins of society. My current research is on sexual violence in schools in Africa. I am a dedicated scholar in child studies and a CODESRIA Laureate in Child and Youth studies (2015). I’m also a senior project management expert with excellent project planning, monitoring, evaluation, and learning skills.
I am trained in the Social Science disciplines of Sociology, Anthropology, and Education. I completed my PhD in Social Sciences at Wageningen University’s Education and Competence studies group. My PhD thesis (http://edepot.wur.nl/121854) was a search for new approaches to educational gender equality amidst HIV and AIDS impact titled ‘The combat for gender equality in education; rural livelihood pathways in the context of HIV/AIDS’.
My research is largely anchored in, and reflects the principles of interpretivism and that explains why I prefer to conduct qualitative research and predominantly do ethnography. Most of my research in the recent past has been conducted in poor urban locales and in early childhood education. My research interests are guided by my passion for children’s rights, equality, social justice, and human diversity.
I am currently working as Associate Professor at the School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria, BC, Canada.
I am a member of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) https://www.aera.net, Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) https://www.codesria.org, Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), http://www.faweuganda.org, African Women Leaders in Agriculture and the Environment (AWLAE), African Network for the Protection and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN Uganda Chapter) among others.
- University teaching (developing new courses and content, E-learning/teaching: online instruction including creation of online modules, delivering lectures and seminars in diverse classroom settings using creative instruction styles, mentorship of junior faculty, research supervision at PhD, Masters and undergraduate levels
- Research (design, data collection, data analysis, selecting, training and managing big research teams, report writing, dissemination, and writing policy briefs)
- Project planning, management, Implementation, monitoring, learning and evaluation
You may contact me for any professional and research collaborations, discussions and more
- Kakuru, D. M. (2018) Reconstructing Child Caregiving: Perspectives on Child Headed Households in Uganda. In Ebrahim, H., Okwany, A., Oumar, B. (Eds). (2018). Early Childhood Care and Education on the Margins; African perspectives. London: Routledge: Pages 46-61. View Abstract
Abstract: This chapter problematises the dominant constructions of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) promoted by the poor acknowledgement of the voices of children in the margins. The margins can be physical in terms of geographical location, or socioeconomic conditions including occurrence as a result of poverty, differences in cultural beliefs and practices. Using the case of children living in child-headed households (CHHs) in rural Uganda and involved in sibling care, I show how global constructions of childhood are detached from the realities in some majority world contexts in time and space. I demonstrate how sibling caregiving1 is a phenomenon that deviates from norms of global childhood since childcare and parenting roles are usually associated with adulthood. The dominant discourses regarding childcare are generally characterised by the homogenised and standardised perspectives of childhood where children are assumed to be under the care of adults either as parents or guardians regardless of their contexts, situations and location. Such perspectives are largely shaped by the minority world definitions of children as ‘dependents’ and ‘care recipients’ rather than ‘contributors’ and ‘caregivers’ (Miller cited in Evans 2012). However, over the years, children’s role in the majority world in sibling care, particularly in the context of HIV and AIDS, has become quite visible in anthropological literature (e.g. Foster et al. 1997; Foster & Williamson 2000; Evans 2011; Skovdal 2011). Nevertheless, sibling care for young children from birth to 3 is still a largely unexplored area.https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781351185141
- Kakuru, D. M (2018) A scoping study on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Research in Uganda. Kampala: SET-SRHR.
- Kamusiime, A. & Kakuru, D. M. (2017) Social Justice and the Moral Question: Foregrounding the paradox of teenage motherhood and education in Uganda In M. Gray (Ed.). (2017). Handbook of Social Work and Social Development Practice in Africa. London: Routledge. Pages 215-226. View Abstract
- Kigenyi, E.M and Kakuru, D. M., Zziwa, G (2017) School environment and performance of public primary school teachers in Uganda, International Journal of Technology and Management, Vol 1 (2): 1-14. View Abstract
- Kigenyi, E.M and Kakuru, D. M (2016) Does Provision of meals affect teachers’ performance? An empirical study of public primary schools in Bugisu sub region in Uganda. Administratio Publica, 24 (3): 219-234 View Abstract
- Kakuru, D. M. (2016) Evidence driven practice: perspectives from the ‘Righting the Future’ project research, 2013-2016. In A. Okwany & R. Wanzir (2016) Changing Social Norms to Universalize Girls Education in East Africa: Lessons From a Pilot Project, Antwerp: Garant Publishers, 93-112. View Abstract
- Kendrick, M. & Kakuru, D.M. (2012) Funds of Knowledge in Child-Headed Households: A Ugandan Case Study. Childhood; A journal of Global child Research, 19 (3), 397-413. DOI: 10.1177/0907568212439587 View Abstract
- Kakuru, D. M (2011) How to avoid gender bias in gender focused health research: Methodological reflections and policy suggestions. In Barbara Ann Barrett and Christian Groes-Green (2011) Studying intimate matters Engaging Methodological Challenges in Studies of Gender, Sexuality and Reproductive Heath in sub-Saharan Africa. Fountain publishers, Kampala, 40-54. View Abstract
- Kakuru, D. M. (2008) Gender inequality in Primary Education in the context of HIV/AIDS: a challenge for Uganda. In Aikman, Sheilla, Unterhalter, Elaine, & Tania Boller (2008) Gender equality, HIV and AIDS: Challenges for the Education Sector. Oxfam GB. 45-59. View Link
- Kakuru, D. M (2008) Rural Livelihoods, HIV/AIDS and Women’s Activism: The Struggle for Gender Equality in Primary Education in Uganda Journal of International Women Studies, Vol. 10 (1), 36-47. View Abstract
- Kakuru, D. M (2007) HIV/AIDS, Children's Rights and Gender Equality in Uganda's Universal Primary Education. The International Journal of Learning, 14 (2), 137-148. View Abstract
Abstract: Despite the implementation of Universal Primary Education (UPE) in Uganda and efforts to eradicate gender inequalities, the task is not yet complete. The persistence of inequalities reﬂects enduring children’s educational rights violations even with Uganda’s ratiﬁcation of various international treaties relating to children’s rights. Data reported in this article were collected from an in-depth ethnographic study in Luweero district in Uganda between June 2004 and June 2005. Drawing on the capability approach to gender equality and the 4-A educational rights scheme, this paper highlights pupils’ educational rights violations in UPE. The research shows that HIV/AIDS reinforces existing inequalities in pupils’ capabilities to attend school, remain in school, access learning materials and other requirements such as lunch and clothing. HIV/AIDS changes pupils’ social and personal characteristics. Some pupils become orphans, their living arrangements are altered, and their poverty situation is worsened, implying that their capabilities to be and to do things they value are deprived. This suggests that as long as there is poverty and overdependence on household labour for subsistence, securing children’s rights to compulsory education might remain problematic. Although all pupils were exposed to capability denial and therefore violation of rights, girls in particular faced compounded denial and violation. For example, they suffered sexual harassment and associated consequences. Apart from sexual harassment, a repertoire of rights issues endures in schools. The role of HIV/AIDS in the perpetuation of children’s rights infringement cannot be over-emphasised. This paper uncovers the magnitude of gender inequality in pupils’ capabilities to enjoy educational rights in the era of HIV/AIDS.
- Kakuru, D. M & Margreet van der Burg (2007) Intersectionality and HIV/AIDS: Towards a Framework for Understanding Educational Gender Inequality in Rural Uganda. The International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations 7 (6), 25-38. View Abstract
Abstract: Gender inequalities have persisted in Uganda’s primary education regardless of specific interventions put in place to eliminate them. These include the implementation of Universal Primary Education in 1997. Research was carried out to understand the reasons for the persistence of these inequalities. This article highlights the nature of the various intersections that shape the background of direct and de facto discrimination upon which gender inequality thrives in a context of HIV/AIDS. Addressed are significant social dimensions with respect to rural education: class/wealth, age/generation and health/status of AIDS-affliction. We argue that HIV/AIDS affects all other categories thereby adding impressively to the magnitude and complexity of inequalities. Measures aimed at achieving gender equality in such a context should therefore not only broadly target girls or boys as a single category or gender dimension, but rather include specific interventions for those dimensions that cause subordination in various ways.
- Kakuru, D. M & Paradza, G. M (2007) Reflection on the use of life history method in researching rural African women: Field experiences from Uganda and Zimbabwe. Gender and Development 15(2):287-297. View Abstract
Abstract: The setting is rural Uganda and Zimbabwe, where communities live in villages of clustered homesteads, and where the authors of this article were studying the impact of HIV and AIDS on rural communities. As part of this study, we interviewed adult women who had experience of HIV and AIDS, either as people living with HIV or AIDS, or as caregivers of people with AIDS and children made vulnerable by HIV or AIDS, in order to capture women’s perceptions and experiences of the epidemic and its impact. One of the methods selected and used in this research was the life history approach, which involved collecting ‘life stories’ from research participants. We used this technique in conjunction with other methods, including surveys, focus group discussions, and observation. The women were selected to reflect variations in age, economic status, and marital status, and the life stories were collected over a series of repeated visits, on the assumption that this would yield more meaningful data as the relationship between the researchers and research participants developed.
- Kakuru, D. M (2007) Journal Article Review: Edwards, W.M, & Eggers, T.R (2004). Agricultural management e-school; Extension education over the internet. In American Journal of Agricultural Economics 86 (3), 778-781. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 1750-8622, Volume 13, Issue 4, 2007, Pages 337 – 338.
- Kakuru, D. M (2006) The combat for gender equality in education: Rural livelihood pathways in the context of HIV/AIDS. AWLAE series No. 4. Wageningen: Wageningen Academic publishers. ISBN 10: 90-8686-015
Statement of Teaching Philosophy
Good teaching just as good research, both of which are core components any university teaching career, are characterized by constant reflection and self-evaluation. When I reflect on my academic career, I realize that the pedagogical aspect has been largely shaped by my experiences in terms of interactions with both my students, colleagues and mentors. I have achieved continuous enhancement in terms of intellectual development, analytical skills, and articulation of ideas through asking and answering questions, seeking and giving advice in class discussions, seminar presentations, and interaction with my peers, preparation and assessment of term papers and examinations. I have learnt to perceive the class as a family unit in which members support, rather than challenge each other. One in which everybody- including the instructor – should strive to learn as well as facilitate learning. One aspect of my teaching philosophy therefore is the belief that the university teacher/instructor is not necessarily a provider of knowledge and skills but also a recipient. I therefore always strive to promote mutual respect between my students and myself just as my mentors did. I believe in building professional/academic relationships with others based on my respect for diversity of perspectives, capabilities, interpretations and ideas.
My background in Sociology and Social Anthropology has opened my eyes to the variety of differences in students’ socio-cultural, economic, and political orientations, which affect their world views and hence their intellectual abilities, interpersonal and analytical skills, abilities to work hard, and think critically. One of my teaching goals, which forms the cornerstone of my teaching philosophy is to promote and respect intellectual and human diversity. I do this through welcoming and encouraging students to advance their own discourse, also believing that this can enhance their critical thinking skills, which are a vital resource in a broad spectrum of occupations in the contemporary society. This aspect of my pedagogical practice is influenced by my belief in equity and equality. Although I never play the role of activist for any academic discourse, when it comes to matters of equity and equality, I normally describe myself as one. I believe in the provision of equal treatment and opportunity to every student to present and defend their intellectual positions. I encourage every student to use logic and reason to develop their own positions and counter positions. I mentor them to construct and grow their critical thinking skills in view of their diverse backgrounds, orientations and worldviews. I believe that we are living in a complex and rapidly changing world in which information received passively quickly expires. I therefore endeavor to involve my students in knowledge construction through classroom presentations and discussions. My aim is to enable even the most flawed students to benefit from my teaching as much as possible.Another area of my teaching philosophy concerns my perception of the content that I use to teach. I strongly believe that the dynamism of contemporary world requires people who think and work in a sustainable manner. I encourage students to read up-to-date literature and make their own interpretations of the same, in order for them to grasp the theoretical or practical contribution of the knowledge acquired to society in the long run. My teaching philosophy involves belief in a ‘room’ to learn, respect for diversity, equity and equality and the necessity to prepare students to adjust to global dynamism.
- Adong M. S. & Kakuru, D. M (2018) Family status and Child neglect in South Sudan 5th Annual International Conference on Technology and Management, 6-7th August 2018, Silver Springs Hotel, Kampala.
- Kakuru, D. M. (2017) Insights into the Learning crisis in Uganda’s Primary Education, UKFIET 14th International Conference on Education and Development, Learning and Teaching for Sustainable Development, Curriculum, Cognition and Context; 5-7th September 2017, University of Oxford, UK.
- Kembabazi, S. & Kakuru, D. M. (2017) Does School inspection affect teaching and learning? A case of Kasese municipality. 4th Annual International Conference on Technology and Management, 7-8th August 2017, Silver Springs Hotel, Kampala.
- Kakuru, D. M. (2017) Sexual violence in Ugandan Schools; A review of evidence. Presentation at the meeting for women and the media in Uganda, 31st August 2017, Golden Tulip Hotel.
- Kigenyi, M. E., Kakuru, D. M., Zziwa, G. (2016) School environment performance of public school teachers in Bugisu sub region. 3rd Annual International Conference on Technology and Management (ICTM-16), Kampala, Uganda. 1st – 3rd August 2016.
- Kigenyi, M. E., Kakuru, D. M., Zziwa, G. (2016) Provision of meals at school and performance of public primary school teachers in Bugisu sub region. 3rd Annual International Conference on Technology and Management (ICTM-16), Kampala, Uganda. 1st – 3rd August 2016.
- Kakuru, D. M (2015). The paradox of UPE and the Learning Crisis in rural Uganda Beyond the Millennium Development Goals. ISS Development Dialogue 13, Institute of Social Studies, 3rd -5th November 2015, The Hague, The Netherlands.
- Kendrick, M & Kakuru, D (2013) Funds of Knowledge in Child-headed Households: A Ugandan Case Study. Paper presentation at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), April 27- May 1, 2013, San Francisco, CA.
- Kakuru, D. M (2007) Gendered educational capabilities of children in the era HIV/AIDS 9th UKFIET International conference on education and development, 11th -13th September, 2007, Oxford, UK.
- Kakuru, D. M (2007) Intersectionality, HIV/AIDS and gender equality in primary education in rural Uganda. International Conference on Diversity, 3-6th July, 2007, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
- Kakuru, D. M (2007) HIV/AIDS, children’s rights and gender equality in Uganda’s Universal Primary Education, International Learning Conference, 26-29th June 2007. University of Witwaters Rand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
- Kakuru, D. M., Mulder, M. & Wals, A (2007) Teacher competence for gender equality in the era of HIV/AIDS: insights from Uganda. Annual conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), 8th-13th April, 2007, Chicago, IL.
- Kakuru, D. M (2005) HIV/AIDS and gender inequality in education: A vicious cycle in rural Uganda. Paper presentation at the 8th UKFIET International conference on education and development, 13th-15th September, 2005, Oxford, UK.
- Kakuru, D. M (2002) The effect of UPE on the gender gap in education in Uganda, Paper Presentation at the Women’s Worlds 2002, The international interdisciplinary Congress on Women, 21-26 July 2002, Makerere University, Kampala.