We, at CPAR Uganda, are privileged to work closely with Dr. Ben Jones, a lecturer in development studies at the University of East Anglia (UEA). For a two year period 2021 to 2023, Dr. Jones is the Principal Investigator for our research and policy advocacy project: “Challenging Categories: Educated Unemployed Youth as Institutional Innovators in Rural Uganda;” a project which we are implementing in partnership with UEA.
Dr. Ben Jones (centre) in the field with Stella Rose Aguti (left) and Jimmy Ezra Okello (left), two of our young innovators in mentorship who are benefiting from working alongside Dr. Jones as his research assistants. Photo @ UEA
Observing Dr. Jones do fieldwork in an extraordinary manner, which is not the norm among Ugandan academics, is refreshing. He is actually out there, deep in a rural setting, living there in humble abode, blending in and doing hands-on data collection, working side by side with his research assistants, young innovators whom he is at the same time mentoring.
For me, a budding academic who is revisiting my desire to restart and to pursue studies for an award of a Doctorate in Philosophy (PhD), Dr. Jones is an inspiration. He has made be believe again that I can do it simply, albeit with hard work.
I believe, as well, that our young innovators under my mentorship, under our CPAR Uganda project: “Mentoring Young Adults into Innovators Against Poverty,” are benefiting to the maximum from Dr. Jones. They are working alongside him in the field as his research assistants.
Dr. Jones has completely demystified academic research for us. And I am confident that the findings of our Challenging Categories project shall be positive-impact filled as those from Dr. Jones’ previous work.
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Such as, for example, Dr. Jones’ research findings on which his book: “Beyond the state in rural Uganda” is based.
Beyond the state in rural Uganda, by Ben Jones, is “a refreshing and original antidote to the myopic habits of conventional scholarship … (an) illuminating, astute, against-the-grain study of real-existing development.”James C. Scott, Sterling Professor of Political Science and Anthropology, Yale University
By Ms. Norah Owaraga, Managing Director