Martha Nalubega Wandera, MA, Academic Director
Martha Nalubega Wandera has worked for SIT since 2002. She became an academic director in 2007. She holds an MA in peace and conflict studies from Makerere University in Kampala; a BA in social sciences, with concentrations in social administration and sociology, also from Makerere University; a diploma in business education from Kyambogo University; a postgraduate certificate in research methods and writing skills from the Center for Basic Research in Kampala; and a postgraduate certificate in entrepreneurship, innovation, and social change at the UPEACE Center for Executive Education in Costa Rica.
Ms. Wandera’s academic interests include peace and conflict studies, business education, rural development, research methods and ethics, gender, and cross-cultural education. She has experience in designing curricula, facilitating cross-cultural learning, providing student services, and conducting program review and evaluation.
Prior to joining SIT, she taught business education in several high schools in Uganda. As a Ugandan, Ms. Wandera brings a personal understanding of the country’s current social, political, and economic situation to her scholarly commitments. Her years of professional experience have provided her with the opportunity to develop relationships with diverse partners, including university professors, nongovernmental organizations, homestay families, and a variety of service providers. As a member of the Uganda Women’s Entrepreneurship Association Limited (UWEAL), Ms. Wandera has further strengthened her connections with the business sector in Uganda. Over the past few years, she has served as academic director of SIT’s Uganda: Microfinance and Entrepreneurship program and the Uganda: Development Studies program.
Ms. Wandera enjoys working with young people as she helps prepare them to become effective intercultural leaders and global citizens.
Pauline Laker, Homestay Coordinator
Pauline Laker joined SIT Study Abroad as the Gulu homestay coordinator in spring 2014. She holds a BA in social sciences from Makerere University, with a focus on psychology and social administration, and a postgraduate diploma in project planning and management from Uganda Management Institute (UMI). Over the past seven years, Pauline has worked on sudden-onset emergencies and developmental projects in the districts of Northern Uganda. Her areas of expertise include planning, managing, and evaluating multi-sectored projects in the fields of community development, health, education, gender-based violence, disability, livelihoods, and disaster risk reduction for displaced, returning, and settled communities. She has partnered with several stakeholders such as local authorities, NGOs, and microfinance institutions to harmonize approaches to the aforementioned projects. Pauline also worked with American Refugee Committee International (ARC) and Handicap International where she gained skills in counseling and guidance, case management and follow-up, and people and project management. She gets along easily with people and is a good listener. Her people skills and knowledge of the Gulu community make her an ideal homestay coordinator. She loves to support students and families as they get to know and learn from each other.
Meddie Osundwa, Program Assistant
Meddie Osundwa is a social scientist and author of a book titled Socio-economic Development: The Community Based NGOs Perspective. He holds a master’s in development studies from Uganda Martyrs University and a bachelor’s in political science and social administration from Makerere University. He is currently engaged in research, project development, and proposal writing for NGOs in Namayingo district in Eastern Uganda. He also worked with Goal – Uganda, an Irish international humanitarian organization in Eastern Uganda as a Behaviour Change Field Officer on HIV/AIDS in Bugiri district. Meddie has taught development economics and African history at Zana Mixed Secondary School in Kampala. His current areas of interest include NGOs and development, environment and sustainable development, gender and development, and African politics and governance. He has previously worked with SIT’s Uganda Development Studies program in Kampala as a student services coordinator and resource center associate. In spring 2013 Meddie joined the Uganda: Post-Conflict Transformation Program in Gulu as a program assistant in charge of academics.
Simon Oola, Program Assistant
Simon is a social scientist from Makerere University with a major in political science and a concentration in gender and development. He has worked at the Parliament of Uganda under the International Republican Institute (IRI), which aims to develop political parties and democratization of Uganda. In addition, Simon has worked as the program assistant at RICH Consult Uganda (Right to Improved Child Health) in Amuru and Nwoya districts, where he handled issues of sexual and reproductive health among the young people affected by war. He also worked as the district field coordinator of CropLife Uganda in Nwoya District. He has wide-ranging experiences in research and evaluations in cross-cutting issues in Northern Uganda. His main areas of interest include economic livelihoods of people in northern Uganda, the elderly and most vulnerable, gender roles, equity, and transformation. He is currently program assistant in charge of student affairs at SIT Gulu.
Lecturers for the program are drawn from institutions such as:
- Gulu University - Gulu, Uganda
- Makerere University - Kampala, Uganda
- Gulu Local Government
- Refugee Law Project
- National University of Rwanda - Butare
- Rwanda Governance Board
- Ministry of Refugees and Disaster Management
- National Unity and Reconciliation Commission - Kigali
- Rwanda Governance Advisory Council - Kigali
Lecturers for this program include:
Okema Lazech Santos, Lecturer on Acholi Culture, Pre-Conflict to Post-Conflict Era and Folklore, Storytelling, and Conflict Resolution and Management in Acholi
Santos is a human rights defender, conflict mediator, and peace builder. He holds a master’s in human rights from Makerere University, a bachelor’s of education from Makerere University and a diploma in education from Kyambogo University. He is currently the programs coordinator of Ker Kwaro Acholi, the Acholi cultural institution. Previously, Santos worked in different capacities for the Ugandan government and at the Human Rights Commission as a human rights trainer and monitor in charge of war-affected Internally Displaced Persons. He has been part of the peace and conflict mitigation team in the Great Lakes region, and has represented the Acholi cultural institution in various conflict resolution processes. He joined SIT in the spring of 2009 and is a regular ISP advisor on the program.
Daniel Komakech, Lecturer on The Political History of Conflict in Uganda; Colonialism, Ethnicity, and Patrimonialism; and Nature of Wars and Armed Conflict in Northern Uganda
Daniel is an African political philosopher and author of Political Economy of Ethics: Values and Valuation in Contemporary Africa published by the International Development Ethics Association. He is a PhD candidate in philosophy at Makerere University. He holds an MA in philosophy and a BA in philosophy and political science from Makerere University. He is currently working on a book titled Global Human Rights Field: Building an African Hermeneutics and Social Reconstruction. He is a senior fellow with the University for Peace, Africa, program and is the current chair of the Uganda Institute for Human Rights as well as the chair of Frankfurt International Research Center, Gulu. Daniel teaches philosophy and human rights at Gulu University, Makerere University, and Mbarara University of Science and Technology. He is the head of African studies and the director of the Institute of Peace and Strategic Studies at Gulu University. His areas of expertise include African political philosophy, critical theory, governance and human rights, and ethics: pure and applied. Daniel joined SIT in fall 2012.
Rosalba Oywa, Lecturer on Conflict Theory and Peace Building and The Role of Women in Peacebuilding
Rosalba is a human rights defender and activist with civil society in Northern Uganda. She is a secondary school teacher by profession, though her career was disrupted by the long conflict in Northern Uganda. She previously worked as the executive director of the Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development. She is credited for being part of the team that developed the curriculum for the Peace and Conflict and Strategic Studies Institute of Gulu University at its inception. She was also part of the 2006 Juba peace talks as a female observer between the government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army. She was instrumental in pushing for the 1994 peace talks and in working together with Mrs. Betty Bigombe, the then-minister for pacification of the north. Rosalba has done a number of studies on gender and conflict and peace building. She joined SIT in the spring of 2011.
Dr. Paul Omach, Lecturer on International Dimensions of Conflicts in Uganda and Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction in Northern Uganda: Implications for Sustainable Development
Dr. Paul Omach holds a PhD in conflict studies from the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) and an MPhil from the University of Cambridge. He is a senior lecturer of political science and public administration at Makerere University. His research interests include peace and conflict studies, security studies, and state and international relations in Africa. He is the author of “The African Crisis Response Initiative: Domestic Politics and Convergence of National Interests” in African Affairs 2000; “Making the State Relevant: the Politics of State Reconstruction in Uganda” in Beyond State Failure and Collapse: Making the State Relevant in Africa, edited by George Klay Kiey, (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2007); and “Democratization and Conflict Resolution in Uganda” in Les Cahiers 41 (2009). Dr. Omach joined SIT in fall 2012.
Stephen Oola, Lecturer on Transitional Justice and the ICC in Northern Uganda
Stephen Oola heads the research and advocacy department at the Refugee Law Project, School of Law, Makerere University. He is also coordinator of the Advisory Consortium on Conflict Sensitivity (ACCS), funded by the Department for International Development (UK). He holds an MA in international peace studies from University of Notre Dame (USA) and a law degree from Makerere University. He also holds a postgraduate diploma in legal practice from the Law Development Centre–Kampala and a postgraduate diploma in conflict management and peace studies (PGC) from Gulu University. Oola is an advocate of the High Court of Uganda. His research interests include forced migration, governance, human rights, transitional justice, and peace building. Mr. Oola joined SIT in 2013.
Rt. Rev. MacBaker Ochola II, Lecturer on The Experience of the Northern Conflict, The Role of Acholi Religious Leaders (ARLPI) in the Conflict Resolution Process, and Forgiveness and Reconciliation in Post-Conflict Northern Uganda
Reverend Ochola is the retired bishop of Kitgum Diocese (Anglican) in northern Uganda. In 1997, his wife Winifred was tragically killed by a landmine allegedly planted by the Lord's Resistance Army. Following her death, he decided to dedicate his life working toward peace. He holds a bachelor of theology from Emmanuel and St. Chad College, University of Saskatchewan, in Saskatoon, Canada. He served as an active participant in the Juba peace talks as peace observer and consultant on behalf of the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative. He was appointed chairman of the mediation between the Pajong and Pobec clans of Mucwini, Chua County, by the Local Government of Kitgum District in January 2008. He has been involved in the mediation process between various groups including the Jie tribe of Karamoja and Acholi; the people of Teso and Bokora and Pian tribes of Karamoja in 2002–2004; and the Lango and Acholi, following the massacres at Barlonyo in Lira District in 2004–2005.
Nicholas Opiyo, Lecturer on Challenges to Integration after Amnesty in Northern Uganda and Religion, Culture, and Conflict Management and Resolution
Nicholas is a lawyer and member of several human rights initiatives in Uganda, which include the Coalition Against Torture and the Police Accountability Project of Human Rights Network Uganda. Nicholas previously worked as a policy and advocacy officer with the Foundation for Human Rights Initiatives where he focused on research, treaty reporting, and advocacy. He has also worked for the International Criminal Court and the Gulu District Land Tribunal and has taught law at the Center for Conflict Management and Peace Studies at Gulu University. His major achievements include being part of the national consultation lead team of the Juba peace talks on drafting the Prevention of Torture Bill 2009, establishing the Right to Health Unit of the Uganda Human Rights Commission, drafting the guidelines on demonstration for the Uganda Human Rights Commission, and forming the Independent Development Fund Uganda. He is a human rights consultant with Akijul consultancy in Kampala. Nicholas joined SIT in 2012.
Bernard Noel Rutikanga, Lecturer on Rwandan Identity Politics and Political Developments Pre-Genocide and The Role of the Media before, during, and after the Rwanda Genocide
Bernard Noel Rutikanga obtained a BA and MA from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. At the undergraduate level he was trained to teach African history and African literature. His master's degree focused on contemporary African history. He taught for ten years at Dar es Salaam’s Teachers College before directing a Namibian and South African refugee scholarship program in Tanzania for five years in collaboration with the now-defunct World University Service, Geneva. Mr. Rutikanga has been teaching contemporary Rwandan history at the National University of Rwanda since 1995. He has published on reconciliation and ethnicity in Rwanda. He has also served as a gacaca judge (the traditional jurisdiction system that has been trying genocide related crimes committed in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994). In 2000, he was a Fulbright scholar at Boston College in Massachusetts.
Pastor Antoine Rutayisire, Lecturer on The Role of Religion during Genocide and Post-Genocide Rwanda
Pastor Antoine Rutayisire is the current Rwandan team leader of African Enterprise, an organization that is committed to bringing healing, reconciliation, strength, and renewal back to the disillusioned and devastated Rwandan church and nation. Prior to his current position he was a lecturer at the Rwanda National University (1983–1990) and later worked as Rwanda national secretary for International Fellowship of Evangelical Students–IFES (1990–1994). Since 1999, he served as a commissioner on the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, in charge of drafting and supervising the implementation of the national policy for reconciliation in Rwanda. From 1992 to 1994, Pastor Antoine served as secretary of the African Enterprise–Rwanda Board before becoming team leader after the Tutsi Genocide of 1994. Pastor Antoine holds an MA in applied linguistics (UK, North Wales, 1985–86) and an MA in modern literature and curriculum development from the National University of Rwanda. Pastor Antoine joined SIT in 2013.