As an UMU student, Agatha has conducted in-depth field research on the effectiveness and future of Nnindyes Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILCs) in promoting economic development. The SILC groups are self-run savings and lending collectives that help community members regularly and securely save money.

I wanted to know how the system worked, what was involved, how the community was benefitting, the challenges—so that I could introduce the same system to a vulnerable group back home, she says, explaining that she hopes to leverage the insights from her study in Nnindye to facilitate development projects in her home community and beyond.

The most interesting insight from my study is that these people are benefitting from this project, Agatha goes on.  I hope my research will help human development activists to come up with the most appropriate policies to govern various projects intended for development.

Not just motivated to study development within Uganda, Agatha also wants to deliver her research globally, build partnerships, and learn from her student peers in understanding human development. This year she shared her research and insights on SILCs at Notre Dames annual student-led Human Development Conference (HDC).

The young people presenting were so good, Agatha says of the HDC. Conferences educate [and] help sensitize people on what they are supposed to do to achieve development. Agatha recommends that students from UMU continue to attend the annual conference, as they have done regularly in recent years.  

After she graduates from UMU, Agatha intends to pursue a graduate degree in statistics. With her passion for research and her understanding of statistics and economics, she is working to help her own community and country achieve sustainable development.