History of MISR

The Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) is the former East African Institute of Social Research (EAISR), which was established in 1948.  EAISR was one of the three institutes set up before and after the Second World War on the recommendation of the Colonial Social Science Research Council of London, England.  The three institutes were Western Institute of Social and Economic Research (WISER), University College of West Indies, Jamaica; The West African Institute of Social and Economic Research (WAISER), University College of Ibadan, Nigeria and; The East African Institute of Social Research (EAISR) attached to Makerere University College, the then University College of East Africa.  EAISR catered for the following countries in Eastern Africa: Kenya, Tanganyika, Zanzibar, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Somalia and the Sudan.

Another similar institute, the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute had already been set up before the second world war in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia).The institutions fulfilled the special function of developing social sciences research in the British colonial territories.  They coordinated the planning of research on regional basis; organized comparative studies of particular problems within each region; undertook studies of practical interest to governments and business firms; tested out research techniques; provided teaching materials for the local Universities and; provided a center to which students from overseas were attached.  EAISR’s work concentrated on research in anthropology, sociology, linguistic, economics and psychology.  These were classified in the following categories: tribal studies, urban studies, comparative anthropological studies, linguistic studies, economic and economic history, psychology, demography and social statistics and inter-disciplinary studies. The institute provided a base for Social Science Research and an academic forum for debate and publication.

When most East African countries obtained independence in the 1960s, they created their own national universities to cater for their country's academic interests.  In the process, they also created institutions similar to EAISR.  Eventually, in 1970, when Makerere University became a national University, the former EAISR became Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) under the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.  Since its inception, MISR has had exceptional leadership, among whom were:  W.H. Stanner as first Director, Audrey Richards, Tom Llyod Fallers, Aidan Southall, Dan Mudoola and Apolo Nsibambi.

The political and economic instability in Uganda which characterised the 1970’s and early 1980’s critically affected the Institute and its programmes.  With the restoration of political and economic sobriety in the country by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Government in 1986, MISR started to recover from its oblivion. In the past twenty years, the goal of the Institute has been to re-establish its credibility as a research centre of excellence.  MISR regained its semi-autonomous status (independence from the Faculty of Social Sciences) in 1994.  The Institute then embarked on a staff development and training programme that has enabled it to acquire credibility and a reasonable degree of efficacy.  Since then, MISR has raised its academic and institutional visibility; attracting viable projects which have generated national and international support.

Previous Directors

  PERIOD NAME DISCIPLINE
1 1948 -1950 W.H. Stanner Economics
2 1950 -1956 Audrey I. Richards Anthropology
3 1956 -1957 L.A. Fallers Anthropology
4 1957 - 1968 Aidan Southal Anthropology
5 1968 Ali Mazrui Political Science
6 1968 Y. Z. Kyesimira Economics
7 1968-1969 D.G.R. Belshaw Agricultural Economics
8 1969 J.J. Oloya Agricultural Economics
9 1969-1970 Victor Uchendu Agricultural Economics
10 1970-1971 V.F Aman Agricultural Economics
11 1971 - 1972 Yashpal A. Tandon Political Science
12 1972-1974 A.G.G. Gingyera - Pinychwa Political Science
13 1974-1977 Samwiri R. Karugire History
14 1977-1982 Benon Rugyema History
15 1982-1992 Dan Muguwa Mudoola Political Science
16 1992-1996 Apollo R. Nsibambi Political Science
17 1996-1997 James Katorobo Political Science
18 1997-1999 J.C Munene Psychology
19 1999 - 2009 Nakanyike B.Musisi History
20 2010- Mahmood Mamdani Political Science, Anthropology

 

Contact UsP. O. Box 16022 Kampala - Uganda
        administrator@misr.mak.ac.ug

0414532838/ 0414554582 & 0312132100

Makerere Institute of Social Research
Makerere University
Opposite CCE, School of Law

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