By Paul Ruto, Associate Researcher, United States International University in Nairobi Kenya.
This year’s CARTA fellows’ conference was perfect timing for me. The diverse participants at this conference brought in rich knowledge and experience. The participants had high expectations - but I had no doubts since the CARTA program upholds high standards. The organization of the conference was professionally done from the setup of the room, choice of presenters and facilitators, strict time-keeping, conference evaluation forms and the materials given to all participants.
The highlights was presentations from the PhD fellows who depicted high quality research. From health issues, communicable and non-communicable diseases, to sexual behaviors across different countries, it was evident that time and resources was invested in each research. Moreover, the PhD trainees’ good presentations was a reflection of the high quality of research they had undertaken. I only wished we had more time to delve deeper into their findings.
Presentation after presentation, I developed the urge to hear even more. If time was extended a little bit, I am sure that presenters and participants would have more time for detailed presentation, questions and interaction especially on emerging interesting topics such as football, risky sexual behaviors, food security, brucellosis, contrimoxazole and the mathematical model. I believe many in the academics field can benefit from such conferences. There was so much to learn, including PhD training and supervision, research methodology, presentations and much more. For published/ accessed papers, it will add value for participants to access these even prior to the presentations as this would even stimulate more academic discussions.
That said and done, the CARTA fellows were very warm, welcoming, humorous, displayed diverse culture, and were able to articulate their findings. CARTA fellows proved that quality research can be used to solve societal problems!
Regardless of the country, background or discipline, quality is key and CARTA is setting the standards in PhD training in Africa