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Makerere computer scientists design software for researchers

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Computer scientists at Makerere University Faculty of Computing have developed software that helps researchers gather data faster and more effectively.
The OpenXData software connects a mobile phone to a computer, so that when the researcher is in the field, they can be able to feed in information as they collect it.
Leita Namutebi, one of the software developers, explains that OpenXData does away with the burden of paper questionnaires, and eliminates delays in relaying research information.
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She adds that the software can be used in social as well as academic research. It is also applicable in carrying out censuses and even in vote counting.
It works with mobile phones that are just a little advanced, with infrared or Bluetooth applications, though it can also use sms.
John Kibirige, one of the students at the faculty says that he could use the software for his research project.
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The software is already being distributed to those interested, free of charge.
Namutebi says that its practicality is being tested in a pilot project in 50 Universal Primary Education Schools in Isingiro district, to tract teachers and students attendance.
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It has also been distributed to the Malaria Control Program in Rwanda, and the Tuberculosis Control Program in Pakistan.
This is one of the products coming out of the National Software Incubation Centre that opened early this year. The centre trains students to become software developers, and at the time of its inception, 100 young IT graduates started on 25 software projects, tailored for Ugandan consumers.

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