Dr. Cleophas Karooma, PhD


Personal Profile

I am a Senior Lecturer and a Deputy Dean, Faculty of Interdisciplinary (FIS). I hold a PhD in Development Studies with a specific focus in Forced Migration-Refugee Studies. I have a working experience of 17 years as a university don, and I have grown through ranks from Assistant Lecturer to Senior Lecturer. I am a female Ugandan and married with children. I have published widely in refugees and other related fields i.e. I published a book on Rwandan refugees in Southwestern Uganda: Their attitudes and responses to Repatriation 1994 – 2012. And other articles on: Social networking, the conceptualization of home by refugees, the voluntariness of repatriation; research fatigue and sexual and gender-based violence among the refugees, traditional and modern methods of conflict resolution among others.  I have also been involved in grant writing as a principal investigator and a co-investigator. I have been a Principal Investigator of a VLIR-OUS project on Sexual and gender-based violence among protracted refugees in Nakivale, a co-investigator on refugee-host relationship and local integration-VLIR-OUS; a co-investigator on VLIR-OUS Institutional University Cooperation Grant-IUC and a local promoter on VLIR-OUS-the Rwandan refugee problem and the old caseload project. These projects have contributed to capacity building and MUST visibility.  In addition, I have been a reviewer for different programs: Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Scholarship proposals, Journal of refugee studies, Oxford; Refugee survey quarterly, Oxford and Afriche e Orienti, Italy; I am also a commonwealth scholar-alumni, a split-site scholarship which enabled me to be mentored and trained in refugee studies at Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford. In addition, I teach bot undergraduate and post graduate levels, mentor and supervised both undergraduate and postgraduate students, I also participate in in community outreach programs like student-community twinning project (STP), I participate in different faculty committees, coordinating examinations and I am currently a Deputy Dean carrying out administrative and supervisory duties. I believe my experience both in academic, research, community outreach and leadership have improved my knowledge, skills, and competencies. I am a social and dedicated servant who always wants to see and be part of inclusive progress. I cherish and pursue the welfare of others and I am a promoter of Unity in diversity.



Surname:                                 Karooma

First Name:                             Cleophas

Other name:                             Kansiime

Date of birth:                           26/02/1980

Gender:                                   Female

Marital Status                         Married

Nationality:                             Ugandan

Contact Address:                    Mbarara University of Science and Technology

Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies

                                                P.O.Box 1410


Telephone:                              +256-772544300                                


Email address:                        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



·         Deputy Dean, Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies                Since 1st June 2018

·         Examination Coordinator, Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies, MUST

·         Chairperson In charge of Budget and Welfare Committee

·         Member of other different committees in the faculty

·         General administrative and supervision roles



·         Seventeen Years of University teaching experience at MUST



2011-2015   PhD in Development Studies, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) with a Commonwealth split-site study/mentorship at the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC), University of Oxford, 2012-2013.

Thesis Title: Rwandan Refugees in Southwestern Uganda: Their attitudes and responses to repatriation 1994-2012


2004-2006   Master of Arts in Development Studies, MUST

Thesis Title: Integrating Traditional and Modern mechanisms of conflict resolution in Sheema, Ankore.


2000-2003 Bachelor of Development Studies (Hons), MUST

Dissertation Title: Traditional Methods of Conflict Resolution in Sheema, Ankore



January 2016, Senior Lecturer, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST)

September 2008, Lecturer, MUST

2007-2010, Lecturer Kampala International University

November 2004, Assistant Lecturer, MUST

May 2003-2004, Research Assistant at Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE), Kanjokya Street, Kampala

2003 —Member MACOMBA[1] Higher Education link in the teaching of Conflict and Peace in high institutions of learning in Uganda



For 17 years, I have been teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels at MUST. I have taught, Communication and analytical skills, communication and facilitation skills, policy engagement and communication, Risk analysis and disaster management, community responses to disaster management; Gender and Human rights, Refugee and IDP studies, NGOs and Development, Inclusive Development, Conflict and peace studies, Globalization and Development, Criminology, Immigration and  Citizenship among others.


As part of teaching, I have been participating in community engagement programmes like STP-Student Community Engagement program in FIS. This program links MUST with the neighboring communities through interaction between the faculty and the community. Our students have benefited from learning through the community.


I also participated in Peace Councils, a community engagement forum between the faculty of Development studies and the communities around Mbarara.



I supervise students at both undergraduate and postgraduate

-Masters students supervised (Completed & ongoing)

Patricia Ashaba, 2017/MAs/008/PS, exploring alternative durable solutions in the management of protracted refugee situations in Uganda: the case of Congolese refugees in Nakivale refugee settlement.

Bruno Asiimwe 2018/MAS/038/PS, Refugee rural-urban migration and livelihoods in Uganda; the case of Burundian refugees residing in Mbarara Municipality.


Alfred Tumushabe 2017/MAS/014/PS, the spillover effects of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo Conflicts on the subsistence livelihoods of Uganda border communities: A case of Kisoro district

Edgar Buryahika 2015/MAS/031/PS, Women refugees and economic adaptation challenges in Nakivale Refugee Settlement, Southwestern Uganda.


Julius Muhenda, 2014/MAS/199/PS, Burundi refugees’ influx: a threat or a blessing to Uganda’s social service delivery? A case of Burundi refugees in Nakivale refugee settlement, Isingiro District.


Noah Kamugisha, 2009/HD/086/PS, Land conflicts and the livelihoods of people in Uganda. A case study of Kibale District, Western Uganda.


Fred Twikirize, effectiveness of socio-economic interventions towards improving the livelihoods of ethnic minorities in Uganda: a case of the Batwa around Bwindi impenetrable national park.


Elias Beinomugisha, 2016/MAS/009/PS, Intimate partner violence against married men and the welfare of families in Ntungamo Municipality.

Hedwig Arineitwe, 2018/MAS/037/PS, forced displacement and livelihood coping strategies of women in Rwamwanja refugee settlement (ongoing).


Monica Biira, 2018/MAS/001/PS, domestic violence and child abuse in Uganda. A case study of Kajara – Ntungamo district.


Mucunguzi Hannington (RIP), 2017/mas/012/PS, socio-cultural integration and conflicts between refugees and host communities: a case study of Rwamwanja refugee settlement, Kamwenge district.

-PhD Students Supervised (ongoing)

1.      Andrew Iyundhu, 2017/PhD/035/PS. Access to and inclusion of persons with visual impairment in public service employment: a case of selected districts in Uganda

2.  Adebayo Tajudeen Sanni, Gender relations and household income utilization among educated married employees in Mbarara Municipality.

3.      Innocent Bidong Ogaba, 2019/PhD/004/PS, private sector engagement on refugees & host communities’ resilience and self-reliance in Uganda


·         I have reviewed scholarship proposals for social science research council, SSRC, since 2015, for SSRC applicants.

·         I have reviewed for Journal of refugee studies, University of Oxford

·         I have reviewed for Refugee Survey Quarterly

·         I have reviewed for Afriche e Orienti, Italy



VLIR-OUS Institutional University Cooperation Grant-IUC: a co-investigator on the project:  Community based sustainable solutions to Demographic challenges in Southwestern Uganda, 2021 -2023, With Prof Charles Kazooba, Dr. Medard Twinamatsiko and others.


VLIROUS TEAM grant (2019-2022) “Making Refugee Integration Sustainable: In Search of Durable Relations with Host Populations in Uganda.” With Dr. Ahimbisibwe Frank, Tom Ogwang, Prof. Bert Inglaere (IOB, University of Antwerp), Dr. Kristof Titeca (IOB, University of Antwerp) and Sarah Vancluysen (IOB, University of Antwerp).


Principle Investigator, VLIROUS grant, South Initiatives (2018-2020), Sexual and Gender-based Violence against protracted refugees in Nakivale Refugee settlement, southwestern Uganda: addressing gaps in knowledge and responses. With Dr.  Neema Murembe (MUST), Dr. Eria Serwajja (MAK), Prof. Gily Coene and Dr. Sophie Withaeckx (Vrije Universiteit Brussel).


VLIROUS grant, South Initiatives (2014-2015): The Challenges of Ending the Rwandan Refugee Problem in Uganda with a focus on the old Rwandan refugee caseloads. With Mr Tom Ogwang, Prof Pamela Mbabazi, Dr Ahimbisibwe Frank et al, Prof Filip Reyntjens, University of Antwerp.



·   Cleophas Karooma (2019) Research fatigue among Rwandan Refugees in Uganda. In Forced Migration Review, The Ethics Issue: Exploring ethical questions that confront us in our work. Issue 61 June 2019.

·      Cleophas Karooma (2017), Rwandan Refugees in Southwestern Uganda: Their Attitudes and Responses to Repatriation 1994-2012. The Edwin Mellen Press. Lewiston, New York (Book).Available at:  Https://mellenpress.com  or https://books.google.com

·     Cleophas Karooma (2017), Where Do We Belong: Rwanda or Uganda? The Conceptualization of ‘Home’ by the Rwandan Refugees in Uganda. Journal of Modern Education Review. Academic Star Publishing Company. http://www.academicstar.us/issueshow.asp?daid=2054 

·     Adebayo Tajudeen Sanni; Atia Agnes Apusigah and Cleophas Karooma (2021) Determinants of level of household income utilization and decision making among the educated working married employees in Mbarara Municipality. Advances in social sciences Research Journal – Vol.8, No.4, April 2021.

·    Adebayo Tajudeen Sanni; Atia Agnes Apusigah and Cleophas Karooma (2020) Determinants of Gender Relations among Educated Working married employees in Mbarara Municipality, Mbarara, Uganda. Global Journal of Human Social Science (A), Vol XX issue XVIII, Version 1.

·  Andrew Iyundhu, Paul Emong and Cleophas Karooma (2021) Coping with unfriendly working environment in public service employment in Uganda: Voices of employees with visual impairment. Global Journal of Human-social sciences: Arts and Humanities –Psychology. Volume 21 Issue1 Version 1.0. Feb 2021. Global Journals. USA. Available at: https://Socialscienceresearch.org.

·    Andrew Iyundhu, Paul Emong and Cleophas Karooma (2021) Complying with reasonable accommodation requirements for persons with visual impairement in Uganda public service employment? Assumptions and gaps. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal. UK. Volume 8, Issue 3 March 2021. Available at: https://journals.scholarpublishing.org

·    Cleophas Karooma (2014), Reluctant to return? The primacy of social networks in the repatriation of Rwandan refugees in Uganda, August 2014, Working Paper Series No. 103, Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford. Available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/55c9efa04.html 

·         Karooma Cleophas (2013), Preliminary Observations from the Field: Rwandese Refugees’ Perceptions of ‘Voluntary’ Repatriation from Uganda. Oxford Monitor of Forced Migration Vol. 3, No. 2 (48-56). University of Oxford.



·     Cleophas Karooma, Neema Murembe, Eria Serwajja, Veronica Nakijoba, Sophie Withaeckx & Gily Coene. Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) among Protracted Refugees in Nakivale Refugee Settlement, Southwestern Uganda: Addressing gaps in knowledge and responses. Submitted to the University of Antwerp, IOB, as a working paper and later to a journal.

·   Veronica Nakijoba, Gily Coene, Neema Murembe, Eria Serwajja, Sophie Withaeckx & Cleophas Karooma. An analysis of gaps in sexual and gender-based violence interventions in refugee communities: The case of Nakivale refugee settlement in Uganda. Submitted to Refugee Survey Quartely. Manuscript ID, RSQ-2021-051

·     Eria Serwajja, Gily Coene, Neema Murembe, Veronica Nakijoba, Sophie Withaeckx & Cleophas Karooma. The ‘silent Cries’ of men: convoluted SGBV experiences of Men at Nakivale Refugee Settlement, Uganda. Submitted to the Journal of Refugee Studies, University of Oxford. Submission ID: JRS 2020-220.

·  Neema Murembe, Gily Coene, Eria Serwajja, Veronica Nakijoba, Sophie Withaeckx & Cleophas Karooma. ‘UNHCR is a better husband’: Changing roles and power in family relations among the refugees in Nakivale Refugee Settlement, Uganda. Submitted to the Journal of gender-based Violence. The reference number: JGBV-D-21-00010.



·     Cleophas Karooma (2021) Sexual and gender-based Violence among protracted Refugees in Nakivale Refugee Settlement: Addressing gaps in Knowledge and responses. IASFM Virtual Conference, Ghana. July 26 – 30, 2021.

·    Cleophas Karooma (2021), Resource sharing dynamics between refugees and the host community in Nakivale refugee settlement. Virtual Presentation to the VLIROUS TEAM (2019-2022) “Making Refugee Integration Sustainable: In Search of Durable Relations with Host Populations in Uganda. Virtual Presentation to the University of Antwerp (IOB) June 2021.

·       Cleophas Karooma (2019) Sexual and Gender-based Violence against protracted refugees in Nakivale Refugee settlement, southwestern Uganda: addressing gaps in knowledge and responses. Presented at the 2019 annual meeting of the Southwestern Social Science Association, held in San Diego, CA, at the Manchester Grand, Hyatt, October 30 – November 2, 2019.

·   Cleophas Karooma (2019), Sexual and Gender-based Violence: a ‘hidden’ aspect of the Protracted Refugees in Nakivale Refugee Settlement, Southwestern Uganda. Presented in African Studies Association conference at the United States University-Africa, October 24th to 26th 2019.

·  Cleophas Karooma (2019), Sexual and gender-based violence in protracted displacement: Social relations, survival strategies and response mechanisms in Nakivale Refugee Settlement, Uganda. Presented at MUST Annual Dissemination Conference, Igongo Cultural Centre, December 2019.

·     Karooma Cleophas (2013), Voluntariness of Repatriation of Rwandan Refugees in Uganda. Voices of the Recipients. Presented in The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, Young African scholars programme at Pembroke College, Cambridge University UK, July 13-17.

Karooma Cleophas (2013), Repatriation Attitudes and Responses: The Rwandan Refugees experience in Nakivale, SW, Uganda. Presented in IHEID; Global South Workshop December 2013 –El Colegio de Mexico. Mexico City, Under THE GRADUATE INSTITUTE | GENEVA.


·    I have been involved in the organization of MUST annual research dissemination conferences (ARDC) since 2009. I also participate organizing pre-ARDC activities like the symposium.

·     I serve on ONEHEALTH, AFROHUN, Uganda, as a Lead Faculty, Field Attachment Training –MUST onehealth institute, faculty lead and onehealth training and empowerment program.

·         I am on Commonwealth scholars’ alumni committee to support in commonwealth community activities in Uganda.

·         I am a reviewer for different journals and scholarship houses (mentioned above).

·         I serve on Immaculate Heart Girls’ School board as an advisor.

·         I serve on different committees for our local churches and a member of different SACCOs.

·     At a national and international level, I am a university lecturer and many students have passed through my hands. These are serving in different organizations at different levels from local to international levels.



Prof. Charles Tushabomwe-Kazooba

Deputy Vice Chancellor, F&A

Mbarara University of Science and Technology

Mobile Phone: +256701778 699

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Dr. Rogers Bariyo

Dean, Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies

Mbarara University of Science and Technology

Mobile Phone: 0772667806

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.









[1] MACOMBA was a collaboration between Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Makerere University, University of Bradford, University for Peace Costa Rica and ACODE-research think tank. This collaboration was meant to introduce the teaching of conflict and peace studies in Uganda’s higher institutions of learning.



You are here: Home Ms. Cleophas Karooma