Kenyan lecturer bags inaugural Facebook Research Award worth $50,000

He will also be sponsored to visit the Menlo Park, California, the headquarters of Facebook.

Dr. Duncan Omanga, the Head, Department of Publishing and Media Studies, School of Information Sciences at Moi University beat other applicants from across the globe to emerge the winner of the inaugural Facebook Research Award, under the Facebook Protect and Care Research projects.

The award worth $50,000 (Sh5 million) by the social media giant seeks to find out how the platform has embedded the complex lives of its users.

Dr. Omanga plans to use the grant to run a project in Kayole, Umoja and Huruma Estates of Nairobi, to probe how Facebook has impacted people’s lives.

“He will use the grant to run a project in Kayole, Umoja and Huruma Estates of Nairobi, in seeking to probe the intersections of journalistic routines, community policing and Facebook, by way of an investigation of the life-worlds and discursive practices that locate criminal gangs, digital publics and the police service in one social media space,” read a statement from the University.

Dr Omanga, expressed delight at his research being picked as the winner and said he will the grant to research how Facebook has helped in combating crime in some of the estates in Eastlands in Nairobi.

“I will have to pick two masters students to work with on this project and they will do a thesis on this subject,” he told a local daily on phone.

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