Hand holding globe

By Alice Hutchins

During 2019, a bid is taking place to secure a grant that will enable researchers to collaborate on a project which draws materials and resources from several nations across the globe.

Advancing Resilience and Innovation for Sustainable Ecosystems (ARISE) is a leading group of researchers from across the UK, Europe, Kenya and South Africa. The scholars within this co-hort come from a variety of different academic backgrounds, including social science, engineering, data analysis and law.

“Collaboration on this Multi-disciplinary proposal introduced me to research methods utilized in the social and geo-sciences such as textual analysis and the use of satellite imagery” – Sarah Odera, ARISE Collaborator from Strathmore University, Kenya.

The training of a consortium of experts in energy planning and managements is vital to the success of this project, and the approval of funding for the ARISE team would enable the inclusion and training of academics from the Global South.

If the application were successful and the funding was approved, the grant would contribute towards two objectives, the first being the development of effective resilience policies against disasters and emergencies, and the second to transcend the limitations of the research capacities and skills of scholars in progressing countries. ARISE aims to secure the Royal Society money in the hope of helping developing societies help themselves by building resilience and research skills. Currently there is a distinct difference in the training, research capacities and collaboration opportunities of the participating universities from South Africa and Kenya, but the ARISE grant bid hopes to utilise these funds to establish a regional research network in Southern Africa, and to strengthen research capabilities in the UK, Kenya, and South Africa through collaboration. Consortium researchers will receive research training, experience, and professional development via workshops, conferences, and joint publications.

Through establishing links to various parts of South Africa, ARISE is using expertise from within establishments to best determine how we can instigate the changes and developments needed to bridge the research gap. The University of Cape Town hosts the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI), which has joined with the Universities of Ghana and Nairobi in the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Centre of Excellence in Climate and Development. From UCT, ARISE thus gains both expertise in clean energy access and poverty alleviation, as well as access to the ACDI network. The funding from this bid would contribute towards publishing all papers, written materials and web interface in four languages: English, Kiswahili, Xhosa and Zulu, to facilitate maximum accessibility.

Alice is a Creative Writing Graduate from the University of East Anglia and has recently joined the ImpacTeam, Department of Government at the University of Essex.  This is Alice’s travel blog.