RESEARCH CAPACITY BUILDING AND DISSEMINATION
The main expected impact of the project is to strengthen research capacity in Africa and provide a solid foundation for the future teaching and learning of climate-related research issues on the African continent. This foundation will include support for the development of research capacity associated with the CLUVA research work, including: climate science; risk and impact analysis; spatial analysis; assessment of the different dimensions of vulnerability of cities to climate change; and the development of new response strategies suitable for wider application.
The objectives are: (1) to strengthen research capacity in the African universities involved and in the scientific community of Africa in general, and specifically to train rapidly a critical mass of researchers and University teachers; (2) to develop education related to climate change in cities in order to ensure a long term effect in research and practice and (3) to enable access and use of climate change research data, knowledge, and adaptation practices at various scales by establishing an effective knowledge generation system that moves information from top-down to bottom up and vice-versa.
The work package consists of three tasks, one each corresponding to the objectives:
Task 4.1 Research Capacity Building
Most of the research work in CLUVA will be carried out by PhD students, post-doctoral researchers and seniors located at the African universities involved in the project. Discussions within in the group of PhDs, with senior scientists directly involved in the project or invited external experts will highly contribute to the disciplinary and interdisciplinary training. A significant group of PhD students will be produced during the project which gains the scientific qualification, including knowledge and skills, to undertake high quality research into the vulnerability of climate change on urban areas, and planning for climate change adaptation. In so doing, the universities involved will build up strong research groups which will likely continue to exist after the end of the project and from where knowledge and tools will be applied to other cases. PhD students will be co-supervised by experts in their respective fields from European partners thus enabling knowledge transfer in both directions. A framework for PhD training will be established to ascertain that PhDs are carried out to high standards. This will include PhD courses, summer schools, and in individual cases research stays at European partner universities.
Task 4.2 Educational programmes as long term capacity building
It is intended to develop curricula for Master courses at African universities on major themes of the project: “Spatial Analysis and Planning”, “Environmental Information Science”, ”Urban Planning”, “Greenspace planning”, “Urban Governance”. Implementation of these programmes at the African universities will help to have an enduring effect on capacity both in research and in practice as most of the students will later take on leading positions in administration, e.g. urban planning departments and governmental organisations. The programmes will partly be based on e-Learning modules which allows for wider outreach across the African continent.
Task 4.3 Dissemination to researchers and practitioners
Wide dissemination of the projects results, including methods and tools, will be achieved by several activities, including a website where results can be easily accessed, including training materials. Research briefs will communicate the most important results in a format relevant for policy-makers. An important way of outreach is the workshops and the final conference where researchers and stakeholders from local government, national government, etc. will collaborate. Finally, the project will liaise with the most important organisations dedicated to knowledge dissemination and collaboration with practice such as:
AUA African University Association
Africa Sustainable Development Network
African Centre for Cities