Science partnership to support SDG urbanisation research

The International Council for Science or ICSU, in partnership with the International Social Science Council, or ISSC, and the Network of African Science Academies or NASAC, has announced that it will support 10 collaborative research projects across Africa to the value of €90,000 (US$96,000) each over two years.

A call for research proposals has been made. The projects are meant to facilitate the implementation in Africa of Sustainable Development Goal 11 or SDG11, which recognises the central role of urbanisation in sustainable development, and calls for inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities.

According to an ISSC statement, the projects likely to receive support are those that “explore ways of linking SDG11 with other SDGs, for example, identifying systematic linkages and synergies between economy, energy, environment, and social outcomes in the urban systems and assessing potential co-benefits and trade-offs that can lead to coherent and mutually reinforcing policies on urban development".

Researchers should also explore innovative ways of providing services in cities, such as clean drinking water, sanitation, energy, health and housing.

The projects should also establish the skills that are needed in the African context to ensure that SDG11 is realised, and explore approaches of systematic collection and sharing of relevant urban data that will assist in an understanding of how key urban indicators are responding.

The pre-proposal submission date is 17 April and applicants should have no more than 10 years of work experience following their PhDs or equivalent research experience.

The research projects are part of the five-year programme "Leading Integrated Research for Agenda 2030 in Africa" or LIRA 2030, which aims to develop the potential of next-generation scientists in Africa to come up with possible solutions required for addressing complex regional sustainability challenges.

The five-year programme will also provide training for early career scientists to ensure scientific advice to governments, among others, and with an emphasis on researchers based in low income countries.

It will also promote the integration of gender and poverty reduction concerns.

The programme, which ends in December 2020, will be delivered by ICSU in conjunction with its regional office for Africa based in Pretoria, South Africa, the Network of African Science Academies based in Nairobi, Kenya, and the International Social Science Council based in Paris, France.