Explore our work

Socio-Ecological Systems and DecolonialityConvergence of Indigenous and Western Knowledge

Deepa Pullanikkatil and Kerry Hughes. 2022. Socio-Ecological Systems and Decoloniality: Convergence of Indigenous and Western Knowledge. Springer. | https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-15097-5

Abstract

This contributed volume provides case studies from around the world that feature a convergence of indigenous and western knowledge in an attempt to understand complex socio-ecological systems. The book provides an understanding of socio-ecological systems in an ethical space using a ‘Decoloniality’ approach (i.e. untangling the production of knowledge from a primarily Eurocentric episteme). The work presented here integrates and merges indigenous knowledge with western science, thereby building on the strengths of each in service of understanding these systems. The editors of this volume approach indigenous communities and scientists as equal knowledge-holders and, in doing so, contributes towards improved understanding of socio-ecological systems and interactions in cross-cultural contexts. This volume will be of interest to scientists, instructors, students and policy makers across disciplines such as environmental sciences, social sciences, interdisciplinary studies, cultural studies, ethnobotany, anthropology and plant genetic resources.

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Pluriversal Literacies for Sustainable Futures - When Words Are Not Enough

Mia Perry. 2023. Pluriversal Literacies for Sustainable Futures: When Word Are Not Enough. Routledge. | https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003302360

Abstract

This book presents a new vision of literacy that frames meaning-making and communication in relation to individual, collective, and ecological needs. Building on the concept of the pluriversal, Perry explores how literacy education can support multiple ways of being and becoming. In so doing, Perry rejects limiting and skills-focused definitions of literacy and instead embraces a more profound conceptualisation that reflects the boundless potential of literacy practices. Bringing together research from the Global North and South, Perry connects literacy education with semiotics, philosophy, sustainability studies, and geopolitics to argue for the urgency of a pluriversal model of literacy that combats a normative, neo-colonial understanding of reading and writing.

Offering a unique contribution to the field of literacy studies, this book demonstrates how literacy is a semiotic process and literacy practices can connect learner needs with pathways to social, ecological, and cultural sustainability. With Perry as a guide, this illuminating book invites readers to join the journey into literacies beyond words, to arrive at a more holistic and inclusive understanding of what literacy practices are and can be.

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Four Approaches to Supporting Equitable Research Partnerships

The Sustainable Futures Global Network has been featured as a case study in the Four Approaches to Supporting Equitable Research Partnerships (UKCDR and ESSENCE, 2022).

Transforming the global research partnership ecosystem in ways that increase equity and restore balance requires consistent action and reflection; the crux is finding a balance between flexibility and equity that enhances trust and respect among all partners.

Drawing on the experience of funders, research organisations and researchers in low-, middle- and high-income countries, Four Approaches to Supporting Equitable Research Partnerships provides insights into how the principles of equitable partnership can be applied in multi-country research consortiums and partnerships.

Each of the four approaches highlights potential barriers to equity and provides practical recommendations for how these can be addressed and overcome. Strategies for building mutual respect and trust between collaborators and institutions – the software of equity – are outlined, while the hardware of equity – such as funding procedures and contractual conditions – receives equal attention.

Practical recommendations and relevant case studies underline the interdependent and mutually reinforcing roles of relational hardware and software in strengthening equity in research partnerships.

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Waste management training manual for primary schools

ECOaction and its partners (Sustainable Futures in Africa Network, Kampala City Council Authority, Makerere University, Design hub Kampala and the US Embassy) aim to promote and sustain proper solid waste management practices and environmental awareness within schools and communities in Kampala, Uganda. The team aims to teach educators and learners how reducing, reusing and recycling solid waste can make a difference to their school, community, and the environment.

ECOaction has the skills and resources to support this development of this knowledge and practice in schools. In 2019-2020, they worked with Environment and Sanitation clubs in primary schools across Kampala City, on the “Clean Air” project that aimed to help schools to achieve proper waste management. ECOaction and partners collaborated with a group of experts to develop a “tool kit” or teaching and learning manual for waste management and recycling in primary schools.

A curriculum specialist from Makerere University, Dr Leah Sikoyo, and Dr Mia Perry from the University of Glasgow have co-developed the manual with ECOaction community artists, and a local designer. The objective of this manual is to build upon ECOaction’s efforts to sensitize school children on environmental awareness. In particular, the resource relates to proper waste management, through hands-on practical activities relating to reusing and recycling everyday waste to generate useful products for various activities within the school and surrounding communities. The practices described contribute to a clean environment and sustainable livelihoods. The manual introduces the justifications, principles and practices of proper waste management and demonstrates how these can be integrated into the primary school curriculum through relevant themes and topics.

Two flexible and adaptable school projects are suggested in the manual through step-by-step instructions; curriculum thematic connections; and visual illustrations and examples. Finally, each activity is linked to out-of-school and community practices for the broader learning and development in family and community contexts. The extended team strongly believes that this manual provides a unique and powerful resource to schools at this time, and aims to increase the reach and impact of this resource as well as build upon it to develop other resources for educational use.

By Reagan Kandole, Executive Director of ECOaction

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Future Experiences: Sustainable Development and the Global South

Collaboration with Glasgow School of Art

In 2019-2020, the SFA Network collaborated with the Glasgow School of Arts – Product Design on a project entitled the Future Experiences: Sustainable Development and the Global South. You can read more about it here.

The SFA Network is very pleased to announce that the project dataset collection is now live! The record is public and can be accessed here. Many SFA Members took part to the project and we would like to thank everyone for their contribution. They are included as an author on this dataset/project.

We recommend looking at the  ‘Project Journey Map’ and the fantastic ‘Future Experiences Book’ in order to get a feel for what is there. But don’t stop there – this is a tremendously rich resource of output and know-how.  This collaboration with the future designers from the Glasgow School of Art was truly inspiring and refreshing for the SFA team. The impact of this project and the engagement with designers is translating into the recent research applications submitted by the Network.

We encourage you to use and share the material from this project.

DOI: 10.5525/gla.researchdata.1019

Future Experiences BookProject Journey Map

A Critical Resource for Ethical International Partnerships

When we start a new project with partners in a different context, it is never truly a “new start.” Historically it has been experts from the Global North who have studied and interpreted the South. This means that international research partnerships are inevitably imbued with power relations and possibly the assumption that it is northern knowledge that will lead transformations of in the South. Without a clear recognition of that context, it is inevitable that existing inequities, injustices, and imbalances of knowledge and power, will continue to pervade our work.

We designed this resource to help make explicit the practices and dynamics that underpin partnerships, to support the development of more equitable working relations.

DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/DJTN4

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A Critical Resource for Understanding Impact

Research impact has become an important concept in the Academy. Without careful and critical attention, this term can be applied in ways that risk imposing meaning upon a wide range of geographical, cultural, and disciplinary contexts. Layers of lived experience and learning can be overlooked and as such undervalued or misunderstood. Equally, assertions of impact can be imbued with assumptions that may not hold relevance outside of the dominant discourses in which they were developed.

The provocations, explorations, and propositions that we present here are designed to support the development of more equitable, inclusive and sustainable approaches to research impact, particularly in international and interdisciplinary contexts.

DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/9DY6Q

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Creating Sustainable Community Partnerships in Botswana

On Tuesday 14th August, over 300 people attended SFA Botswana’s workshop Creating Sustainable Community Partnerships.

The overall goal of the workshop was to establish the significance of Sustainable Community Partnership for addressing pressing social and economic needs using the Mmadinare Human-Wildlife conflict study as a case.  This was to ensure that the findings of this study, conducted July 2017, are shared and taken forward for the benefit of Mmadinare, and many other similar communities. The event took place on Tuesday 14 August 2018 under the theme Creating Sustainable Community Partnerships. The turnout was fantastic, as over 300 people attended including the High Commissioner of Nigeria and Nigerian parliament officials, a representative from World Health Organisation and there was a great attendance from local parastatal organisations.  Many Botswana Ministers were also in attendance including those from the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Tourism led by the Director of Wildlife and National Parks and Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM), were among the many stakeholders who attended.

The local community of Mmadinare, a village in the central district of Botswana, came up with numerous suggestions to tackle the negative effects caused by Human- Wildlife interaction, among them were the following:

  • Culling not killing of elephants.
  • Awareness creation on how to live with elephants.
  • Creation of wildlife camps
  • Establishment of game reserve
  • Tracking and monitoring of elephants’ movement-collaring
  • Building of an educational park

The Director of Operations and Engineering, on behalf of all stakeholders, observed that the problem discussed affects infrastructure development as this is often damaged by elephants. The presence of the Wildlife Director helped in clarifying and identifying the possible options available raised through the community discussion. The Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Botswana underscored the significance of the University of Botswana and both industry and community partnerships in collectively finding a sustainable solution to the issues.

The SFA Hub in Botswana is happy with the progress made so far and plans to have a retreat to map the way forward.

For more information visit The Patriot, Botswana’s national Sunday paper, or the University of Botswana’s website.

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Scots Join The Worldwide Effort to Help Africans Find New Ways to Rebuild Their Communities Shattered by Brutal Civil War

Article written by Maggie Ritchie – free-lance journalist who joined the Glasgow delegation traveling to Lira, Uganda in February 2019 for the 3rd SFA Annual Symposium. While in Uganda, she had the opportunity to meet with the communities involved in SFA activities through two partners: Apala Widows and Orphanage Centre (AWOC) and ECOaction.

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SFA Network Seeks New Ways of Managing Elephants

The University of Botswana’s Department of Adult Education led an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the Sustainable Futures in Africa (SFA) Network for a workshop on human-wildlife interactions at the Mmadinare Main Kgotla on August 14, 2018. The Patriot on Sunday, a Botswana national Sunday newspaper, has featured the Sustainable Futures in Africa’s research trial, community event and community partnerships in a recent article discussing wildlife management:

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Local Knowledge for Environmental Sustainability

By DrTwine Hannington Bananuka, Dr Alex Okot and Dr Mia Perry 

Sustainable Futures in Africa (SFA) hubs in Scotland and Uganda partnered together to publish in The Daily Monitor to celebrate World Environment Day.  The article discusses research conducted by SFA Ugandan hub in partnership with partners ECOaction and the community members of  both Apala and Albertine region.

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North-South Research Partnerships Must Break Old Patterns For Real Change

By Dr Mia Perry and Dr Deepa Pullanikkatil

Since the 1940s major world powers like the US, the UK and the United Nations have made moves to spread their scientific, economic, industrial, and human rights progress to countries and regions that are seen as less developed, vulnerable or deprived in one way or another.

And yet from where we stand as individual researchers, with funding and passion to share, we see an unsettling and consistent characteristic of this development history. The global north has experienced a gradual increase of economic strength and environmental protection, through jobs, career development, cheap goods and services.

Meanwhile, the global south has undergone a sustained degradation of autonomy, fertile land, food security and cultural literacies. All this has occurred through an imposition of foreign ideas, materials, ideologies and knowledge systems. That’s why we’re trying to do things differently.

Read a recent publication by Sustainable Futures in Africa’s Co-Directors Dr Mia Perry and Deepa Pullanikkatil in The Conversation on why beating poverty needs partnerships and collaboration – not just money …

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Beating Poverty Needs Partnerships and Collaboration – Not Just Money

Nigeria recently surpassed India to become the country with the highest number of people living in extreme poverty: 87 million. Nigeria is oil rich and boasts Africa’s fastest growing economy. Yet six of its people fall into extreme poverty every minute.

Read a recent publication by Sustainable Futures in Africa’s Coordinators Dr Mia Perry and Deepa Pullanikkatil in The Conversation on why beating poverty needs partnerships and collaboration – not just money …

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Aid is all very well but fair exchange and self awareness may matter more

by Dr Mia Perry

If you have £10 in your pocket and you want to do some good for the world, what is the best way to spend the money? Is it more helpful to donate to an international charity, or pay steep prices for local produce over cheaper, often more accessible products, that have been imported from Africa?

I ask myself this question frequently. My work takes me to places far removed from my home to ‘help,’ to ‘develop,’ to ‘solve problems.’ What makes me think that my good 
intentions, my money, my version of developed/sustainable/happy have any relevance to communities in Malawi or Uganda? How can I make choices at home that create a positive impact?

In the name of “development” and “aid” billions of pounds have been spent from the Global North on challenges materialising in the Global South: from poverty to environmental protection, from gender equality to health. Countless academics, development workers, and administrators have focused on innovation, intervention, programmes and practices on supporting development in the “developing world”.

In the name of #Development #GCRF @SF_Africa https://t.co/mjDU1uvtz1

— Molly Gilmour (@MVGilmour) April 12, 2018

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
The Sustainable Futures in Africa Network (sustainablefuturesglobal.org), a consortium I lead, 
is a collective of researchers, educators, development workers, and communities that spans the UK (primarily the University of Glasgow) and countries across Africa (Malawi, Uganda, Botswana, and Nigeria in particular).

We work across diverse areas of expertise, sectors, and geographies to address the social, cultural, and ecological aspects of sustainable development. Together, we focus on questions about how to rethink the development research status quo for more positive future outcomes.

The flow of aid money and resources, coupled with increasing global morality and mobility is broadening pipelines between the Global North and South, yet there is an unsettling current to development trends.

In reality, the Global North (albeit an ever-decreasing section of the Global North) becomes ever more powerful and prosperous, and more resilient to climate change; while the Global South addresses an ever-decreasing area of fertile land, a growing population of people living in poverty, and an increasing threat of food security. For all of our good intentions and promises of funding and expertise, global inequalities and development challenges persist – in many areas increase.

The Sustainable Futures in Africa Network has grown out of questioning this type of development and development-related research.

The Sustainable Futures in Africa Network has grown out of questioning this type of development and development-related research. We are convinced that there are fundamental oversights in the practices, processes and natures of collaborations.

Unless we make decisive changes to the ways we collaborate, across the vastly different settings of our homes, cultures, and disciplines then substantial resources will continue to be spent at a rapid pace; but the trajectory of change and development in the world will remain consistent with that of the past 50 years. The north gets richer, the south gets poorer. Why would we expect anything different if we continue as normal?

Global challenges relating to poverty and environmental sustainability in the Global South require engagement with multiple disciplines, knowledge, and stakeholders.

The challenge goes beyond working across science, society, and culture. It encompasses working across very different perspectives and lived experiences.

We cannot genuinely support positive change or sustainability without ways to communicate and collaborate across these differences. As we do so, we find that no one alone has the solution, no one knows ‘best,’ but together we discover directions and possibilities that make sense (and often surprise) all involved.

As I give, donate, or purchase to 
create positive change, I am 
making a difference to others and also to myself. I am accountable for the giving, but also for the impact of the giving. I am mindful of the consequences of my donation or contribution; conscious that I do not want to contribute to the same systems of global inequality that I am trying to alleviate.

So, I choose to spend my £10… in exchange for a product or cause that I am engaged with and understand. This might look like a fair-trade purchase from a market in my neighbourhood instead of a cheaper 
version at the large chain supermarket, or choosing to purchase a locally produced or second-hand shirt rather than the cheaper new one from a brand-name company who source labour and materials from resource-poor countries such as Bangladesh. Positive influence in the world must be based on fair exchange and self-awareness, not simply good intention or aid.

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Policy impacts in dynamic relation to food, income, learning and security: COVID-19 lockdowns in a Nigerian Agrarian Community

Awosanmi, G.O., Afolayan, A.F., Perry, M. et al. Policy impacts in dynamic relation to food, income, learning and security: COVID-19 lockdowns in a Nigerian Agrarian Community. Environ Dev Sustain(2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-024-04938-2

Abstract

Whose Crisis? The Global COVID-19 pandemic from the perspective of communities in Africa is an international research project that aims to investigate and represent the diverse experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic from those marginalized by mainstream media and policy influence. This article focuses on the multidimensional effects of the generalized lockdown policy in an agrarian community in Nigeria. The project engaged participatory and culturally responsive adaptations of qualitative methods including participatory engagement and individual and group discussions with purposively selected community members. This relational research practice is supported by a Systems Thinking approach to data analysis. In particular, a Causal Loop Diagram (CLD) is used to analyse and visually present the relationships between various elements (variables) of the research context (the system). This study reveals the interrelated effects of the COVID-19 prompted generalised lockdown policies on livelihoods, education, health, and security in rural Nigeria. Although the lockdown policy was intended to curtail the impact of COVID-19, it had severe unintended consequences, exposing weaknesses in the social support system and threatening the foundations of the agrarian community of this study. This article culminates in recommendations for participatory and culturally responsive approaches to future policy formulation.

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Survival versus sustaining: A multidisciplinary inquiry of the environmental dilemma in rural Uganda

Muwanika, V. B.Perry, M.Kayendeke, E. J.Pullanikkatil, D.Okot, A.Thakadu, O. T.Mwesigwa, G. Y., & Mfitumukiza, D. (2023). Survival versus sustaining: A multidisciplinary inquiry of the environmental dilemma in rural UgandaNatural Resources Forum118https://doi.org/10.1111/1477-8947.12360

Abstract

The livelihoods of the majority of Uganda’s population depend on declining environmental resources. The sustainability of the natural environment requires that the people who are interdependent with it, as well as the structures of governance and leadership around them, understand the implications of resource degradation and take deliberate steps towards restoration. The interdependency of human and environment conditions in Uganda requires multidisciplinary attention and this paper reflects a contribution to this end. Socio-cultural perceptions and relations with a vulnerable environment are put into dialogue with the physical status of environmental resources in Alebtong District, Uganda. Southern epistemological perspectives are considered in relation to Western scientific paradigms. Culturally responsive socio-cultural research data are related to MODIS NDVI data, using time series analyses and NDVI as a proxy for productivity. The research confirms the declining availability and condition of natural resources and the acknowledgement of local influence on this condition. Despite this, deliberate community and governance efforts towards conservation and restoration varied from non-existent to insufficient. The causes for this inconsistency revolve around conflicting priorities. This paper demonstrates and discusses the difficult trade-offs in decision-making about natural resources that rural communities face, and supports new partnership models as a route to improvement.

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Stakeholders’ perceptions of wetland conservation and restoration in Wakiso District, Uganda

Kadoma, A., Perry, M. & Renaud, F.G. Stakeholders’ perceptions of wetland conservation and restoration in Wakiso District, Uganda. Environ Dev Sustain (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-023-04008-z

Abstract

Natural wetlands are critically important to the lives and livelihoods of many people. Human activities result in the degradation of wetlands globally, and more so in developing countries prioritizing fast economic growth and development. With an increasing population in their immediate surroundings, wetlands in Wakiso District, Uganda, have become over-exploited to meet human needs. Policies, plans and projects have been put in place aiming at wetland conservation and restoration, but with limited stakeholder participation, have achieved limited success. Our research objective was to identify stakeholders, their perceptions, and understand the role these perceptions play in wetland conservation and restoration activities. To achieve these objectives, we used the ecosystem services concept within a qualitative, multi-site case study research approach. Findings show that stakeholders hold divergent perceptions on wetland ecosystem services, perceiving them as source of materials, fertile places for farming, cheap to buy and own, as well as being “God-given”. Furthermore, wetlands as habitats are perceived as not prioritized by central government. Implications for conservation and restoration vary with stakeholders advocating for (1) over-use, wise-use or  not-use of wetlands and their resources, (2) educating and sensitization as well as (3) the implementation of the available laws and policies. This paper explores the findings and important implications for the conservation and restoration of wetlands in Wakiso District, Uganda.

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Researching Without “Methods”: An Experiment in Socio-Ecological Sustainability Research With Rural Communities

Bananuka, T., Perry, M., & Kadoma, A. (2023). Researching Without “Methods”: An Experiment in Socio-Ecological Sustainability Research With Rural Communities. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 22. https://doi.org/10.1177/16094069231179159

Abstract

This article describes an improvisatory or ‘no method’ research approach in socio-ecological sustainability in two rural Ugandan communities. A team of multidisciplinary researchers purposed to understand how rural community members make sense of their role in, and relationship with, the environment. In addition, they sought to unsettle pre-existing assumptions, categories of knowledge, and methods of knowledge generation, through a practical and conceptual exploration of community-academy collaboration in research. The authors present an account of the research process as an experiment towards a decolonial, context-specific, and post-qualitative practice of inquiry and collaboration. The paper describes the context of the Ugandan communities involved and the socio-ecological issues that impact their lives. Related methodological practices are discussed to support the description and discussion of the improvised methods employed in this study. The methodological findings that conclude this paper have implications for global sustainability research, partnership, and action.

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Research partnerships across international contexts: a practice of unity or plurality?

Mia Perry, Jo Sharp, Kevin Aanyu, Jude Robinson, Vanessa Duclos & Raihana Ferdous (2022) Research partnerships across international contexts: a practice of unity or plurality?, Development in Practice, 32:5, 635-646, DOI: 10.1080/09614524.2022.2056579

Abstract

Partnership is not a benign practice; it is culturally and ethically loaded. The way in which partnerships are construed in international research determines its design, ethics and impacts. Despite this, and the growing assumption of partnership practice in our field, the concept has become increasingly abstract and the practice under-analysed. This article provides critical perspectives of current understandings of partnership in international development research from three angles: the motivations behind partnership working; an epistemological perspective in relation to epistemic justice and the agency of language; and finally, the systems that mediate partnerships, and the range of resources that guide them.

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Pluriversal Literacies: Affect and Relationality in Vulnerable Times

Mia Perry. 2020. Pluriversal Literacies: Affect and Relationality in Vulnerable Times. International Literacy Association – Reading Research Quarterly. 0(0). pp 1-17 | doi:10.1002/rrq.312

Abstract

Through a consideration of literacies in theory and international policy, this article pushes at the edges of existing frameworks of functional and sociocultural literacies. In critique of existing policy directives, the author explores an approach to literacy that engages in the affective and posthuman relationality of human and environment and in the plurality of literacies globally that are overshadowed in prevailing models of literacy education. The author was motivated by a commitment to literacy education responsive to a world that is unsustainable in its current practices, to a world that faces increasing fragmentation and vulnerability (socially and ecologically) while certain types of expertise, technologies, and global infrastructures continue to proliferate. As a mainstay of education and a tool of social change, literacies are inseparable from policy and practices of sustainability, equity, and development. Pluriversality is a concept emerging from decolonial theory that provides a counternarrative to contemporary Northern assumptions of the universal. Building on a history of ideas around pluriversality gives sociopolitical and ecological momentum to affect and relationality in literacy studies. The author challenges normative constructions of literacy education as Eurocentric and neocolonial, effectively supporting a pedagogy that normalizes certain practices and people and, by extension, sustains inequity and environmental degradation. Through interwoven research projects, the author highlights the contentious aspects of functional and sociocultural approaches to literacy and the possibilities of moving beyond them. In doing so, the author describes and demonstrates the practical and political implications of affect theory and relationality in literacies education in a plural anthropocenic world.

It is a paper that I have been working on for over a year and our very own Dr Alex Okot is quoted, EcoAction is featured and the Sustainable Future in Africa Network acknowledged throughout for the immense influence this network has had on my work in literacies

– Dr Mia Perry

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Transforming International Development

By Dr Mia Perry and Dr Deepa Pullanikkatil

A great article written by our Co-Directors and entitled “Transforming international development” was recently published in the Impact publication (IMPACT Volume 2019, Numero 1 – February).

This piece was produced by Science Impact to help the SFA network communicate the objectives and work of the project in a more easily understandable and accessible language to a wider audience of stakeholders, enabling widespread dissemination.

** The article can be downloaded in a pdf format.

ABSTRACT

THE SUSTAINABLE FUTURES IN AFRICA (SFA) NETWORK The Sustainable Futures in Africa (SFA) Network is an interdisciplinary collective that brings together researchers, educators, and communities of practice that acknowledge the situated and complex nature of practices and conceptions of sustainability. The Network aims to build understanding, research, and practice in socio-ecological sustainability in Africa. Specifically, the Network includes the participation of researchers (from geography and earth sciences, community and adult education, applied social arts, health sciences, and engineering); third-sector organisations (working with environmental and social sustainability, with arts and cultural practice, and with community engagement in African contexts); and community stake-holders (living and working in areas of focus). Participants currently span the Uganda, Botswana, Nigeria, Malawi, and the UK, and the reach of the network continues to expand. THE NETWORK’S AIMS ARE: To address the relationship between social, cultural, and ecological factors in sustainability in Africa through interdisciplinary research initiatives To discover opportunities in the disparities between ontologies of the global north and the global south inherent in international collaborations and global endeavours To shape and support new opportunities for impact and inquiry that address locally-articulated, socio-ecological challenges The Network’s current infrastructure includes a website (https://sustainablefuturesinafrica.com/) and social media platforms; a growing base of research, funding to support knowledge sharing and capacity strengthening (ESRC, EPSRC & SFC); and a core group of scholars, practitioners, and support staff who are providing the leadership and administration of this initiative.

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Malawi Stories: Mapping an Art-Science Collaborative Process

Three SFA partners – Dr Deepa Pullanikkatil (Co-Director), Dr Boyson Moyo (Malawi hub Director) and Dr Brian Barrett (Glasgow hub Director) co-authored this open access article as part of SFA (published in the Journal of Maps in March 2019).

ABSTRACT

This paper outlines a project drawing together an artist working on creative GIS, a geomatics scholar, an NGO leader, a rural geographer and soil scientist, an environmental geochemist, and a political geographer. With a shared interest in the social and physical processes affecting people’s lives in Malawi, and the possibilities for interdisciplinary collaboration, the team engaged in practice-based mapping of our data sources and respective methodologies. The project relates to two sites in Malawi: Tikondwe Freedom Gardens and the Likangala River. The paper details our practices as we shared, debated, and repurposed our data as a means of situating these practices and data. Using paper and pen, whiteboard, PowerPoint, and web-design software, we note here our effort to map a ‘space of experimentation’ highlighting, and reflecting on, our diverse disciplinary orientations, training, instrumentation, recording, and reporting procedures, as well as bodily practices that enable and give animation to these factors.

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Modelling of Extension and Dyking-Induced Collapse Faults and Fissures in Rifts

Koehn, D., Steiner, A. and Aanyu, K. (2018). Modelling of extension and dyking-induced collapse faults and fissures in rifts. Journal of Structural Geology, 118, pp.21-31.

This publication is an output of the research conducted by SFA researchers in Uganda on ‘Understanding the structure, permeability and activity of faults in and around the Rwenzori mountains, Albertine rift system’

HIGHLIGHTS

  • This contribution presents modelling of fissures and faults in rifts induced by extension and dyking.
  • Faults nucleate as hybrid shear surfaces and migrate upwards as fissures and downwards as shear fractures.
  • Dyking tends to localize faults on top of dykes and produces narrow vertical collapse structures.
  • Collapse structures are rhomboid blocks that form along conjugate fault sets and move down with normal and reverse sense.
  • The most localized collapse structures develop on top of thin and shallowly intruding dykes.
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Botswana Hub - Publication

The SFA Botswana Hub conducted a trial study titled Unearthing the Dynamics of Human and Wildlife Interactions: The Case of Mmadinare Community in the Central Region of Botswana. From this study a journal paper was extracted and submitted to Wildlife Interactions Journal. It is exciting to announce that finally the paper entitled “Toward Sustainable Conservation and Management of Human-Wildlife Interactions in the Mmadinare Region of Botswana: Villagers’ Perceptions on Challenges and Prospects” has been published.

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Unpacking the Imaginary in Literacies of Globality

Perry, M.  (2018) Unpacking the imaginary in literacies of globality. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education,(doi:10.1080/01596306.2018.1515064)

As global mobility and communications proliferate, ever-increasing exchanges and influences occur across cultures, geographies, politics, and positions. This paper addresses the practice of literacy education in this context, and in particular the nature of engagement across difference and the role of the imaginary in literacies of globality. Grounded in a theorisation of difference and the imaginary in spaces of learning and inquiry, the paper proposes a methodological framework for working across difference that acknowledges and engages with the inevitable but enigmatic resource of often conflicting imaginaries in literacy practices.

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AboutSUS Podcast

AboutSUS is a podcast where sustainability is approached using different lenses: disciplines, experiences, locations, and themes.

This concept is present worldwide. Interestingly, its meaning is not that clear and sometimes seems to fit everything. Is it about the environment and climate change? Yes. Does this have to do with the needs and possibilities of future generations? Yes. But, overall, we think sustainability is a practice, an ethical and less utilitarian connection with the world around us, considering human and non-human wellbeing and livelihoods.

We conduct interviews and discuss experiences, concepts, challenges and themes, in a narration structure as an ongoing conversation. If you are interested in exploring the different meanings and possibilities of thinking sustainably, AboutSUS is an excellent place to start your journey.

Listen to episodes now >

Whose Crisis? - Amplifying the voices of underrepresented and underserved communities in Africa

Whose Crisis? is a documentary exploring the impacts of Covid-19 on our partner communities in Africa.

This documentary was produced in collaboration with our hubs in Malawi, Nigeria, Botswana, Eswatini and Uganda and is a part of the wider research of the Whose Crisis project.

Watch the documentary now >

Ethical International Partnerships (feat ArtGlo)

In this video, Dr Mia Perry and Prof Jo Sharp share some of the content of the Critical Resource for Ethical International Partnerships (DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/DJTN4). To go along and to provide insights into some situations which can be faced when working in international partnerships, members of Arts and Global Health Centre (ArtGlo – Malawi) created this short performance based on past experiences. Thank you to Sharon Kalima, Lekodi Magombo & Helen Todd.

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YouTube channel

Check out our YouTube channel for more videos.

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