While a lot of our work is still in progress, we have produced a number of outputs of various kinds for our education portfolio. These include:
An initial report that compares education progress in twelve cities in six countries we are working with: Education policies, systems, and progress in Africa and Asia: a comparative analysis prepared by our Research Fellows, Dr Yulia Nesterova and Dr Graeme Young, and a literature review on Education policies and issues in developing countries prepared by Dr Carli Rowell. Some of our publications are now in press or in preparation – see below for more information.
We have also started our engagement with the wider public, and we are working to increase the scope, variety, and quantity of such outputs. Our Co-Investigator, Prof. Mike Osborne, for example, gave an interview on Learning Cities to DVV International, our partners at Ifakara Health Institute (Tanzania) prepared a blogpost, COVID-19 and Tanzania’s cities: why collaboration is key, for our website, and our research fellow Dr Yulia Nesterova wrote a piece for Impakter Magazine, entitled Schools out forever? Supporting resilient learning in the face of COVID-19. Our partners in Rwanda have made an important contribution to the UNESCO/PASCAL Observatory webinar series, Learning Cities’ COVID-19 recovery: from research to practice, reporting on the topic of the challenge of measurement, planning and evaluation in learning cities in the city of Huye, the recording of which can be found at this link. In that event we heard from Co-Is Pierre Claver and Josephine Mwongeli, and the Mayor of Huye, Sebutege Ange.
Research is one of our two main goals. Our other core task is strengthening capacity of researchers, government officials, and policy makers across the world to ensure that we can build sustainable neighbourhoods and cities. Our capacity building activities include a small grants fund, a visiting research fellow programme, training workshops, knowledge exchange events, and other opportunities that help us strengthen research and organisational capacity, develop a new generation of multi-disciplinary urban researchers, establish a sustainable international network, and facilitate knowledge exchange between the UK and Global South countries. Knowledge exchange has also involved week-long partner meetings and visiting neighbourhoods to meet residents and officials in the cities where we are working.
We have some really exciting examples of such work to share. Amongst some 20 projects that we have funded is an interdisciplinary project exploring ‘liveability’ in Mongla and Noapara in south-western Bangladesh from the perspectives of residents, officials and stakeholders. The study explored how residents in each of these cities perceive their neighbourhood and what are their priorities in making their city liveable. The concept of liveability and its components of livelihoods and food security, utilities and transport, health and natural environment, education, housing, central and local government, safety and security and lastly social and leisure provide rich and complex insights into the daily life of cities and what is needed to create liveable, regional cities. This work was presented in a webinar, details of which can be found at this link.