The Communities of Science and Practice Engage (CSPE) Network: Mitigating the implementation gap in environmental initiatives through community engagement and public pedagogies

It is estimated that 70% of the population of Uganda, Botswana, and Nigeria directly depend on the biodiversity of their ecosystems for their livelihoods, health and well-being. These ecosystems are being damaged at alarming rates in conjunction with a deterioration of social, cultural, and economic prosperity. While research, innovation, and policy addressing these environmental and social realities is carried out nationally and internationally, these occur largely without community involvement or qualitative input and mostly without successful implementation (Adelle, 2016; Oluka, 2016; Rwakakamba, 2009; Wingqvist & Nilsson, 2013). The CSPE Network brought together environmental and social scientists in community and public pedagogies with the following key aims:

  1. To mitigate the gap between expertise in environmental science, community engagement and public pedagogies, as well as the social, cultural, and economic realities of land/water dependent communities in Uganda, Botswana, and Nigeria.
  2. To build sustainable and productive partnerships between social scientists (community engagement and public pedagogy) environmental scientists (agricultural and ecological sciences) and non-academic Community-Based Organisations (community development and sustainability).

The Network currently has 17 members across 4 countries. 

PI and Co-Is - International Collaborators

PI: Dr Mia Perry (School of Education, University of Glasgow)

Co-Is: Prof Bonnie Slade (School of Education, University of Glasgow) and Prof Dan Haydon (College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences, University of Glasgow).

Our Network included colleagues from Makerere University in Uganda, The University of Botswana, and Obafemi Awolowo in Nigeria.  Non-academic partners include: The Apala Widows and Orphanage Centre (AWOC) in Uganda; The Ngamiland District CBNRM Forum in Botswana; and The Women Environmental Programme (WEP) in Nigeria.

Start and End Date

January 2017 – July 2018

Funder and Funding Amount



Related Publications

Hannington Bananuka, T., Okot, T. and Perry, M. (2018) Sustainable Futures in Africa (SFA): Tapping into local people’s knowledge for environmental sustainability. [Website]

Perry, M. (2018) Aid is all very well but fair exchange and self awareness may matter more. Scotsman, (5 April).

Perry, M. (2020) Unpacking the imaginary in literacies of globality. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 41(4), pp. 574-586. (doi: 10.1080/01596306.2018.1515064)

Perry, M. & Pullanikkatil, D. (2018) North-South research partnerships must break old patterns for real change. Conversation, (8 August).

Perry, M. & Pullanikkatil, D. (2018) Beating poverty needs partnerships and collaboration – not just money. Conversation, (16 August).




Project News

This Network was renamed the Sustainable Futures in Africa Network drawing together multiple intersecting projects and groups. The SFA has now grown to include four African countries and over 40 active members from Africa and the UK.

Associated blogs or Twitter feeds