Leading Integrated Research for Agenda 2030 in Africa (LIRA2030)

2021 was the final year of the Leading Integrated Research for Agenda 2030 in Africa (LIRA 2030) programme, and was characterized by close consultation with the third and final cohort of projects funded through the programme to ensure that they finalized and reported on their activities, and to capture key outputs and outcomes.

Despite challenging circumstances, projects still managed to advance their work, publishing at least 15 peer-reviewed articles that provide context-specific knowledge and capacity development for addressing local challenges. Grantees also contributed to a number of other publications and tools, including five policy briefs. All LIRA 2030 projects are working with local communities to generate positive social impacts across different scales. One of the LIRA projects, which focuses on citizen science and air quality, significantly contributed to the development of the Air Quality Bill in Kenya.

Another project contributed to the development of a video produced by French newspaper Le Monde on ‘Why South Africa is the most unequal country in the world’.

The programme co-organized two virtual sessions at the Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2021 (SRI2021), and grantees also participated in the UNAI Digital Dialogue Series focusing on Advancing the SDGs and the International Transdisciplinarity Conference 2021: Creating Spaces and Cultivating Mindsets for Learning and Experimentation, as well as several other events to which they were invited independently.

In addition, as a result of grants awarded in 2020 to foster collaboration across LIRA projects, six collaborative articles were published in 2021, with two more expected in 2022.

‘The cross-project collaboration (grant) was a great experience. The grant gave us an opportunity to publish joint papers with LIRA grantees in high impact journals and opened the door to the team members to expand their network of partnerships across Africa and to cement the ground for future collaboration.’

Feedback from an early-career researcher involved in the LIRA 2030 collaborative grant scheme.

A final evaluation workshop was held virtually in December 2021 to assess the effectiveness of transdisciplinary research in addressing sustainability challenges. Three different virtual meetings brought together early-career African scientists involved in the programme to discuss what they had learned and showcase their achievements in advancing the 2030 Agenda in African cities.

In order to build on the experience of undertaking transdisciplinary research in different urban contexts in Africa, and to provide lessons for future transdisciplinary research projects, a learning study has been initiated and continued through 2021. Findings from the learning study have already informed three published articles, with another in press. A report will be finalized in 2022.

Next ➡ Transformations to Sustainability

Image by Gift Habeshaw /Unsplash (edited)


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