Funding awarded to support collaborative research for Agenda 2030 in African cities

Eight collaborative projects have been awarded up to 20,000 euros through the Leading Integrated Research for Agenda 2030 in Africa (LIRA2030) programme in order to foster research collaboration and learning across LIRA projects and to support interdisciplinary writing teams to publish joint academic articles.

The researchers involved in the newly funded collaborative projects are all already involved in LIRA funded projects, but this funding supports teams that bring together representatives from two or more projects that have not previously worked together. The aim is to compare and synthesize knowledge from different projects in order to help scale up their societal, environmental and intellectual benefits, and to advance scientific understanding of urban sustainable development in African cities.


Henri S. T. Vodounon, University of Parakou, Benin

‘Our collaborative efforts will seek to achieve sustainable social change on sanitation, water and health risk, using an elaborated eco-health model for the West African coastal urban zone.’

By supporting researchers to collaborate with new partners in different countries, the grants will also facilitate networking among the researchers involved in the LIRA2030 programme, and boost their publication records.


Sokhna Thiam, one of researchers leading a collaborative project at IRESSEF, Senegal

‘The grant provides an opportunity for intellectual advancement and for practical insights into the contribution of transdisciplinary research (TD) to the SDGs implementation through knowledge exchange, methods, and concepts sharing. The grant gives me an opportunity to publish a joint paper with LIRA grantees. It will increase my chances of being promoted at my institution and of receiving additional grants for upscaling.’


The projects funded are:

  1. Informing energy futures through lessons from science-policy-society interactions
    • Led by Amollo Ambole, Kenya
    • Countries and cities involved: Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, and Ghana
  2. Facilitating urban sustainability through knowledge co-production
    • Led by Gladman Thondhlana, South Africa
    • Countries involved: Ghana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe
  3. Contributing to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in West Africa: Knowledge on sanitation, water and health risk in the coastal cities: Cotonou, Lomé and Abidjan
    • Led by Henri S. T. Vodounon, Benin
    • Countries involved: Benin, Togo, Cote D’Ivoire
  4. Transdisciplinary sustainability research in African Cities: Pathways and Power Dynamics
    • Led by Kareem Buyana, Uganda
    • Countries involved: Uganda, Kenya and South Africa
  5. Achieving Sustainable Urban Development Through a Methodological Framework for Data Governance in Africa
    • Led by Peter Elias, Nigeria
    • Countries involved: Nigeria, Ghana, Angola and Mozambique
  6. Pathways, contextual and cross-scale dynamics of science-policy-society interactions in transdisciplinary research in African cities
    • Led by Oghenekaro Nelson, South Africa
    • Countries involved: South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Uganda
  7. The utility of informality: Rethinking approaches to inclusive urban water and waste management in sub-Saharan Africa
    • Led by Temilade Sesan, Nigeria
    • Countries involved: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia
  8. Analyzing the contribution of transdisciplinary research to the global sustainability agenda in African cities
    • Led by Sokhna Thiam, Senegal
    • Countries involved: South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Uganda

Peter Elias, a project leader at the University of Lagos, Nigeria

‘The study shall identify and document the complex challenge of African data governance and the multiplicity of local actors, approaches, priorities/assets/capacities/experiences for integrated data governance. It will develop a methodological framework for the analysis and mapping of stakeholders and institutions and outline different pathways, tools and lessons for the localization, monitoring and implementation of global and local development agendas towards sustainable African cities.’

The anticipated output of each collaboration is a joint academic article. The projects were reviewed by a group of experts working on issues related to urban development in Africa, who assessed proposals with regards to each project’s scientific merit, and the adequacy of its publication plan and potential to produce a scientific article in a peer-reviewed journal. The LIRA Scientific Advisory Committee made a final decision on which projects to award. We look forward to sharing the results of these collaborations with you on the pages of this website in future.

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