College of Humanities partners with CODESRIA and Comparative Research Programme on Poverty for Poverty Research
The College of Humanities hosted a two-day workshop to facilitate the formation of an international collaboration on capacity building and poverty reduction.
The overall purpose of the workshop was to review and develop plans for a partnership between UKZN and the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP) - a programme of the International Social Science Council (ISSC) hosted by the University of Bergen, and the Council for the Development of Social Science Research (CODESRIA) in Africa, headquartered in Dakar, Senegal.
Among those at the workshop, facilitated by the office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, were the DVC of the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter as well as the Acting Dean of the School of Arts, Professor Donal McCracken; the Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Professor Stephen Mutula; the Interim Dean of the School of Built Environment and Development Studies, Professor Betty Mubangizi, and the College’s Acting Dean of Research, Professor Pholoho Morojele.
Providing valuable input to proceedings were researchers, Dr Andrew Okem and Ms Kathleen Diga of the South African Research Chair initiative (SARChI) in Poverty Reduction; Dr Sharmla Rama of Sociology, and Professor Oliver Mtupuri of Development Studies.
The workshop allowed participants the opportunity to brainstorm on the best approach for establishing a Pan-African epistemic community of young scholars passionate about issues of poverty and sustainable development.
Welcoming everyone, Potgieter said: ‘The College of Humanities has a number of strategic Memorandums of Understanding with universities around the world and the current partnership is in line with the College’s strategic goal of collaborative research.’ She added that the College was committed to addressing challenges of poverty from a transdisciplinary approach.
Director of CROP, Professor Alberto Cimadamore, said he was excited about the partnership as it would enable partners to work in collaboration with knowledge networks, institutions and scholars, while CODESRIA’s Deputy Executive Secretary, Professor Sozinho Franscisco Matsinhe, stated that his organisation was committed to filling the research gap in social science and humanities in Africa.
Professor Sarah Bracking, the South African Research Chair in Applied Poverty Reduction Assessment, highlighted the poverty reduction research initiatives being implemented by the Chair and expressed confidence the partnership would contribute to furthering the frontier of poverty reduction research in Africa.
The workshop ended with parties agreeing to some tangible outcomes, including the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of the partnership as well as plans for a meeting in Dakar later in the year and a workshop in 2017.
There were also discussions on the contribution of a summer school and further commitment by the Director of the Library, Ms Joyce Myeza, who will help develop a virtual library platform to allow for access to resources and materials in the area of poverty studies.