SARChI (Sustainable Rural Livelihoods) Insights Podcast Series Bridges the Gap between Theory and Practice
The SARChI Insights Podcast is a project of the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) in Sustainable Local (Rural) Livelihoods held by Professor Betty C Mubangizi in UKZN’s School of Management, Information Technology and Governance.
It started in June 2020 following a webinar series in April and May on rural livelihoods in the context of COVID-19. The aim of SARChI Insights is to continue this conversation, and to create a platform for individual stakeholders and community members to share their stories and engage in conversations on public governance, sustainable rural and peri-urban livelihoods and other topics aligned with the interests of the Chair. Ultimately, the Podcast hopes to contribute to a nuanced understanding of the livelihoods realities of rural and marginal communities in South Africa and beyond, as well as how relevant government policies interact with these communities through the operations of municipal officials. It aims to bridge the gap between policy and practice, promote public and open scholarship, and produce an online archive of narrative data on sustainable livelihoods to inform policy research and civil engagement.
SARChI Insights is hosted by its initiator, Dr Sokfa John, with the support and oversight of Mubangizi. A postdoctoral research fellow with the Chair, John is employing a mix of qualitative techniques and geospatial analysis to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the livelihoods of rural communities in the Eastern Cape. He also has research expertise and interest in how issues of religion, identity, social conflict and development are played out and shaped by digital platforms and technologies; and in exploring digital humanities’ tools and techniques for research and learning.
SARChI Insights is partly driven by this interest and a desire to explore new media and digital tools to foster interaction and exchange across academia, policy, communities of “lived” experience, and practice. The research and collaborative work undertaken by the SARChI Chair in Sustainable Local Livelihoods in the Eastern Cape offers the Podcast a rich platform and network to engage, while also extending its reach beyond that space.
SARChI Insights has received encouraging feedback from listeners in Africa and beyond. Work is ongoing to improve content and delivery to grow the audience and impact. Current and future episodes can be found on the SARChI on Sustainable Local Livelihoods website: https://sarchichair-slh.ukzn.ac.za/podcast-2/.