In 2016, the International Council for Science (ICSU) signed a 5-year agreement with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) for a 5 million euro programme. This programme will catalyse the generation and use of new intergrated policy-relevant scientific knowledge in Africa needed to address the complexsustainabilty challenges in the region.
The programme, which ends in December 2020, will be implemented by ICSU in conjunction with its Regional Office for Africa (ICSU ROA) based in Pretoria, South Africa, the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) based in Nairobi, Kenya and the International Social Science Council (ISSC) based in Paris, France.
By providing support for integrated research projects on global sustainability across Africa, the programme seeks to develop the potential of next-generation scientists in Africa in production and communication of policy-relevant knowledge.
The programme will provide two-year collaborative research grants with a thematic focus on global environmental change, disaster risk reduction, sustainable energy, human health and well-being in urban environments and related nexus issues. ICSU’s co-sponsored international research programmes - Future Earth, Integrated Research on Disaster Risk, and Health and Wellbeing in the Changing Urban Environment - will provide an overall thematic framing for the programme’s activities. The programme will also promote the integration of gender and poverty reduction concerns.
The grants are intended to support integrated and solutions-oriented research by reaching across disciplines, and engaging with other knowledge partners (e.g. civil society, policy makers, and private sector). The grants are expected to foster research collaboration among early-career scientists in Africa, with an emphasis on researchers based in low income countries. Two Africa-based institutions, NASAC and ICSU-ROA, will manage the research funding scheme.
Activities will also include training for early career scientists on co-design and co-production, science communication and science advice to governments. The training will be delivered by ISSC