The SHLC Capacity Development Acceleration Fund (CDAF) is helping to strengthen capacity and knowledge to address urban, health and education challenges in fast-growing developing country cities. Backing 19 projects in Latin America, Africa and Asia, the fund is supporting urban research in neighbourhoods across the world.

Projects are wide ranging and include a mixture of disciplines, methodologies and tools from participatory mapping and community-led workshops to using virtual reality as a research tool to support urban planning. For example, one team in Bangladesh are using GIS-based analysis of remote sensing data to understand the rate of land and water body change caused by rapid urbanisation. Another team in Colombia are facilitating political and economic inclusion for informal workers through participatory policy engagement activities.

Many projects are led by early-career researchers which means that the skills, knowledge and experience they are developing will help strengthen and sustain research capacity within their local context.

Professor Mike Osborne, Capacity Strengthening Lead for the Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods commented:

Small locally-led projects like these are integral to addressing the challenges of urbanisation in cities worldwide. We have been really impressed with the quality and progress of each project, particularly given the challenging circumstances being faced right now with the emergence and spread of COVID-19. The projects funded by CDAF are already producing important results and some have even moved on to follow-on projects based on their findings. I am very pleased to see that our funding is supporting and sustaining locally-led research capacity.”

Noapara Storytelling Workshops. Credit: Jinia Nowrin
Noapara Storytelling Workshops. Credit: Jinia Nowrin

The following is a list of CDAF-funded projects:

  • The Studio ‘IV’ Module – Kigali, Rwanda. (University of Rwanda)
  • Planning for Post-Conflict Cities: VR for Urban Planning and Research Towards Building Back a Sustainable, Healthy, and Learning Marawi City. (UPMDR Management Consultancy, Philippines)
  • Capacity Building Workshop for Early Career Researchers on Issues and Challenges of Urban Sector (National Institute of Urban Research, India)
  • Liveable Regional Cities in Bangladesh (Durham University, UK International Center for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), Bangladesh, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa)
  • CoUP: Connecting the Urban and Peri-urban: A Transformative Policy Framework for Inclusive and Resilient Urban Development in India (Anglia Ruskin University, UK and Indian Institute of Technology)
  • Power of Partnership: Voices of Residents and City Planners as Sources of Innovation for Sustainable Urban Governance (University of Exeter, UK)
  • Age Friendly Cities in the Andean Region– Implementing and Monitoring the Protocol of Vancouver (Isalud University, Argentina and Help Age International)
  • Strengthening Neighbourhood Level Research Capacities for Sustainable Communities in Fast Growing Nigerian cities. (University of Lagos, Nigeria)
  • Between Rural and Urban: Research – Action, in the Peripheries of the Municipality of El Alto de La Paz, Bolivia. (Universidad Mayor de San Andres, Bolivia)
  • Green Infrastructure for Health Promotion within Informal Neighbourhoods in Lagos and Akure, Nigeria. (Federal University of Technology, Nigeria and University of Lagos, Nigeria)
  • Towards More Inclusive Urban Planning in Udon Thani (Thailand) and Nakuru (Kenya). (Stockholm Environment Institute Asia)
  • Transformation of Agricultural Land and Waterbodies in Rapidly Urbanising Bangladesh: Recognising the Extent of Sustainability Concerns. (Chinese Academy of Sciences and Khulna University, Bangladesh)
  • How to Improve Understanding of Sustainable and Healthy Neighbourhoods through Youth Participation in Kisenyi Slum, Kampala, Uganda (Sustainable Neighbourhoods with the Youth Study). (Makerere University School of Public Health, Uganda)
  • City Occupied: A Neighbourhood Framework Based Comparison of Informal Land Occupations in Bogota, Cape Town and Sao Paulo. (University of Cape Town, South Africa, Human Sciences research Council, South Africa, University of Manchester, UK)
  • Healthy Cities for Adolescents: A Participatory Research in Ajmer, Rajasthan, India. (Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), India)
  • Capacity-Strengthening Workshop for Future Research Leaders in Urban Water Governance in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and University of Glasgow, UK)
  • Raising Voices through Design Charrette: Contextualization of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Terminals and Intermediate Bus Stops Stations by Neighborhood Context and Needs (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
  • Promoting Inclusive Governance for Informal Workers in Cali, Colombia (Universidad Icesi, Cali, Colombia)
  • Local Challenges, Global Imperatives: Cities at the Forefront to Achieve Education 2030