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: