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College of Humanities partners with CODESRIA & Comparative Research Programme on Poverty for Poverty research

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The College of Humanities recently hosted a two day workshop to facilitate the formation of an international collaboration on capacity building and poverty reduction.

Back row (from left): Prof Donal McCracken, Prof Stephen Mutula, Prof Pholoho Morojele, Prof Alberto Cimadamore, Mr Andrew Okem.  Front row from left: Dr Sharmla Rama, Prof Betty Mubangizi, Prof Oliver Mtapuri, DVC Prof Cheryl Potgieter, Prof Sarah Bracking, Ms Kathleen Diga, Prof Sozinho Franscisco Matsinhe.
Back row (from left): Prof Donal McCracken, Prof Stephen Mutula, Prof Pholoho Morojele, Prof Alberto Cimadamore, Mr Andrew Okem. Front row from left: Dr Sharmla Rama, Prof Betty Mubangizi, Prof Oliver Mtapuri, DVC Prof Cheryl Potgieter, Prof Sarah Bracking, Ms Kathleen Diga, Prof Sozinho Franscisco Matsinhe.
 

The College of Humanities recently 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 collaborative partnership between UKZN, the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP), a programme of the International Social Science Council (ISSC), hosted by the University of Bergen, andThe Council for the Development of Social Science Research (CODESRIA) in Africa, headquartered in Dakar, Senegal. 

The workshop, which was facilitated by the office of the DVC had in attendance, the DVC of the College of Humanities Professor Cheryl Potgieter as well as the Acting Dean of School of Arts Professor Donal McCracken, Dean of the School of Social Sciences Professor Stephen Mutula, Interim Dean of the School of Built Environment and Development Studies Professor Betty Mubangizi and the College Acting Dean of Research Professor Pholoho Morojele.  

Researchers, Dr Andrew Okem and Ms Kathleen Diga from the South African Research Chair initiative (SARChI) in poverty reduction, Dr Sharmla Rama from Sociology and Professor Oliver Mtupuri from Development Studies also provided valuable input to the proceedings.

The workshop availed participants the opportunity to brainstorm on the best approach to establishing a Pan-African epistemic community of young scholars passionate about issues of poverty and sustainable development.

In her welcome statement, Professor Potgieter said, ‘The College of Humanities has a number of strategic Memorandum of Understanding with universities around the world and the current partnership is in line with the College’s strategic goal of collaborative research.’ She further noted that ‘the College is committed to addressing challenges of poverty from a transdisciplinary approach.’

Director of CROP, Professor Alberto Cimadamore is excited about the partnership since it will enable the partners ‘to work in collaboration with knowledge networks, institutions and scholars, in order to build independent, alternative and critical knowledge and education on poverty, and to help shape policies for preventing and eradicating poverty’.

While Deputy Executive Secretary of CODESRIA, Professor Sozinho Franscisco Matsinhe, ‘As an organisation that is committed to filling the research gap in social science and humanities in Africa through research excellence and research capacity training (as well as documentation and archiving), CODESRIA is happy to be part of the partnership.’

Also in attendance were Professor Sarah Bracking, Chair of the South African Research Chair Initiative in Applied Poverty Reduction Assessment. In her presentation, Bracking highlighted the poverty reduction research initiatives being implemented by the Chair and expressed confidence that the partnership will contribute to furthering the frontier of poverty reduction research in Africa.

The workshop ended with parties agreeing to some tangible outcomes, including, in principle the signing of a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of the partnership for 2016 as well as a planning meeting in Dakar later in the year and 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 to develop a virtual library platform which would allow for access to resources and materials in the area of poverty studies.

Myeza said, ‘The UKZN Library will facilitate a virtual library for the project. There will be a virtual platform with all recommended readings in a portal that will be accessible to all registered students. The facilitators/lecturers will forward their recommendations of materials they want to be added.’

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Words by Kathleen Diga and Andrew Okem, Pictures by Melissa Mungroo

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