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Knowledge Co-Production Framework for Climate Compatible Development

Knowledge Co-Production Framework for Climate Compatible Development in Southern Africa

According to the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), southern Africa’s warming is likely to exceed the global mean land surface temperature increase in all seasons.

  • This could result in a possible increase of up to 6°C by the end of the century.
  • Regional rainfall is expected to decrease on the whole, by up to 30% if global temperatures rise to 4°C above pre-industrial levels.
  • This will increase droughts, flooding, wind and wild fires. 

Given the region’s high vulnerability to climate change these impacts could severely affect our regions livelihoods, societies and economies. For this reason SARUA, as a close partner of SADC, has developed a framework for trans-disciplinary collaboration and knowledge co-production that involves research, teaching and learning, and community engagement.

Representatives of 24 of SARUA’s member universities convened for a Leadership Dialogue at Spier Conference Centre in Stellenbosch, South Africa on May 5th and 6th to receive the results of our climate change mapping study. The EXCO and members discussed the findings and received copies of the first-of-its-kind

Primary funding for this work was received from the
Climate Development Knowledge Network (CDKN)

Throughout 2013 SARUA led 12 in-country workshops conducted by HEMA to learn directly from governments, universities and other stakeholders about their national climate change challenges and how universities respond to them.

The recently completed mapping study is the first leg of the Capacity Development Programme for Climate Change developed by SARUA in 2010.

Key findings and recommendations of the mapping study address such issues as

  • the powerful role universities can play at the interface of science, policy and practise in climate compatible development.
  • the prevalence of and need for research funding mechanisms,
  • the identification of new institutions for research and knowledge co-production,
  • the extent and potential of interdisciplinary co-operation, and
  • the role of community engagement in responding to critical societal issues.

The mapping study recommends that four networks of SARUA members focus on:

  • research across seven themed trans-disciplinary clusters
  • curriculum innovation
  • institutional and policy development, and
  • capacity development.

SARUA’s contribution to the revitalisation of southern African universities.

By responding in a real way to how climate change impacts the region, SARUA is contributing to the development of southern Africa universities as producers of scientific knowledge, who can inform and influence the region’s climate change policies. Previous SARUA research shows that there is a need for increased South-South research collaboration. There is also a shortage of doctoral graduates and supervisors in the region, with South Africa accounting for 89% of PhDs, and little of the research emanating from southern African is being published. By participating in the proposed networks SARUA member universities can make a substantive contribution to the region’s response to one of its major threats to human development.

Please follow the links to find the following documents

Volume 1, Number 1: Knowledge Co-Production Framework

Volume 2: Country Reports