King’s Water workshop: Developing synergies and networks

King’s Water hosted a workshop on 28 Oct 2015 to develop synergies and networks with internal and external institutions.  This interdisciplinary workshop was designed to explore potential questions, topics and themes that might bring together colleagues and to start new conversations and pilot projects.  The workshop also included a session for PhD students to brainstorm ideas to complement their ongoing research. The event offered an opportunity for Masters, PhD, Post-docs and staff to get together.  A short proceedings of the workshop will follow shortly. Continue reading

You can bring a Right to Water but you cannot make it drink: Or, Human Rights and Water: Legal Mechanisms Protecting Water Access

Rebecca Peters is a 2014 Marshall Scholar currently a Water Science and Governance MSc candidate with King’s Water. She recently completed an MSc in Poverty and Economic Development at the University of Manchester focused on land use change, water governance, and irrigated agriculture in South Africa. Her previous research in Bolivia and Mexico as a Berkeley Law Human Rights Fellow and Blum Center for Developing Economies Fellow included peri-urban water access and rural sanitation issues. Here, Rebecca reflects on her experience at HH8 facilitating a human rights negotiation simulation. Continue reading

King’s Water hosts HH8

HH8 Poster

Nearly one hundred practitioners, researchers, students, and activists gathered at King’s College London 24-25 October 2015 to consider the relation between law and hegemony in a critical and creative atmosphere. King’s Water hosted the Eighth International Workshop on Hydro-Hegemony, “HH8: Law & Hydro-Hegemony”, this past weekend. The event was run as an interactive, participant-led workshop of collaborative learning rather than a traditional academic conference. Participatory small and large group discussions, practical simulations, and teaching sessions explored the following questions:

  1. How does the way international law is made help or hinder its use as a counter-hegemonic tool?
  2. How should law confront hydro-hegemony and power inequalities?
  3. How should law and activism approach issues of state sovereignty in hydro-hegemonic systems?
  4. How does law serve as both a liberating tool of justice and an oppressive instrument of hegemony?
  5. Can international law change, either in content or structure, to become more effective in countering harmful hydro-hegemonic realities? If so, how?
  6. What is the role of international law in governing potentially hegemonic virtual water trades?
  7. How can international law influence water resources distribution in aquifers and basins?
  8. How might human rights discourses and systems help to redress hydro-hegemonic realities?
Rebecca Facilitate HH8

King’s Water Student Rebecca Peters facilitates a negotiation simulation on human rights claims and dams in the Mekong River Basin

DSC_0187

PhD Researcher Steph Hawkins from the University of Strathclyde introduces HH8 with a theoretical overview of the hegemonic structure of international law

HH8 Crowd

Students, staff, and practitioners gathered at King’s this weekend to learn from each other around issues of water, power, and law

The Hydro-Hegemony Workshops were founded by the University of East Anglia’s Mark Zeitoun and King’s Water’s own Naho Mirumachi. HH8 was led by King’s Water PhD researcher Becca Farnum along with Steph Hawkins and Mia Tamarin of the London Water Research Group.

For more about the conference, including a concept paper on “The Role of International Law in Hydro-Hegemonic Arrangements“, visit https://lwrg.wordpress.com/news/events/hh8/.

Urban ARK: Elijah Agevi Fellowship Scheme

Undefined
Urban ARK logo

Funded by DFID-ESRC the Urban ARK Elijah Agevi Fellowship Scheme aims to facilitate exchange and learning between programme partners. The fellowship programme is named in memory of Elijah Agevi and to honour his contributions to Urban ARK and more broadly his role as a bridge between research and policy in Kenya as a senior policy advisor to government on urban issues and more. The fellowship is especially designed for early career researchers and policy actors, including local activists. The key aim for any application is that there should be a discrete output. 

Preference will be given to early career researchers and practitioners/policy actors, including local activists. Applicants would usually be associated with one of the Urban ARK programme's partner institutions.

Preference is given for applicants from sub-Saharan Africa, but none are excluded. Each fellow will be sponsored to spend up to two months in an international exchange with one of the consortium partners producing a clearly defined output, such as a co-authored academic paper.

How to apply:

Those interested in applying for this Visiting Fellowship Scheme should contact Urban ARK through the Contact Page on this website. Applicants will be required to submit a CV (including 2 named academic referees), a letter of support from the intended host organisation, and a covering letter (max 1500 words) explaining their interest in the fellowship, relevance of their work to Urban ARK, intended outputs and collaborations through the fellowship. 

Standfirst: 

The Urban ARK Programme currently has several opportunities available under the Elijah Agevi Fellowship Scheme. Please click the link below for further information about these fellowships.

Posted in Uncategorized

Urban ARK: Elijah Agevi Fellowship Scheme

Undefined
Urban ARK logo

Funded by DFID-ESRC the Urban ARK Elijah Agevi Fellowship Scheme aims to facilitate exchange and learning between programme partners. The fellowship programme is named in memory of Elijah Agevi and to honour his contributions to Urban ARK and more broadly his role as a bridge between research and policy in Kenya as a senior policy advisor to government on urban issues and more. The fellowship is especially designed for early career researchers and policy actors, including local activists. The key aim for any application is that there should be a discrete output. 

Preference will be given to early career researchers and practitioners/policy actors, including local activists. Applicants would usually be associated with one of the Urban ARK programme's partner institutions.

Preference is given for applicants from sub-Saharan Africa, but none are excluded. Each fellow will be sponsored to spend up to two months in an international exchange with one of the consortium partners producing a clearly defined output, such as a co-authored academic paper.

How to apply:

Those interested in applying for this Visiting Fellowship Scheme should contact Urban ARK through the Contact Page on this website. Applicants will be required to submit a CV (including 2 named academic referees), a letter of support from the intended host organisation, and a covering letter (max 1500 words) explaining their interest in the fellowship, relevance of their work to Urban ARK, intended outputs and collaborations through the fellowship. 

Standfirst: 

The Urban ARK Programme currently has several opportunities available under the Elijah Agevi Fellowship Scheme. Please click the link below for further information about these fellowships.

Posted in Uncategorized

Urban Africa: Risk Knowledge

English

Africa’s cities are amongst the most dynamic and variable places on earth. Full of activity; traders brush shoulders with professionals and families, multiple languages wash over each other and life carries on at a pace. As policy and business cycles turn there is hope that life can be a little, or a lot better for individuals, households and cities. And why not? There is much human resource, innovation aplenty and increasingly economic and technological capacity in African cities. At the same time, the ‘development deficit’ in many towns and cities across Africa is considerable. While national economies may grow so do slum settlements.

Urban Africa Risk Knowledge (Urban ARK) is a three year research and capacity building programme funded by the UK Department for International Development and the Economic and Social Research Council. The objective is to examine processes shaping urbanisation in Africa and in so doing to better understand the ways in which Africa’s urbanisation leads not only to improved life chances but also to the accumulation of disaster risk. This is fundamental if cities and towns are to become more resilient and sustainable – to protect progressive development gains from the impacts of disaster events and in the act of reducing risk and responding to disaster enable improved wellbeing. It is not sufficient to return households and communities to pre-disaster conditions – the very conditions that generated risk and disaster in the first place. Yet even ‘bouncing-back’ is a challenge and too often reconstruction means a loss of home, social capital and identity. The Sustainable Development Goals as well as the Sendai Framework for Action are explicit about the centrality of urban resilience for sustainable development. As the Sustainable Development Goals state: “Disaster risk reduction (DRR) is an integral part of social and economic development, and is essential if development is to be sustainable for the future.” (UN 2015)

Urban ARK identifies and aims to respond to three key challenges that hamper efforts to enhance sustainable development by integrating disaster risk reduction into urban development:

  1. A lack of basic data – on hazard and loss and on the social conditions that shape susceptibility to harm but also coping and adaptive capacity.
  2. A lack of systematic analysis of the ways in which urbanisation processes influence the social, geographical and temporal distribution of risk and loss in contemporary African towns and cities.
  3. Inadequate human capacity amongst those at risk, in civil society, government and the private sector and a lack of coordinated effort to reduce disaster risk.

Urban ARK focuses in depth on four cities – each presenting different development and hazard contexts: Ibadan in Nigeria, Karonga in Malawi, Nairobi in Kenya and Niamey in Niger. We also work in Dakar, Senegal and Mombasa, Kenya. Much of our research and project outputs will be in French as well as English as a result. City level research teams and stakeholders including city planners, community groups and businesses take a lead in defining key gaps in data, understanding and capacity; responding in partnership with the programme’s international consortium.  

If you have read to the end of this blog you surely agree with us that Africa’s cities, and urbanisation worldwide is at a threshold. There is now not only a significant challenge in front of us, but also growing regional and international political will to confront the development trends that are generating inequality and risk in cities and in consequence for global sustainability. Please join us.

Urban ARK will only succeed if the programme can learn from the experiences and knowledge of the many actors – practitioners and citizens as well as researchers – joined in efforts to reduce urban risk.

Urban ARK encourages wide collaboration – please join the conversation. If you have time and capacity we invite you to join our city science and stakeholder meetings, to apply for our visiting researcher fellowships and for places in our intensive training workshops. For those unable to participate directly we welcome your reactions, thoughts, cries and celebrations through this blog site, our twitter links and our website community of practice pages.

Reference:

UN (2015) The Sustainable Development Goals, Accessed from
https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/topics/disasterriskreduction

Standfirst: 

Urban Africa Risk Knowledge (Urban ARK) is a three year research and capacity building programme funded by the UK Department for International Development and the Economic and Social Research Council. 

Posted in Uncategorized

Urban Africa: Risk Knowledge

English

Africa’s cities are amongst the most dynamic and variable places on earth. Full of activity; traders brush shoulders with professionals and families, multiple languages wash over each other and life carries on at a pace. As policy and business cycles turn there is hope that life can be a little, or a lot better for individuals, households and cities. And why not? There is much human resource, innovation aplenty and increasingly economic and technological capacity in African cities. At the same time, the ‘development deficit’ in many towns and cities across Africa is considerable. While national economies may grow so do slum settlements.

Urban Africa Risk Knowledge (Urban ARK) is a three year research and capacity building programme funded by the UK Department for International Development and the Economic and Social Research Council. The objective is to examine processes shaping urbanisation in Africa and in so doing to better understand the ways in which Africa’s urbanisation leads not only to improved life chances but also to the accumulation of disaster risk. This is fundamental if cities and towns are to become more resilient and sustainable – to protect progressive development gains from the impacts of disaster events and in the act of reducing risk and responding to disaster enable improved wellbeing. It is not sufficient to return households and communities to pre-disaster conditions – the very conditions that generated risk and disaster in the first place. Yet even ‘bouncing-back’ is a challenge and too often reconstruction means a loss of home, social capital and identity. The Sustainable Development Goals as well as the Sendai Framework for Action are explicit about the centrality of urban resilience for sustainable development. As the Sustainable Development Goals state: “Disaster risk reduction (DRR) is an integral part of social and economic development, and is essential if development is to be sustainable for the future.” (UN 2015)

Urban ARK identifies and aims to respond to three key challenges that hamper efforts to enhance sustainable development by integrating disaster risk reduction into urban development:

  1. A lack of basic data – on hazard and loss and on the social conditions that shape susceptibility to harm but also coping and adaptive capacity.
  2. A lack of systematic analysis of the ways in which urbanisation processes influence the social, geographical and temporal distribution of risk and loss in contemporary African towns and cities.
  3. Inadequate human capacity amongst those at risk, in civil society, government and the private sector and a lack of coordinated effort to reduce disaster risk.

Urban ARK focuses in depth on four cities – each presenting different development and hazard contexts: Ibadan in Nigeria, Karonga in Malawi, Nairobi in Kenya and Niamey in Niger. We also work in Dakar, Senegal and Mombasa, Kenya. Much of our research and project outputs will be in French as well as English as a result. City level research teams and stakeholders including city planners, community groups and businesses take a lead in defining key gaps in data, understanding and capacity; responding in partnership with the programme’s international consortium.  

If you have read to the end of this blog you surely agree with us that Africa’s cities, and urbanisation worldwide is at a threshold. There is now not only a significant challenge in front of us, but also growing regional and international political will to confront the development trends that are generating inequality and risk in cities and in consequence for global sustainability. Please join us.

Urban ARK will only succeed if the programme can learn from the experiences and knowledge of the many actors – practitioners and citizens as well as researchers – joined in efforts to reduce urban risk.

Urban ARK encourages wide collaboration – please join the conversation. If you have time and capacity we invite you to join our city science and stakeholder meetings, to apply for our visiting researcher fellowships and for places in our intensive training workshops. For those unable to participate directly we welcome your reactions, thoughts, cries and celebrations through this blog site, our twitter links and our website community of practice pages.

Reference:

UN (2015) The Sustainable Development Goals, Accessed from
https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/topics/disasterriskreduction

Standfirst: 

Urban Africa Risk Knowledge (Urban ARK) is a three year research and capacity building programme funded by the UK Department for International Development and the Economic and Social Research Council. 

Posted in Uncategorized

Coming up: Seminar on “Water, biography and history”

Join King’s Water and the Department of Geography this Wednesday for an exciting, story-focused Human Geography Research Seminar.

Sarah Dry, independent scholar and science writer, will share recent research from a popular book-in-progress on the past 150 years of scientific studies of water and the global climate. She’ll discuss the lives of scientists such as John Tyndall, Charles Piazzi Smyth and Gilbert Walker in relation to their work on glaciers, water vapour, and monsoons. Full of vivid detail, biography is a compellingly readable form but it is often associated with misleadingly heroic narratives of scientific progress. Is biography suited to telling a nuanced history of evolving global concepts of climate? What might a climate-oriented biography of water look like?

Sarah Dry is an award-winning writer and historian of science.  She is the author of The Newton Papers: The Strange and True Odyssey of Isaac Newton’s Manuscripts (OUP, 2014), co-editor of Epidemics: Science, Governance and Social Justice (Earthscan, 2010) and Curie: A Life (Haus, 2004).

This event is free and open to the public. Join us in the King’s Geography Pyramid Room, Strand Campus King’s Building Room KU4.12, from 4:30-6pm this Wednesday 14 October 2015.