Three key discussions and outputs from the SCOR Board Meeting held in March 2019
1.Cross-government approach on Science, Technology and Innovation in Africa
The SCOR Board was briefed on UK’s new partnership approach with Africa and the role of on Science, Technology and Innovation.
The SCOR board recognised the value of this new coherence approach, and current work on affordable housing in Kenya (with cross HMG joint working between FCO, Science and Innovation Network, DFID, BEIS, UKRI, DHSC and UKCDR). This was highlighted as a model of facilitating engagement and partnership with other countries in Africa.
To support this the SCOR Board commissioned UKCDR to produce analysis of country-level data on UK’s international development research investment in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. An analysis of the scope and extent of UK-funded international development-related research fellowships in Africa was commissioned by the SCOR Board. This will be used a basis for convening of implementing institutions to discuss potential action in relation to gaps in support and opportunities to add value by promoting a coherent approach.
2. A new thematic priority for 2019: ‘The Built Environment’
The SCOR Board has chosen to support ‘The Built Environment’ as an area UK funders can add value and maximise the impact of built environment research for international development.
Why prioritise the built environment? The built environment has been identified as a global challenge that is cross-sectional in nature and that needs to be addressed through interdisciplinary research. For example, inadequate housing has been linked to poverty, health, environmental impact, crime and national insecurity.
The SCOR Board, with support from UKCDR, will explore opportunities to bring together UK research funders, researchers and international partners through events such as the UK-Kenya Research Symposium. UKCDR were commissioned to lead a comprehensive overview of built environment research landscape and make recommendations on areas where joint UK funder coherence and action could add value.
3. Update on plans for the UK-Kenya Housing Symposium
The UK Government has been working in partnership with the Kenya Government, GCRF, UKCDR, FCO, SIN and DFID, to organise the UK-Kenya Housing Symposium that will take place in May 2019 in Nairobi. The event will celebrate UK-Kenya research partnerships in housing, will broker dialogue between policymakers, researchers, innovators, private sector and civil society, and importantly will produce a joint statement, to be endorsed by the ministries, on housing as an enabler of the sustainable development goals and evidence on the importance of taking a multisectoral approach.