I have been lucky enough to be awarded a small bit of GCRF funding to develop a research cluster around interdisciplinary themes. It really is an extraordinary opportunity to bring together several institutions working in digital education in sub-Saharan Africa and some wonderful individuals many of whom I have known for many years but have yet been able to find a suitable project to work on. At its onset, this research cluster will involve Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria, Makerere University in Uganda, the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, and the University of Edinburgh.

This project will build interdisciplinary research capacity around the overlapping fields of digital education, sociology, and carbon innovation to reconcile, insofar as possible, the contested nature of the scaling inherent to the SDGs and New Urban Agenda: greater educational provision and widening participation, particularly around gender; greater technological access and use; and a lessened carbon impact.

The cluster will use the New Urban Agenda as an interdisciplinary frame to explore what role higher education plays in executing the digital and educational tenets of this approach, and the environmental impact of such activity in sub-Saharan Africa. The New Urban Agenda is an action-oriented document which sets global standards in sustainable urban development, rethinking the way cities are built, managed, and lived in, which has significant implications for educational and technological provision. The New Urban Agenda binds signatories to provide basic services for all citizens, including access to education and technologies; and to improve connectivity to innovative green initiatives to find solutions to urban challenges, most notably carbon emissions and climate change.

First meeting for us all at the University of Dar es Salaam in June so more to come.

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

4 thoughts on “Building a research cluster: digital education, inclusion, and carbon impact in Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda”
      1. Hi Mr Gallager…I am from the Philippines…but far from Uganda..maybe we have the same problems ….clinate change greening situations….I am advocating green agenda in our university that is why I am interested in learning more in your project. Regards Mynn.

        1. That is great to hear Mynn. So glad to hear from you. We will post here often about the project and perhaps we can consider branching into the Philippines as well at some point. All my best!

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