Center for Global Development and Sustainability

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

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Applied Knowledge and Intervention Network (AKIN)

With seed funding from Brandeis University and the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, the Center for Global Development and Sustainability invited senior researchers from five regions of the world experiencing increasing desertification to an organizing meeting in November 2014 at the Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Sde Boker, Israel. Researchers represented multiple organizations from West and East Africa, North East and South Asia and universities in England, Israel and the United States. The delegates discussed the formation of an international applied knowledge network of local researchers, NGOs and community-based organizations, and policy officials that will explore practical interventions and initiatives to develop resilience and sustainable livelihood options as well as ensure food security for vulnerable communities.

Goal of AKIN

AKIN aims to develop a network of applied research organizations in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia as well as selected northern research centers working on desertification. The network seeks to share knowledge and provide training on climate change adaptation, resilience, livelihood sustainability and food/water security. AKIN will focus on ways to utilize the expertise of participating researchers to develop intervention-oriented projects addressing the impacts of climate change and to help develop resilience and sustainable livelihood options for vulnerable communities in West Africa (with Ghana as initial case study), East Africa (with Ethiopia as initial case study), North East Asia (with Mongolia as initial case study) and South Asia (with India as initial case study).

Urgent thematic areas for AKIN's interventional/applied research

  • To understand climate insecurities in water, energy, food, and health in dry lands
  • To understand potential local patterns of interventions and lessons
  • To understand and develop modes of intervention and to build resilience towards climate change and livelihoods
  • To design and advance adaptation education in dry lands and identify which intervention practices will build sustainable resilience
  • To identify other climate variability implications for dry lands
  • To build an interdisciplinary applied knowledge network within and across regions and countries with dry lands

Strategies on how AKIN can achieve its goals

  • Develop existing knowledge into local interventions
  • Assess the effectiveness of known interventions
  • Develop skill transfer programs in the area of adaptation and resilience and develop mechanisms for the transfer of key research findings into interventions
  • Develop a framework that helps to bring new findings to the attention of policy makers in the identified focus regions (Africa and Asia)
  • Identify strategies that allow the mobilization of experts and linking them to practitioners and local people to ensure change
  • Bring best practices and efficient technologies to local communities
  • Develop monitoring and evaluation programs for partner organizations who are interested in sustainability and resilience

AKIN Institutional Partners

  • Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre and Network, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, representing nine countries and over 400 cooperatives
  • Institute of Geography, Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Mongolia
  • Space Science and Remote Sensing Laboratory, National University of Mongolia, Mongolia
  • The Energy Research Institute (TERI), India
  • School for Environment and Resource Management, University for Development Studies, Ghana
  • Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  • School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford University, UK
  • School of Environment Sciences, University of Liverpool, UK
  • Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research
  • Center for Global Development and Sustainability, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, USA

Knowledge Advancing Social Justice

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