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ESD Overseas Learning Alliances

A key and exciting component of the ESD programme is the opportunity to co-learn and work on the ground under the Learning Alliances set up with a wide range of partners in cities of the Global South.

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This includes an overseas practice engagement in Term 3 and is supported by several months of prior collaborative research throughout Terms 1 and 2. Each year the process concludes with the delivery of presentations in country and back in the UK, and with the collective production of outputs – such as videos and policy briefs – through which findings and strategies for transformative change are publicly shared.

The
overseas practice engagement provides an opportunity to test theories and concepts discussed in the course’s core modules, and to gain practical experience in tackling socio-environmental justices in collaboration with key actors in the cities where we work. Previous Learning Alliances and overseas overseas practice engagements have taken place in Freetown (Sierra Leone), Lima (Peru), Accra (Ghana), Mumbai (India), and Cairo (Egypt).  

You can find out more about the legacy built in each city throughout previous years below:

2021: Freetown, Sierra Leone

Freetown
This year's OPE is designed as part of the fourth and closing year of the Learning Alliance which seeks to co-produce knowledge between our Masters students, SLURC partners, interns, DPU facilitators , local communities and international organisations.  

Working through different but connected thematic areas - Land and Housing, Urban infrastructure and Services, Ecological Infrastructure and Food Security- the engagement will focus on developing strategies by learning from existing initiatives and establishing exchange between different contexts in Africa and beyond.

Students
Learning Alliance team

We are delighted to announce the members who are joining our MSc ESD/SLURC Learning Alliance this year to co-produce knowledge for socio-environmental justice in Freetown. The interns, SLURC staff and DPU facilitators that have been integrated into our team since January 2021 will work closely with ESD masters students to evaluate successful initiatives around the world under four thematic areas and draw important lessons and strategies for Freetown.  

SLURC team

Ibrahim
Ibrahim Bakarr Bangura (Land and Housing)

Ibrahim Bakarr Bangura graduated from Njala University with a BSc in Rural Development Studies. He currently works as a Junior Researcher at SLURC. He was previously part of the SLURC team working with ASF-UK’s Change by Design Methodology on Community Action Area Plans (CAAP) and worked with the Amazonian Initiative Movement as a Facilitator. He has also helped to facilitate ASF-UK’s Community-Led Data Collection for Informal Settlement Profiling workshop. He is currently involved in the OVERDUE and Urban KNOW projects. Ibrahim has been part of the ESD learning alliance over the last four years.


Hawanatu Bangura
Hawanatu Bangura (Food Security)

Hawanatu Bangura (Awa) has a background in Accounting and Finance and is currently working at SLURC as a Field Researcher in the action research project “Community-led solution: Assistive Technologies in Informal Settlements” in Freetown (Sierra Leone). Awa is the lead person in the action research project and acts as a liaison for two informal settlement communities (Dworzak and Thompson Bay), with a focus on people with disabilities. She is also leading the coordination of the development of the Transform Freetown Plan of Freetown City Council, where is she co-ordinating four main sectors. She has previously worked on the post Ebola Recovery Program, where she worked in the Operation Clean Freetown Initiative as part of the President's Delivery Team, Office of the Chief of Staff. This is the second year she is supporting the ESD learning alliance.


Amadu Labor
Amadu Labor (Urban Infrastructure and Services)

Amadu Labor is a Research Officer at SLURC with a BA in Development Studies and a BSc in Agricultural Education from EBK University of Science and Technology. He has acquired extensive work experience in community development, including multiple contributions to SLURC research and data collection for FEDURP before joining SLURC as a Research Officer. He has previously supported the ESD learning alliance both as an intern and as a SLURC staff member.


Mary Sirah Kamara
Mary Sirah Kamara (Ecological Infrastructure)

Mary Sirah Kamara graduated from Njala University with a BSc (Hons.) in Environment and Development and an MSc in Environmental Management and Quality Control. She was part of the SLURC team that worked with ASF-UK’s Change by Design Methodology to pilot the Community Action Area Plan (CAAP) and she is currently working on a ESRC funded research project that explores health and infection control in informal settlements. She also plays a pivotal role in the Accountability for Health Equity (ARISE) project, which aims to acknowledge the needs of the marginalised and urban poor through accountability mechanisms. She has been part of the ESD learning alliance for the past four years.


SLURC interns

Musa F.M Wullarie
Musa F.M Wullarie (Land and Housing)

Musa F.M Wullarie is a Community Youth Leader in Cockle Bay-Mafengbeh. He is the Founder of the ‘Foundation for the Future Educational Syndicate and Library’. Musa has extensive experience in community organisation and data collection, where he has worked as a Data Collector for the Federation of Urban Rural Poor (FEDURP). Musa has previously been involved in multiple research projects by SLURC (as an intern) and has been community facilitator in all SLURC-UCL Learning Alliances thus far.


Fatima Kabba
Fatima Kabba (Food Security)

Fatima Kabba is a volunteer field officer at the Center of Dialogue on Human Settlement and Poverty Alleviation (CODOHSAPA). She holds a BSc degree in Social Work from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. Fatima joins the Learning Alliance for the third time as volunteer field officer at the Center of Dialogue on Human Settlement and Poverty Alleviation (CODOHSAPA), where she currently has two year’s fieldwork experience.


Michael Garrick
Michael Garrick (Urban Infrastructure and Services)

Michael Garrick is a geology graduate and MBA student at the Institute of Public Administration and Management. He is a passionate believer in the power of research as a development tool and has previously worked with students on water and sanitation services within the Learning Alliance.


Henry David Bayoh
Henry David Bayoh (Ecological Infrastructure)

Henry David Bayoh is an Expert Certified Development Project Manager (CDPM) who also holds a BSc (Hons.) in Environmental Sciences as well as a MB and MA in Sustainable Development. He is the Focal Point for the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and a Senior Planning and Development Officer/Head of Climate Change at the National Tourist Board. This is the fourth year he joins the ESD Learning Alliance as an intern.


DPU Facilitators

Nikhilesh Sinha
Dr. Nikhilesh Sinha (Land and Housing)

Dr. Nikhilesh Sinha is an Associate Professor of Economics and Management Sciences at the Hult International Business School, London.
Nikhilesh completed his PhD at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL, supervised by Prof. Caren Levy and Dr. Colin Marx. His thesis examines informal rental housing sub-markets in Hyderabad from an institutional perspective. The thesis contributes a novel conceptual framework for the analysis of informal markets, while debunking several commonly held perceptions of the dynamics of rental housing markets in informal settlements. More recently, Nikhilesh has been awarded a research grant by the Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality (KNOW) Project in 2020 to study informal housing markets in Dar es Salam, Tanzania.


Alban Hasson
Alban Hasson (Food Security)

Alban Hasson has been a PhD Student at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit since 2018. His main research interests lie in urban agriculture (UA), food sovereignty, environmental policy, grassroots innovations, and the potential for learning to deliver sustainable urban food systems. His PhD research explores the conditions for the expansion of the political space for urban agriculture justice and food democracy, and the resulting democratic effects produced different trajectories. His research draws on theories of environmental justice and democratisation, where his he seeks a better understanding of the pathways available to ensure parity of participation and address distributive and recognitive justice in UA. In his spare time, Alban enjoys growing some of his own food, and is involved in Urban farms in his local neighbourhood.


Loan Diep
Loan Diep (Ecological Infrastructure)

Loan Diep is a researcher on urban green infrastructure, water and sanitation, and socio-environmental justice in cities, with a focus on informal settlements. She graduated with a BSc in Environmental Geography and an MSc in Environment and Sustainable Development at UCL. Loan has worked as research consultant for organisations like UNEP and IIED, and as project officer for Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP). She is currently doing her PhD at UCL on the urban politics of Green Infrastructure in São Paulo, Brazil.


María José Nieto Combariza
María José Nieto Combariza (Urban Infrastructure and Services)

María José Nieto Combariza is a PhD student at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit, where she researches the value of mobility (in two and three-wheelers) in the context of mass public transport reforms using a critical southern lens. María José is an economist by training and has previously completed an MSc in Development from the National University of Colombia and MSc Environmental Policy and Regulation from the London School of Economics. As a professional in her field, María José aims to encourage knowledge-based strategies to foster urban development by working with local and national government institutions and the UN. She has previously worked on urban sustainable development project in Latin America, the Caribbean and China, where she has supported decision-making within local governments and public institutions.

 


Past years

2020: Freetown, Sierra Leone

Project videos

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Policy Briefs

Policy Brief 1: Food security through Urban Agriculture Policy Brief 2: Land and Shelter Tenure Security

 

Reports

Driving Freetown Towards Enhanced Mobility: Emerging opportunities from health crises for improved access to livelihoods Sanitation for all: How far can communal sanitation facilities meet local needs and address inequalities in Freetown's coastal informal settlements?
2019: Freetown, Sierra Leone

Between September 2017 and May 2018, students of the ESD practice module conducted action-research in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The research aimed to contribute to an understanding of how and why risk accumulation cycles or ‘urban risk traps’ affect local dwellers and their communities in Freetown’s informal settlements, and how they can be disrupted in a structural way.

This year’s assignment was based on the recently established learning-alliance between ESD and the Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre (SLURC) in collaboration with the Federation of the Urban and Rural Poor (FEDURP), Pull Slum Pan Pipul (PSPP) and the communities of six case study areas: Portee-Rokupa, Susan’s Bay, Cockle Bay, Moyiba, Dwarzarck, and Crab Town-Kolleh Town-Gray Bush. 

Project videos

Cockle Bay

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Moyiba

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Dwarzack

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Susan's Bay

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Portee Rokupa

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CKG

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Colbot

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Policy Briefs

Policy Brief 1: Exploring the multi-dimensional aspects of Coastal Flooding
Policy Brief 2: Exploring the multi-dimensional aspects of Coastal Flooding
Policy Brief 3: Exploring the Risk Accumulation Cycle of Fires in Freetown’s Informal Settlements
Policy Brief 4: Landslides and Building Collapse
Policy Brief 5: Multi-Hazards Related to Poor Solid Waste Management
Policy Brief 6: Water and Sanitation Related Diseases
Policy Brief 7: Reframing Risk into Opportunity: The Case of Occupational Hazard Key points in Freetown’s Urban Agriculture 

Policy Brief - DPU MSc ESD/SLURC Learning Alliance Co-Learning for Action to Transform Freetown

2018: Freetown, Sierra Leone

Cockle Bay: We Tomarra Bambai (our common future)

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(Re)Integrating Moyiba towards environmentally just resource management

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Towards a safe, healthy and risk-free Dwarzack

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Governance across levels: Collective action for healthy and risk free Susan's Bay

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From Portee to Rokupa: Bridging together

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Building a collaborative and hazard-free CKG

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2017: Lima, Peru

This year's assignment, is linked to cLIMA sin Riesgo, a DPU action-research project funded by Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) which examines urban risk traps and their  impact on people's lives and investments.

Contributing to this project, the research undertaken by the participants on the MSc seeks to further the understanding of the relationship between everyday risk and urban development in Metropolitan Lima and to develop an environmental action plan in collaboration with local communities and organisations for selected case studies within this jurisdiction.

Six areas were selected to ground the investigation: Costa Verde, Barrios Altos, El Agustino, José Carlos Mariátegui, Chuquitanta and Pachacamac.

These were chosen in consultation with our local partners within ‘Foro Ciudades Para la Vida’, CENCA, CIDAP and SEA and offer unique readings of the city, enabling a better understanding of the urbanization processes, institutional, private and local communities practices, and socio-environmental trends operating in Metropolitan Lima.

Project videos

Urban Agriculture

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Water & Sanitation


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Ecological Infrastructure


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Housing


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Historic Centre

2016: Lima Peru

This year's assignment, is linked to cLIMA sin Riesgo, a DPU action-research project funded by Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) which examines urban risk traps and their  impact on people's lives and investments.

Contributing to this project, the research undertaken by the participants on the MSc seeks to further the understanding of the relationship between everyday risk and urban development in Metropolitan Lima and to develop an environmental action plan in collaboration with local communities and organisations for selected case studies within this jurisdiction.

Six thematic areas were selected to ground the investigation: Urban Agriculture, Historic Centre, Water and Sanitation, Housing, Ecological Infrastructure

These were chosen in consultation with our local partners within ‘Foro Ciudades Para la Vida’, CENCA, CIDAP and SEA and offer unique readings of the city, enabling a better understanding of the urbanization processes, institutional, private and local communities practices, and socio-environmental trends operating in Metropolitan Lima.

Policy Briefs

Watch the 2016 videos on YouTube

2015: Lima, Peru

This year's assignment, is linked to CLima sin Riesgo, a DPU action-research project funded by Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) which examines urban risk traps and their  impact on people's lives and investments. Contributing to this project, the research undertaken by the participants on the MSc seeks to further the understanding of the relationship between everyday risk and urban development in Metropolitan Lima and to develop an environmental action plan in collaboration with local communities and organisations for selected case studies within this jurisdiction.

Six areas were selected to ground the investigation: Costa Verde, Barrios Altos, El Agustino, José Carlos Mariátegui, Chuquitanta and Pachacamac. These were chosen in consultation with our local partners within ‘Foro Ciudades Para la Vida’, CENCA and CIDAP, and offer unique readings of the city, enabling a better understanding of the urbanization processes, institutional, private and local communities practices, and socio-environmental trends operating in Metropolitan Lima.

This report as well as the videos produced as part of the project are available on the Learning Lima website: www.learninglima.net

View the 2015 videos on YouTube below

2014: Lima, Peru

Environmental Justice in Lima: Co-learning for Action

This research represents the second year of research by MSc ESD students and staff, focusing on Metropolitan Lima in partnership with CIDAP, CENCA, Foro Ciudades Para La Vida.

The aim of the research is to understand how environmental injustices are produced and how they can be addressed by exploring scenarios and strategies embedded in the wider socio-political, economic and ecological processes. Four case studies have been chosen: Barrios Altos, Cantagallo, José Carlos Mariátegui and Huaycán.

Each case study provides a unique lens through which we learn about the wider processes of change shaping metropolitan Lima. By exploring power relations, the challenges facing citizens, and the strategies they are adopting at the neighbourhood level, we can gain insight into the wider drivers and dynamics of urban change.

The outputs below, which include a combined report, as well audio-visual material created by the groups, provide the findings for each case study, and propose strategies that contribute towards transformative change.

View the 2014 videos on YouTube below

2013: Lima, Peru

Transformative planning for environmental justice in metropolitan Lima: Water, risk and urban development: Present outlooks, possible futures

Conceived as part of the DPU platform Water Justice in Latin American Cities, 2013 was the first year of research by the MSc ESD programme in Peru, focusing on Metropolitan Lima in partnership with Foro Ciudades Para La Vida.

The objective of the platform is to contribute to the understanding of the relationship between water, risk and urban development and develop strategies that contribute to transformative change.

Audio-visual material created before and after their field research in Peru (in both English and Spanish) as well as a written reports produced by the participants of the 2012-13 MSc programme can be accessed below.

Material produced, by group

Barrios Altos

Cantagallo

Huaycán

José Carlos Mariátegui and Casablanca

  • Post-Field Trip Audio Visual Report (in English) [coming soon]
  • Post-Field Trip Audio Visual Report (en Español) [próximamente]
  • Pre-field trip diagnosis (video)

Costa Verde

2012: Accra, Ghana

Environmentally Just Urbanisation through Urban Agriculture

Subsections include:

  • Chorkor and Jamestown: Fishing for Resilience, Restoring Coastal Systems (page 7)
  • Old Fadama: Challenging Perceptions (page 51)
  • Nima: Rethinking Space through Social relations (page 95)
  • Legon: Securing Livelihoods and Green Open Spaces (page 163)
  • La: Vulnerable Groups and the Decision-making Process (page 225)
2011: Accra, Ghana

Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture (UPA) in the city: the potentials and challenges faced by those practicing it as their livelihood.

2010: Accra, Ghana

Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture (UPA) in the city.

2009: Accra, Ghana

Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture (UPA) in the city.

2008: Mumbai, India

Resettlement and rehabilitation

2007: Mumbai, India

Working with pavement, railway and slum dwellers in a conflicting housing environment.