The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Understanding the city - SLURC resource unit launched with DPU

2 March 2017

SLURC Sierra Leone Freetown
How do we understand our city? With this question SLURC co-director Joseph Macarthy has inaugurated/kicked off yesterday the launch of the resource unit in Freetown. Part of year 1 priority activities of the Comic relief-funded project co-led by DPU and Njala University, the resource unit constitutes a physical and digital platform for collecting and generating knowledge around urban issues. Demand-driven in nature, its aim is to make knowledge as accessible as possible to the wider population as well as to students, academics, policy-makers and organisations.
The library is physically housed in the research centre at 63 upper brook street and virtually it is accessible through the slurc.org website. The launch was attended by community, national and international organisations representatives, municipality officers, advisory board and management board members.
The event was embedded onto the annual advisory board meeting focusing on the identification of actions towards the long term sustainability and autonomy of the centre, in terms of governance structure, financial and research capacity. Benefitting from the expertise of the advisors – Nancy Odendaal (UCT, Cape Town), Michael Walls (DPU, London), Blessing Mberu (APHRC, Nairobi), Ibidun Adelekan (UI, Ibadan) and Alpha Lakoh (NU, Freetown) – and tickled by thought-provoking questions such as Where do we want slurc to be in 10 years time?
The meeting has addressed crucial aspects including the consolidation of the intellectual leadership, the pathway to research excellence, and concrete strategies for resource mobilisation. The effort into building the capacity of staff, students, other organisations and community members to work towards more equitable development in Freetown has been a strenuous one in the first year of life of the centre.