Co-learning for Action to Transform Freetown: MSc ESD fieldwork in Freetown begins
3 May 2019
We are delighted to start the second year of fieldwork in Freetown, Sierra Leone, as part of the SLURC/DPU learning alliance for transformative action.
Building upon last year’s work under the leadership of Adriana Allen and Rita Lambert, the practice module of the MSc Environment and Sustainable Development, the Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre (SLURC) and partners on the ground continue their work as a co-learning alliance.
This years’ research focuses on disrupting urban risk traps in the following seven settlements: Moyiba, Dworzark, Cockle Bay, Susan’s Bay, Colbot, Crab Town-Kolleh Town-Gray Bush, and Portee-Rokupa. The ESD students have intensely prepared themselves for this fieldwork over the past months and developed conceptual and methodological frameworks to gather and analyse data in their study areas. Each of the seven groups consists of ESD students and tutors, community mobilisers and facilitators from the settlements, as well as local interns, who are young professionals and advanced students from Freetown. In total, we are a team of 75 people from 35 countries.
The seven interns were selected by SLURC following an open call that attracted 24 applicants. During the fieldtrip, they share their local experiences and knowledge and become important team members, who support the grounding of approaches and the stimulation and facilitation of debates. The interns and facilitators are also integral to the educational work of the Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality (KNOW) project, which aims to support them in their capacity building and learning experience.
A warm welcome to our fieldwork team!
Vanessa Scott is working as an intern with the CKG group. She has an MSc in Development Studies and a work experience with the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) on issues of cash transfers with Open Data Kit (ODK) as well as with the Community Integrated Development Organisation in their work during the Ebola emergency. Her motivation to join the learning alliance is to gain knowledge from interactions with the students, learn about training and student exchange programmes, and enhance her facilitation skills. She is keen to implement some of the methodologies acquired during the fieldwork into her professional life to make a difference to the urban livelihoods and resilience of people living in Freetown.
Rita Jimmy-kay is part of the Cockle Bay group for the second year as well. She is a graduate of Fourah Bay College University of Sierra Leone with Honours in Bachelor of Science in Physics 2017.
She writes short stories and believes in the power of words to induce individual and collective change. She has work experience as data entry clerk, enumerator in the Population Housing Census 2015, ballot box controller in the National Electoral Commission 2012, and as office assistant at the Forum for African Women Educationalist (FAWE) printing press. She also has experience working in issues of child protection, gender-based violence, disability/elderly and nutrition.
Hawanatu Yanka is joining the research in the Colbot settlement. She has a BSc in Sociology and History and previous work experience as Community Led Total Sanitation Survey Enumerator, where she was tasked with administering questionnaires on housing, water, sanitation and hygiene in informal settlements. She has also been a recent trainee in a course on Data Collection for Informal Settlement Profiling, which was conducted by SLURC, and took part in the Participatory Spatial Research Methods Workshop facilitated by ASF-UK and the Urban KNOW project.
Henry David Bayoh is working as an intern with the Dworzark group for the second time. He has an MA in Sustainable Development (Environmental Sustainability) from the University of Makeni, holds an Executive MBA, BSc. (Hons.) Environmental Sciences (Environment and Development), Advanced Professional Certificate in Conservation and NRM; Certificate in Project Management, M&E and a Certificate in Climate Change. He is a scientific member of Conservation Society of Sierra Leone (CSSL), member of YOUNGO, and Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) Africa. Henry has over ten years professional work experience in environment and development, with a passion for the environment. He is the Planning and Development Officer at the National Tourist Board (NTB) and serves as National Coordinator/Focal Point for Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).
After working as a community facilitator in Cockle Bay last year, Musa Wullarie is now joining the Moyiba group as an intern. He is a community youth leader in Mafengbeh, the largest community in the Cockle Bay informal settlement. He has worked with SLURC over the past few years as a community liaison on a range of research projects and has vast experience facilitating workshops with SLURC, ASF-UK and also the DPU. Currently, he is conducting data collection in Cockle Bay and Dworzark as part of the UrbanKNOW project.
His motivation to join the learning alliance are to help build his knowledge of development processes in Freetown's informal settlements. He is keen to ensure that the outcomes of the action research project are used to benefit the community beyond the length of the research project itself.
Amadu Labor is working with the group researching Portee-Rokupa. He is an advanced student in Development Studies. He has been working with informal communities on Malaria protection in the role as Malaria Faith Champion, where his role has been to sensitise communities for the protection and control of Malaria. He also has work experience in community-led data collection and informal settlement surveys. Amadu is looking forward to share his ideas of community development and to learn with and from the students.
Fatima Kabba is doing her intership with the Susan’s Bay group. She is a volunteer at the Center of Dialogue on Human Settlement and Poverty Alleviation (CODOHSAPA). Her background is in social work and she has been working with informal settlements since February 2018, gathering valuable skills in community work. She is motivated to expand her skills and professional expertise in community-based action research through this co-learning alliance.