Participatory Futures

Participatory Futures is a GCRF “Challenge Cluster” project. The GCRF Challenge Cluster Grant programme asked us to identify new challenges through clustering current and previously funded GCRF research whilst also leveraging external expertise to accelerate impact, share knowledge, and build capability and capacity beyond GCRF.

Project Team

Co-Is 

Jude Robinson, Institute of Health & Wellbeing, University of Glasgow

Jo Sharp, School of Geography, St Andrew’s University

Zoe Strachan, School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow

Neil Burnside, School of Engineering, Strathclyde University

Deepa Pullanikkatil, Sustainable Futures in Africa; Abundance, Eswatini

Partners

Helen Todd, ArtGlo, Malawi
Reagan Kandole, EcoAction, Uganda
Eric Fevre, Institute of Infection and Global Health, UK/Ethiopia
Blandina Mmbaga, Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute, Tanzania
Joshua Onono, Public Health, University of Nairobi
Priscilla Achakpa, Women Environmental Programme, Nigeria
Elias Lewi, Institute of Geophysics, Space, Science & Astronomy, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
Kevin Aanyu, Department of Geology and Petroleum Studies, Makerere University, Uganda
Alasdair Currie, Multiplied by, UK

Impact Ambassadors

Raihana Ferdous, School of Education, University of Glasgow

Joseph Watuleke, Makerere University, Uganda

Zoe Strachan, School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow

Jennika Virhia, School of Life Sciences, University of Glasgow

Parmilia Yeshitella, International Livestock Research Institute, Ethiopia

Advisory Group

Nicol Keith, Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow

Dan Haydon, Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow

Brian Barrett, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow

Project Scope

Participatory Futures is a GCRF “Challenge Cluster” project. The GCRF Challenge Cluster Grant programme asked us to identify new challenges through clustering current and previously funded GCRF research whilst also leveraging external expertise to accelerate impact, share knowledge, and build capability and capacity beyond GCRF.

Our project, Participatory Futures, directly addresses the challenge of Equitable Access to Sustainable Development as identified by the UKRI GCRF strategy, and the Sustainable Development Goal 17 (Partnerships for the Goals) as an essential component of this issue. This goal is gravely underrepresented in development-related research and yet critically underpins and determines the impact and sustainability of outcomes. This project seeks to re-examine 5 GCRF projects to evaluate the way partnerships have been conceptualised and practiced across diverse research contexts. The Cluster programme provides a unique opportunity to stand back from an individual project to look at practices and processes that are common to a body of work and will allow us to innovate from them.

Despite the increasing affluence and capacity of the Global North, people in the south still suffer disproportionately from disease, poverty, war, famine and climate change. We have come together in recognition that partnerships and participation represent a fundamental but complex component of all GCRF work. We contend that without genuine and equitable partnerships at the foundations of our research, the potential impact, relevance, and sustainability of the research will forever be limited or negated. Partnerships not only determine the very design and implementation of research, but the outcomes and impacts. As innovation is a requirement of GCRF and part of wider research and development working, creating and maintaining successful and equitable partnerships is advantageous, leading to new insights and perspectives, engagement with harder to reach countries and populations, leading to new possibilities for sustainable impact.

Output and Objectives

By moving partnerships to the foreground, Participatory Futures brings together strands of early successes and recognised failures in GCRF research to address the problem of equity in sustainable development. This project is fueled by critical insights and analysis of completed and ongoing projects, and ultimately driven by a focus on proposition and solution. This project includes:

1

Ethnography of 5 GCRF-Projects to analyse partnership practices in terms of equity, participation, and impact;

2

Synthesis of research findings and outputs from 5 GCRF-Projects;

3

Developing a framework and proof of concept around partnership practices;

4

Developing a transition pathway and tools of translation, education, impact, and influence to mainstream international research.