QES Advanced Scholars – West Africa

Thanks to the generous financial support from the International Development Research Centre, $3.5 million CAD has been allocated to expand the QES Advanced Scholars program, which will support doctoral researchers, post-doctoral fellows and early career researchers from eligible West African countries and Canada, supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Projects will focus on or clearly integrate SDG 5 (gender equality) as a crosscutting or mainstream goal in one or more of the following areas: climate resilience and sustainable food systems; education and innovation systems; ethics in development research; health equity; inclusive governance; and sustainable inclusive growth.

The program requires all scholars to participate in leadership development and community engagement activities and in the network of Queen Elizabeth Scholars.

Note: The projects below are posted in the working language of each initiative.

QES-AS West Africa university projects

Carleton University

Project title: Wurin ta na yin rubutu (A room of her own to write)

Summary : Carleton University’s Institute of African Studies (IAS) is collaborating with various partners for this project. Philosophically envisioned in the African title for it, Wurin ta na yin rubutu (Hausa language, widely spoken in West Africa), meaning “her own room to write,” the project is wholly women-centred because women are disadvantaged in completing the requirements for the PhD and early career advancement due to institutional prejudice and cultural barriers to finding the time and space to work.

Number of anticipated researchers: 17

Concordia University

Project title: Gender equality and the decolonization of knowledge: transnational collaboration between West Africa and Canada

Summary: The project will promote an exchange of ideas on gender equality between Canadian scholars and civil society institutions and their West-African counterparts, not only to establish and strengthen Canadian-West African collaboration, but also to promote collaboration within West Africa to promote South-South conversations. This partnership will encourage critical examinations of global gender discourses and practices and the advancement of a gendered praxis that takes local politics and agency seriously.

Number of anticipated researchers: 16

McGill University

Project title: Netlinks: An Anglophone-Francophone network linking scholars and non-academic change agents to enhance health equity and sustainable inclusive growth in rural West Africa

Summary: The Netlinks project initiates a network of Canadian and West African researchers and staff of non-academic institutions and businesses who work to enhance health equity and sustainable inclusive growth in rural communities. Netlinks expands the influence of the local partner institution and helps establish it as an institution of excellence in training and developing networks of interdisciplinary scholars and practitioners for sustainable development. By partnering with a university in Burkina Faso, Netlinks reaches out to a Francophone neighbour to expand collaborative research in West Africa.

Number of anticipated researchers: 25

Queen's University

Project title: Community-based Participatory Research in Health Equity and Inclusive Education Systems for Persons with Disabilities and their Families

Summary: Globally, people with disabilities face significant disadvantages in equitable access to health and education. The most effective, ethical, and sustainable way to arrive at equitable solutions is to engage people with disabilities and their families as partners in community-based, participatory research (CBPR) to set priorities, implement research projects, and disseminate knowledge.

Scholars will also receive training on how to take leadership to bring CBPR knowledge back to their own institutions, to develop knowledge transfer workshops to build the CBPR capacity of their peers.

Number of anticipated researchers: 22

Université de Montréal

Project title: Renforcement des ressources humaines et de la recherche en santé des femmes/adolescentes/filles (FAF) dans les pays associés à la CEDEAO et en République Démocratique du Congo

Summary : Dans l’espace de la santé et des luttes contre la violence faite aux Femmes, Adolescentes et Filles (FAF), ce projet a pour objectif de renforcer la collaboration, le leadership et le réseautage des ressources humaines (RH) francophones canadiennes et mondiales ainsi que de renforcer les compétences féminines au sein des institutions, soutenant leur notoriété promotrice d’égalité des genres. L’ensemble du projet intègre la philosophie innovante d’Hygeia, qui se veut systémique, holistique, convergente, adaptée à la diversité socioculturelle intra/interpays et centrée sur l’émancipation solidaire et pérenne.

Number of anticipated researchers: 20

Université de Sherbrooke

Project title: Formation de chercheur.e.s, acteurs de changement, à partir d’un projet d’éducation entrepreneuriale des femmes de l’Afrique de l’Ouest

Summary: Le projet est une activité de recherche-action et de formation de jeunes chercheur.e.s  sur une problématique d’éducation et d’autonomisation des femmes entrepreneurs. Les femmes sont souvent au cœur d’initiatives de commerces pour lesquelles l’opportunité d’un passage d’employée à dirigeante autonome est limitée. Par conséquent, l’accompagnement de femmes vers l’autonomisation et l’accès à des pouvoirs décisionnels passe par le développement de compétences entrepreneuriales.

Le projet vise à produire une grille d’analyse comparative et proposer des scénarios d’amélioration sur les manières d’accompagner les femmes par l’éducation entrepreneurial.

Number of anticipated researchers: 9

University of Alberta

Project title: On the Path of Social Responsibility and Global Leadership

Summary: The project will contribute to developing innovative and community-focused leaders in Canada and West Africa through blended delivery.  The cross-faculty and feminist-oriented team, will also provide meaningful scholarly inter-generational exchange and mentorship among senior, mid-career, and emerging academics, and doctoral researchers in the areas of the Arts, Nursing, Medicine and Dentistry, Public Health, Rehabilitation Medicine, Education and the Francophone Campus Saint-Jean.

Number of anticipated researchers: 32

University of Calgary

Project title: Partnering for Innovation in Women-led Social Work and Social Science in West Africa

Summary:  The project will support a new generation of highly skilled Social Work and Social Science scholars in Canada and West Africa.  The project emphasizes Education and Innovation Systems; Climate Resilience and Sustainable Food Systems; and Ethics in Development Research. The project will result in: 1) increased institutional capacity to generate social workers and social scientists who can be a transformational force for communities at home and abroad and 2) Solutions to social challenges in West Africa through research on how existing social systems and traditional knowledge affect climate resilience.

Number of anticipated researchers: 16

University of Ottawa

Project title: Open African Innovation Research: New and Emerging Researchers in West Africa

Summary: Open AIR is a unique network of researchers across Africa, Canada, exploring how the rules governing innovation systems can be more inclusive.

This project will further strengthen the network’s relationships in Africa by concentrating on West Africa, especially Francophone countries, deepening research into SDG5 and emerging issues in innovation systems, especially additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, and big data.

By conducting addressing gender and innovation, the project will strengthen partner institutions by (1) empowering their researchers, especially women; (2) co-designing a research methodology based on feminist, community and decolonial approaches; (3) facilitating academic-community linkages.

Number of anticipated researchers: 16

University of Saskatchewan

Project title: Water security to promote gender equity and climate-change resilience in West Africa

Summary: In subsistence agricultural communities in sub-Saharan Africa climate change hits women and girls hardest. Increasing levels of water insecurity affect domestic water management and impairs agricultural production – both subject to female responsibility. Water insecurity, hence, reinforces gender-related tensions within households and intensifies the pressure for women to migrate to urban centres, where they are often exposed to labour exploitation and violence.

The objective of the proposed research is to enhance the local and global research capacity related to water security and gender equity.

Number of anticipated researchers: 10

Western University

Project title: Achieving Research and Knowledge Translation Capacity for Climate Change Resilience, Food Security and Sustainable Livelihoods in West Africa

Summary: The Africa Institute at Western University, project is to achieve research capacity in West Africa in five thematic areas: 1) climate change knowledge creation; 2) developing strategies for sustainable agriculture; 3) inclusive resource governance and community outreach strategies; 4) using public participatory geographic information systems (PPGIS) for sustainable resource management; 5) using Open Source Remote Sensing for environmental change monitoring.

Number of anticipated researchers: 22

Universities Canada