The UK research base in engineering for international development
In 2013, the UKCDS Secretariat and the Royal Academy of Engineering commissioned a mapping of the UK research base in engineering for international development (see this update).
The 2013 mapping – conducted by the Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) at Loughborough University – concluded that the UK engineering for development research base is very small, very fragmented, and of varying quality. However, the breadth of the engineering discipline and its many current and potential applications in international development - from providing clean water to designing sustainable cities - provide grounds to continue to explore this topic further.
DFID’s renewed interest in infrastructure and projected discussions on this topic at the May 2014 Research Advisory Group meeting warrant an updated understanding of the engineering for development research landscape, particularly with regard to developing country expertise and potential for partnership and capacity strengthening. As a result, the UKCDS Secretariat is undertaking an additional, complementary mapping.
By combining several approaches and supplementing the considerable body of data in the original mapping with greater appreciation for qualitative data through interviews and case studies, it is hoped that a holistic picture will emerge of engineering for development capacity both in the UK and developing countries.
For any further information, or to feed information into the UKCDS in-house mapping, please contact Ian Thornton.
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