Blog

The AIR Network’s interdisciplinary working agreement

The main aim for our project is to develop an interdisciplinary research partnership of African and European researchers and African community members, with the long-term goal of creating innovative, participatory solutions to air pollution and its effects on human health in low-resource settings in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, we know working together with people from different disciplinary backgrounds and with different life experiences can be challenging. At our workshop in Mukuru informal settlement in Nairobi  in January 2018, we decided to address this head on. Researchers and community members worked together in groups to discuss the challenges they had experienced in working in an interdisciplinary way…and there were lots!

Interdisc_challenges

Bearing in mind these challenges, we then asked participants to think about how we want to work together differently in the AIR Network. Participants brainstormed the personal attributes of a ‘good interdisciplinary team member’, which we compiled and agreed on as a group. These form the basis of the AIR Network’s interdisciplinary working agreement, and includes having patience, respecting others, listening, being generous, and having a sense of humour.

Working agreement

When the going gets tough in our project, we will use the agreement to remind ourselves of how we all agreed to work together. We’ll let you know how well it works!

Working in groups

Post by Heather Price, Stirling University

 

Mini-projects

We have all been busy deciding what to do for our ‘mini-projects’ – the main work of the AIR network in this first phase. Proposals have been developed, budgets worked out, and then they were submitted to our advisory board for comment. The four mini-projects we are going to work on this year are….

Raising Awareness – aiming to raise awareness of air pollution amongst Mukuru residents

Mukuru Action Against Air Pollution – aiming to identify potential solutions to air pollution in Mukuru

Engaging with industry for Hewa safi, Afya bora (Clean air, Good health) – opening up dialogue between surrounding industry and Mukuru residents

Prioritising policies for cleaner air in Mukuru – engaging decision makers to prioritise and implement actions relating to air quality

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Pitching ideas for mini-projects at the January workshop

 

Community workshop in Mukuru – Jan 15-18 2018

A workshop with researchers, practitioners and community members from Mukuru will take place in the Ruben Community Centre in Nairobi, from January 15 to 18 2018

The workshop aims are to

  • learn more about each other and local context
  • develop a common language among all project partners
  • develop work plan and co-design four mini-projects related to air pollution awareness raising

First blog post

We had our (electronic) inception meeting on October 17th with attendance of 19 project partners. All project partners introduced themselves, learned about the recent air pollution challenges and socio-economic context in Nairobi, discussed the general aims of and suggested approaches for the work proposed for the AIR Network until March 2019 and started planning the workshop to be held in Nairobi on January 15-19 2018. The main aim of this workshop will be to define the scope of four mini-projects that will explore the relationships between art, culture and environmental health and gain insight from the tangible and intangible cultural heritage and beliefs and practices already in place. In exploring these relationships, the team hopes to develop relevant and meaningful background and baseline data which can then be used in the creation and implementation of sustainable solutions to air pollution abatement and avoidance. We will reflect on the efficacy of these activities through reflection diaries and will feed these ideas forward into future grant applications.