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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T003227/1
Title: Global Engagement Network on Internal Displacement in Africa (GENIDA)
Principal Investigator: Adeola, Dr R
Other Investigators:
Cantor, Professor DJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Faculty of Law
Organisation: University of Pretoria
Scheme: UKRI
Starts: 15 July 2019 Ends: 14 July 2021 Value (£): 144,444
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
28 Mar 2019 GCRF GE Networks Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The Global Engagement Network on Internal Displacement in Africa (GENIDA) brings together academics, policy-makers and civil society to address two major development problems: (i) the paucity of research on internal displacement in sub-Saharan Africa; and (ii) the inadequate response to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in law, policy and practice in these countries.

Internal displacement is a major cross-cutting development challenge in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2017 alone, in sub-Saharan Africa, over 5 million people were internally displaced by conflict and another 2.5 million by disasters linked to natural hazards. Its impact is felt in the losses and livelihood and reintegration challenges experienced by IDPs, disruption of social fabric and distortion of local economies and politics. Yet, despite a humanitarian stop-gap response in some countries, longer-term innovative solutions to situations on the ground are needed.

The first initiative of its kind, the GENIDA project aims to: (i) promote high-quality interdisciplinary research on IDPs by building and supporting research capacity in sub-Saharan Africa; and (ii) facilitate evidence-based policy change and innovative solutions in DAC-list countries in this region.

The project adds real value to current research. Firstly, it will connect existing IDP researchers in universities and civil society groups to build a robust research community on this challenge. Secondly, it will promote research on IDPs among outstanding researchers in African universities not yet working in that field, supporting them within this community. Thirdly, by reaching out to a range of disciplines, it will promote interdisciplinary engagement on IDPs. Fourthly, through the work of this research community, it will develop innovative solutions to the IDP challenge in Africa.

It also feeds directly into policy/practice. Firstly, it will create a policy forum to bring in policy-makers from selected national governments and international agencies. Secondly, it will build capacity and work with these stakeholders to identify key internal displacement challenges in practice. Thirdly, through researcher/practitioner exchange, it will develop innovative and practice-oriented solutions to IDP challenges and action plans to address them. Fourthly, it will provide technical support to these policy-makers in adopting and implementing the action plans and on any IDP-related query where they seek expert input from GENIDA members.

The project is an international collaboration between Centre for Human Rights at University of Pretoria, South Africa, and Refugee Law Initiative at School of Advanced Study, University of London, UK. The expertise and networks of these two specialised research centres underpin the success of this open network, which will draw in researchers from universities, research institutions and civil society across Africa, as well as key development policy-makers from countries affected by serious dynamics of internal displacement.

It facilitates co-production of knowledge in this area through such activities as:

- 2019 Online training programme for network members

- 2020 Policymaker workshop on identifying key IDP challenges

- 2020 Researcher workshop on building interdisciplinary research

- 2020 Joint work on developing solutions to respond to key IDP challenges

- 2020 Joint workshop to develop action plans to implement solutions identified

- 2020 Policymaker activities for adoption of actions plans at national level

- 2020 Researcher activities to integrate IDPs on university/research agendas

- 2021 Final interdisciplinary conference and publications

- Ongoing expert technical advice to policymakers

Alongside the academic benefits, the project will generate user impact by improving law, policy and practice on IDPs in African States and promoting informed public debate, as well as giving international visibility to Africa/UK academic-practitioner research.
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