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Rules of Engagement

  • Transparency and total honesty in all approaches (including financial matters and partnerships).
  • Focus on funding applications and building consortia.
  • All stages of academic career developed.
  • Gender sensitive/main streaming to be prioritised.
  • Exposure to appropriate (game changing) skills
  • Guided by CoE integrated model
  • Covers collectively scope of integrated model (resilient Land & Water, Cities, Water Energy Food Nexus)
  • Guide to co-authorship of publications:
    • To be an author, you must contribute to at least 3 of the following 5 contributions: Funding, Idea, Data, Analysis, Writing.
  • Impact to be focused on:
    • ARUA promotion
    • Academic
      • Proposals (PhD bursaries, papers, co-supervisions)
      • Development (courses)
    • Country (indicate community benefit), stakeholder capacity building.

Gender Equality

Gender equality statement: Unlocking resilient benefits from African water resources    

The project has five senior female team members including the lead PI and AURA Water CoE Director Prof Tally Palmer, CoE co-director and CoI Dr Jane Tanner, and UK Co-I’s Prof Frances Cleaver and Dr Vanessa Speight. Prof Beth Kaplan is part of the U Rwanda team. Lead PI Palmer is practiced in facilitating inclusive workshop-based processes that enable and encourage women to participate actively, and be heard. Power is a key factor in the equitable participation by women, and UK Co-I Cleaver (Whaley and Cleaver 2018) has written strongly about “process power and meaning” in adaptive governance contexts.

The entire project runs in local communities in 6 countries, and is entirely stakeholder based. This means the project is embedded in encounters with local people and is focused on research interventions having local impact. Stakeholders also include those in government institutions, NGOs, and Civil Society Organisations. One of the core project innovations is the implementation of Transformative social learning (TSL). TSL takes the expansive learning theory and practice developed by Engtrom (2001) and applies it in developmental contexts so that academic knowledge, local contextual knowledge and “learning by doing” combine in a process of supported co-learning. This inclusive process will particularly benefit women project participants, researchers and stakeholders. 

Each of the country-based Universities has research staff and the project will attract post-graduate students. While the research team is male dominated, all partners are committed to promoting gender balance and incorporating the challenges of undertaking research which is sensitive to gender. Each node has listed female researchers. In engaging with this wide group of people we will pay focused attention on including and developing women and their role in water-related policy development, management, and decision-making in Africa. This will be explicitly built into the capacity building/training element of the programme with each case study team taking responsibility for this. The female team members mentioned above will form a strong mentoring component of the project particularly focused on young female academics.

There are a number of key female academics, with core, relevant expertise, located at the case study Universities (and at associated non-ARUA Universities). These include those who are practiced at working in community-engaged research, as well as those with vital technical skills. Many of these woman have worked with the CoE in previous projects and partnerships and therefore relationships are well established. These female academics will be purposely included, supported and mentored, specifically in terms of academic publication and supervision. A female mentoring system will be formally established and led by the female members of the research team, incorporating African female academics at all career stages, and female students. This approach is supported by the male academics in the teams, all of whom have indicated strong recognition of the importance of a gender sensitive approach.

References: References:  Cleaver, F., and L. Whaley. 2018. Understanding process, power, and meaning in adaptive governance: a critical institutional reading. Ecology and Society 23(2):49. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-10212-230249  Engeström, Y., 2001. Expansive Learning at Work: Toward an activity theoretical reconceptualization. J. Educ. Work 14, 133–156.  Ralekhetla M (2018) investigating epistemic justice in an adaptive planning process: towards developing a local catchment management strategy. MSc Rhodes University Library.



The project will operate within a strong safeguarding policy. Rhodes U, the project host, has detailed policy and articulated procedures (https://www.ru.ac.za/harassment/). Therefore, all nodes have agreed that Rhodes U policy and procedures will be applied in each node context. The Rhodes U “commitment to eradicating all forms of harassment and unfair discrimination is rooted in Section 9 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, which prohibits unfair discrimination directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and place of birth. Unfair discriminatory or abusive behaviour stemming from any prohibited ground will be dealt with in an appropriate manner.”  Rhodes U policies provide detailed specific responses and protocols for reporting and acting on any abuse. In particular, Rhodes U has: (1) Policy on Eradicating Unfair Discrimination and Harassment, Other Than Sexual Offences.  The objectives of this policy codify the Rhodes U commitment to eliminating harassment and unfair discrimination; and (2) Sexual Offences Policy for Students:  This differentiates between internal and external processes.

Although Rhodes U safe guarding policies will be adhered to, each node has submitted a safeguarding statement to the CoE Hub, and each participating university has appropriate policies.

Addis Ababa U: “The University shall cater to issues pertaining to the creation of a University community sensitive to gender equality within and outside the University” (https://bit.ly/2NRe7HW and https://bit.ly/2OdWK3k).

Makerere U: “The University recognizes that a conducive environment for academia and related employment includes due regard for the rights and feelings of all persons free from sexual harassment” U Rwanda: “The university aims at making a significant, sustainable and socially responsible contribution to Rwanda and beyond, promoting economic growth and impacting on the wellbeing of people while engaging with Sustainable Development Goals and ensuring gender equality and equity in all spheres of life” (https://bit.ly/354MT6A).

U Cheikh Anta Diop:  takes its guidance from the Senegal constitution, with no specific policy (https://bit.ly/2KmuKt9).

U Cape Town: “The University is committed to providing an institutional environment where all may pursue their studies, careers, duties and activities free from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment constitutes serious misconduct, and will result in disciplinary action” (https://bit.ly/2XgtxZE).

U Lagos: “The University of Lagos is an academic and educational institution committed to providing a non-sexist, non-discriminatory, non-exploitative working, living and study environment to all members of its community and visitors to its community” (https://bit.ly/2QovXE8).

U Dar es Salaam: “The University of Dar Es Salaam’s vision is to become a reputable world-class university that is responsive to national, regional and global development needs through engagement in dynamic knowledge creation and application through equity and social justice by ensuring equal opportunity and non-discrimination on the basis of personal, ethnic, religious, gender or other social characteristics” (https://bit.ly/2Qr0BMT).

All project partners are meeting in February 2020 in Addis Ababa as part of the GCRF capability grant. The Rhodes U safe guarding policy will be used to collectively formulate general working principles which all partners will agree to and sign. Defined paths of action should the need arise will also be formulated during this workshop. A safeguarding committee from the project management team (among the Co-Investigators and senior node investigators) will be appointed for safeguarding oversight. The working principles that will be discussed and expanded upon include:

A committed and active working towards a culture of tolerance and respect,

  1. Condemning of harassment of any form and zero tolerance,
  2. Recognise that harassment is present in this environment but pledge to raise standards and work towards higher values,
  3. Establish specific expectations of each partner department in terms of their own and Rhodes U policies,
  4. Establish specific clauses to include in research contracts with the reserved right to terminate funding contracts if breaches in safe guarding practice occur,

There is already established knowledge and experience in terms of safeguarding among the various project partners from previous research, and this will be used to foster a culture, within the project teams, to driving up safe guarding standards. In addition, each Case Study will operate with ethical clearance from the home university.

Last Modified: Fri, 20 Mar 2020 15:20:24 SAST