Project catalogue



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14 Social Capital, Local Government and Poverty Reduction
Project no:

152298/V10

Grant Period:



1.10.2002-30.9.2005

Responsible University/Institution, Norway:



NIBR, Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research

Principle Investigator, Norway:



Tesli, Arne Senior Researcher

Financed by RCN:

2003: 259,200 2004: 125,400

Responsible University/Institution, South Africa:



University of Natal, School of Development Studies

Principle Investigator, South Africa:



May, Julian D, Professor

Financed by NRF:

2002: 166,000 2003: 260,000 2004: 230,000
Main Objectives:


  • to know more about how ‘developmental’ relationships between local government and poor communities are created and contribute to sustainable reduction of poverty, and ,in particular,

  • to know more about the modalities of social capital in the construction of such relationships.

The local social context is a vital, but poorly understood, requirement for sustainable poverty reduction. Because key markets tend to exclude people (especially the less well-off) local social relationships and structures take on a fundamental economic significance as they potentially permit people to mutually insure, capitalize and take care of one another where markets fall. In addition, when governance capacity is weak, social networks may function as important service providers and facilitate the implementation of poverty reduction policies. At the same time, social relations and networks can themselves be exclusionary, leaving out individuals who Iack requisite social assets as surely as financial markets can bypass low wealth individuals who Iack the requisite economic assets.

The correlation of class and ethnicity and of economic and social assets that characterizes South Africa raises the specter that social exclusion may compound market failure, creating durable inequality and poverty that are not easily mended.

Methodology:

To answer the questions, the multi-discipline, cross-national research cooperation proposed here will undertake a systematic program of research designed to deepen our understanding of local social and political forces that shape the income distribution and poverty reduction consequences of national economic and political change.

The main theme of the proposed collaborative project is the political economy of social capital - the relationships that determine the creation, access and effectiveness of social capital as a poverty reducing force.
Significance of proposed Research:

In South Africa there is accumulating evidence that local communities, norms and social relationships (or what can be loosely construed as social capital) systematically shape the ability of families to improve their economic situation over time, much like having large endowments of conventional wealth. These findings are necessary, but not sufficient to conclude that social capital can redress the legacy of inequality in the presence of imperfect markets and the retrenched state. We want to address the key policy-relevant challenge to researchers, namely:



  • to know more about how 'developmental' relationships between local government and poor communities are created and contribute to sustainable reduction of poverty, and ,in particular,

  • to know more about the modalities of social capital in the construction of such relationships.


Mode of cooperation:

The research program detailed above draws on critiques from a number of disciplines. To carry out this merger of disciplines and regions into a shared research program, the proposed research group will rely on multi-level, peer research partnerships that will link both junior and senior researchers. Researchers from each region and discipline will be integrally involved in the design and implementation of qualitative and quantitative research.

The study will consist of an analysis of existing qualitative and quantitative data with some additional fieldwork undertaken. The principle source of data for the quantitative analysis will be the KwaZulu-Natal lncome Dynamics Survey. An annual work planwill be agreed to every year. Four workshops will be held and the exchange of staff and students is planned. Fieldwork is planned in South Africa that will be undertaken by researchers from both countries. Two South Africans will receive mentoring from s senior researchers in both countries. Joint publications are planned, including the preparation of two PhD. proposals. (515 words)

15 Ecology of Gobies in the Benguela Ecosystem
Project no:

152309/V10

Grant Period:



1.1.2003-31.12.2005

Responsible University/Institution, Norway:



University of Bergen, Department of Biology

Principle Investigator, Norway:



Salvanes, Anne Gro Vea Professor

Financed by RCN

2003: 260,000 2004: 158,000 2005: 76,500

Responsible University/Institution, South Africa:



University of the Western Cape, Department of Zoology Faculty of Natural Sciences

Principle Investigator, South Africa:



Gibbons, Mark J, Professor

Financed by NRF:

2003: 246,000 2004: 100,000 2005: 120,000
Main Objectives:

Investigate the feeding ecology, and the reproductive and population biology of S. bibarbatus, and its role of the Benguela ecosystem


Methodology:

Feeding studies will be of both a laboratory and field nature, and will be focused on 1) the vertical distribution of predator and prey, and 2) how this varies throughout the day, as well as on 3) how diet and distribution is related to sex and size. Material will be collected through participation on cruises of opportunity, and through short dedicated cruises. Laboratory experiments will be conducted to explore feeding preferences and to determine gut evacuation rates.

Material for studies on the reproductive and population biology of S. bibarbatus will be collected at the same time as the data needed for the tropic work. It is intended to use acoustic measurements and trawling from identified echo-layers throughout day and night along with plankton and CTD--stations. Issues in focus will be vertical and horizontal distribution patterns, genetic heterogeneity, demography, size composition of the population, growth rate, sex ratio, mortality and maturation age by sex. We will try to keep individuals in aquaria to evaluate if experiments can be used to validate field estimates of growth.
Significance of proposed Research:

The pelagic goby Sufflogobius bibarbatus is one of the most numerous pelagic fishes in the central region of the Benguela upwelling ecosystem. Although currently unexploited, it has the potential to become the subject of a targeted fishery. Preliminary ECOPATH models indicate that the pelagic goby plays an important role in the transfer of pelagic production to demersal and mesopelagic fisheries, and that any targeted fishery could have far reaching implications for the structure of the ecosystem. This and other models of the ecosystem are built on speculative and preliminary data, because our understanding of the biology and ecology of this species is negligible. We aim to correct this ignorance by implementing a collaborative research project that focuses on the feeding ecology and reproductive and population biology of S. bibarbatus.


Mode of cooperation:

The research will be a collaborative venture between the University of Bergen (Norway), the University of the Western Cape (RSA) and the University of Cape Town (RSA). It will link in with the regional fishery institutes of South Africa (Marine and Coastal Management) and Namibia (National Marine Information and Research Centre), and will compliment the work currently being undertaken in the region by other funded research initiatives (Nansen Programme, BENEFIT Programme and the BEP). In addition, the project will provide an opportunity for the training of Norwegian and southern African scientists in marine ecology, through focused research on the biology and ecology of S. bibarbatus and of its role in the Benguela ecosystem, and will strengthen our understanding of regional pelagic processes, and provide input to models of fishery's management for the Namibian Benguela.


16 The Dynamics of Land Reform and Poverty in Namaqualand
Project no:

152313/V10

Grant Period:



1.1.2003-31.12.2005

Responsible University/Institution, Norway:



Norwegian University of Life Sciences, NORAGRIC – Department of International & Development Studies

Principle Investigator, Norway:



Sjaastad, Espen Researcher

Financed by RCN

2003: 190,000 2004: 190,000 2005: 216,000

Responsible University/Institution, South Africa:



University of the Western Cape, School of Government

Principle Investigator, South Africa:



Lahiff, Edward, Dr

Financed by NRF:

2003: 124,000 2004: 160,000 2005: 160,000
Main Objectives:


  • Identify how the South African reform process has affected distribution of power in Namaqualand, through the forging of new alliances, the disintegration of old ones, or through a redistribution of influence among already existing stakeholders.

  • Determine how underlying factors related to authority and interests, conflicting or complementary, influence the composition and effectiveness of the new Commonage Committees.

  • Examine how processes within the Commonage Committees affect choices related to tenure and management of the old and new communal areas.

  • Determine how tenure and management regimes influence wealth creation and equality among users of the commonage.



Methodology:

The methodology will involve a literature survey, structured interviews with farmers and livestock owners in two communal areas for three years running, and key informants.


Significance of proposed Research:

The study will shed light on how power, livelihoods, and environment are affected as the objective of increased self-governance inherent in South Africa's land reform process is pursued on the ground.


Mode of cooperation:

Co-operation will be an essential ingredient both in terms of fieldwork and in terms of analysis and writing.



17 Language of instruction in South Africa
Project no:

152315/V10

Grant Period:



1.1.2003-31.12.2005

Responsible University/Institution, Norway:



University of Oslo, Institute for Educational Research

Principle Investigator, Norway:



Brock-Utne, Birgit Professor

Financed by RCN:

2003: 115,200 2004: 80,000 2005: 80,000

Responsible University/Institution, South Africa:



University of the Western Cape, Faculty of Education

Principle Investigator, South Africa:



Desai, Zubeida K, Professor

Financed by NRF:

2003: 245,000 2004: 277,000 2005: 163,000
Main Objectives:

There are two principal objectives:



  • To describe and analyze the language in education policy in South Africa, as well as its implementation or lack thereof. (Please note that this part will be covered by other funding.)

  • To empirically test the effect of extending the use of learners’ mother tongue, in this case isiXhasa, as a medium of instruction throughout the intermediate phase of schooling, that is from Grades 4-6. Currently learners switch to English as medium from Grade 4.


Methodology:

The study will be a longitudinal study spreading over three years - Grades 4-6 and will involve two primary schools, one in an urban area and the other in a semi-rural area. In each school we will select approximately 100 pupils (from two classes) entering Grade 4 and assign them to one of two streams - experimental group and control group. The experimental group will be taught Science and Geography/Environmental Studies in isiXhasa while the central group will be taught these subjects in English. The same pupils will be part of the project from Grades 4-6. The project will keep a record of all learners and monitor their progress in the two languages and Science and Geography. In addition, qualitative data will be collected through classroom observations and interviews with teachers, pupils and parents. This experiment depends on the production of quality teaching materials in isiXhasa in the chosen subjects, as well as on the training of teachers.


Significance of proposed research:

The question of which language should be used far instruction in schools in a multilingual country is as pressing today as it was in 1953 when UNESCO produced its seminal report; The use of vernacular languages in education.

It has eluded clear solutions throughout the postcolonial world. The proposed research also articulates well with recent developments in the Western Cape where the local Minister of Education, Advocate Gaum, is in the process of setting up a task team to investigate the possibility of extending the mother tongue as a medium of instruction throughout primary school. It is hoped that the empirical data provided by the project can assist the Western Cape Province (and other provinces) in its quest far an effective language in education policy.
Mode of cooperation:

The project will utilize existing strengths in the two co-operating institutions. The materials will have to be produced/translated by isiXhosa-speaking teachers. South African researchers will do the training of teachers, with assistance from Norwegian researchers. We hope to have advanced Norwegian and South African students involved in the classroom observations.



18 Organochlorine pesticides in Paleractic migratory birds in South Africa
Project no:

152317/V10

Grant Period:



1.6.2002-31.12.2005

Responsible University/Institution, Norway:



Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Institute for Food Satety and Infection Biology

Principle Investigator, Norway:



Skåre, Janneche Utne Department Director

Financed by RCN:

2002: 28,000 2003: 117,000 2004: 78,000

Responsible University/Institution, South Africa:



Northwest University, Environmental Sciences and Planning

Principle Investigator, South Africa:



Bouwman, Hindrik, Professor

Financed by NRF:

2002: 107,000 2003: 110,000 2004: 76,000
Main Objectives:

The primary aim of this study will be to determine the current levels of DDT and its derivatives, as well as other POPs of significance (e.g. dieldrin, BHC, aldrin, PCBs, toxaphenes and brominated flameretardants) present in comparable migratory and non-migratory wading birds in South Africa. Many of these wading birds are of Scandinavian origin. These levels will be compared with known trends world wide, as well as comparing with known levels of concern (such as for reproduction and endocrine disruption where applicable), using available techniques such as hazard assessment.

The second aim of the project will be an evaluation of the risks faced by migratory birds by comparing the pollutant profiles of migratory and non-migratory birds and to prepare joint studies of effect of POPs in these particular spices.
Methodology:

The determination of the pollutant levels will be done by collecting blood from the birds using established techniques, and analyzing with gas chromatography. The birds will be ringed and released. Birds will be caught and sampled using established methods, at the beginning and end of the summer season in South Africa.


Significance of proposed Research:

PCBs, DDE and other organochlorine pollutants are chemicals common to both countries, both of which have signed, but not yet ratified, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. The birds spend most of their time at either end of the migratory route, where they are exposed to different conservation efforts, as well as different pollutant (POP) profiles. The risk profile of these birds could therefore be different at either end. In addition, during the long flights between the two destinations, pollutants will most likely be picked up in countries that have less effective pollution control measures, and are likely to be still using POPs. This can add to the risk that these birds experience.

The project will therefore link up shared environmental and conservation concerns from both countries. It will also establish a network for future collaboration and research on similar topics and concern. Chemicals management and research is becoming one of the major international focus areas, within which the results of studies like these will assist in policy and decision making.

Mode of cooperation:

One envisages that one South African M.Sc. student will collaborate on this project. The student will participate with sample collection and analyses of the POPs. The student will primarily be responsible for the data collected, for the statistical preparation and for biological and migratory risk determination. The student will also visit the Norwegian Laboratory in order to learn chemical analyses of POEs, toxaphenes and brominated flameretardants.



19 Applied Geodynamics: Understanding earth processes using combined physics, chemistry & geology in South Africa and Norway
Project no:

152325/V10

Grant Period:



1.7.2002-31.12.2004

Responsible University/Institution, Norway:



Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics

Principle Investigator, Norway:



Torsvik, Trond Helge Professor

Financed by RCN:

2002: 125,600 2003: 153,000 2004: 94,666

Responsible University/Institution, South Africa:



University of the Witwatersrand, School of Geosciences

Principle Investigator, South Africa:



Bouwman, Hindrik, Professor

Financed by NRF:

2002: 269,000 2003: 242,000 2004: 213,000
Main objectives:

We propose a cross-disciplinary, multi-institutional, international geo-scientific research project specifically designed to foster collaboration between the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa), the Geologieal Survey of Norway and the University of Oslo (Norway). An important component is the training of South Afriean post-graduate students and young scientists.

Two sub-projects are proposed, both of which involve application of multidisciplinary research methods to the understanding of tectonomagmatic processes in Norway and South Africa; the results will have-direct applications to the natural resource potential for both countries (petroleum in Norway and precious metals in South Africa).

The first sub-project (Understanding the teetonie, magmatic and palaeogeographic evolution of the NW Norwegian margin [Finnmark]) involves field and laboratory studies of the Seiland Ignenus Province, a poorly characterized region in the north Norwegian Caledonides. The project involves unravelling of the complex magmatic, structural and metamorphic evolution, using precise geochronology, petrology/geoehemistry and palaeomagnetic methods.

The second sub-project (Characterization of dyke emplacement processes in the Bushveld Complex, South Africa, with practical application to the Platinum mining industiy) involves detailed analysis of multiple dyke swarms that cerosscut platiniferous horizons of the Bushveld Complex, using similar approaches as above, in addition to mathematical modelling of high-resolution aeromagnetic data. The results will be vital as a predietive tool to the active and planned mining operations in the eastern Bushveld Complex, as well as an important contribution to the understanding of southern African geodynamics. An immediate benefit for South African scientists and students will be the upgrading of the palaeomagnetic expertise and facilities, including databases and software.
Methodology:

Combined fieldwork, sampling, petrology, geochemistry (ineluding isotopes), precise geochronology (U-Pb, Ar-Ar, Sm-Nd, Rb-Sr), palaeomagnetic studies, applied geophysical techniques (ground and airborne magnetic, gravity methods), analysis of remote sensing imagery (satellite, airborne magnetic and gravity images), use of advanced signal processing techniques.


Significance of proposed research:

  • Seiland-contributions to the detailed understanding of a poorly characterized tectonomagmatic province in northern Norway.

  • Implications for Caledonide and pre-Caledonide tectonic assembly and evolution of Fennoscandia.

  • Relevant to petroleum industry as results will allow evaluation of potential hydrocarbon reservoirs offshore in a frontier exploration area.

  • Bushveld dykes-use of combined data sets to characterize and fingerprint multiple emplacement episodes of poorly studied dyke swarms.

  • Direct relevance to platinum mining industry in exploration efforts, effective siting of new mines and practical application for mine operations planning and practical application.


Mode of cooperation: Participants from South Africa and Norway will form research teams that will interact in all aspects of fieldwork, data collection, interpretation and timely publication of results. Leadership is to be provided by professor Ashwal (South Africa) and professor Torsvik (Norway). A key component of the research plan involves travel of participants, including students, between South Africa and Norway, both for fieldwork and acquisition of analytical data. Analysis and interpretation of the results will take place collaboratively, using electronic media and where necessary, physical get-togethers. Publication of the results as a series of joint articles co-authored by all participants involved, will take place in a timely fashion. This project will strengthen the highly successful and fruitful research association already established between the professors Ashwal and Torsvik. One expects this Norway-South Africa collaboration to continue and grow far beyond the 3-year period of support requested.

20 Convergence and divergence in the media and communication landscape: a comparative study between South Africa and the Nordic region.
Project no:

157966/V10

Grant Period:



1.1.2004-31.12.2005

Responsible University/Institution, Norway:



University of Oslo, Department of Media and Communication

Principle Investigator, Norway:



Rønning, Helge Professor

Financed by RCN:

2004: 208,374 2005: 152,061

Responsible University/Institution South Africa:




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