Project catalogue



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36 Indigenous fermented foods and beverages
Project no:

158181/V10

Grant Period:



1.1.2004-31.12.2005

Responsible University/Institution, Norway:



Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science

Principle Investigator, Norway:



Narvhus, Judith A, Associate professor

Financed by RCN

2004: 86,625 2005: 148,500

Responsible University/Institution, South Africa:



University Free State, Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology

Principle Investigator, South Africa:



Viljoen, Bennie C, Professor

Financed by NRF:

2004: 239,000 2005: 225,000
Main Objectives:

The main objectives of the South African and Norwegian collaborative group are to contribute to local entrepreneurship and food security by obtaining fundamental knowledge about the growth kinetics, biochemical activities and technological properties of the micro organisms native to fermented indigenous foods and beverages.


Methodology:

Special emphasis will be on the food borne yeasts associated with these products which might be applied as starter cultures focusing on previously characterized yeast species and others relevant in foods to determine the influence of a range of environmental variables upon their growth, their positive or negative interactions with other microorganisms, their contributions to food quality, safety and shelf-life, the beneficial role when applied as yeast-probiotics and their potential use as bio-control against pathogens and undesired contaminants.

Newly isolated indigenous yeasts and previously characterized strains will be grown in sterile simulated commodities under controlled conditions in mini fermentors to evaluate the influence of the environment, and in defined chemical media to obtain clear interpretation of the results. For each isolate, environmental conditions like pH, temperature, aeration, carbohydrate and salt concentration, etc. will be systematically changed and the influence on biochemical activity and the species adaptation to the circumstances monitored by growth studies. Growth will be monitored by the utilization of substrates (carbohydrates, fat, protein, amino acids), measurement of cell growth by dry weight and viable counts and production of metabolites.

Biochemical changes will be monitored at regular time intervals and the secretion of appropriate compounds (organic acids, alcohols, aldehydes, fatty acids, etc.) regarding flavor, taste, aroma, color, etc. depending on the product will be determined. From these quantitative measurements, the kinetics of growth, substrate utilization and metabolic production, as influenced by a range of environmental variables will be determined. Important shifts in the metabolic properties of yeasts as a consequence of phase of growth and environmental stress will be deduced from the data.

Selected microorganisms exhibiting one or more unique biochemical attributes as desired for specific applications (meat, dairy, cereal fermentations, etc), will be incorporated as starter cultures. Microorganisms posing antagonistic effects against undesired pathogens and contaminants, possible pro-biotic activities or bio-control activities etc. will be selected and applied as required after scale-up methodology. These novel ideas will be applied to related industries, small scale farmers, communities in the rural areas and entrepreneurs in the implementation of starter cultures and yeast-probiotics in fermented meat-, dairy-, fruit-, vegetable-, cereal products and alcoholic beverages to improve present safety standards associated with the production and processing of the foods.
Significance of proposed Research:

The significance of the study will rely on assuring safe and wholesome products with extended shelf life, and since the survey will focus on indigenous fermented products, poorer communities which lack cooling facilities will benefit by the application assuring food security.


Mode of cooperation:

The development of the project details will be evaluated through mutual visits in both countries on a regular basis. The investigation of samples during processing and/or spoilage, enumeration and isolation of yeasts, application/ screening of isolated yeasts for antagonism or stimulation will start in both countries immediately after collecting the relevant samples. Since both groups have the necessary expertise available, the collaboration will enhance the feasibility of the research since both groups will work towards the same goal.



37 Development of an Integrated Research Program on Vulnerability to Global Environmental Change in Southern Africa
Project no:

158182/V10

Grant Period:



1.1.2004-31.12.2005

Responsible University/Institution, Norway:



CICERO, Center for International Climate and Environmental Research

Principle Investigator, Norway:



O'Brien, Karen Linda Senior Researcher

Financed by RCN:

2004: 154,000

Responsible University/Institution, South Africa:



University of the Witwatersrand, School of Geography, Archeology and Environmental Science

Principle Investigator, South Africa:



Vogel, Coleen Dr

Financed by NRF:

2004: 186,000 2005: 210,000
Main objectives:

The main objective of this research will be to undertake a synthesis of work on vulnerability to global environmental change that is being done in southern Africa. The need for this has been driven partly by the food crisis in the region (approx 14 million at risk of famine) as well as by other factors such as HIV Aids, urbanization, globalization etc. Currently there are several such initiatives being undertaken in the region, but few that have been able to produce some practical cases of what it is that is driving differential vulnerability in the region.


Methodology:

There has been little integration and synthesis, to date, of case-specific assessments of vulnerability in the region. This pilot study will begin to draw some of this work together using place-based research cases that are spread across the region (including cases from Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and South Africa). Researchers, mostly young academics, will be brought together with key leaders in the field of vulnerability as well as with other practitioners using vulnerability, to examine how their work connects, disconnects with some of the 'theorising' on vulnerability. From this a suite of further questions and research, to better understand some of these issues, will be developed with various stakeholders including the wider global change science community, humanitarian groups, policy makers and civic society.


Significance:

The research being described will have a number of benefits. It will begin to synthesize a wide and disparate body of current work that is being done in the region. It will have the added advantage of being driven by the scientists in the region, several of them young scientists (the capacity building component is thus clear). The capacity building component will, however, work in two directions, one enhancing the students while the other capacity building element aims to enhance the views of more established scientists and policy makers in the field, many of them from outside the region. This work, moreover, will also be developed in line with other developments in the region in which one of the Pis is already is involved (namely Vogel and a NEPAD initiative - contact Dr. H.Rukhato) and thus builds on what is being planned for parts the region.


Mode of cooperation:

The proposed project will be carried out as a joint research project coordinated by researchers in South Africa and Norway. The project will contribute to development of the Southern Africa Vulnerability Initiative (SAVI) of the International Human Dimensions Program (IHDP). This initiative has received funding for 2003 from ICSU, the International Council for Science. The proposed research is will strengthen the development of this international research program, which Drs. O'Brien and Vogel are playing a key part in developing on behalf of IHDP. The research project represents a participatory project that is developed in conjunction with researchers in and from the region.

The project also has a practical component, in that practitioners, i.e., those working with vulnerability, daily, will be given opportunities to engage with scientists and policy makers. Such fertilization should benefit both groups as well as assist in informing intervention strategies and begin to feed into policy developments in the region. It will also contribute to international research program on vulnerability.

38 Economic strategies for managing water scarcity in South Africa - caring for basic needs, efficiency and equity.
Project no:

158187/V10

Grant Period:



1.1.2004-31.12.2005

Responsible University/Institution, Norway:



Norwegian College of Fishery Science, The Marine University

Principle Investigator, Norway:



Schulz, Carl-Erik Professor

Financed by RCN:

2004: 115,500 2005: 155,500

Responsible University/Institution, South Africa:



University of the Western Cape, School of Government

Principle Investigator, South Africa:



Tapscott, Christopher Dr

Financed by NRF:

2004: 98,000 2005: 131,000
The project aims to improve knowledge of the economic management of water resources in South Africa, with a focus on the residential distribution of water. Currently, water management strategy needs to take into consideration aspects relating to poverty alleviation, equity and efficiency. The research will examine current water policy, which includes the free supply of basic needs and an increasing block tariff system, in order to determine how this system might best be implemented. The research also aims to add to the understanding of how households react to market regulation, and how both efficiency and equity objectives are supported by the choice of regulatory measures.

Main Objectives:

The project has four main objectives:



  • to identify the factors that determines different household consumption patterns in the suburbs of Cape Town.

  • to demonstrate how basic needs for water can be incorporated into a formal economic consumption theory.

  • to find how water demand regulation and water awareness campaigns affect consumption and demand

  • to sum up the present knowledge on economic management of water in a book on this topic.


Methodology:

Different methodologies will be employed to achieve these objectives. For the first objective, the intention is to conduct a household demand study based on a questionnaire, and data collected in co-operation with the water authorities of the selected survey area. This initiative will build on research already undertaken by the researchers. The second objective will entail a number of theoretical studies on consumer behavior, to determine a best fit for the South African context.

The third objective will entail a synthesis of theoretical studies and empirical data collected from the field.

The book emanating from this project will, inter aim to analyze the findings of the survey research and, in doing so, will draw lessons from research from elsewhere in South Africa, from Norway, and from elsewhere in the international arena.




Significance of the Research:

The significance of this research is that it aims to make inputs towards improved efficiency in the delivery of South Africa's water policy. While the goals of the Water Bill are explicit and considerable work has gone into the implementation of the policy, it is the intention of the research team to add to the knowledge needed to evaluate the efficiency of the policy - both in terms of poverty alleviation and cost efficiency.


Mode of cooperation:

Apart from input to the development of a theoretical model, the South African researchers will bring local knowledge to the team (both on economic and equity issues); this will include knowledge of the survey area as well as familiarity with the policies and practices of the water authorities.

The Norwegian counterpart will bring considerable theoretical depth both on water demand (particularly in the energy sector) as well as extensive experience in the empirical methods of research in this field of research. It is planned at least one Norwegian research fellow will join the project.

39 Civil Society in a Globalizing South Africa
Project no:

158189/V10:

Grant Period:



1.1.2004-31.12.2005

Responsible University/Institution, Norway:



University of Bergen, Centre for Development Studies

Principle Investigator, Norway:



Tvedt, Terje Professor

Financed by RCN:

2004: 144,000 2005: 144,000

Responsible University/Institution, South Africa:



University of Natal Durban, Centre for Civil Society/SODS

Principle Investigator, South Africa:



Habib, Adam Dr

Financed by NRF:

2004: 158,000 2005: 153,000
Main Objectives and Methodology:

Fundamental questions about civil society and its roles remain, despite the existing studies, is partly a conceptual and methodological problem Existing analyses have been fundamentally normative and utilized frameworks that prevent a robust understanding of civil society roles.

This proposal seeks to support efforts at reversing this trend in South Africa, and proposes to so in the context of a two year project that involves two interrelated activities:


  • the development of conceptual frameworks for comparative analyses of civil society and their roles

  • an empirical examination of the response of civil society organizations to the privatization of public services in South Africa.


Significance of proposed Research:

In South Africa, as elsewhere in Africa, neo-liberal globalization - characterized by an emphasis on market economy, liberal democracy and limited state intervention in development-has led to a reduction in the role of the state in social development, as well as its legitimacy in governance. Specifically eight years into democratic rule, the post-apartheid South African state continues to face challenges in transforming an authoritarian political system and a racially fractured and increasingly polarized society and economy. Civil society is expected to `humanize' this context by reconstituting the state to in order to build democratic forms of governance, including that of socio-economic development (Friedman, 2002; Habib and Koetze, 2002; Pillay, 1999).

Despite this importance, a robust understanding of civil society and its roles have come very short in South Africa, and even more so in the rest of Africa. This situation, however, does not result simply from a lack of data, as there has been a proliferation of research on civil society in South, as elsewhere.
Mode of cooperation:

The project involves cooperation between the Universities of Cape Town and Natal in South Africa; and the Universities of Oslo and Bergen in Norway.

The project is a common proposal based on two projects submitted last year and awarded a planning grant: Project 152294: Politics of public service privatization: Contested local governance, democratization and development in South Africa submitted by Kristian Stokke and Sophie Oldfield; and Project 152299 Transnational Civil Society in the Era of Globalization: Exploring NGO Roles in Governance, Democratization and Social Development in (South) Africa submitted by Adam Habib and Terje Tvedt. Ultimately, the project seeks to consolidate the basis for long term cooperation between our respective institutions.

40 Trade Unions in Transition in Southern Africa
Project no:

158190/V10

Grant Period:



1.1.2004-31.12.2005

Responsible University/Institution, Norway:



Fafo

Principle Investigator, Norway:



Grønningsæter, Arne Senior Researcher

Financed by RCN:

2004: 225,000

Responsible University/Institution, South Africa:



University of Witwatersrand, Wits School of Public & Development Management
Principle Investigator, South Africa:

Mhone, Guy Dr

Financed by NRF:

2004: 225,000

Main Objectives:

This project looks at the political role of the trade union movement in South Africa and the new union state relations emerging as a consequence of globalization. While giving prime focus to these issues in South Africa, we will give attention also to the regional perspective and Zambia and Zimbabwe in particular.


The main objectives of the project are to provide new information on the following questions:

  • The shifting nature of alliances between the trade union movements and their political allies and the states as a consequence of globalization

  • Labor’s priorities and strategies concerning political alliance-making, social dialogue, and collective bargaining in current policy making and the new alliances to social movement, NGOs and employers emerging in the wake of globalization and the political tensions between the unions and the state.

  • The new kinds of unions and union-state models emerging in the south and on that basis discuss the role played by the trade union movements in consolidating democracy in southern Africa in the new millennium


Methodology:

The project will be based on in-depth interviews and analysis of statistics provided by the statistical offices in southern Africa, as well as the Mesebetsi labor force survey in South Africa (Fafo 2002) and trade union statistics on strikes, membership, collective bargaining and internal organizational characteristics.


Significance of proposed project:

The project aims directly at giving input into the strategic debates of the social partners in southern Africa concerning alliance building and policy-development. Furthermore, the project will update our academic picture of trade unionism and political change in southern Africa and give valuable information on the effects of globalization on institution building, and governance in the south.


Mode of cooperation:

The co-operation between Fafo and P&DM, Wits will be conducted as a joint project with a report produced by the end of the project.








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