Analysis of gaps between policy-makers and community stakeholders in building climate change resilience in dry lands of Malawi: why do interventions fail?

Considering the demand for research information to guide climate change resilience policies, BRECCIA researchers are investigating gaps that exist between policy-makers and community stakeholders on building climate change resilience in Malawi. This research aims to identify the gaps in implementation of resilience interventions that undermine their effectiveness and sustainability. In …

Understanding magnitude and variability of yield gaps in smallholder farming systems of sub-Saharan Africa

Driven by the need to improve food security in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), BRECcIA researchers are undertaking research to model crop yield and yield gap of maize in SSA and to further understand drivers of productivity gap under different socio-economic and biophysical environment contexts. Understanding the drivers of poor productivity will …

How can virtual tools support a team of international researchers amid the Covid-19 pandemic?

The 2019 Covid-19 pandemic is forcing humanity to develop adaptive measures for communicating, and virtual platforms have become the standard mode for personal and professional communication globally. This has been the case for a team of 60 international researchers, from Europe and Africa, collaborating on the interdisciplinary project BRECcIA addressing …

Adapting amidst a pandemic while still striving to achieve BRECcIA’s objectives

By Matt Kandel Just as each country seems to adopt different Covid-19 responses, researchers are also developing individually-tailored, adaptive approaches to lockdowns (or no lockdowns). My colleague recently wrote about how one adaptation for him was adjusting his expectations of in-person meetings with all his new colleagues at our March …

Linking BRECcIA to the Sustainable Development Goals

Author: Meryl Jagarnath The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) present a new coherent framework for including natural, social and economic considerations in planning, research policy and practice. Implementers, such as researchers, policymakers, practitioners and citizens, are fundamental to the SDG agenda. For the SDGs …

Tales of the unexpected: How to (hastily) design & deliver a two-week virtual workshop

The Coronavirus outbreak has changed everything and whilst we are rapidly rethinking our working arrangements and research approaches, the question arises: Can we move to online working for research, that is hold meetings, conduct research related activities and carry out training, and still be effective?  The GCRF BRECcIA project’s answer …

COVID-19 lockdown experience

Sebastian Reichel  Equipment Rescue        As a project newbie excited to meet the extended BRECcIA team at our March workshop, it was a pleasure to meet everyone even if only virtually. Of course, I appreciated that nobody wanted to fall ill nor become stranded due to travel restrictions. The rapid …

Developing participatory research skills in a dryland ecological restoration context:

Reflections from workshop participants and co-facilitators By Matt Kandel1, Nancy Kadenyi2, Janet Musyoka3, Fiona Ngarachu4 and Vallary Mutave5Ngila 1 Research Fellow in Environmental Anthropology, University of Southampton, 2 Environmental Project Associate, MetaMeta Research’,3 MSc student in Geography, Kenyatta University, 4 MSc student in Geography, Kenyatta University, 5Research Fellow, Kenyatta University From 16th-20thOctober Matt Kandel …

First BRECcIA Summer School

BRECcIA held its first Summer School in July in two villages in Malawi – Chinsamba and Chankhuntha – both close to Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe. It brought together early career researchers (mainly PhD students and post-docs) from the wide range of disciplines and institutions within BRECcIA to provide experiential interdisciplinary training on …