Conéctate A+ | Cluster of Cooperation (CLOC) in the Tropical Andes and Central America Region

Achieving sustainable development in Latin America, and specifically in the Tropical Andes and Central America region, continues to be a major challenge. Although some progress has been made towards an adequate understanding of the barriers that impede progress towards this goal, the advances have been more thematically driven than with an integrated approach; with collaborative efforts of existing networks, particularly from research and practice in mountains, focused on socio-ecological variables of sustainable development.

However, it has been difficult to define and coordinate a strategic research or teaching agenda for the region in order to contribute to this purpose. On the other hand, there is a gap in translating results of research to practice and policy. One of the reasons that explain this situation is the challenge researchers face in adequately capturing information needs from decision makers, and based on that, carrying out studies that offer useful and relevant results for public or private sector management and decisions.

Project Objectives and Activities

Conéctate A+ is a research collaboration hub in the Tropical Andes and Central America region focused on climate change, ecosystems, and health in view of sustainable development. Conéctate A+ functions as a ‘network of networks,’ drawing on the existing networks coordinated and led by MRI and CONDESAN, as well as combining new partnerships.

Conéctate A+ (to be translated as: connect yourself to the Tropical Andes and Central America region) brings together a wide range of interdisciplinary expertise from Switzerland and the Tropical Andes and Central America region. In terms of research and teaching, Conéctate A+ will draw on existing thematic expertise and progressively expand the scope of topics according to bottom-up processes and interests of the respective communities in Switzerland and the Tropical Andes and Central America region.

Among its proposed activities, Conéctate A+ will foster collaborative exchange among the CLOC partners in the  Tropical Andes and Central America region and Switzerland via an online platform. The platform will also fulfil a broader function as a broker for the ‘network of networks’ and node for research and collaboration on ecosystems, climate change, and health in the Tropical Andes and Central America region. Other activities to be offered through Conéctate A+ to the local research communities will include capacity-building and ‘training for trainers’ programs, a small grants program for synthesis workshops and research collaborations, and other events.

For other and new SUDAC members with interest to collaborate thematically on climate change, ecosystems, and/or health in the Tropical Andes and Central America region, Conéctate A+ provides the opportunity to join and be part of the network as an Associate member and thereby be eligible to participate in the many activities on offer.

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CLOC Conéctate A+ Co-Heads

CLOC Conéctate A+ Founding Partners

CLOC Conéctate A+ Associate Member

Supported By

Conectaté A+ is supported by the swissuniversities Development and Cooperation Network (SUDAC) ‘Clusters of Cooperation in the Global South’ (CLOCs) programme, which offers targeted support for collaboration between the various types of Swiss higher education institutions and their partners from the Global South in order to achieve an excellent standard of education, research and innovation on global challenges.