Making Connections for Our Changing Mountains in Latin-America: Funding Success for Cluster of Cooperation Conéctate-A+
MRI News
article written by MRI
21.06.19 | 08:06

A new and exciting Cluster of Cooperation in the Global South (CLOC) has been funded by the swissuniversities Development and Cooperation Network (SUDAC), which brings together a wide range of interdisciplinary expertise from Switzerland and Latin America. The CLOC Conéctate-A+ (which translates as ‘connect yourself to the Andes+ region’) aims to set up a hub in the Tropical Andes and Central America region (Andes+), to address research on and for sustainable development and global change. The MRI, in collaboration with CONDESAN and the University of Zurich as CLOC Co-Heads, is coordinating this novel interregional exchange.

Achieving sustainable development in Latin America, and specifically in the Andes+ 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; there have been 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 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 the results of research to practice and policy. One of the reasons for 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.

In this context, the setting up of a hub in the Andes+ region that fosters collaborative research with an integrated approach will allow a more systematic and long-term effort to address those gaps, which is the main objective of Conéctate-A+. The hub will be largely drawn from the existing networks coordinated and led by CONDESAN and the MRI, as well as combining new partnerships. In terms of research and teaching, Conéctate-A+ will draw on existing thematic expertise and networks, initially focusing on climate change, health, and sustainable development, and will progressively expand the scope of topics according to bottom-up processes and the interests of the respective communities in Switzerland and the Andes+.

Among the proposed activities, Conéctate-A+ will foster a collaborative exchange between the CLOC partners in the Andes+ region, as well as coordinate and set up an online platform to facilitate this collaboration and provide a service point for knowledge management and collaboration between institutions in Switzerland and the Andes+ region. The platform will also fulfil a broader function as a much needed ‘network of networks’ and node for research and collaboration on sustainable development in the Andes+ 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.

Conéctate-A+ starts on 1 July 2019, and is expected to run in a first phase to the end of 2021. Further details regarding planned activities and related announcements for participation will be communicated soon – stay tuned!

For more information, please see the Conéctate-A+ project page. 


CLOC Conéctate-A+ Co-Heads

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CLOC Conéctate-A+ Partners

National University Colombia
Cayetano Heredia Peru
Swiss TPH
Berner Fachhochschule
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Universidad Catolica Del Peru
Universidad Centroamericana

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