IDRC grants 1.5bn/- for forced displacement research

THE University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) has received a grant worth 600,000 Canadian dollars equivalent to 1.5bn/- from International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to facilitate its Research Chair in conducting study on forced displacement.

During the launch of the Research Chair in Dar es Salaam on Thursday, Chairperson of the Research, Dr Opportuna Kweka said it will focus on people who are forced to move due to community conflicts, climate change, and implementation of development projects as well as political unrest.

“This research will be different from other researches because the local members of the chair are the ones who plan what to do and highlight what the community needs,” said Dr Kweka.

He noted that the chair will conduct various training, seminar, research, outreach programmes and also publish research results as the way to help decision making.

“We have seen a lot of researches being done by Western people because they have money and they are making theories that are not applicable in our communities so our research will be more of a local perspective,” said Dr Kweka.

He noted that 32 members of the chair come from UDSM’s various departments such as humanitarian, human rights and others. Other members are from Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda.

On his part UDSM Deputy Vice Chancellor -Academic, Prof Bonaventure Rutinwa said despite Tanzania having forced immigrants for many years from countries like Burundi and Rwanda most researches based on projects are initiated by donors.

Prof Rutinwa said such were able to help in preparing projects but not to inform policy makers.

“We saw it is good to have proper research that will help formulate a friendly policy to deal with forced displacement,” he noted.

On her part, Minister-Counsellor (Development) of High Commission of Canada, Ms Hellen Fyche, who represents Canada’s High Commissioner to Tanzania Ms Kyle Nunus said they believe that the chair will serve as the powerful tool to amplify the local knowledge that is central to local solution.

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