The Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre (SLURC), based in Freetown, is a globally connected research centre created through a partnership between the Bartlett Development Planning Unit (University College London) and the Institute of Geography and Development Studies (Njala University).
The centre aims to generate capacity building as well as research initiatives in cities across Sierra Leone focused on the well-being of residents of informal settlements. This will be achieved by:
- strengthening the research and analysis capacities of urban stakeholders in Sierra Leone;
- significantly improving the quality and quantity of available knowledge on the informal settlements in Sierra Leone;
- making urban knowledge available and accessible to those who need it, prioritizing residents of informal settlements; and
- delivering world leading research in order to influence urban policy and practice.
Activities and outputs of project
- provide training and capacity building for key urban stakeholders (local researchers and academics, civil servants, NGO staff and residents of informal settlements)
- implementation of research projects
- international exchanges to expose urban stakeholders to other urban contexts and research centres
- collection, management and dissemination of urban knowledge to communities, NGOs, government, and other relevant stakeholders
- host national and international urban researchers
- develop new partnerships and collaborations
Key Principles of the Centre
Working to promote the wellbeing and rights of the residents of informal settlements: This is the ultimate goal of all SLURC activities.
Research excellence: SLURC and its staff are committed to deliver high quality academic research which can improve the existing knowledge base and influence policies and practices.
SLURC commits to making its research and data available in order to facilitate dissemination. SLURC will also be transparent about its activities and finance.
Value for money: SLURC recognizes that the money received for its operations have been donated by people to improve the lives of those living in informal settlements and therefore maximize the use of resources for those activities that have higher positive impact on the lives of informal settlement dwellers.
Knowledge sharing: SLURC staff is committed to build each other capacities and to transfer their knowledge to other urban stakeholders.
Collaboration and partnership: SLURC activities will not have any impact unless they are embedded in a system of collaborations and partnerships with other urban actors. Therefore, SLURC promotes the formation of strategic partnerships.
SLURC strives to constantly innovate its practices, methodologies and is open to new critical insights which improve its work
Communication with different audiences: SLURC outputs aim to target different audiences. Academia, policy-makers, NGOs and the communities living in informal settlements. To achieve this, research will be presented in various formats and with a different use of language to reach all those who need to get access to it.
SLURC recognises the political nature and sensitivity of its research work and strive to work with all research
The research areas include
- Urban health
- Urban livelihoods and city economy
- Urban vulnerability and resilience
- Land and housing
- Urban transport and mobility
- Urban infrastructure and services