Resilience Academy: A sustainability solution for urban resilience skills development in Africa
Urbanisation challenges Africa’s young labour force, which needs to be skilled to solve problems caused by unplanned urbanisation. This is a major opportunity for African universities. Young, graduated experts need to be able to steer urbanisation to sustainable trajectories with digital skills and innovative uses of geospatial data and technologies for urban transformation.
The Resilience Academy is a university partnership program focusing on skills and knowledge transfer on urban resilience. It is a new digital service model of universities for sustainable and inclusive urban development. Resilience Academy uses tools and technologies, which are open, affordable and locally adaptable, such as drone images, smartphones and open-source software. New geospatial data and knowledge is created through community mapping methods aiming for improved spatial planning and risk management.
Resilience Academy operates via three main activities. Firstly, student internship modalities are used for large-scale data collection campaigns to reduce the knowledge gap existing in many rapidly growing cities. Simultaneously, students’ exposure to practical training during the internship provides them with relevant applied geospatial skills, which increase their future employment opportunities and participation in informed decision-making. Secondly, Resilience Academy promotes the sharing and use of digital data by maintaining Climate Risk Geo database. This online, open-access database curates geospatial data and encourages the usage, analysis and visualization of this data by various stakeholders. Thirdly, Resilience Academy builds online learning materials and courses to address relevant urban development and risk management skills and competences. These online academic modules can be used for vocational training and embedded into local university curricula.
Currently, the Resilience Academy is a partnership between four Tanzanian Universities: Ardhi University, University of Dar es Salaam, Sokoine University, State University of Zanzibar, and the University of Turku (Finland), with the involvement of TU Delft and the University of Twente – Faculty ITC (the Netherlands).
The purpose of this Focus Day event is to share the experiences of Resilience Academy from Tanzania with a wider audience of international academia and to identify possibilities to scale-up these activities on a regional level. The event will consist of presentations to share the experiences of the Resilience Academy, break-out sessions to identify synergies amongst regional partners and scalability, and a final wrap-up.
Organizer: University of Turku