April 2010 - An NSF-funded workshop entitled " Risk Science Scholarship and Sustainable Development: Building Educator-Practitioner Networks in Africa" was held from 11-15 January in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. The workshop award was granted to three project co-PIs at the UA: Dr. Timothy Finan, Professor of Anthropology in BARA, Dr. John Magistro, Research Social Scientist in BARA, and Dr. Muluneh Yitayew, Professor in the Department of Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering. Approximately 70 participants from the US, Europe, and Africa were in attendance at the workshop. In addition to the co-PIs, UA project team members included: Michelle Gamber, PhD doctoral candidate in the College of Public Health and doctoral student in the School of Anthropology who serves as Project Field Coordinator and was Logistics Coordinator for the workshop; Lezlie Moriniere, PhD doctoral candidate and UA project team instructor from the Office of Arid Lands Studies (OALS); Tim Frankenberger, President of TANGO International in Tucson and UA project team instructor; Nelson Cronyn, PhD doctoral candidate in OALS; Ryan Freeman, recent UA graduate with a BA in International Studies; and Joe Orona, President of Retis Technologies in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The workshop was convened in order to carry out 4 principal objectives:
- To review and strengthen the curriculum of the recently established MSc program in Disaster Risk Science and Sustainable Development (DRSSD) at Bahir Dar University as part of a joint BDU-UA higher education capacity building program funded by USAID;
- To identify elements of the BDU-UA curriculum that can be incorporated into a new, emerging Masters degree in Development Practice (MDP) to be instituted by UA in the coming year;
- To review regional capacities, synergies, and thematic foci in the Horn, East, and Southern Africa with a view to assisting the creation of a DRSSD Research Center at BDU with a well-defined technical competency area and clarity of public mission; and
- To expand and strengthen a growing international educator-practitioner network of professional cohorts in US, African, and European institutions devoted to human resource development and capacity building of a new generation of risk science and management educators, researchers, and administrators in Africa.