BOKU als Partner in drei neuen Kooperationsprojekten! Die BOKU - insbesonders das federführende CDR - wird zukünftig in drei neuen Projekten mit Universitäten in Äthiopien, Uganda/Kenia und Nicaragua zusammenarbeiten, wobei eine erhebliche Anzahl von BOKU-WissenschaftlerInnen involviert ist. Durchgeführt werden diese Projekte im Rahmen des Hochschulkooperationsprogramms APPEAR, das von der Österreichischen Entwicklungszusammenarbeit finanziert und der OeAD-GmbH und dem LAI implementiert wird. Detail-Informationen auf Englisch: Rural areas undergo tremendous ecological, demographic and economic transformations. Some of these transformations are harmful, others offer opportunities for improving livelihoods of farmers. Unfortunately, higher education and research are not sufficiently responsive to emerging transformation opportunities. "This widens the gap between academia and practice", says Zerfu Hailu, policy advisor with GTZ in Ethiopia. Ethiopia: bridging gaps for transformation competences In cooperation with the CDR, a new project strengthens the transformation competences of the Ethiopian Gondar University, Bahir Dar University and the Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute. Such transformation competences will allow higher education and research to become more effective development partners and community service providers. Involved partners: Michael Hauser (Centre for Development Research), Georg Gratzer (Institute for Forest Ecology), Maria Wurzinger (Institute for Livestock Sciences), Monika Sieghardt (Institute for Forest Ecology), Birgit Habermann (Institute for Ogranic Farming), Herbert Hager(Institute for Forest Ecology). Uganda/Kenya: mutual learning on water vulnerability and climate change Under the lead of RUFORUM, the CDR is partner in a second project that strengthens the capacities of Makerere University Kampala in Uganda and Egerton University in Kenya in addressing climate change induced water vulnerability among smallholder farmers. Such capacity development initiatives are no straightforward matters, as Rhoda Birech (senior researcher at Egerton University) points out: "Improving partnerships between academia and practice requires institutional adjustments and change in mindsets among universities and their partners – hence a mutual learning process." Involved partners: Michael Hauser (Centre for Develoment Research), Maria Wurzinger (Institute for Livestock Sciences), Johann Sölkner (Insitute for Livestock Sciences), Bernd Freyer (Institute for Ogranic Farming), Willibald Loiskandl (Institute of Hydraulics and Rural Water Management), Helmut Jung (Institute of Sanitary Engineering and Water Pollution Control), Roland Linzner (Institute of Waste Management) Nicaragua: Involve rural communities Within this project at the Agricultural University in Managua, Nicaragua, a co-operation with rural communities will be established so that agricultural engineers will be able to respond better to the needs of poor rural families. Practical and inter-disciplinary elements shall be introduced into the curricula, institutional capacities strengthened and institutional changes fostered. In this CDR project the National Agricultural University (lead), BOKU and the Casa de los Tres Mundos will co-operate. Involved partners: Maria Wurzinger (Institute for Livestock Sciences), Axel Mentler (Institute of Soil Science), Thomas Guggenberger (Quality Management), Christian R. Vogl (Institute of Organic Farming) All three projects are supported by APPEAR - the Austrian Partnership Programme for Higher Education and Research for Development. Appear is financed by the Austrian Development Cooperation and implemented by the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD GmbH) and the Austrian Latin America Institute (LAI).