A funding round is now open for the ‘Integrating Health Approaches and the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus’. This Call for proposals falls under the responsibility of the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa and the Dutch Research Council (NWO).
The Dutch Research Council (NWO), through the Merian Fund1, and the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa support a long-term scientific collaboration in the Water, Energy and Food (WEF) nexus field. By issuing calls for proposals regularly and by inviting consortia in which researchers from knowledge institutions from both countries work together with societal partners from public, semipublic and private organisations, NWO and the NRF hope to provide effective contributions to support transformations towards sustainability and gradually expand the knowledge base on the WEF nexus field.
This call seeks research projects that will integrate the health component in WEF nexus planning through demonstrated practical case studies. Thus, the successful projects should demonstrate and address the interlinkages between water-energy-food, the broader socio-ecological environment and human health in view of providing better response to pandemics, health risks and crises.
This programme therefore, serves as a national and regional research platform designed to provide the knowledge needed to support transformations towards sustainability, by focusing on the Water-EnergyFood (WEF) nexus as the main research area. The objectives of this call include, but are not limited to:
- Providing systematic data, analyses and demonstrated practical case studies on the impact of the pandemics on WEF provision, supply, services, as well as feedback loops and trade-offs that can inform policy and decision making.
- Integrating the health and risk components into the existing WEF nexus thinking, tools and modelling.
- Developing nexus planning based scenarios to inform coherent strategic policy formulations that encompass human health and wellbeing.
- Providing for more holistic approaches and planning tools to mitigating impacts of health and other risks and raising pandemic preparedness.
- Enhancing the resilience initiatives and inform policy on proactive interventions towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
With this call, NWO and the NRF intend to support research that analyses the systemic, cascading or cross-sectoral impacts of pandemics on the WEF nexus and that contributes to sustainable transformations that integrate relevant health aspects. Therefore, this nexus research should address one or more of the following thematic areas:
- Mapping the impacts of COVID-19 on the WEF nexus: There is a need to systematically map the impacts of COVID-19 on the WEF nexus, particularly assessing the impacts of (hampering) achieving SDGs 2, 6, 7 and other related goals.
- Including the health sector in WEF nexus conceptualisation, discourse, and analytical tools: COVID-19 affected human health and threatened economies, jobs, and livelihoods. It highlighted the need to include health considerations into WEF nexus thinking.
- Including risk-based perspectives and spatial – cross-country – aspects in WEF integration and integrate WEF nexus thinking into health approaches in reply to crises: Going forward, there is a need to make WEF nexus concepts more risk-based and to extend spatial integration in WEF nexus tools/models, focusing on resource-scarce environments to inform more inclusive planning and equitable management of water, energy and food.
- Developing more holistic, health and risk sensitive approaches for sustainable livelihoods at a local level: This integrates thematic areas 1, 2, and 3 to develop transformative adaptation strategies to build or strengthen the resilience and sustainability of livelihoods to current and future pandemics at the local level.
The available budget for this Call for proposals is € 2,800,000 on the Dutch side, and R10 Million (around € 580,000) on the South African side. Within this Call for proposals it is expected that a maximum of four proposals will be awarded funding
- Eligible consortia are composed of researchers based in the Netherlands and in South Africa as well as at least one collaboration partner from a public, semi-public or private practitioner organisation. Consortia are also encouraged to include researchers from any of the 16 African countries whose ministries and granting councils are a participating member in the SGCI. On both the South African side and the Dutch side a senior main applicant is actively involved.
- The consortium may also include other co-applicants or collaboration partners, as long as they are eligible according to the criteria. The consortium members will have the responsibility to:
- formulate relevant research questions and approaches;
- formulate and submit the pre-proposal and full proposal through the main applicants;
- conduct the project activities;
- coordinate knowledge sharing and support the application, dissemination and communication of the project results to a broader group of possible knowledge users that are not a member of the consortium, and;
- take responsibility for the adequate and timely reporting conditions.
- Each main applicant and consortium can only submit one proposal. A main applicant cannot participate as a co-applicant in other proposals. From the NRF side South African researchers cannot serve as main applicants or co-applicants on more than one proposal.
- This call aims for collaboration across the knowledge sector, including fundamental and applied research, to enhance demand articulation, ownership, and the effective uptake of results. For this reason, all consortium partners, as well as relevant stakeholders, are expected to be engaged in all phases of the project execution, from its inception to sharing the (emerging) results. Evidence of such active engagement will be an important element in the assessment of project proposals and may be demonstrated through references to involvement in project preparation, active involvement as a project partner and links between the proposed research project and ongoing projects of NGOs, private enterprises, and/or policy implementation.
For more information, visit https://www.nwo.nl/en/calls/cooperation-south-africa-netherlands-health-and-wef-nexus