Pathways towards Sustainable African Urban Development


We are inviting African early career scientists to submit research proposals that apply a systems approach to analyzing urban processes in Africa. These projects are expected to examine the inherent complexity of cities, to explore the interconnections, trade-offs and synergies between different dimensions of urban systems, e.g. governance, human and social capital, environment, economic systems and infrastructure.

ICSU in partnership with NASAC and the ISSC has opened a call for pre-proposals to identify collaborative research projects across Africa that explore integrated approaches for sustainable urban development in Africa. 35 pre-proposals will be selected to attend a training event on inter- and trans-disciplinary research, which will take place on 3-7 September 2018 (place tbc). Participants of the training will then be given about two and half months to submit full proposals. In February 2019 up to eleven collaborative research projects across Africa will be funded to the value of up to 90,000 Euro each over two years.

Issue of the call for pre-proposals 1 March 2018
Submission deadline for pre-proposal 14 May 2018 (18:00 CET)
Selection decision of pre-proposals End of June 2018
Training on integrated research 3-7 September 2018 (place tbc)
Submission deadline for full proposals 23 November 2018 (18:00 CET)
Funding decision February 2019

Proposals might (please note that these are just examples):

  • Explore integrated approaches of managing resources and material flows within cities, for instance through approaches like urban metabolism, infrastructure ecology, infrastructural symbiosis, the system dynamics, etc.;
  • Explore how ecosystems can support sustainable human and natural processes in cities and how to maximize ecosystems abilities to do so;
  • Synergize engineered and ecological systems within cities to enhance the ecological services and increase the resilience of the urban infrastructure systems;
  • Explore approaches of integrating risk management in urban development;
  • Analyse the relationships between infrastructure provision, inequality and resilience;
  • Examine how cities can stimulate shifting to a green growth and greener methods of production;
  • Improve availability, the coverage, quality, resolution and reliability of urban data, especially data on informal settlements;
  • Examine how integrated city-level data can improve urban management, planning, and governance and increase the efficiency of urban systems;
  • Analyse how the built environment, urban management, and urban identity interface with the experiences of, or responses to poverty;
  • Examine how decentralization of urban infrastructure system can improve access to services (water supply and sanitation, waste management, energy supply, etc) and increase resilience.



Database Details

Current Research
No Profile listed
Thematic Focus
Agriculture, Biodiversity and Sustainability, Digital Communication / ICTs, Governance and Accountability, Knowledge Production and Transfer, Life Sciences and Health, Mobility and Migration, Open Topic, Peace and Security, Poverty Reduction

Applicant’s Country
Switzerland, EU, other, Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Djibouti, DR Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunesia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Allowed Usage

Applicant’s Position
Undergrad, PhD Candidate, PostDoc, Researcher, Consortium

Cycle Type
Single Once-Off

Partner Required

14. May 2018
Last Modification
15. April 2020