Partners Enhancing Resilience for People Exposed to Risks
RADAR acts as the secretariat for a consortium of 12 African Universities named Periperi U – the ‘Partners Enhancing Resilience for People Exposed to Risks’ – which acts as a platform for advancing university action on risk and vulnerability reduction in Africa.
The original motivation for Periperi U was a shared concern that disasters disrupt and undermine development in Africa. For Instance, market and informal settlement fires in Africa’s rapidly growing cities spread quickly and lead to deaths and property loss. Flash floods frequently claim lives, damage crops, cause livestock death and may result in the displacement of thousands people from their homes and sources of making a living. Infectious disease outbreaks also occur often due to weak public health systems and poor water and sanitation services. Such events can have serious repercussions on an individual’s or household’s livelihood activities and capacities.
Periperi U partners have sought to understand local hazards and use locally derived research and knowledge to assist in building the capacity to reduce these disaster risks among communities. With a solid foundation and growing demand, partnership members are continuing to develop their formal academic programmes related to disaster risk with the goal of further strengthening skilled human capacity in this field in Africa.
Periperi U partners utilise their knowledge and resources to help improve risk management practices which is necessary for protecting social and economic development, especially in high risk countries and communities, from the major disruption such hazards can cause.
What started in 2005 as a pilot partnership between four African Universities has grown to include twelve universities from across the continent, from Algiers to Antananarivo, and from Dakar to Bahir Dar.
Goals and Achievements of Periperi U
Periperi U has provided and continues to:
- Develop active teaching and training, research and policy advocacy capacity in Africa on disaster risk and vulnerability reduction
- Build capacity to provide at least 2-4 short courses annually in disaster risk management, vulnerability reduction, food/livelihood security or subjects relevant to risk and vulnerability reduction in their country.
- Develop innovative and stimulating undergraduate and/or graduate programmes related to reducing or managing the risk and vulnerabilities within Africa.
- Generate applied research outputs related to risks and vulnerabilities that increase local understanding and improve the risk management.
Since 2005, the partners have worked hard to bring Periperi U to where it stands today. This is a summary of Periperi U’s achievements and progress from 2005 – 2016:
- Over 1000 students have graduated from disaster-related academic programmes and courses in agriculture, engineering, urban planning, economics, environmental science and public health, creating a home grown surge in skilled human capital.
- More than 50 Disaster related Short Courses, reaching over 1500 professionals and practitioners in local languages.
- Over 100 disaster risk related research outputs in the form of theses, published articles, books and unpublished professional reports
- Growing recognition of capacity to implement consultancies for government and international agencies
- Growth of partnership to eleven African academic institutions.
- PeriPeri U has recently been recognised by the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk Science Committee as an International Centre of Excellence for Risk Education and Learning (ICoE-REaL).