Page 21 - UCT2012 Research Dashboard

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Research Dashboard
Research Initiatives
UCT Knowledge Co-op
The UCT Knowledge Co-op builds on UCT’s tradition
of social responsiveness, aiming to make it easier for
community partners to access UCT’s skills, resources,
and professional expertise. In the second year of its
pilot phase, the focus was on expanding the number of
collaborative projects with civic society and the public
sector while also enhancing its visibility within UCT and in
the wider community.
During 2012, 40 new topics for collaborative research or
practical support were submitted to the facility, bringing
the total number to 108. Fourteen of these arose from
partnerships going back to previous years, indicating
a deepening of UCT–community partnerships. The
topics came from organisations ranging from provincial
government departments to grassroots community
groups, and local and international NGOs, as well as
some programmes run by UCT students.
Ten new projects were initiated during the year, and
another four were carried over from 2011. These include
studies into experiences of breast-cancer patients and
alternative energy sources for pumping water, as well
as more hands-on ones involving computer training in
organisations or the design for a school hall. Forty-five
students and 15 academics partnered with community
groups in these projects, of which eight were completed
in 2012, bringing the total completed to 15.
Alongside this a
Code of Good Practice for
Engaged Scholarship with External (non-academic)
has been produced for academics, with
a student version in process. This document aims to
build the capacity of academics to take on supervision
of collaborative research, and to prepare students for
their involvement.
Internationally, the UCT Knowledge Co-op is part
of the Living Knowledge network. During May, the
project manager of the Co-op participated in a Science
Shop Summer School and the LK5 conference on
Re-imagining Research Relationships – Co-creating
Knowledge in a Democratic Society in Bonn, Germany.
This was a first opportunity to share insights through a
conference paper drawing on a three-year, NRF-funded
study to evaluate the model of the Co-op.
The website – –
has contributed to increasing the visibility of the Co-op
both within UCT and beyond.
Safety and Violence
The Safety and Violence Initiative (SaVI) was established
at UCT in 2010 with support from the Vice-Chancellor’s
Strategic Fund and facilitates debate, research and
interventions across the university on understanding, and
responding to violence, as well as promoting safety.
SaVI brings together scholars fromvarious faculties across
UCT, including Commerce, Health Sciences, Humanities,
Law, and Engineering & the Built Environment. Its mission
is to establish sustained research collaborations that will
contribute to promoting safety, reducing violence, and
raising awareness about these issues within South Africa
(and in due course in other African countries). A key
feature of SaVI’s role is to develop theory and to translate
this into practice. A director for SaVI (Guy Lamb) was
appointed in October 2012.
UCT researchers under the auspices of SaVI undertook
five distinct research projects in 2012, namely:
Violence interrupters: establishing a specialised
cohort of domestic-violence social workers through
an evidence-based violence-intervention approach;
Violence and substance abuse at a Cape Town
trauma centre;
Violence and substance abuse in South Africa;
The development of a brief intervention for
substance users attending trauma clinics in the
Western Cape;
Use of new information and communications
technology to consolidate post-conflict
reintegration of former combatants and peace-
in Africa.
SaVI hosted two seminars in 2012 that directly related to
informing discussion and decision-making in relation to
communities affected by high levels of violence in Cape
Town. In response to the rapid increase in violence in
Khayelitsha over the past few years, the first seminar
was held to consider the conditions and developments
in Khayelitsha in relation to other areas in Cape Town,
as well as to initiate a public conversation about how
UCT can play a constructive role in promoting safety in
violence-affected areas in the Western Cape. A second
seminar was held in Hanover Park – widely considered to
be one of the communities in Cape Town most affected
by gang violence – which discussed youth programmes
and lower-risk lifestyle support programmes that could
reduce and prevent gang violence in this area.