FSS organize City Research Uptake launching and  Stakeholder Engagement event

Forum for Social Studies  in collaboration with the African Cities Research Consortium (ACRC), a consortium of think tanks, CSOs, Community-based researchers working to create a positive change for African urban residents, organized a half-day workshop to launch and engage stakeholders on city research project on Friday April 7, 2023 at the Hilton Addis.

The launching event started with an opening by Dr. Yeraswork Admassie who provided an organizational overview of FSS and the nature of the partnership with ACRC on this research and uptake project which is to start in full swing as of today. He said that, apart from launching the joint project, the intention of organizing the event was to ensure the right stakeholders who are the potential users of the evidence-based findings of the action research are engaged from the outset.

Following the opening, short presentations that provided brief descriptions were made on ACRC, by Professor Tegegn GebreEgziabher, City Lead; on PS works by Dr. Camille Pellerin; ACRC uptake, by Dr.Ezana Amdework, Assisstant Professor and Sociologist-AAU, who coordinates the research uptake.

During the second session of the half-day workshop, ACRC research team composed of  Dr. Yonas Ashine Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Science and International Relations (PSIR), Ato Tilahun Fekade, a private consultant, and Dr. Ezana Amdework, made brief presentations, respectively on Youth Capabilities and Development, The housing, and structural transformation domains.

In their brief power-point presentations, the researchers introduced the topics of their research, its objectives and the methodologies they plan to employ for their particular research, by way of inviting comments, suggestions or questions by the attending stakeholders.

In the lively discussion session that ensued, participants said the initiative by FSS and CRCA to engage stakeholders throughout the research process was very interesting and important as they believe it ensures the research is relevant to city needs and priorities.  Participants asked questions to the presentations by the ACRC team of researchers, related to selection of research topic, design, methodology, etc. including some suggestions for FSS.

Some participants suggested that FSS needs to strengthen its networking and partnership activities to include potential stakeholders on similar engagements for this particular research and beyond.

Some also suggested the research needs to be extended to include other cities in the country.

Whereas, the questions from stakeholders to the team of researchers were adequately responded to by the researcher concerned, the comments and suggestions which directly related to FSS were taken up Dr. Yeraswork Admassie.

Dr. Yeraswork appreciated the constructive suggestions on the need to look up for networks on similar missions and engage  informal sectors in the future. He said, FSS will heed these comments and do all necessary in the near future.. As to the suggestion to take the research to other cities in the country, he said it was a great idea, and will be seriously considered provided the resources and situations allow.

Professor Tegegn Ggziabher, who heads the ACRC research team and who was the moderator of the discussion session, appreciated the participants for their valuable inputs and said they will be duly considered in the research.

Around 45 participants representing stakeholder organizations including the Addis Ababa City Mayor’s and City Manager’s Office, the Ministry of Urban and Infrastructure Development, and Government Public Service Offices (Housing, Water and Sanitation, Petroleum), Government Higher Learning Institutions, Youth Associations and  Coalitions, NGOs and CBOs working on youth & development, the AA Chamber of Commerce, and several media professionals from  Addis Media Network, Sheger FM, the Reporter Newspaper attended and actively participated at launching and stakeholder engagement event.

FSS and ACRC will continue to organize similar stakeholder engagement events of different forms and structures as necessary.

About African Cities Research Consortium (ACRC)

The African Cities Research Consortium (ACRC) is a major six-year investment by FCDO to fund new, operationally-relevant research to address intractable development challenges in African cities.

ACRC seeks to generate new insights and approaches to tackle complex problems in Africa’s rapidly changing cities, and enable them to become more productive, equitable and inclusive.

FSS is currently an implementing partner of  the research uptake component of ACRC’s city research uptake.