Saturday, 19 May 2018

DARN is looking for new board members!

The Dundee Africa Research Network (DARN) is a network of individuals around the world aimed at promoting Africa-focused research based in the University of Dundee. Formed in June 2015, our long-term aim is to become an international African research centre of repute, bridging the gap between academia, civil society, public authorities and industry on a wide range of policy and intellectual matters relating to the African continent. Our vision is to promote a clear link between African research, viable solutions and sustainable development. 

DARN has regularly organised events such as public lectures by reputable researchers. Such lectures have cut across many fields including international relations/politics, pure/applied sciences, law, and the social sciences generally. These events are open to DARN members as well as the general public. 

What are we looking for?
Starting from the 2018/19 academic year, we are looking for new members to support and join the board that keeps DARN running. In general, we invite everyone who wants to volunteer with DARN to contact us so that we can find a role that suits your skills and ambition. You can think of (but not exclusively):

-     General Secretary: This role essentially requires you to coordinate the affairs of organising committees, ensure internal administration, and sometimes attend to proposals or requests for collaboration from any part of the world.
-      Co-Convenor: In this role you will help with organising events such as contacting (potential) speakers, liaise with the University, and help shaping the core developmental strategy. 
-      Communications Director: In this role you help with the promotion of DARN through various means, both within the University (liaising with the different departments/schools that might promote our events, making sure we are present at events such as the Freshers’ Fair, etc.) as well as our external visibility (primarily social media channels).

Joining the board will require an average of 1 hour of your time per week but this is flexible. It might be slightly more in a week when there is an event yet there are also periods where it might be less. As we are a team, we are flexible and take your personal situation into account (e.g. during exam periods).

What a board position has to offer you?
Joining DARN will give you invaluable experience in the running of an international networking platform. Depending on your specific role current board members will support you to develop yourself in the areas where you are active. Being a DARN board member will not only look good on your C.V., but it also provides for an excellent opportunity to create a network of people interested in Africa both within and outside the University of Dundee!

Questions and contact:
For any questions you may have and for more information, please contact us at darn@dundee.ac.uk

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On behalf of DARN
Roeland Hemsteede

DARN Co-Convener

Thursday, 10 May 2018

New article by DARN founding member Howard S. Chitengi

DARN is very proud to announce that Howard S. Chitengi, a founding member, has published his latest article. The title is "Regulations and housing informality in African cities: appropriating regulatory frameworks to factors that influence resilience" and it is published in the latest volume of Housing and Society. View and download your copy here: https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/bmuiuY4GvmGQrcPhAcHS/full

Abstract:
"The paper examines the regulatory factors that constrain housing in African cities evinced in the growing informal housing delivery system that characterize them. This is intended to draw lessons for appropriating regulations to various house developer needs. The research uses a case study approach involving two informal settlements in Lusaka City, Zambia. Data collection methods included both physical observations and interviews with informal settlement dwellers. The paper indicates regulatory frameworks which shape the general context of housing development, generate high land access problems and transaction costs, and impact cultural aspects which influence the manner in which people respond to situations and opportunities when making decisions about housing. This contrasts with the informal system which offers developers the freedom to use alternative construction methods offering affordable means of house production. The informal setting also offers people freedom to construct houses according to individual preferences enabling people to “live their dreams” made possible by the relaxation in rules and regulations. This helps in filling the gap created by the demand and supply mismatch in the formal areas. To motivate regulatory compliance, this paper establishes an adaptive regulatory approach that balances social-cultural building practices and land delivery methods."