Nairobi Center PGIF Projects on Education and Knowledge
PGIF Round 1 Projects (2013)
Project; Global Leadership Matrix (GLeaM)
- S.T. Lee Professor of Management; Faculty Director of the Global Leadership Matrix (GLeaM) Program; Faculty Director, The Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center School(s): Columbia Business School
The goal of this project was to assemble a global database of leadership characteristics to create new scientific knowledge while also disseminating current scientific knowledge on leadership to practitioners around the world. In addition, the team used the opportunities provided by the Global Centers to begin building a local network of relationships that connects reciprocally to the research and education at Columbia Business School. This network was essential to GLeaM’s global data collection.
- Herbert Lehman Professor of Government, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.
Co- principal Investigators
- Professor of Anthropology and of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies; Director, Middle East Institute.
The Ifriqiyya Colloquium’s goal was to expand its scholars' network and focus on studies of the Indian Ocean before colonization and trans-Atlantic slavery. The Colloquium’s more significant ambition was to rethink area studies by historicizing the notion of an “area” - a contemporary unit of study whose configuration results from post-WWII and Cold War geopolitical preoccupation of colonial and foreign offices. The meetings of the Trans-Atlantic Slaveries Network and the Indian Ocean Before Colonization Network, which took place from May 3-5, 2014, successfully brought together over 20 scholars from around the world to present concept notes of their research. The network meeting served as the launching point for the scholars' individual research projects to foster a network that provides feedback to its members regarding research design and knowledge gathering.
- Arvind Raghunathan, Professor of Sanskrit and South Asian Studies at Columbia University School of Arts and Sciences.
This project sought to address the vast number of commonalities in the humanities crisis across the global south: high enrollments (of primarily women and others shut out of other opportunities) coupled with poor instruction, poorer life-chances for graduates, often rudderless scholarship, chaotic and dangerous erosion of archives, to say nothing of the slow extinction of an actual humanities capacity in such areas as classical studies (with historical language knowledge disappearing by the year). The project also sought to assess the state of the humanities in South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
PGIF Round 2 Projects (2014)
Walter E. Baethgen:
- Head of Regional and Sectoral Research, International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), Earth Institute Columbia University.
- Gasengayire François- International Development Research Centre, Kenya.
- Ginkungu David- Kenya Meteorological Department
- Kabuchanga Eric- Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development- Z SERVIR Africa
- Mukanga Frederick Obonyo- University of Nairobi
- Ronoh Jusper Kiplimo- International Livestock Research Institute ILRI Kenya
- Njaanake Humphrey Kariuku- University of Nairobi
The proposal sought funding for the development of a Drought Information Community of Practice (DICoP). This community of practice brought together researchers and practitioners working to improve the development and delivery of drought information for societal decision-making in Chile, Kenya, and Jordan, creating opportunities for shared learning and the identification of new research opportunities. As a means to advance research and facilitate knowledge sharing, the DICoP sought to engage through four specific activities: the convening of annual meetings, face-to-face training sessions, the creation of online resources, and the development of joint research proposals. While PGIF project funding sought to support DICoP activities over three years, the network was expected to maintain collaborative research and networking activities even after the project ended.
- Assistant Professor Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University.
- Cheryl Palm- Senior Research Scientist, Earth Institute Columbia University.
- Benedetta Simeonidis- Lecturer, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Columbia University & New York University.
- Daniel Rubenstein- Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Princeton University.
- Kelly Caylor- Associate Professor, Engineering, Princeton University.
- Robert Pringle- Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
- Paula Kahumbu- CEO, Wildlife Direct
The immediate impact of this proposal was to provide new and exciting educational and research opportunities to Columbia undergraduate students through Columbia University’s initiative to encourage more of its undergraduate students to study abroad and make use of its network of Global Centers. In collaboration with Princeton University, Columbia’s Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology and the Earth Institute’s undergraduate major in Sustainable Development offered students the opportunity to study and do research in one of Africa’s most ecologically diverse and dynamic developing nations. Students in this Program in Tropical Biology and Sustainability were immersed for three months in four different but related courses, all taught in East Africa with the help of Columbia Global Centers staff. This Program in Tropical Biology and Sustainability kept Columbia’s mission; To give students a global experience and to integrate the Global Centers into undergraduate education.
PGIF Round 5 Projects (2017)
Project; African Ethnographies, African Philosophies: Theorizing from the Continent
- Director, Institute of African Studies & Leitner Professor of African Studies and History
- Associate Professor of African and Swahili Studies, Columbia University Institute of African Studies.
- Associate Director, Columbia University Institute of African Studies.
- Brian Larkin - Professor of Anthropology, Barnard College
- Souleymane Bachir Diagne - Professor of French and Philosophy, Columbia University’s Institute of African Studies.
- Jacqueline Klopp - Associate Research Scholar, Earth Institute, Columbia University.
- Philosophy Department at the University of Nairobi
- Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Technical University of Kenya
This project was built on existing collaborations between Columbia University’s Institute of African Studies and institutions in West Africa, North Africa, and France to explore innovative approaches in researching, writing, and teaching theory and methodology in an African context through summer seminars to be held at the Columbia Global Center in Nairobi. It brought together faculty and students working within disciplines across Arts & Sciences in the fields of history, anthropology, philosophy, political science, urban planning, and literature, and in doing so, encouraged all participants to think across these disciplines and between the social sciences and humanities to generate new approaches and ways of thinking about African philosophy and epistemologies as well as issues of urban space, politics, religion and citizenship.
PGIF Round 6 Projects (2018)
Project; Student Geology Research in the Turkana Basin.
- Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University.
- Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University.
- Lawrence Martin - Director, Turkana Basin Institute
- Isaiah Nengo - Associate Director, Turkana Basin Institute
This project sought funding for a geological field trip program to the Turkana Basin and the Columbia Global Center in Nairobi. The project planned to leverage the position of the global center to open collaborations with local geologists and students in Nairobi and forge a long-term collaboration between Columbia and the Turkana Basin Institute. The project also aimed to serve as the basis for more extensive grant proposals to the National Science Foundation that are expected to allow the collaboration between scientists at Columbia University, the Nairobi global center, scientists in Nairobi, and the Turkana Basin Institute to flourish for years to come.
PGIF Round 7 Projects (2019)
Project; The Sojourner Project South Africa: A Black Mobile Academy
- Professor, Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Columbia University.
Co- principal Investigators
- Professor, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University.
- Tina Campt – Professor, Barnard College & The Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality (IRWGSS)/Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.
- Monica Miller – Associate Professor, department of English/Africana Studies, Barnard College, Columbia University.
- Kaiama Hartman – Associate Professor, department of French/Africana Studies, Barnard College, Columbia University.
Convened in response to the proliferating forms of violence facing black populations in the US and in diaspora, the mission of the Practicing Refusal Collective (PR Collective) was to articulate black feminist strategies for addressing the precarious state of black communities resulting from policies that treat black bodies as disposable and expendable – a state of duress described as black fungibility. The project sought to develop strategies for confronting black fungibility and create alternative possibilities for living otherwise through expanding the conversations begun by the PR Collective by creating multi-directional dialogues in a range of sites in Africa and its diasporas with local artists, activists, scholars, and thought-leaders working to develop their own strategies for addressing black precarity, fungibility, and anti-black violence.
PGIF Round 8 Projects (2020)
Project; Towards closing the air pollution data gap in sub-Saharan Africa through international collaboration and capacity building
- Associate Research Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
Co- principal Investigators
- Professor, Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, Columbia University.
- Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.
- Steven Chillrud – Lamont Research Professor, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
- Prof. Vincent Madadi – Senior Lectures, Department of Chemistry, School of Physical Sciences, College of Biological and Physical Sciences, University of Nairobi.
- Prof. Dean James Koske – Dean School of Environmental Studies, Kenyatta University
- Prof. Paul Njogu – Lecturer, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology
Air pollution in Africa is a growing problem, yet there is little data available to quantify the impact on human health. Low cost sensors (LCS) for air pollution monitoring offer a feasible approach to obtaining the necessary amount of pollution data necessary to spur regulatory action and management towards cleaner air. This project proposed to collaborate with the Nairobi Global Center, local researchers and students, and Columbia University students and faculty, to develop and implement cost-effective methods for obtaining high quality data from (LCS) Low cost sensors. A research project on calibration of LCS in Nairobi was conducted to simultaneously serve as an educational training data set for building capacity both for East African and Columbia University students and researchers. The project further held two workshops aimed at training scientists on best practices for LCS deployment, calibration, data analysis, and applications.