SMUS Botswana is one of the lead partners of the Global Center of Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability (GCSMUS) based at the University of Botswana (UB) in Botswana. To implement the Actions of the GCSMUS in Botswana from 2020 to 2024, the University of Botswana (UB) and the Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin) have signed a five-year partnership and cooperation.
GCSMUS, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development through the DAAD Exceed program – “Higher Education Excellence in Development Cooperation—EXCEED”, is based at the Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin, Germany) and is led by Prof. Nina Baur and Prof. Angela Million with three lead partners from Botswana (Prof. Gabriel Faimau), Brazil (Prof. Fraya Frehse) and India (Prof. Gaurav Raheja).
This center endeavours to create a global network of discussions on social science methodology that integrates scholars from the Global South and the Global North through research methodology workshops and a series of international conferences.
The 1st International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Spatial Methods (SMUS Conference) held
The “1st International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Spatial Methods” (SMUS Conference) and “1st RC33 Regional Conference – Africa: Botswana” in cooperation with ESA RN21 “Quantitative Methods” was held from the 23rd to 25th September 2021.
SMUS Conference Botswana offered a platform for scholars to interact with methodologists from various disciplines around the world and to deepen discussions with researchers from diverse methodological perspectives. Participants had the opportunity to organize sessions on methodological topics of their choice; as well as present their own research to an internal audience and discuss current methodological problems with other scholars. It was also through this conference that scholars across the globe had the opportunity to network.
SMUS Conference Botswana – Action Points of Focus
Having been established within the framework of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, the GCSMUS Berlin together with its three lead partners co-established the five strategic elements (Principle of 5 E’s) in order to make contributions to the achievement of SDG 11 (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable).
Education – to educate in social science methodology by building a global network of discussions on social science methodology that connects scholars from developing and developed countries, thus building the basis for future collaboration. Action 1 will be implemented through organizing the September conference and advanced training of research methods which started on the 25th – 29th October and will end with a course on Videography and Focused Ethnography by Professor Hubert Knoblauch on Friday 19th November 2021.
Experience – gaining applicable skills in research through combined-teaching-research courses. The goals of these combined-teaching-research courses are for scholars to;
- Provide local students from developing countries with advanced methodological training
- Further their teaching and research skills in social science methodology and publish their research
To implement Action 2, a research methodology class will be provided with training on research methodology by scholars.
Enhance – Workshops for bridging the gap between research and professional work. Lead partners from the Global South, Botswana, Brazil and India, will organize a “GCSMUS workshop on Urban Sustainability.”