Research projects 109

This project aims at rethinking ways of reading and writing change in African gender history. Looking at oral historical narratives and the transgenerational communication of historical knowledge among the Yaawo-speaking people in northern Mozambique, it brings the study of gender in African deeper pasts in dialogue with a cultural analysis of the contemporary historical moment. My starting argument is that our understanding of the contemporary historical moment in African gender history is strongly framed by the gender and development models of the social sciences which emphasize women’s struggle for gender equality in relation to men. This understanding influences the way in which we approach the past and write our research narratives. Through this history writing, women’s historical experiences become fixed within teleological narratives of ‘liberation’ (/‘oppression’). The past is distanced from the present along a linear path, and what is termed the ‘precolonial past’ is isolated as a separate unit of study. In my research, I seek to challenge this temporal model and explore new ways to read and write gendered histories that more fully capture the multiplicity of the gendered temporalities that constitute African existence. Overall, my study has a two-fold objective: Firstly, on the basis of the Yaawo oral historical narratives, it aims to contribute to our understanding of female political and spiritual power in Africa’s precolonial past and the historical processes of change in the colonial and postcolonial contexts. Secondly, I will study how these deeper histories also echo and are reworked in the present and thus constitute the contemporary historical experience in interaction with, for instance, more recent socialist ideas of women’s emancipation and the current development discourse on gender equality. Overall, my research proposes to open new routes in the theoretical thinking as well as the methodologies of African gender history.

Team

  • Head of research Anu Kantele
  • Language n/a

Antibiotics have made it possible for people to live longer, healthier lives. Antimicrobial resistance, however, is an increasing problem, especially in low-resource settings. This project will employ a range of methods from microbiology, clinical medicine and sociology to produce new knowledge about how AMR genes spread especially in poor West African regions, in areas where local capacity to address AMR is lagging behind, and identify ways to curb the spread of AMR. This knowledge can be utilized in national and international health policy and medical research.

Team

Isidore Bonkoungou, Victorien Dougnon, Kaisa Haukka, Bourema Kouriba, Salla Sariola, Marko Virta

This project is a doctoral study aimed at designing a smart learning environment (SLE) for programming education at higher education institutions in Nigeria context. The research hopes to make computing and programming education, an interesting learning experience. It will bridge the gap that exists between students with a programming background and those without by personalizing and adapting to learners preferred style. Besides, the use of SLE for computing education in the context of developing countries have not hitherto received much attention; this research tries to delve into the specific application of this 21st-century learning technology for computer programming knowledge. Thus, allowing indigenous students to develop their problem-solving capability, algorithmic thinking, and solve computational tasks, and consequently become local content developers and solution providers. With the experiences of researchers at the EdTech group of the school of computing, University of Eastern Finland, the project is envisaged to solve the problem of individualized learning by encouraging collaborative learning, motivating students to share their learning experiences. At the end of the research, we hope to make programming courses accessible and interesting to students especially novices; motivate learners to learn and practice their programming skills.

Team

Professor Markku Tukiainen, Dr. Jarkko Suhonen, Dr. Solomon Oyelere, Mr. Friday Joseph Agbo

  • Head of research Matti Heiliö
  • Language n/a

The purpose of this Project was to strengthen HEIs in East-Africa as developmentally responsive institutions by enhancing curriculum development, pedagogical approach and capacity of staff in the area of mathematics education and teacher preparation. The invigoration and modernisation of teacher training and the upgrading of curricula was meant to increase the level and enrollment of mathematics education, give a push forward to the education of mathematics teachers and support the universities' ability to embark on development projects with the surrounding society, industry and public governance.

Team

Matti Heiliö, Matylda Jablonska-Sabuka, Tuomo Kauranne, Heikki Haario, Miika Tolonen

  • Head of research Hannu Korhonen, Martti Esala, Mila Sell
  • Language n/a

FoodAfrica is a research and development Programme enhancing food security in West and East Africa. The objective of the Programme is to provide new knowledge and tools for researchers, decision makers and local farmers to improve local food security. The FoodAfrica Programme is implemented in six countries: Benin, Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, Senegal, and Uganda. The programme focuses on the following topics: Strengthening capacity for diagnosis and management of soil micronutrient deficiencies in Sub Saharan Africa for improved plant, animal and human nutrition (WP1, more than 20 African countries involved). Dairy cattle breeding in West Africa: identifying and promoting appropriate breeds and breed combinations or genotypes for smallholder farmers (WP2, Senegal). Economic analysis of technologies and targeted policies to reduce vulnerability and building resilience (WP3, Senegal). Enhancing food and nutrition security of vulnerable groups in communities through increased use of local agricultural biodiversity (WP4, Benin) Measuring and mitigating the risk of mycotoxins for poor milk and maize producers and consumers (WP5, Kenya). Improving market access and food security in Africa with information and communication technology (WP6, Ghana & Uganda) Innovative extension approaches for improving food security and livelihoods (WP7, Cameroon & Kenya).

Team

Hannu Korhonen, Martti Esala, Mila Sell, Jarkko Niemi, Susanna Rokka, Niina Pitkänen, Anna-Riitta Lund, Mikko Salmi, Keith Shepherd, Miika Tapio, Karen Marshall, Siwa Msangi, Marja Mutanen, Delia Grace, Erastus Kang´ethe, Nick Minot, Eija Laitinen, Steven Franzel, Celine Termote, Vivian Hoffmann, Johanna Lindahl, Vesa Joutsjoki

The article-based PhD thesis builds on five published articles. It explores how international human rights law regulates the prevention of honour-related violence (also called honour-based violence). The thesis analyses the obligation of the State to not only punish this form of violence but also to undertake other preventive measures. The legal discussion of honour-related violence has so far largely focused on criminalisation. This research brings to the fore the questions of whether States also should try to abolish the underlying causes of honour-related violence, above all strict gender roles and negative gender stereotypes that regard men as superior to women.

Team

LEAP4FNSSA is a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) whose main objective is to provide a tool for European and African institutions to engage in a Sustainable Partnership Platform for research and innovation on Food and Nutrition Security, and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA).

Team

Melissa Plath

  • Head of research Timo Tokola, Kaisa Korhonen-Kurki, Tiina Kontinen
  • Language n/a

The FinCEAL Plus BRIDGES project (2019-2020) supports the development of partnerships and collaborative research activities between the Finnish research community and those in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). In addition, the project facilitates connections with European partners, whenever the cooperation also includes partners from the target regions. The project is an extension of the FinCEAL (2013-2014), FinCEAL Plus (2015-2016) and FinCEAL Plus Continuation initiatives, all financed by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. Previously, the focus of FinCEAL has been on supporting research collaboration in the thematic areas determined by the EU's bi-regional science, technology and innovation (STI) policy dialogues with Africa, Asia and LAC. FinCEAL BRIDGES will continue to contribute towards strengthening bi-regional cooperation, while expanding the thematic focus to the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Global Partnerships for Sustainable Development (Goal 17). On a national level, BRIDGES also supports the International Strategy for Higher Education and Research 2017-2025. The Ministry has mandated the UniPID network to coordinate the initiative.

Team

Jarkko Mutanen, Melissa Plath, Quivine Ndomo

The project seeks to increase Mozambican research capacity on forestry, sustainable natural resource and land-use planning considering different aspects of impacts (ecological, social and economic). In addition to joint teaching activities, it includes collaborative research on environmental and socio-economic aspects of forestry and natural resources management. The fieldwork activities take place in Manica and Zambézia Provinces.

Team

Almeida Sitoe, Valério Macandza, Ana Monteiro, Luis Cristovão, Elisa Vallius, Anssi Lensu, Irmeli Mustalahti

Building on the successes and outcomes of the previous FinCEAL and FinCEAL Plus projects, the FinCEAL Plus Continuation project aimed to provide strategic support to enhance the cooperation between research and science policy communities in Finland, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. The specific objectives of the project were to: 1. Strengthen Finnish participation in the EU STI policy dialogues with the target regions; 2. Support Finnish participation in joint research projects with partners from the target regions; 3. Enable Finnish expertise and know-how to be better known in the target regions; and 4. Gather and disseminate information on Finnish cooperation towards the regions within Finland as well as new cooperation possibilities with the target regions.

Team

Eva Kagiri, Kajsa Ekroos, Jarkko Mutanen, Melissa Plath