Research projects 59

MAKUTANO - means "gathering" in Swahili. The MAKUTANO research project aims to develop appropriate and new methodological and theoretical approaches for environmental collaboration and conflict resolution to be used in Tanzania and elsewhere. The action research approach will be used to find out if urban forest owners influence forest governance, and induce local conflicts over resource utilization. The project provides skills on environmental collaboration and conflict resolution to a group of small- and medium-scale forest owners and local community members in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania, and traces how these skills are transformed and used in the future actions of these forest owners and the surrounding communities. The project is funded by the Develop Academy Programme (2019-2022), which is a programme jointly prepared by the Academy of Finland and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. In many developing countries, there has been a transfer of public and open access land to private use. In the Southern Highlands of Tanzania, the promotion of small-scale private plantation forestry has attracted domestic investors to capture this new resource frontier to meet the increasing demand for timber. This has further increased land value and consequently also land related disputes. The main objective of MAKUTANO research project is to study skills on environmental collaboration and conflict resolution methods among a group of forest owners and local community members in Southern Highlands, and to trace how these skills are transformed and used in the future actions of these forest owners and the surrounding communities. The research idea has emerged from Tanzanian small scale forest owners. The project outcomes may influence Tanzanian-Finnish collaboration by promoting social safeguards to mitigate unexpected impacts of plantation forestry. The research collaboration involves international partners from Tanzania, Kenya, Mexico and Denmark.

Team

Irmeli Mustalahti, Antti Erkkilä, Ida Herdieckerhoff, Aristarik H. Maro, Ubaldus J. Tumaini, Tuyeni Heita Mwampamba, Mara I. Hernández Estrada

  • Head of research Saila Saaristo
  • Language n/a

This study explores inequalities in access to housing. In the light of the premise "Leave no one behind", the case study on occupations and struggle against evictions in social housing estates of Lisbon metropolitan area (LMA) draws the attention to the groups of population that are excluded from access to housing. In particular, gendered and racialised aspects of housing exclusions are examined. In addition, the role of civil society in contesting housing exclusion is analysed.

Team

Saila-Maria Saaristo

  • 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 research focuses on designing a smart learning environment (SLE) using virtual reality mini games to support students' computational thinking skills. Aside from enhancing the teaching and learning of CT, this research aims to support first-year students and novices of computer science with the opportunity to gain CT skills through an experiential learning approach. The goal of the research is to design and develop VR mini games through a rigorous process of the design science research methodology in order to provide artefact that allows students to learn CT concepts such as algorithmic thinking, recursive thinking, pattern recognition, and abstraction of problems. This research will measure students' learning achievement and cognitive benefits through a field experiment with first-year university students in Nigeria and Finland. Currently, we have developed a VR mini games application in the VR EdTech Lab located at the School of Computing, University of Eastern Finland. The mini games were co-designed with students from within Finland and abroad in order to achieve a student-centered learning environment. The research has produced over seven research papers published in ranked journals and conferences as shown in the link (https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=mSqmwdgAAAAJ&hl=en). The research is being supervised by professors from the School of Computing, University of Finland, and Luleå University of Technology (LTU) Sweden. The professors are specialists in VR technology, educational games, and ICT4D.

Team

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

Emerging technologies such as affordable smart phones with 4G access, broadband internet, and interactive interfaces employing gestures or speech, are revolutionizing the ways we access information, learn new skills and interact with the world around us. However, developing world communities - who stand to benefit from such technologies - were, until recently, largely neglected. Interactive technologies provide a means to address learning challenges such as functional illiteracy and information access barriers, and can improve learning and education, health and wellbeing, and agricultural practices.

Team

Markku Turunen, Jaakko Hakulinen, Mikko Ruohonen, Sumita Sharma, Pekka Kallioniemi, Juhani Linna

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

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

FinCEAL Plus started in January 2015 as an expansion and continuation of the FinCEAL Project (2012-2014), both funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The aims of the FinCEAL Plus project were to: 1. Increase and consolidate the Finnish bi-regional cooperation towards Africa, Asia, and the LAC region, with special emphasis on supporting Finnish researchers’ involvement in European bi-regional networks; 2. Support and consolidate the participation of Finnish experts in EU-Africa, EU-CELAC and EU- Asia bi-regional research and science policy dialogues; 3. Increase the knowledge about and visibility of Finnish cooperation towards the target regions within Finland; 4. Expand the awareness of Finnish expertise in the regions; and 5. Expand and consolidate the Finnish research communities’ awareness of cooperation possibilities with the EU, Africa, Asia and LAC region. 6. Throughout all the project activities, strengthening the Finnish universities’ global responsibility and making it more systematic and measurable.

Team

Eva Kagiri, Kajsa Ekroos, Jarkko Mutanen, Melissa Plath

The two-year FinCEAL pilot project aimed to enhance cooperation between research and science policy communities in Finland, Europe, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean by networking the Finnish research community and by supporting their participation in bi-regional research projects and science policy processes. FinCEAL was an initiative funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and implemented by UniPID, the Finnish University Partnership for International Development. FinCEAL activities were focused on the following thematic areas, derived from the European Union's bi-regional science, technology and innovation policy processes: Africa – Food Security, Information Society, Health, Climate Change and Renewable Energy; LAC – ICT for Societal Challenges, Bioeconomy, Biodiversity and Climate Change, Renewable Energy and Health.

Team

Eva Kagiri, Kajsa Ekroos, Melissa Plath

  • Head of research Kai Savolainen
  • Language n/a

NANOSOLUTIONS seeks to identify and elaborate the characteristics of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) that determine their biological hazard potential. It will help develop a safety classification model for ENM based on an understanding of their interactions with living organisms, benefiting industry and enabling innovation.The NANOSOLUTIONS project was created to develop a safety classification for engineered nanomaterials (ENM) based on an understanding of their interactions with living organisms at molecular, cellular and organism levels. The human body uses natural nanomaterials, such as proteins and other molecules, to control the body�s many systems and processes.

Team

Dario Greco, Harri Alenius, Riitta Lahesmaa, Roland Grafström, Kai Savolainen