Monthly Archives: April 2011

Fifth run of the Wits Introduction to Vulnerability Risk Assessment completed

VRA course map of expectationsDr Katharine Vincent and Dr Alec Joubert have just completed the fifth rollout of the University of the Witwatersrand’s short professional training course on Introduction to Vulnerability Risk Assessment in Johannesburg.  The National Qualifications Foundation (NQF) Level 5-rated course was attended by 11 vulnerability assessment professionals from various local municipalities and metros from across South Africa, as well as by a UN official from Nairobi.  Course evaluations praised the interactive nature of the course, and the quality of training material and presentations.  In particular Alec was praised for his ability to give a comprehensive overview of the nature of climate change in simple terms.  The course is next due to run on 26-30th September 2011, and more information is available on the Wits Enterprise website.

Kulima directors publish book review in Progress in Development Studies

Katharine Vincent and Tracy Cull wrote a review of the book “Portfolios of the Poor: How the world’s poor live on $2 a day”, which has been published in the latest issue of the journal Progress in Development Studies (volume 11, number 2, April 2011).

“Portfolios of the Poor”, by D. Collins, J. Morduch, S. Rutherford and O. Ruthven (2009) is a unique attempt to examine balance sheets and money management strategies of poor households in Bangladesh, India, and South Africa, based on an innovative technique called “financial diaries”, in which households are interviewed twice monthly over a two year period. The results have important implications for development policy and microfinance.

Paper in Nature Climate Change points to need for boundary organisations

In a paper in Nature Climate Change published on 29 March 2011, Nick Pidgeon and Baruch Fischhoff make a compelling case for a more co-ordinated and integrated approach to communicating climate science.  Recognising the challenge that climate scientists face in explaining the risks and uncertainties surrounding potential climate change,  they suggest that “boundary organisations” are needed to bridge the gap between climate scientists and communication experts.

Kulima has also recognised this gap based on many years of experience working in the field of climate change in southern Africa.  Many of our current projects are based on us filling the role of a boundary organisation, working to translate scientific information, which we understand, into language that suits the needs of various end-user groups (policy-makers, decision-makers, the private sector) with whom we have experience of working.