The Harvard Center for African Studies supports faculty-led research projects for which other funding is not readily available. The primary purpose is to support projects related to Africa, to seed new areas of research and education, or to deepen existing areas of scholarship. Grants focus on any country in Africa that advance ideas related to Africa-Asia, or other regional engagements connecting Africa to the Global South. Research or educational opportunities at any school at Harvard are welcomed. More information: https://africa.harvard.edu/cas-faculty-grants
Spring 2021 CAS Faculty Grant Recipients:
Cities and Economic Development: Evidence from Religious and Commercial Networks by Professor Kevin Croke, Assistant Professor of Global Health, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Misinformation about social, political, and public health issues (including COVID-19) is a growing problem in many sub-Saharan African countries. In this collaboration, Professor Croke’s team will experimentally evaluate innovative methods to address the problem of viral misinformation in South Africa.
ARISE Network: COVID-19 & Africa Survey Research by Professor Wafaie Fawzi, Richard Saltonstall Professor of Population Sciences, and Professor of Nutrition, Epidemiology, and Global Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
The ARISE Network established a novel mobile survey platform in Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria, to conduct longitudinal surveillance for evidence generation on knowledge and practices related to COVID-19 prevention and management, and the impact of the outbreak on other health domains including nutrition and food security.
Language, Culture and Technology in Africa by Professor John Mugane, Professor of the Practice of African Languages and Cultures and Director of the African Language Program, Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University
Professor Mugane seeks to make African environments including church rooms, court rooms, classrooms, hospital rooms, entrepreneurial spaces and the like, linguistically accessible. In this project, the team will do research and build a proof-of-concept system for an open-domain natural language translator for African languages that can be used in these critical spaces.
Cities and Economic Development: Evidence from Religious and Commercial Networks by Professor Nathan Nunn, Frederic E. Abbe Professor of Economics, Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University
Professor Nunn’s team will study the randomized rollout of a program promoting urban access in rural villages in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Implemented by a local NGO called Congo Helping Hands (CHH), this ‘City Access Program’ provides regular weekly transportation by motorbike taxi to the city of Kananga to individuals living in rural villages surrounding the city. The aim of the program is to give villagers access to the city, its markets, and its social networks.
Thus Says Orunmila: Critical Insights on Religion and Public Life from Ifa Divination Narratives in Nigeria by Professor Jacob Olupona, Professor of African Religious Traditions, Harvard Divinity School and Professor of African and African American Studies, Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University
Professor Olupona is developing a monograph about Ifa as an indigenous system of knowledge and theory production, provisionally entitled, Thus Says Orunmila: Critical Insights on Religion and Public Life from Ifa Divination Narratives.