Research and knowledge dissemination led by Greenwich on biological
pesticides has made a major contribution to the introduction of novel safe
commercial pesticides based on insect viruses to help farmers overcome the
problems of chemical resistance in major crop pests in Asia and Africa.
Research at Greenwich identified effective virus strains, methods of
production and formulation which were then developed and evaluated with in
country research collaborators before being transferred to local SMEs to
start up production in India, Thailand, Kenya and Tanzania. Greenwich
advised governments on adopting suitable regulation to support the
registration and sale of these novel pesticides.
The International Institute for Sign Languages and Deaf Studies
(iSLanDS) is a world leader in the systematic comparative research
on sign languages (Sign Language Typology), and conducts the world's
largest typological projects on sign language structures, using a large
international partnership network. The impact of this work, often in
developing countries, is seen in the domains of:
a) improved educational attainment and professional development for
marginalised groups (deaf sign language users); and
b) linguistic rights for sign language users through engagement with
international policy makers, non-governmental organisations and
professional bodies (in India, in Turkey and with international bodies).
Research disseminated through the Gender and Disaster Network (GDN) has
played a pivotal role in changing attitudes and increasing recognition of
the importance of gender-insensitive disaster policy and practice. GDN is
an international collaboration between Northumbria University, UN agencies
and US and Swiss government agencies that distributes research-led
resources through an open access website (www.gdnonline.org)
co-ordinated by Dr Maureen Fordham at Northumbria. GDN resources are used
internationally by practitioners in the United Nations, national and local
governments, and non-government and corporate business organisations.
Gender analysis is now routinely incorporated in training for disaster
management and risk reduction and this is seen in official UN documents,
for example the guidance published in 2009 `Making Disaster Risk Reduction
Gender-Sensitive: Policy and Practical Guidelines' for which Fordham was a
Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) is an evidence-based, brief, group
therapy for people with mild to moderate dementia. It was developed and
evaluated by UCL in collaboration with Bangor University. Our research
showed significant benefits in cognition and quality of life plus
cost-effectiveness. Cognitive Stimulation for people with mild/moderate
dementia of all types is recommended by NICE and is now in widespread use
across the UK and the rest of the world in a variety of settings including
care homes, hospitals and the community. A recent audit by the Memory
Services National Accreditation Programme reported that 66% of UK memory
clinics surveyed were using CST.
UCL researchers and overseas partners have developed a successful
community intervention to improve maternal and newborn health, which is
now saving lives in India's poorest communities and is being taken up in
other low- and middle-income countries. The intervention involves village
women's groups working together to identify, prioritise and address common
problems during and after pregnancy using local resources. The process was
tested successfully in Nepal, led to a 45% reduction in newborn mortality
in an award-winning trial in rural India, demonstrated an impact on
maternal mortality in a meta-analysis of seven trials across four
countries, and has already been scaled up to a population of over 1.5
million in rural India's poorest communities.
UCREL (the University Research Centre for Computer Corpus Research on
Language) has been pioneering advances in corpus linguistics for over 40
years, providing users with corpora (collections of written or spoken
material) and the software to exploit them. Drawing together 8 researchers
from the Department of Linguistics and English Language and 1 from the
School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University, it has
enabled the UK English Language Teaching (ELT) industry to produce
innovative materials which have helped the profitability and
competitiveness of that industry, and assisted other, principally
commercial, users to innovate in product design and development.
Research by Dr William Tuladhar-Douglas on biocultural diversity
and religion in sacred landscapes in the Himalayas has had significant
impact on conservation policy and practices for ecosystems in the
Himalayas. His research has reinvigorated debate about culturally
appropriate modes of engagement and challenged the concept of `religion'
that conservationists use in their work with indigenous communities. This
is particularly the case in terms of concepts of personhood which are held
by certain indigenous peoples in relation to non-human creatures, and the
ways in which traditional practices engage with non-human persons in the
form of animals, plants and deities. Through directly influencing the
policy and practice of the World Conservation Union (the leading
international body in world conservation), Tuladhar-Douglas'
research has led to culturally appropriate understandings of `personhood'
being recovered into the management of protected areas. This has changed
the interplay between local cultural variation, threats to biodiversity,
indigenous perspectives and international conservation norms. Furthermore,
his work has determined that there is greater capacity to engage with
traditional peoples in conservation, helping to transform them from being
`paper stakeholders' to genuine participants. The resulting policy changes
are likely to help achieve resilient and successfully protected sites.
Scientists at the Institute of Zoology (IOZ) led the development of the
IUCN Red List, the foremost tool for assessing species extinction risk. We
further developed systems to evaluate the status of biodiversity at the
national level (National Red Lists), quantify population changes (Living
Planet Index) and robustly measure changing biodiversity (Sampled Red List
Index), and global indicators of the status of biodiversity for the
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). These are used to drive
conservation policy and public engagement by Inter-Governmental and
Non-Governmental Organisations, and national governments, and underpin
measurement of adherence to CBD Targets for 2010 and 2020.
Research conducted by the Centre for the Study of Poverty and Social
Justice (CSPSJ) led to a new way of assessing child poverty in developing
countries. This novel method (termed the Bristol Approach) resulted in the
United Nations General Assembly's adoption, for the first time, of an
international definition of child poverty (2006). It also underpinned
UNICEFs Global Study on Child Poverty and Disparities (2008-10),
which was run in over 50 countries. In the last ten years, the CSPSJ's
work has put child poverty at the centre of international social and
public policy debates. Its researchers have advised governments and
international agencies on devising anti-poverty strategies and programmes
that specifically meet the needs of children, and have significantly
influenced the way child poverty is studied around the world. The Centre
has developed academic and professional training courses for organisations
like UNICEF on the issues of children's rights and child-poverty. Our work
has also spurred NGOs such as Save the Children to develop their own
child-development indices, and so has had a direct and profound impact on
the lives of poor children around the planet.
The Disaster and Development Network (DDN) researches and facilitates the
implementation of disaster risk reduction strategies to improve community
resilience in the poorest communities of Southern Africa and South Asia.
The DDN aims to initiate life-saving health policies and disaster risk
reduction strategies through local engagement and policy intervention.
This Case Study focuses on the way interventions based on DDN research
have been implemented at local level, exemplified through community
resilience-building in Bangladesh, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan and
Zimbabwe. DDN research has impacted the United Nations Hyogo Framework for
Action, the latest international strategy for disaster reduction.