This project is a collaboration between Sudanese and Norwegian academic institutions. We aim to contribute to high quality research and policy development on current challenges facing Sudan.
The Sudan-Norway Academic Cooperation (SNAC) builds on 60 years of close cooperation and partnership between scholars and research institutions in Sudan and in Bergen, Norway. As the SNAC project was about to start, war broke out in Sudan. All higher research institutions in the country are closed, making it challenging to carry out the work in bringing about the project objectives in the way we had planned and thrive on. With many of our Sudanese colleagues at risk and many having fled the country, we are working hard to readjust the project in ways where we can stand in solidarity with our colleagues. An important step is to offer assistance to Sudanese scholars at risk who now find themselves in a vulnerable and precarious situation. For now, we have been able to facilitate a scholars at risk position in Bergen and five guest research stays in Egypt thanks to CEDEJ Cairo. We are still hopeful that we can carry out the SNAC project as envisioned. Above all we hope for the war to end and for the slogan of the December revolution “freedom, peace and justice” to become a reality at last.
In the SNAC project, we have a particular focus on enabling academic institutions to play a vital role in addressing the challenges currently facing Sudan. The country is now in a precarious political state and deep economic crisis. To get the transition to democracy back on track it is more important than ever that Sudanese scholars in Sudan are equipped to actively participate in the national and international academic and policy discourses about their own country. We aim to bring their voices to the forefront of the policy discourse.
We will do this by conducting high-quality collaborative research, co-design training courses, co-supervise students and co-publish on current challenges facing Sudan. The overall goal is to enable academic institutions to play a vital role in addressing these challenges.
The current challenges tackled in the project are:
- Climate change and food security
- Gender, peace, and security
- Migration, borderland dynamics and refugees
- Peace, democracy and the role of youth.
Our approach is based on principles of mutual learning and knowledge exchanges between Norway and Sudan and within and among academic institutions in Sudan.
SNAC aims to:
- Increase research expertise
- Conduct more and higher-quality collaborative research on Sudan and
- Strengthen partnerships and dialogue with key stakeholders through evidence-based and targeted communication.
Throughout all activities the project targets university staff in marginalized areas (regional universities) and groups (women and youth) in Sudan. We choose this approach because historical processes of disempowerment have marginalized these groups to a greater extent. This is reflected in the underrepresentation of these groups in national and international academic discourses, publishing outlets and policy forums on Sudan. Indeed, the inclusion of regional perspectives, and the viewpoint of women and youth who often find themselves outside of existing power structures, is key to a fruitful way forward from the current political and economic crisis. A central principle of the project, therefore, is to center the deep empirical insights possessed by university staff and students at regional universities and young and female researchers and students in knowledge exchanges and mutual learning processes.