Eastern Africa RILab

The Eastern Africa Resilience Innovation Lab (EA RILab)

The Eastern Africa RILab (EA RILab) is one of four RILabs that have been established across Africa as part of the ResilientAfrica Network. The EA RILab is based at Makerere University School of Public Health, Uganda. The other partner Universities affiliated to the EA RILab include Gulu University (Uganda), National University of Rwanda (Rwanda) and Kinshasa School of Public Health (DRC). The Lab has identified seven communities that are vulnerable to the effects of climate variability and conflict, and these communities will serve as pilot sites for resilience innovations sponsored by the Lab. Of these seven communities, four are located in Uganda, two are in Rwanda and one is located in DRC.

EA RILab Thematic Focus

The RILab focuses on building resilience of these communities to the effects of climate variability that manifests as recurrent drought alternating with floods, landslides, and disease epidemics; and effects of acute and chronic conflict that manifest as Gender Based Violence (GBV), refugees and the pace of recovery after conflict.

EA RILab Vision Statement
The vision of the Eastern Africa RILab is to have African communities that are resilient to the shocks and stresses affecting their livelihoods, making use of innovative solutions to their context specific challenges. The lab envisions dynamic self-sufficient households in target communities that effectively harness local agency, indigenous adaptive capacities, and tested innovations to disrupt current approaches to production and market engagement in a manner that builds livelihood safety nets and cushions them from climate related shocks and stresses and leads to sustainable development.

Nathan Tumuhamye Kipande
Director, Eastern Africa RILab
Email: ntumuhamye [at] ranlab [dot] org
Skype: tumuhamyenathankipande

Dr.Julius Ssentongo
Program Co-ordinator, Eastern Africa RILab
Email: jssentongo [at] ranlab [dot] org
Skype: julius.ssentongo
Ronald Kayiwa
Innovations Officer
Email: rkayiwa [at] ranlab [dot] org
Skype: ronald.kayiwa
Anne Burugu Mugarura
Administrator, Eastern Africa RILab
Email: aburugu [at] ranlab [dot] org
Skype: anne.burugu
Sheila Agaba
Lab Technical Officer, Eastern Africa RILab
Email: sagaba [at] ranlab [dot] org
Skype: a.sheila1 






Southern Africa RILab

The Southern Africa Resilience Innovation Lab (SARILab)

The Southern Africa RILab (SARILab), one of ResilientAfrica Network’s (RAN) Resilience Innovation Labs (RILab) is hosted by the University of Pretoria School of Health Systems and Public Health with network-plus partners at University of Zimbabwe, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources and University of Limpopo. The SARILAb has identified communities of focus spread in 3 countries, accounting for half of the regions’ population. These include:

  • Beitbridge in Matabeleland Province Zimbabwe
  • Chikhwawa District in Southern Malawi
  • Ga-Dikgale communities in Capricorn District Central Limpopo Province South Africa and
  • Pyramid community North of Pretoria, South Africa

2. Thematic area of Focus

RAN’s Southern Africa RILab concentrates on the impact of chronic diseases, particularly HIV and AIDS, issues of access to livelihood assets and understanding the local adaptive strategies. It is also important to note that communities in Southern Africa face acute and chronic shocks and stresses with limited resources to respond. These range from floods, droughts, diseases to the debilitating social impact of chronic poverty. In Southern Africa, the HIV prevalence is above 20% and up to 13% of children below 18yrs have lost a mother or parent to HIV and AIDS. Most communities are dependent on agriculture & live in absolute poverty. Death of working adult males results in increased female-headed households, mostly older adults. Change has caused adoption of less sustainable land use practices & use of ‘protected resources’ for revenue regeneration. HIV thus intensifies vulnerabilities of affected communities. Malawi is also faced with problems relating to climate variability. As an agro-based economy agricultural shocks are an important source of vulnerability for the majority of the households in Malawi. In particular, the heavy dependency on rain-fed subsistence agriculture makes the majority of households vulnerable to erratic rainfall. Unpredictable and erratic rainfall exposes farmers to the risk of drought or flooding each year. Vulnerability in agriculture in Malawi is also exacerbated by land constraints. Illnesses and deaths of economically active household members often erode household incomes not only due to a loss in labour, but also because household members may be pre-occupied with caring for the sick.

The concept of resilience has originally been limited within development disciplines to adaptive capacities of people or communities or systems to ‘stress’ or ‘shocks’ (more commonly shocks) such that people recover and thrive as demonstrated by reduced vulnerabilities and improved well-being. These are usually focused on ‘acute events’ or shocks such as floods and droughts and how people adapt such that they are able to sustain their livelihood (including food security). Southern Africa RILab is however interested in understanding the root causes of adverse effects of HIV and AIDS in the rural communities and developing innovations with these communities to reduce the impact of HIV and AIDS and strengthen resilience .

Prof. Olalekan Abdulwahab Ayo-Yusuf, BDS, MSc, MPH, PhD
Southern Africa RILab Director

Dean/Director at University of Limpopo (Medunsa Campus),
University of Pretoria, School of Health Sciences and Public Health,
ResilientAfrica Network-Resilience Innovation Lab (RILab)
Email: lekan.ayoyusuf [at] up [dot] ac [dot] za or lekanay [at] gmail [dot] com
Petronella Chirawu
Project Coordinator

Southern Africa RILab
Email: Petronella.Chirawu [at] up [dot] ac [dot] za, pchirawu [at] gmail [dot] com
Skype: Petronella.Chirawu
Bukola Olutola
Monitoring and Evaluation Officer

Southern Africa RILab
Email: bukola.olutola [at] gmail [dot] com
Skype: bukola.olutola
Eudie Hlabioa
RILab Administrator

Southern Africa RILab
Email: eudie.hlabioa [at] up [dot] ac [dot] za
Skype: edhlabioa
RILab Skype ID: sarilab1
Dr Dominica Chingarande
Network Plus Partner-Focal Person

University of Zimbabwe
Email: sunungurai1 [at] yahoo [dot] co [dot] uk
Jones Ngambi
Network Plus Partner-Focal Person

University of Limpopo
Email: Jones.Ngambi [at] ul [dot] ac [dot] za
Donald Makoka
Network Plus Partner-Focal Person

University of Malawi
Email: donmakoka [at] yahoo [dot] co [dot] uk

Horn of Africa RILab

The Horn of Africa Resilience Innovation Lab (HoA RILab)

The Horn of Africa RILab (HoA RILab), is one of ResilientAfrica Network’s (RAN) Resilience Innovation Labs (RILabs). HoA RILab is hosted by Jimma University, College of Public Health and Medical Sciences, with three currently active network-plus partners. Two of the network-plus partners are within Ethiopia; these are Addis Ababa University, located in the central part of Ethiopia, and Bule Hora University which is found in Southern Ethiopia, close to the RAN project area. The other network-plus partner is Benadir University, located in Mogadishu, Somalia. The HoA RILab has identified two target communities which spread in two countries. These include:

  • The Borana Pastoralist Community in Borana Zone, Southern Ethiopia; pastoralist communities account for about 12 percent of the total population in Ethiopia. Borana Zone has been highly affected by environmental degradation and recurrent droughts followed by conflicts over scarce resources like water and pasture; two districts have been selected for RAN initial interventions, namely Arero and Dhas.
  • The Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Benadir Region, South-central part of Somalia; Benadir Region has got the highest number of IDPs in Somalia (96% of the estimated total IDPs); three districts have been selected for initial RAN interventions; these are Hodan, Hamarweyne and Wadajir.

Thematic Areas of Focus

RAN’s Horn of Africa RILab concentrates on two interrelated thematic areas:

i) Resilience to Recurrent Droughts; and ii) Resilience Factors in Chronic Internal Displacements.

In Ethiopia, livelihoods of most people are dependent on farming or pastoralism. Pastoralism, a livelihood that is based on livestock production, and which is often found in lower rainfall areas, is characterized by long and short distance migration searching for pasture lands and water. The scarcity of such resources poses natural threats to their livelihood systems due to the concomitant hostile competition, anthropogenic conflicts and instability, and these adversely affect their wealth, infrastructure, social services, psychosocial conditions, human capital, and ultimately aggravate their environmental conditions, creating a vicious cycle of poverty.

In general, poor infrastructure development and limited connectivity; low institutional and human capacities in supporting relief and development projects; logistical and governance shortfalls; dependency on scanty rainfalls and mono livelihoods; environmental degradation; cultural values and mindset which hinder rational livestock production and diversified livelihood; recurrent droughts followed by shortage of water and pasture; violent inter-clan and external conflicts; and high population growth have all contributed to the increasing poverty among the Borana pastoralists. Such resilience challenges have been aggravated by environmental conditions such as deforestation, overgrazing, bush encroachment, charcoal production, invasive plants, and destruction of water sources.

Somalia’s economy is agro-based with livestock surpassing crop farming in value, accounting for 40% of GDP. In Somalia, similar resilience challenges have prevailed. Incited by environmental variability and chronic conflicts, Somalia in general and Benadir Region in particular, have suffered chronic displacements for decades. According to USAID Report (2013), Somalia had approximately 1.1 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), most of them concentrating in Benadir Region.

The main shocks and stresses resulting from Internal Displacements in Benadir Region include intensification of conflicts, food insecurity and chronic malnutrition, asset depletion, psychosocial instability, unemployment, increasing poverty and deteriorating human capital.

The HoA RILab envisions having communities that are resilient to the shocks and stresses affecting their livelihoods through innovative solutions to their context specific challenges.

Prof. Kifle Woldemichael, MD, MPH
Horn of Africa RILab Director

Professor of Epidemiology
Principal Investigator, Monitoring and Evaluation Training Program Focal Person, One Health Ethiopia
Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia
Email: kifle.wmichael [at] gmail [dot] com, kifle.wmichael [at] ju [dot] edu [dot] et
Desta Tushune
Program Administrator/Communications Officer

Horn of Africa Resilience Innovation Lab, RAN
Jimma University
Email: destaspice2010 [at] gmail [dot] com, destanice2011 [at] gmail [dot] com
Skype: wubineh
Abraraw Tesfaye, (BA, MA)
Program Coordinator/ Engagement Manager

Horn of Africa Resilience Innovation Lab, RAN
Jimma University
Email: abrarawt [at] yahoo [dot] com
Skype: abraraw.andabm
Yohannes Ejigu (B.Sc, MSc)
M & E officer

Horn of Africa Resilience Innovation Lab, RAN
Lecturer in Department of Health Service Management
Jimma University
Email: yohannesejigu [at] yahoo [dot] com
Skype: Yohannes8
Hunde Tekle
Innovations Officer

Horn of Africa Resilience Innovation Lab, RAN
Jimma University
Email: hunde.tekle [at] ju [dot] edu [dot] et, hunde.tekle [at] gmail [dot] com

West Africa RILab

The West Africa Resilience Innovation Lab (WA RILab)

The West Africa Resilience Innovation Lab is one of the four Sub-regional labs of the ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) located at the University for Development Studies, School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Tamale, Ghana. The Lab has three Network Plus Universities, namely the University of Education, Winneba located in the coastal central region of Ghana, The University of Bamako, Science, Technique and Technology, located in Bamako, Mali and the University of Dakar, located in the city of Dakar in Senegal. The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) located in Kumasi, Southern Ghana is being considered as the second in-country partner University.

The WA RILab thematic focus is Rapid Urbanization, Climate Change and Food Security. The study communities are located in five districts including Tamale Metropolitan Assembly, in Northern region, Kassena Nankana Municipal Assembly, Navrongo in the Upper East region and AshaimaMunicipal Assembly in the Greater Accra region in Ghana. The others are Peki in Dakar, Senegal andTienbane in Bamako, Mali.

West Africa RILab Vision: Regional Network of Excellence in Indigenous Knowledge driven-innovation and Resilience Scholarship

Dennis Chirawurah
West Africa RILab Director

University for Development Studies
Tamale, Ghana
Email: afeyire [at] gmail [dot] com
Niagia F. Santuah
West Africa RILab Programme Coordinator

University for Development Studies
Tamale, Ghana
Email: nsantuah [at] yahoo [dot] com
Skype: niagia.santuah
Mrs. Michelle Ayog-Nying Dassah
West Africa RILab Administrator

Email: ayog_nying [at] yahoo [dot] com
Skype: michelle.apanga
Dr. KONLAAN, Benson Boinkum (MPH., PhD)
West Africa RILab M & E Officer

University for Development Studies
Tamale, Ghana
Email: bbkonlaan [at] uds [dot] edu [dot] gh