Urban ARK and Nigeria Watch Project – collaboration and capacity building 

Ibidun Adelekan - Co-Investigator's picture

Building a community of practice and collaboration across relevant research projects is central to Urban ARK. 

One particularly interesting example of this is the emerging collaboration between Urban ARK partner University of Ibadan and the project team of Nigeria Watch and researchers of the French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA). At the end of March 2016 Dr Ibidun Adelekan, lead researcher- Urban ARK Ibadan city study met with the project team of the Nigeria Watch project to discuss commonalities between the projects and to identify potential opportunities for collaboration.

The meeting was facilitated by Dr Emilie Guitard, researcher-IFRA (UI) and a participant at the Ibadan Urban ARK stakeholder’s workshop at the request of Ibidun Adelekan after Dr Guitard informed Dr Adelekan of Nigeria Watch in November 2015. Before then Urban ARK research team were not aware of Nigeria Watch project.

The meeting proved to be a learning opportunity for the two research teams as information on project goals and research methods was exchanged between the teams. The importance of sharing results of research with policy makers and planners was highlighted during the meeting. Opportunities for shared learning and collaboration were also discussed.

Nigeria Watch Project

The project coordinator, Dr Adams, noted that Nigeria Watch is a database that monitors and compiles violent deaths from vehicle accidents, crimes, conflicts and natural disasters among other causes, occurring in Nigeria since 1 June 2006. The primary purpose of the monitoring is to measure the risks of violent deaths as a consequence of different causes at the local government and state levels.

Since July 2013, the project has been implemented under the scientific supervision of IFRA- University of Ibadan, with funding from DFID and British Council, as part of the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme.

There are some interesting overlaps with Urban ARK research in Ibadan city and more information on this research can be found here: http://www.urbanark.org/city/ibadan-nigeria.   Research in Ibadan under Urban ARK Work Programme 1 innovates a city scale DesInventar methodology that is explicitly designed to draw out extensive as well as intensive loss data and underlying social vulnerability

Discussions revealed some key commonalities and differences between Nigeria Watch and Urban Ark

  1. The Nigeria Watch project is a country-wide project with the local governments and states as unit of analysis. Urban ARK will work at the city scale and drill down to localities/wards as unit of analysis
  2. The Nigeria Watch project is focused on primarily on violent deaths. Urban ARK will study in addition to deaths, loss, damages and vulnerabilities.
  3. Data collection for Nigeria Watch begun in 2006, and while the Urban ARK programme officially began in 2015, the data set for Ibadan city runs from 2000. 
  4. Nigeria Watch has done little in terms of engaging with policy makers and practitioners but recognize the need for increased focus on this.
  5. The data platform developed for Nigeria Watch is different from the desInventar methodology although there is the likelihood that it can be adapted to it.
  6. The desInventar methodology facilitates spatial mapping which the Nigeria Watch project has not been able to achieve presently.


Initial planned collaborations:

Meeting participants were excited about the collaborative potential between the projects. In terms of outcomes and follow-ups there is considerable scope for database sharing to develop more robust databases across local governments of Ibadan and to enable comparisons and updates of data with respect to selected hazards/risks. In terms of capacity building an exciting opportunity has arisen where Nigeria Watch team which have received specialized training on data retrieval and uploading will provide a two-day training course in data retrieval and entry to two Urban ARK research assistants and approximately seven postgraduate students in the Masters in Disaster Risk Management course, DRM 706- Impact of Disasters at Ibadan University.