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Healthy Futures - Prof. David Taylor, TCD


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This presentation is from the EPA's FP7 Environment National Information Day 2010. For further information, see


The full title of this presentation is "Health, environmental change and adaptive capacity: mapping, examining and anticipating future risks of water-related vector-borne diseases in eastern Africa (Healthy Futures)"

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Healthy Futures - Prof. David Taylor, TCD

  1. 1. Theme 6: Environment (including climate change) Sub-Activity 6.1.2 Environment and health Area Health impacts of climate change ENV.2010.1.2.1-1 The effect of environmental change on the occurrence and distribution of water related vector-borne diseases in Africa Health, environmental change and adaptive capacity: mapping, examining and anticipating future risks of water-related vector-borne diseases in eastern Africa (HEALTHY FUTURES) Coordinating person: David Taylor (Professor of Geography, Trinity College Dublin
  2. 2. Consortium comprises 15 institutions (seven in Europe, eight in Africa): •School of Natural Sciences/Centre for Global Health, TCD, Ireland •Aquatt, Dublin, Ireland •Earth System Physics, The Abdus Salem International Centre for Theoretical Physic, Trieste, Italy •Centre for Geoinformatics, University Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria •Rossby Centre, Sveriges Meteorologiska och Hydrologiska Institut, Norrköping, Sweden. •Wolfson Research Institute, University of Durham, UK •Department of Geography, University of Liverpool, Liverpool. UK •Institute of Development Studies, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya •International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya •CGIS, National University of Rwanda, Rwanda •Stockholm Environment Institute, Dar es Salam, Tanzania •Ministry of Health, Uganda •Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kenya •Malaria Unit, TRAC Plus, Ministry of Health, Rwanda •Climate Systems Analysis Group, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  3. 3. HEALTHY FUTURES aims to provide the scientific basis for better prediction of future outbreaks of three water- related Vector-Borne Diseases (VBDs) - as a result of environmental changes - in the East African Community region of eastern Africa One outcome of the research will be the delivery of improved Decision Support Tools to human and veterinary health workers in the region
  4. 4. The HEALTHY FUTURES consortium comprises climate modellers; environmental scientists & historians; geospatial scientists; human and veterinary health scientists, public health workers and social scientists. Research, dissemination and project management activities in the HEALTHY FUTURES project are grouped into seven Work Packages (WPs)
  5. 5. Proposal writing: Adopted a participatory approach to writing the proposal •Time Consuming •Required support financial expert (e.g. in putting together the budget!) •Shortage of information – not a problem!
  6. 6. Proposal writing: •Science part – not difficult (c. 40pp of 110pp proposal devoted to science) •Timing not family-friendly (submission deadline mid- January!) •Project management tool, developed by Aquatt, absolutely essential – enabled crucial information on the project proposal to be circulated and stored, and facilitated participation by all members of the consortium
  7. 7. Difficulties – only really emerged after the decision to fund the proposal by the European Commission (April) Following a positive outcome of the evaluation process, partners have to engage directly with the European Commission’s Participant Portal/ECAS (EC’s due diligence process) Certainly not simple or intuitive, and assumes reliable and fast internet! Seems that the EC has pushed down to the researcher much of its administration – particularly difficult for Africa-based partners who largely lack the capacity to carry out voluntary/unpaid work of the kind required!
  8. 8. In summary •Mine has been a largely positive experience (of course it has been – the HEALTHY FUTURES application was successful) •However, proposal writing and subsequent grant negotiations are time-consuming (and our application required only very minor adjustments following the evaluation process) and occur at sub-optimal times of the year (Christmas 2009 was a very stressful time!) proposal writing is challenging for coordinators, as it is as much about person-management as it is scientific excellence •Support is there (from SMEs (such as Aquatt)), Enterprise Ireland, the EPA - and from other consortium members!