The newly launched programme, that represents the first integrated strategy and research agenda for ILMI, aims to serve as a platform for discussion and debate. It will also provide the basis for critical research priorities, mobilizing funding and improving the training and profile of Namibian researchers. It is expected that the LLH Research Programme will enhance student research capacities and encourage collaborative research through the involvement of students and staff from several departments.
Charl-Thom Bayer, Head of the Department of Land and Property Sciences, said Namibia’s contemporary reality presents the country with certain sociospatial challenges. “These challenges have not been resolved and it has been argued that the strategies of the last thirty years (titling, slum upgrading etc.) have exacerbated these challenges. The public dialogue in Namibia also points to the need for research that is driven by finding solutions for some of these problems, rather than simply adhering to the orthodox methods of old,” Bayer said.
He added that land tenure, land use and land value are three attributes that all countries must manage. Namibia also has an extraordinary focus on its environment, including constitutional protections. These three aspects are interrelated and together with space, in which these attributes occur, provide the conceptualization of our research. Therefore the institutional (tenure), environmental (use), fiscal (value) and spatial (planning) are the four key aspects of the LLH Research Programme.
“It is our hope that through the LLH Research Programme, the national and institutional research environment can be enhanced. A Working Paper Series will publish research in progress to create a platform for critical review and discussion. Networks with local and international research and development organisations will be strengthened, while a programme of public engagement, outreach and knowledge dissemination to increase the impact of research in our communities is being developed,” Bayer said.
He invited any interested researchers to join, collaborate, participate or share their findings with the LLH Research Programme at firstname.lastname@example.org.