Sustainability Transitions in the Context of Covid-19: Perspectives from the Global South – Local Experimentations in Times of a Pandemic

Past Event
7 October 2020 13:00 (GMT)
1 October 2020 15:00 (GMT)

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The e-waste management system in Ghana through the Transformative Innovation Policy Lens: The relevance in the wake of COVID-19


Ghana joined the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) in 2018 with a special focus on a case study of the e-waste management system in Ghana. E-waste contributes to air, water, and land pollution. Increasing consumption of electronics with its attendant high levels of e-waste has made the management of e-waste in Ghana a societal challenge that requires a new socio-technical solution. The Transformative Innovation Policy (TIP) Consortium is a multi-country initiative on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy experimentation aimed at promoting transformation of systems and societies in ways that foster environmental sustainability, achieve more equitable income distribution and help address social challenges including gender, inequality, and exclusion. In the wake of COVID-19, the concept of TIP has become critical for policy development processes. Doing business as usual by rolling out projects and interventions is inadequate. Important questions relating to co-ordination, outcomes and impact must be interrogated in order to achieve the level of socio-technical systems change required for transformation. For circular economy and efficiency in e-waste management, innovative business models are required. Although e-waste management is transnational in character and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) need to be vigorously pursued, COVID-19 has taught as to be inward looking and build local capacity along the e-waste value chain.


Dr. (Mrs) Wilhelmina Quaye is the Director of CSIR-Science and Technology Policy Research Institute in Ghana. She is the team leader for Transformation Innovation Policy in e-waste in Ghana. She is an African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) fellow and Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist for Sustainable Development and Relief Associates (SUDRA). Her areas of specialization includes gender, policy and socio-economic research. She shares her experience on Transformation Innovation Policy, local relevance in the wake of COVID-19 .


Covid19 as Window of Opportunity or Setback for Transition in Transport in Metro Manila?


We consider how the COVID pandemic crisis opened a window of opportunity for creating resilient and sustainable transport systems in Metro Manila, the megacity capital of the Philippines.  Because of the pandemic, pressures were unleashed, causing radical disruptions on incumbent public transport systems.  Cycling, which was largely non-existent in Metro Manila, suddenly emerged as a top mode of choice for many despite the injury-related risks involved.  This destabilization, while disruptive of the status-quo, creates on the one hand opportunities for the government to pursue programs that may accelerate reform of transport systems.   On the other hand, it also exacerbates the effect on the livelihood of certain transport sectors.  We present policies currently under negotiation to mitigate any negative social impact and to ensure a just transition.


VarsoloVarsolo Sunio, Dr. Eng. Lecturer, Applied Business Analytics, University of Asia and the Pacific. Specialist, Accenture. Email: varsolo.sunio@uap.asia

Vars finished his PhD from Kyoto University, specializing on sustainable mobility.  He worked at the Department of Transportation, where he became involved in the programs of the government to accelerate the reform of public transport in the Philippines.  His research focuses on public transport reform and transition in the Global South context.



Frugal Innovations in Healthtech to Tackle COVID-19


Frugal innovations have gained momentum with the discourse of access to the consumption market, which has evolved to consider resource-constrained contexts and sustainable development goals. The main focus is to guarantee access to solutions that proved to be efficient at affordable prices in restrictive conditions. In times of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of equipment and other solutions to tackle the disease and the challenges to provide resource-constrained locations with access to them has created ideal space for the development of solutions in a faster and frugal manner. In this webinar, we focus on cases of frugal innovations that have been developed to tackle COVID-19 focusing on the Global South. It is an ongoing work in which we interview experts involved in the development of solutions to identify how frugality is achieved in the creation process and the challenges faced to scale up these solutions. So far, we have interviewed experts from Brazil (Sao Paolo and Campina Grande) and Chile (Santiago).


Dr. Maria Lima-Toivanen is a Senior Scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and an expert on international science, technology and innovation cooperation for solving societal challenges, local development and public policies evaluation. Her work has focused mostly on Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Southeast Asia.

Pedro Figueroa is an expert on Science Diplomacy. He is Co-Founder and President of DiploCientifica – the Science Diplomacy Network and Observatory in Latin America and The Caribbean. He has a Bachelors in Political Science and Management from Chile and a Masters in International Relations from Belgium.

Venkata Gandikota is passionate about Frugal innovation, Impact investing, and Circular economy. He is a Co-Founder of InnoFrugal- a nonprofit entity and an innovation and thought leadership conference held annually in Finland since 2014. Venkata is involved in developing the impact investing ecosystem in Finland. He has a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from India and a Masters in Environmental Engineering from USA.


Final two webinars in the Transitions in the Global South webinar series:

November 4th 1-3pm UK – Theme: Informal economy in times of Covid-19

December 2nd 1-3pm UK – Theme: State and public institutions in transition in times of Covid-19

Please save the dates! If you would like to be a speaker on any of these two themes, please write an email to transitions.globalsouth@gmail.com