Sida grants to South Asia related projects in November 2007:

Sida's Developing Country Research Council (U-landsforskningsrådet) supports Swedish developing country research. The aim is to establish and maintain a knowledge base of relevance to aid and development issues, plus capacity for developing country research in Sweden. Individual researchers or groups of researchers working at universities/colleges or other research institutions in Sweden may apply for a grant. Swedish citizens working at the Scandinavian Institute for Asian Studies (Nordiska Asieninstitutet, NIAS) in Copenhagen may also apply. More information.

In November 2007 grants were distributed to a large number of projects, out of which several were related to South Asia:

Göteborg University:

Division of Social Anthropology, School of Global Studies
Researcher: Professor Marita Eastmond
Research Project: Human Security and Social Recovery in post-tsunami Sri Lanka
Area: Sri Lanka
Funding: SEK 2 700 000 for three years

Karolinska Institutet Medical University, Stockholm

Dept. of Public Health Sciences, Division of International health (IHCAR)
Researcher: Professor Vinod Diwan
Research Project: The Know-Do gap: a case study of the implementation of reproductive and child health policies in Madhya Pradesh, India
Area: India
Funding: SEK 1 500 000 for three years

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm

Dept. of Applied Environmental Microbiology, School of Biotechnology
Researcher: Dr. Gunaratna Kuttuva Rajarao
Research Project: Safe and inexpensive water purification process using natural materials for tropics
Area: India
Funding: SEK 1 200 000 for three years

Department of Land and Water Resources Engineering
Researcher: Professor Gunnar Jacks
Research Project: Fluoride contamination in groundwater (Karnataka, India): A community effort in cost-affective treatment and management
Area: India
Funding: SEK 600 000 for three years

Department of Land and Water Resources Engineering
Researcher: Professor Vladimir Cvetkovic
Continued doctoral project: Assessing groundwater vulnerability and risks from on-site sanitation - General method development and case study
Area: India
Funding: SEK 1 200 000 for two years

Lund University

Department of Biotechnology
Researcher: Prof. Rajni Hatti Kaul
Research Project: Biotechnological production of biodegradable plastics from surplus biomass: combating waste accumulation in developing countries
Area: India
Funding: SEK 1 000 000 for three years

Stockholm University

Dept. of Geology and Geochemistry, Earth Sciences Centre
Researcher: Associate Professor Joyanto Routh
Project: High-Resolution Lacustrine Records from the Thar Desert Playas in northwestern India: Reconstructing Regional Paleoclimate and Monsoon Patterns
Area: India
Funding: SEK 1 200 000 for three years
Collaboration partner in South Asia: Prof Anil Gupta from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kharagpur.
Dr Narender Meena at Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology will also collaborate in this project.
Project abstract: The Indian Ocean Monsoon (IOM) has a critical role in the global climate, hydrological and energy cycles. The monsoons have repeatedly varied over time and affected the socio-economic life in the region. We will test the hypotheses: 1) strong southwest winds mean higher precipitation on land in summer, and 2) small amplitude changes in North Atlantic during the Holocene are accompanied by variations in the terrestrial record of IOM. Our goal is to reconstruct a high-resolution late-glacial to near-modern paleoclimatic record based on 14C ages, and geochemical proxies (biomarkers, isotopes, paleomagnetism, and elemental ratios). The proxies will relate IOM variability with vegetation and temperature. Our data will be correlated with the Arabian Sea and Chinese peat records. This study in the Sambhar and Didwana lakes in Rajasthan will be done in collaboration with researchers from India.

Dept. of Political Science
Researcher: Dr. Henrik Berglund
Research project: Globalization and its discontent: Coca-Cola in India – a study of civil society as a platform for political protest
Area: India
Funding: SEK 1 800 000 for three years
Project abstract: Trans-national corporations have during the last decade entered India and in many senses changed the terms for both workers and producers. This has resulted in protests against individual companies and against globalization as such, especially amongst NGOs within civil society. This project includes two case studies of campaigns against the Coca-Cola Company in India, which focuses on alleged environmental damages caused by the production of soft drinks. The first case is that of Mehdiganj in eastern Uttar Pradesh where production has continued despite a long campaign against the company, while the second case covers the events in Plachimada in northern Kerala, where popular protests resulted in the closure of the plant. How is civil society used as platform for political struggles against global economic interests? Why have some struggles been successful while others have failed?

Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control

Dept. of Bacteriology
Researcher: Professor Stefan Svensson
Project: Research on the utility of new tests for rapid diagnosis of tuberculosis
Area: Nepal & Peru
Funding: SEK 1 000 000 for two years

Uppsala University

Dept. of Evolutionary Functional Genomics, Evolutionary Biology Centre (EBC)
Researcher: Professor Martin Lascoux
Research Project: Species Recovery program for medicinal plants species in the human-dominated forest landscapes in the Western Ghats, India
Area: India
Collaboration partner: Dr. R. Uma Shankeer at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore
Funding: SEK 1 800 000 for three years

International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH), Department of Women’s and Children’s Health
Researcher: Dr. Eva-Charlotte Ekström
Continued doctoral grant: Effects of exclusive breast feeding and prenatal micronutrient supplementation on micronutrient status of infants where low birth weight is prevalent
Area: Bangladesh
Funding: SEK 1 200 000 for two years

Silk Road Studies Program, Department of Eurasian Studies
Researcher: Dr. Fiona Rotberg
Research Project: Humanitarian Challenges of Climate Change: The Role of Social Networks in Promoting Resilience to Climate Variability
Area: Bangladesh
Funding: SEK 2 900 000 for three years
Collaboration partner in South Asia: Dr. Dalem Barman, Chairman at the Dept. of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Project abstract: The projected impact of climate change in South Asia is extreme flooding and thus food insecurity and humanitarian disasters in the form of famine and potentially mass migration. By studying the specific setting of flood-prone areas of Bangladesh, this research project will enhance our understanding of how people cope with and adapt to the impacts of current-day climate variability. The research question to be asked is: "how do social networks contribute to human adaptation to environmental variability in areas subject to extreme natural hazards?" Social networks, as facilitators of collective action, will be examined for how they have influenced livelihood resilience in societies repeatedly affected by extreme natural hazards. This knowledge is much needed to predict society’s vulnerability to future climate change and identify possible needs and options for adaptive action.

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