These case studies provide some examples of the outstanding research that we have funded through the Newton Fund.

ESRC Newton Fund grant holders' impact event

  • A two-day conference was held in Glasgow for Newton Fund grant holders. The event included a mix of presentations and interactive activities intended to provoke broader thoughts about impact, beneficiaries and the benefits of international partnerships. 
  • Over 50 researchers, representing Newton Fund grants in countries such as Brazil, China, India, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey and Vietnam, and from a wide spectrum of disciplines, attended this special event which was intended to promote networking and different ways to maximise impact from international research.

Urban observatories for better city planning

  • The SMArt CitIES Network for Sustainable Urban Futures (SMARTIES Net) is led by researchers at the University of Nottingham and the National Institute of Urban Affairs in New Delhi, India.
  • The project team used an urban observatory approach to develop thinking about increasing the sustainability of Indian cities. Workshops were held in seven cities which were awarded Smart City status by the Indian government, to explore the diverse issues they were facing such as traffic congestion, affordable housing, waste recycling, access to services, and crime.
  • The team identified that data was not openly shared, and the voices of residents, NGOs, students, academics, businesses and public servants were not generally included in the urban planning process, especially those in lower income groups. Including them in the planning process resulted in dynamic multi-disciplinary conversations which led to improved understanding of cities’ needs and opportunities.
  • Using the concept of city-level urban observatories is helping several municipal authorities to reframe their approach to Smart City information gathering to inform better decision-making.