GCRF Development Award: Heritage Borders of Engagement Network (ENGAGE)

Lead Research Organisation: Nottingham Trent University
Department Name: Sch of Archit Design and Built Env

Abstract

The ENGAGE Network aims to develop an evidence-based understanding of the role and potential of heritage sites, practices and communities in developing long-term sustainable and inclusive peace across conflict-prone border regions through creative modes of cultural productions, education, tourism, interdependent economy and social justice. Designed around the notion of 'humanitarian heritage' as common endeavour of humanity that is indiscriminate about human race, culture, ethnicity or religion, the Network anticipates developing transferable models and forums of 'humanitarian heritage partnerships' as a long-term reverse mechanism for conflict prevention and counter-terrorism strategy in vulnerable and neglected border regions. It will advance discourse and policy on cultural heritage as a source of economic prosperity,transcending political and cultural barriers. It will investigate strategies to counter cultural conflict rhetoric through inclusive education, heritage-centred growth, rural development and infrastructures of peace. The purpose of ENGAGE Network is to re-contextualise heritage to mobilise discussion regarding its common elements - as meeting places, trading points, sites of shared enjoyment - and as a catalyst for much needed economic and social development and Social Justice. The Network's research programme is designed around five themes: Infrastructures and Models of Regional Partnerships for Inclusive Growth; Sustainable Heritage of Hospitality Across Borders; Creative Art, Craft and Cultural Co-production; Heritage Education for Inclusiveness and Diversity; and Navigating Narratives of Displacement, Slavery and Shared Grievances in Border Conflicts.

The ENGAGE Network will work within 2 areas - The Middle East and North Africa (Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Iran) and Southern Asia (including Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, and India). These regions/countries have been chosen due to sustained and recurring armed, cultural, or ideological conflicts. The Network activities will operate via 5 Regional Partnership Hubs in the designated areas: Tataouine (Tunisia), Baghdad-Erbil (Iraq/ Kurdistan), Umm-Qais (Jordan); Jaffna (Sri Lanka); and the Greater Lumbini Area (Nepal), reaching out to communities in all beneficiary countries through the Network capacity-building funded projects programme.

This GCRF Development Award project will take the form of a pilot study to test the ENGAGE Network's research framework and methodology through the development of 3 of the 5 the proposed Regional Research Partnership Hubs - Iraq, Tunisia and Southern Nepal. The project will develop and increase links and knowledge transfer between the ENGAGE Network's international partners, PI and UK and overseas co-investigators. The award will also enable 3 collaborative workshops with stakeholders, research partners and community representatives from the regions. These workshops will explore research methodologies, approaches and challenges to the models of partnership hubs. They will take place in Tataouine (Tunisia), Baghdad-Erbil (Iraq/ Kurdistan), and the Greater Lumbini Area (Nepal). The workshops are designed to operate a number of engagements, meetings and focus group interviews to map local and regional perspectives in the co-design and co-production of the ENGAGE Network's research agenda, methodology and delivery plan. This Development Award will enable and facilitate collaborative research with partners and stakeholders in the global south to investigate strategies to counter cultural conflict rhetoric through inclusive education, heritage-centred growth, rural development and infrastructures of peace. The multi-disciplinary team includes specialists from politics, social sciences, human rights, heritage, tourism, archaeology, architecture, economics, museums and education.

Planned Impact

The ENGAGE Network focuses on one of the world's most challenging issues: how to build sustainable peace and inclusive growth for communities struggling with the challenges of conflict in unstable border regions. It aims to have structural, conceptual and policy impacts by challenging debates on the future development of communities on the physical and ideological borders of conflict. The project is designed to envision long-term sustainable peace, averting potential conflicts through cross-boundary collaborations around heritage-centred sustainable capacity-building programmes, where education, communities (women, young people, refugees), social inclusion and job creation are the central focus. It will co-design processes, partnerships, indicators and metrics which communities, NGOs, academics and governments can use to envision and measure successful interventions in conflict areas and building long-term socio economic prosperity. It will seek to advance discourse and policy on cultural heritage as a source of economic prosperity for countries and communities, informing novel approaches to heritage economy in conflict areas as pathway for collaboration for economic benefits.

The ENGAGE Network Development Grant seeks to develop a collaborative and engagement research platform with local and regional partners at its global research hubs designed to co-design the Network's conceptual framework, activities and impact programme in response to the local needs of heritage communities at border regions. The project activities will build the foundation and become the bedrock of the ENGAGE Network's research agenda, theoretical and empirical investigation, whilst interrogating opportunities for impact-driven collaboration and regional partnerships cross cutting notional political borders. At the centre of this programme is equitable research collaboration on shared interest that address the challenges, needs and sustainable development of heritage communities at cross border regions. It will run at three of the designed five-Research Regional Hubs in Tunisia, Iraq and Nepal.


Impact-led engagement and dissemination will directly engage with target audiences and stakeholders in the UK and overseas, including representatives of relevant governmental ministries, community groups and key international partners and humanitarian organisations across the 3 pilot project study regions. Local communities are major beneficiaries of the Network's activities with planned impact on cultural and socio-economic development. Three main workshops will be held in the 3 pilot regions at the partnership hubs in Tunisia, Iraq and Southern Nepal. At the end of the 12-month project a 3-day network showcase event will be held. All information and feedback from the workshops, community work and public engagement activities taking place throughout the project will be translated into English, Arabic and Kurdish to aid with understanding and dissemination. At the end of the Developmental Project a full research agenda will be put to public discussion and debate under the title: "Heritage Borders of Engagement: Towards a Global Research and Sustainable Development Agenda" a 3-day Regional Hub 'lessons learnt' and Partner Engagement event will be held in the UK at Nottingham Trent University in late March / early April 2020 and connected to all research partners. Regional Research Hub CoIs will be present. The workshops and engagement events programme will allow up-to-date findings and recommendations arising from the Research Hub creation to be disseminated directly stakeholders, community groups and another member of the Project. The research themes, methodology and aims of the proposed ENGAGE Network will then be adapted taking in responses to the feedback, concerns and needs of the local communities.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Heritage Borders of Engagement Network (ENGAGE) 
Organisation University of Birmingham
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The ENGAGE Network developed as a result of long-term collaboration between specialist Research Centres at partners institutions, including the Rights Lab (UoN); Cities and Infrastructure Group (UoL); the Ironbridge International Institute of Cultural Heritage (IIICH; UoB) and the Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Global Heritage (CAUGH- NTU). We are the coordinator of this Network, and my research team has largely coordinated the research planning, activities, meetings and helped gather essential datasets and shape the outline of the research programme. Ee have worked together through 3 workshops and develop a research programme for Humanitarian Heritage, in collaboration with Partners in India, Iraq, and Tunisia. We have managed to collaborate on a number of research projects, public lectures, and now we have a series of Workshops at each country, that are in progress.
Collaborator Contribution Each partner invested with their Human Resources and infrastructure in supporting the development of this research programme and associated planning. IIICH have worked colsoey with us on the Theoretical framework; while UoL have largely shaped the methodological approach for co-creation of art and craft; and finally UoN's Rights Lab team has managed to coordinate the network activities in India and brought on board specialist NGO in India, Praxis as a key member of the Network.
Impact On going. No results yet.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Heritage Borders of Engagement Network (ENGAGE) 
Organisation University of Leeds
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The ENGAGE Network developed as a result of long-term collaboration between specialist Research Centres at partners institutions, including the Rights Lab (UoN); Cities and Infrastructure Group (UoL); the Ironbridge International Institute of Cultural Heritage (IIICH; UoB) and the Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Global Heritage (CAUGH- NTU). We are the coordinator of this Network, and my research team has largely coordinated the research planning, activities, meetings and helped gather essential datasets and shape the outline of the research programme. Ee have worked together through 3 workshops and develop a research programme for Humanitarian Heritage, in collaboration with Partners in India, Iraq, and Tunisia. We have managed to collaborate on a number of research projects, public lectures, and now we have a series of Workshops at each country, that are in progress.
Collaborator Contribution Each partner invested with their Human Resources and infrastructure in supporting the development of this research programme and associated planning. IIICH have worked colsoey with us on the Theoretical framework; while UoL have largely shaped the methodological approach for co-creation of art and craft; and finally UoN's Rights Lab team has managed to coordinate the network activities in India and brought on board specialist NGO in India, Praxis as a key member of the Network.
Impact On going. No results yet.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Heritage Borders of Engagement Network (ENGAGE) 
Organisation University of Nottingham
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The ENGAGE Network developed as a result of long-term collaboration between specialist Research Centres at partners institutions, including the Rights Lab (UoN); Cities and Infrastructure Group (UoL); the Ironbridge International Institute of Cultural Heritage (IIICH; UoB) and the Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Global Heritage (CAUGH- NTU). We are the coordinator of this Network, and my research team has largely coordinated the research planning, activities, meetings and helped gather essential datasets and shape the outline of the research programme. Ee have worked together through 3 workshops and develop a research programme for Humanitarian Heritage, in collaboration with Partners in India, Iraq, and Tunisia. We have managed to collaborate on a number of research projects, public lectures, and now we have a series of Workshops at each country, that are in progress.
Collaborator Contribution Each partner invested with their Human Resources and infrastructure in supporting the development of this research programme and associated planning. IIICH have worked colsoey with us on the Theoretical framework; while UoL have largely shaped the methodological approach for co-creation of art and craft; and finally UoN's Rights Lab team has managed to coordinate the network activities in India and brought on board specialist NGO in India, Praxis as a key member of the Network.
Impact On going. No results yet.
Start Year 2019