Call for Papers Special Issue on Water Innovation in Africa
• 大类 : 环境科学与生态学 - 2区
• 小类 : 环境科学 - 2区
Water-related challenges in African countries are pervasive and, moreover, intertwined with population growth, urbanisation, migration, corruption, and increasing manifestations of the impacts of climate change. The salience of innovation for addressing water-related challenges in African contexts is increasingly being realised by policy makers and funders alike. However, difficulties remain with tailoring existing solutions to local contexts, matching water innovation demand and supply, establishing sustainable operational capacity to maintain innovative water systems, acquiring funding for upscaling proven solutions and setting up an enabling environment for water innovation. To date, limited insights from a water innovation studies perspective are available to inform and guide water innovation policy and practice in African countries.
The objective of this Special Issue is to further develop the emerging field of water innovation studies and specifically to generate a better understanding of the ways in which water-related challenges in distinct African contexts can be addressed by innovation and how an enabling environment for water innovation can be fostered through appropriate innovation policies and effective water innovation systems.
We invite scientific contributions for potential publication in this Special Issue that apply relevant concepts, frameworks and methods from innovation studies to further our understanding of water innovation dynamics in different African contexts. These may be full research papers, drawing on empirical evidence, or shorter ‘messages from the field’ (e.g. from describing relevant project aims, outcomes and impacts).
Water innovation dynamics on the demand and supply sides along the water value chain: Among the water users, the agricultural sector – the largest water user in most African countries – has long attracted the attention of innovation studies while most other water users have not been studied from an innovation perspective. Papers for this Special Issue should examine water innovation dynamics on the water supply or demand side, particularly for industrial water users, (urban, rural) households and informal settlements, and examine the extent to which and how existing innovation efforts serve to address their needs. We also expect papers that analyse the factors exlaining the (non)adoption of water innovations by different water users in African contexts.
Distinct water innovation efforts in African countries are under way, implementating innovative approaches to managing water resources and providing water services. Few empirical studies exist that examine these efforts in different African contexts from the water innovator and entrepreneur perspective. Papers for this Special Issue should explore the factors that facilitate or constrain such water innovation efforts and should generate clear recommendations for appropriate innovation policies.
Innovation policy, accelerators and incubation programmes: with the increasing realisation of the role of innovation to foster economic growth, innovation policies, accelerators as well as incubation initiatives are being implemented in a number of African countries, including those that aim to support the generation, adaptation and uptake of water-related innovations. Papers for this Special Issue should critically analyse emering experiences with the implementation of innovation policies and incubation programmes for water innovation in Africa.
Water innovation systems in African contexts consist of the learning, innovation and competence building systems for improving the competencies of actors so that socio-economic value for society can be created from knowledge. Papers should examine the effectiveness of national and regional water innovation systems in distinct African contexts, the gaps charactersing these systems, the extent to which they serve to overcome knowledge fragmentation and how these water innovation systems can be strengthened.
Digital transformations and water governance: Digital transformations affect not only the management of water resources and water services ( e.g. via sensor-based smart water management systems). Pervasive and tailored use of ICTs can also enable new forms of stakeholder engagement, participation in decision making and even new governance structures. In African contexts, they may present particularly salient opportunities to leapfrog to more equitable and participatory decision making. However, they entail opportunities as well as disruptions and barriers. Papers should examine the opportunities arising from technological and non-technological innovations for much-needed changes in how decisions related to water are made in African contexts (in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, and trust and engagement of all stakeholders) and how digital transformations can be steered by appropriate policy measures in desirable ways in order to derive their social innovation potential in African contexts.
Inter-sectoral dynamics of water related innovation and knowledge flows: studies are required that examine water sector sub-functional categories as well as cross-sectoral approaches – referring to interactions and interdependencies of the water sector with other sectors that support and/or create social and resources trade-offs, i.e., at the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, considering the interoperability of technologies, institutions and networks.
Frugal and/or inclusive water innovation – Similar to other low-income and resource-constrained contexts, many African countries can hardly afford water innovations that were initially conceived in and for Western contexts. There is an increasing recognition that Africa needs water innovations that are not only resource efficient, environment friendly, but also context sensitive, robust and affordable. This special issue welcomes papers documenting evidence-based research on the potential of frugal innovations to address water-related challenges in Africa. Papers should also analyse issues such as environmental sustainability of frugal water innovations and inclusive business models for frugal water innovations.
Financing water innovation - Access to funding, particularly for scaling innovations, appears to be a critical missing link in innovation value chains in most African countries. By vertue of its inherent characteristics, the water sector is often perceived as risky by financial market players, yet these must play a central role in financing water innovation in Africa. Papers in this Special Issue should analyse, based on empirical cases, how and under what conditions commercial finance for water innovation in Africa can be effectivelly mobilised, to benefit both financiers and (large and small scale) water innovators in Africa.