Projects

Project // The Nexus Network

Since its launch in June 2014, the Nexus Network has worked to support transdisciplinary research at the food-water-energy-environment nexus and to create meaningful links between communities of researchers, policymakers, business leaders and practitioners.

What is the Nexus Network?

The Nexus Network has been the first in a series of linked investments from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in the UK supporting a community of researchers and stakeholders to tackle nexus interdependencies, trade-offs and decision-making processes. Coordinated by teams from the University of Sussex, University of Sheffield, University of Exeter, University of East Anglia and the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, during its lifespan, the network has:

  • hosted and facilitated numerous events, providing spaces for engagement and discussion about nexus challenges
  • developed insights into tools and methodologies for nexus thinking and practice
  • supported nexus-related research through a flexible small grants programme and fellowship scheme
  • worked with businesses and policymakers to support them to address nexus interdependencies, opportunities and impacts
  • built capacity in the UK research system for future investments in nexus-related economic environmental and sustainability research
  • provided strategic advice to ESRC, RCUK and other funding bodies.

Multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary

It is increasingly recognised that narrow single disciplinary approaches are ill-equipped to address complex, interconnected challenges. There are various approaches to the involvement of multiple disciplines within research:

  1. A multidisciplinary approach draws upon the strengths or expertise of different disciplines, and more effectively joins up their findings, but leaves disciplinary boundaries (and sometimes hierarchies) intact.
  2. An interdisciplinary approach involves the fuller integration of disciplines, to develop potentially novel ways of approaching research questions, recognising that there is a diversity of ways to understand and address particular problems.
  3. Transdisciplinary research not only integrates expertise from across academic disciplines, but also involves societal stakeholders in the design stage, and throughout the research process. In transdisciplinary research, knowledge can come from beyond formal academic disciplines, and insights are often provided through other kinds of tacit knowledge – as held by local communities, businesses, social movements or practitioners.

Nexus Network activities and projects have included all three of these types of cross-disciplinary collaboration, with a particular emphasis on transdisciplinary processes.

Webiste: The Nexus Network

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Modelling and Assessment

Nexus Modelling // Towards Ranking the Water–Energy–Food–Land Use–Climate Nexus Interlinkages for Building a Nexus Conceptual Model with a Heuristic Algorithm

By Chrysi S. Laspidou, Nikolaos Mellios and Dimitris Kofinas. In this article, a practical heuristic approach for gaining a systemic and contextual perspective on nexus component interlinkages is presented, by building on a simple three-point typology of interactions. The approach is simple and can be applied in any case study a nexus analysis is pursued, regardless of data availability.

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Nexus Blog

Un Nexus pour les Organismes de Bassin au Sahel // Comparaison multisectorielle : OMVS - CBLT - ABN

Par Luca Ferrini (Représentant Dialogues Mondiaux NEXUS (Eau-Energie-Sécurité Alimentaire) dans le Bassin du Niger) et Lucia Benavides. Cet article fournit une analyse comparative du niveau d'intégration des différents secteurs dans les missions de trois organismes de bassin du Sahel : l'Autorité de Développement du Bassin du fleuve Sénégal (OMVS), la Commission du Bassin du Lac Tchad (CBLT) et l'Autorité du bassin du Niger (ABN). Il met en outre l'accent sur différents domaines d'intervention...

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Nexus Blog

A Nexus for Basin Organisations in the Sahel // Multisectoral comparison: OMVS - LCBC - NBA

By Luca Ferrini (Project Manager, Nexus Regional Dialogue Programme Niger Basin) and Lucia Benavides. This article provides a comparative analysis about the level of integration of different sectors within the mission statements of three River Basin Organisations in the Sahel: the Senegal River Basin Development Authority (OMVS by its French acronym), the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and the Niger Basin Authority (NBA). It further stresses different focus areas of the mission statements,...

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