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South Africa – Norway Programme for Research Co-operation


PROJECT CATALOGUE

2002-2005


Project Overview
Project no Page
152235 2

152239 3

152243 3

152251 4

152252 4

152253 6

152259 6

152266 7

152267 8

152269 9

152284 9

152293 10

152297 11

152298 12

152309 12

152313 13

152315 14

152317 14

152325 15

157966 16

157980 17

157986 18

157987 18

157996 19

157998 20

152006 21

158150 21

158153 22

158156 23

158162 25

158163 26

158164 27

158166 28

158173 29

158179 30

158181 30

158182 31

158187 32

158189 33

158190 33

Project Overview

1 Cultural Constructions of Place: Community Documentation of Cultural and Environmental Heritage in the Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Region
Project no:

152235/V10

Grant Period:



1.1.2003-31.12.2005

Responsible University/Institution, Norway:



University of Oslo, Department of Social Anthropology

Principle Investigator, Norway:



Berkaak, Odd Are, Professor

Financed by RCN:

2003: 142,400 2004: 100,800 2005: 106,400

Responsible University/Institution, South Africa:



University of Natal, School of Music

Principle Investigator, South Africa:



Impey Angela M, Dr

Financed by NRF:

2003: 205,000 2004: 210,000 2005: 236,000

Main objectives:

This project proposes to build a Cultural and Environmental Heritage Documentation process in South Africa’s first World Heritage Site, the Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park (GSLWP). The documentation project is founded on the premise that culture is as much a part of the treasure of the landscape as are its faunal, floral and marine resources.


It proposes that songs, dances and ritual processes are rich repositories of indigenous knowledge about the environment, and are particularly relevant signifiers of local meaning systems in a context where these systems may no longer be learned due to enforced displacement and socio-economic transformation.
Through the establishment of documentation nodes, the project strives to systematically accumulate a body of cultural data that comments upon interdependencies between symbolic practices and environmental place. The long-term objective of the project is to explore ways in which indigenous knowledge systems can be recast to generate an organizing paradigm for the sustainable custodianship of the environment, and herein empower local communities to participate more equitably in the development of the region.


Methodology:

The project will operate in 3 cultural/environmental zones within the GSLWP, namely Sokhulu in the south; Mduku in the central region; and Mabaso in the north. In each zone, a school will be selected to operate as a documentation node: in each will be a research team comprising a faculty coordinator, 8 student researchers (16-18 yrs) and 2 unemployed school-leavers. With guidance from principal researchers and post-graduate researchers, research teams will progressively build cultural and environmental documentation centers following a three-year documentation-reflection-action cycle, as advanced by PRA: Phase 1 (2003): establishing archive/data gathering; ion cycle, as advanced by PRA: Phase 2 (2004): information feedback into community through localized workshops, public video screenings and the production of a CD-series; Phase 3 (2005): integration of materials into broader community based conservation processes through regional workshops, and into broader academic processes through an international conference and documentary film production.


Significance of proposed Research:

The project aims to contribute towards cutting-edge academic discourse on the symbolic/ritual construction of natural landscape/place/identity. Materials will have theoretical relevance across a range of disciplines. Information will make a particularly significant contribution to Environmental Studies and emerging models of Community Based Conservation, which have yet to effectively incorporate culture into sustainable environmental development paradigms.

Through application of participatory methodologies, the project will build community-based documentation processes, focusing on the re-memorization of indigenous knowledge systems, hereby building capacity, empowering communities through awareness of cultural strengths and environmental place, and linking processes to a variety of prospective economic outcomes.
Mode of Cooperation:

Dr Odd Are Berkaak (Norway) and Dr Angela Impey (South Africa) will collaborate as project directors throughout the 3- year period. While Dr Impey will manage ongoing liaison with research teams, Dr Berkaak will conduct field trips to South Africa on a twice-yearly basis to direct the construction of community archives. Dr. Impey will spend one month per year at the University of Oslo, where she and Dr. Berkaak will work on joint publications, on a CD production and, together with Ms. Berkaak, participate in post-production of a documentary film. Both participants will organize/direct local and regional workshops, and an international conference in South Africa.



2 District health information systems in South Africa: Empirical studies and interventions for improved use of information in health management
Project no:

152239/V10

Grant Period:



1.10.2002-30.9.2005

Responsible University/Institution, Norway:



University of Oslo, Department of Informatics

Principle Investigator, Norway:



Braa, Jørn, Associate professor

Financed by RCN:

2003: 238,000 2004: 190,400 2005: 142,800

Responsible University/Institution, South Africa:



University of the Western Cape, School of Public Health

Principle Investigator, South Africa:



Sanders, David M, Professor

Financed by NRF:

2002: 52,000 2003: 210,000 2004: 210,000 2005: 157,000
Main Objectives:

The objectives of the proposed research are to assess and analyze the health information systems program (HISP) ongoing in South Africa since 1994, and to develop “best practices” to strengthen the practice and research of health and MIS. The research brings together a unique inter-disciplinary perspective of Public Health and Informatics that synergistically combine to address important thematic concerns in South Africa related to health management, the problem of HIV/Aids, the effective deployment of ICT’s for supporting priorities of social development and democratization, and to strengthen education and training processes in both Public Health and Informatics.

An example of this synergy is reflected in the current use of the HISP systems for tracking information relating to the transmission of HIV to children from infected mothers. While an effectively designed system helps to track this crucial information, education and training helps to support how this tracked information is used for action at different levels from social policy formation to health workers identifying and scheduling target groups for their field activities. An underlying motivation of this research is that while HISP has helped to significantly enhance the capture of correct, relevant and timely data, the use of this data still remains extremely marginal. There is urgent need for research to upgrade and empowering the health structure to a stage of effective utilization of the health indicators in management. This upgrading will go a long way to fulfill the objectives of “knowledge for development” outlined by the World Bank annual report (1997).

Significance of proposed Research:

The proposed research seeks to address the above need by analyzing what is the practical status of the use of health data, what are the institutional and technical constraints to this utilization at various levels of the health structure, and develop strategies and approach to strengthen this process of utilization.


Methodology:

The research methodology involves the selection of a district each in four provinces where HISP has been implemented. To facilitate significant inter-case comparisons, the selection is made to include a diversity of sites in terms of their infrastructure, contextual conditions, and period of HISP implementation. Data will be gathered through in-depth interviews, participant observation, and the study of processes around data collection, transmission and flows.

Analysis of data will be carried out within an interpretive and action research framework involving an iterative and collaborative process of dialogue between the researchers and health officials. The research over three years will include three distinct phases including situation analysis (first year) intervention (second year), and analysis of intervention recommendations (last year).
Mode of Cooperation:

This research is proposed through the collaboration of the School of Public health, University of Western Cape and the Department of Informatics, University of Oslo.

The research will make significant contributions to both the theory of public health and informatics and the practice of public health management in South Africa.

3 Development of rhizormediation as a treatment technology in the removal of PAHs and PCBs from the environment
Project no:

152243/V10

Grant Period:



1.1.2003-31.8.2005

Responsible University/Institution, Norway:



University of Bergen, Department of Biology

Principle Investigator, Norway:



Drønen, Asbjørg Karine Dr.

Financed by RCN:

2003: 155,200 2004: 96,533 2005: 48,267

Responsible University/Institution, South Africa:



University of Pretoria, Department of Microbiology

Principle Investigator, South Africa:



Cloete, Thomas E, Professor
Financed by NRF:

2003: 285,000 2004: 255,000


Main Objective:

Rhizoremediation of plants tolerant to total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) offers an opportunity to develop a cheap technology to treat toxic and harmful petroleum compounds.

The main objective in this study will be to investigate how effective the utilization of TPH tolerant plants is in effecting the dissipation of PAHs and PCBs from soil.
Methodology:

Putative TPH tolerant plants will be isolated, identified and screened for their tolerance range. The microbial community in the rhizosphere of TPH tolerant plants will be characterized both with respect to phylogenetic affiliation and the functionality of PCB, PAH and TPH degradation. In microcosm experiments the effect of inoculating plants with certain biodegraders on the PCBs, PAHs and TPH removal will be investigated, and so possible effect on the bacterial populations. Freshly spiked soil will be compared with aged contaminated soil with respect to bioavailability of PAHs and PCBs. Finally, field experiments with TPH plants with the isolated biodegraders will be performed in pilot studies.


Significance of proposed Research:

If TPH tolerant plants can be used in effecting TPH dissipation from the soil, harmful compounds can be removed from the environment to low costs.

The experiment will take place in South Africa as a part of the ongoing research projects on the use of plants to stimulate the removal of organic

4 The rock art project
Project no:

152251/V10

Grant Period:



1.11.2002-31.10.2005

Responsible University/Institution, Norway:



Tromsø Museum, Tromsø University Museum

Principle Investigator, Norway:



Helskog, Knut Professor

Financed by RCN:

2003: 113,000 2004: 203,000 2005: 130,500

Responsible University/Institution, South Africa:



University of the Witwatersrand, Rock Art Research Institute

Principle Investigator, South Africa:



Smith, Benjamin W, Dr

Financed by NRF:

2003: 133,000 2004: 330,000 2005: 131,000
Main Objectives:


  • To develop a new and integrated approach to recording rock art in South Africa and Norway, one that captures the features of the rock itself and which utilizes advances in digital technology.

  • To share methods and experiences of rock art interpretation and to encourage Scandinavian-African comparative rock art studies

  • To share and analyze experiences in rock art management and presentation so as to develop ways of offering a higher standard of public rock art site in South Africa and Norway and thereby to grow tourism and appreciation of indigenous culture.


Methodology:

The methods used will be simple and effective. The project will combine the expertise of the two respective organizations and run joint workshops, joint field research and a joint conference so that younger students and researchers gain a new depth of international in the methods and techniques of rock art studies. The problems faced in each country are different and exposure to different research material and different research traditions will leave all concerned stronger.


Significance of proposed Research:

Rock art research is currently driving tourism and job creation in South Africa. It has long done so in Norway. The project will further cement the special role of Norway and South Africa as world leaders in rock art recording, interpretation and presentation. By sharing our separate but related research experiences one will enhance the value of rock art research in both countries.


Mode of cooperation:

South Africa will organize the day-to-day administration of the project and involvement of African rock art researchers where appropriate. Norway will co-ordinate the technical side of the work and draw in Scandinavian researchers as and where appropriate. South Africa will host a conference to showcase the research findings of the project. South Africa (Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand) will organize the day-to-day administration of the project and involvement of African rock art researchers where appropriate. Norway will co-ordinate the technical side of the work and draw in Scandinavian researchers as and where appropriate. South Africa will host a conference to showcase the research findings of the project. Both South Africa and Norway will discuss their finds with the appropriate local communities.



5 Porphyrin-ferrocene Conjugates as Potential Anticancer Agents: Synthesis, electrochemistry, spectroscopyu, quantum chemistry, and biol. test

Project no:



152252/V10

Grant Period:



1.9.2002-31.8.2005

Responsible University/Institution, Norway:



University of Tromsø, Faculty of Sciences

Principle Investigator, Norway:



Ghosh, Abhik Professor

Financed by RCN:

2002: 27,968 2003: 366,932 2004: 197,500

Responsible University/Institution, South Africa:



University of the Free State, Department of Chemistry

Principle Investigator, South Africa:



Swarts, Jannie C, Professor

Financed by NRF:

2002: 197,000 2003: 197,000 2004: 198,000
Main Objectives:


  • To synthesize mono-functionalized (e.g. amine functionalized) tetraphenylporphorins, covalently anchor ferrocene-containing carboxylic acids to the porphyrines to generate new meso-tetraphenylporphyrin-ferrocenyl conjugates and to anchor the porphyrine derivatives on a water-soluble polymeric drug carrier.

  • To characterize the electron transfer properties of these complexes by means of electrochemical and, if possible, also kinetic studies.

  • To carry out thorough spectroscopic characterization of these complexes

  • To carry in-depth quantum chemical studies of these complexes

  • To subject the porphyrin-complexes to cytotoxic studies that will show the antineoplastic (anticancer) activity of these complexes.


Methodology:

Synthesis will be performed utilizing well-established reaction conditions including Lindsey technology for porphyrin synthesis, nitration, Friedel Crafts acylation, Michael addition, Vilsmeier formulation, thermal and interfaolal polymerisation, and amide formation under the influence of sultable peptide coupling agents. Electron transfer studies will be mostly by cyclic voltammetry. If possible, aqueous solution phase stopped flow kinetic measurements in the UV-VIS speotral region will also be performed. Resonance Raman spectroscopic studies will be carried out in Tromsø. Quantum chemical calculations, using largely density functional theory (DFT), will be accomplished in Tromsø, using Norwegian national supercomputer facilities.

Cytotoxic medical studies measurements will be done under the protection of the Cancer Association of South Africa, following all ethical guidelines as laid down by the ethical committee, utilizing inter alla cultured human colorectal CoLo DM320 cell lines and cultured human cervix epitheloid, HeLa, cancer cell lines.
Significance of proposed Research:

All the proposed meso-tetraphenylporphyrin-ferrocenyl (TPP-Fc) conjugates will be new compounds. The incorporation of the ferrocenyl (Fc) group will give multi-metal nuclear complexes. Central to this proposal, however, is the possibility of demonstrating how the antineoplastic ferrocenyl and photodynamic active (metal free) tetraphenylporphyrino (TPP) groups may compliment each other in a synergistic effect in cancer treatment. The project will also, for the first time, be capable to demonstrate if the tetraphenylporphyrino group can act as an effective carrier to transport the antineoplastic active ferrocenyl group preferentially to a cancer cell. This will allow for more efficient cancer cell death while largely leaving healthy cells undamaged. This transport effect is a real possibility as the tetraphenylporphorin macrocycle were shown to have an increased affinity for cancer cells (i.e. they are preferentially absorbed by cancer cells, antineoplastic active material are compounds that have been shown to kill cancer cells under laboratory conditions but are not yet in clinical use). The electron transfer studies will show how the electroactive ferrocenyl and porphyrin groups can interact with each other under conjugating (good communicating) or nonconjugating (i.e. a "through space" field effect) conditions. It will also show if there is any relationship between the formal reduction potential of the ferrocenyl group and the expected cytotoxicity of the new meso-tetraphenylporphyrin-ferrocenyl conjugates (such a relationship was found for the free ferrocene-containing carboxylic acid derivatives). The spectroscopic studies, including optical and resonance Raman spectroscopy and spectroelectrochemistry, will also investigate the electronic communication between the porphyrin and ferrocenyl groups. Regular DFT calculations will be used to characterize ground-state structures and other properties of the compounds studied while time-dependent DFT calculations will be used to calculate excited states. As none of the compounds under investigation possess water-solubility, use of a water-soluble drug carrier will allow the use of these compounds in cancer therapy while largely making use of the aqueous central circulation department, i.e. the blood, of the body.



Mode of cooperation:

Responsibility for synthesis and electron transfer studies will be shared 50 % by the South African and Norwegian counterparts. South African Quantum chemistry and resonance Raman studies will be the sole responsibility of the Norwegian side. The medical studies - cytotoxicity studies - will be largely carried out by the South African side. On the Norwegian side, an attempt will be made to carry out photodynamic therapy testing in collaboration with the Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo.



6 Information and Communication Technology: Computational High Energy Physics
Project no:

152253/V10

Grant Period:



1.7.2002-30.6.2005

Responsible University/Institution, Norway:



University of Bergen, Research,

UNIFOB AS, Bergen Center for Computational Sciences

Principle Investigator, Norway:



Csernai, Laszlo Professor

Financed by RCN:

2003: 321,300 2004: 214,400 2005: 107,100

Responsible University/Institution, South Africa:



University of Cape Town, Department of Physics

Principle Investigators, South Africa:



Cleymans, Jean W A, Professor

Financed by NRF:

2002: 72,000 2003: 188,000 2004: 145,000 2005: 73,000
Main Objectives:

On 2 November 2001 a group of physicists from the University of Cape Town (UCT) were accepted as members of the ALICE collaboration at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland. This group includes Dr. Zeblon Vilakazi, Dr. Roger Fearick and Professor Jean Cleymans. Several UCT students have now started work in this new direction: Mark Homer (Ph.D. student), Bruce Becker (Ph.D. student), Spencer Wheaton (Phi) student), Nawahl Razak (M.Sc. student) and Mark Maraja (Ph.D. student). This opens up numerous avenues for cooperation between Cape Town and Bergen, since the University of Bergen (UoB) has a very substantial group working on the ALICE experiment at CERN.

The group in Cape Town are newcomers to this field, and considerable guidance will be needed, especially now, in the early stages. The collaboration between Cape Town and Bergen therefore comes at a particularly appropriate moment. For Cape Town this involves a considerable change in research direction since, during the apartheid years, it was impossible to collaborate internationally because of sanctions imposed on South Africa. The main objective is therefore a collaboration on all the aspects involving physics of relativistic heavy ion collisions: the model building part (mainly theoretical in nature), the analysis part (involving the development of software and the running of simulations), and the hardware part (the contribution to the development of detectors).
Methodology:

In the first two years it would be best to concentrate on the software aspects and on the theoretical models. The software presently being developed at CERN is of considerable interest to a wide community, since it includes the development of GRID (distributed computing) technologies. The South African government has declared the development of information technology as one of its top priorities, and the development of GRID would fit perfectly into this picture. These technologies are viewed by many people working in this field as considerably enhancing the capabilities of the internet, since it would allow direct access to the CPU of powerful computers in different parts of the world - including University of Bergen. One therefore views this as first priority. Next would be the development of theoretical models for the analysis of experimental data. At a later stage, UCT plans to develop its workshop facilities with a view to being included as an active partner in the development of detectors.


Significance of proposed Research:

The developments in the software domain will have an immediate and direct impact of great significance to the way one does research. Being part of an international collaboration of this magnitude is a completely new development for the physics community of South Africa and should be viewed as a first step to opening new possibilities.

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