Cuts to Global Challenges Funding
The UK Government has announced a significant decrease in ODA funding. Therefore, UKRI is looking to make cuts or terminate recently awarded projects funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund, as well as projects that are in progress like Rights for Time, and others.
If you want more detail, Rights for Time lead investigator Heather Flowe has written a blog outlining why these cuts are so harmful.
We're asking everyone to come together to make it clear to the government how much potential these cuts have to cause damage directly to the overseas partners of ODA funded research projects everywhere, who could be left in an extremely vulnerable position without the funds they have been promised.
Write to the British Embassy, Consulate, or High Commisison in your country and tell them you oppose these cuts.
Download and edit this letter template if you'd like.
If you reside in the UK:
If you'd like to get involved with us as we continue to oppose these cuts, please get in touch using our contact page.
How are these cuts affecting Rights for Time academics and partner organisations?
Download the letter from one of our partners, the Wangu Kanja Foundation, supporting our opposition to the cuts. The Wangu Kanja Foundation focuses on promoting prventention, protection and response toward ending Sexual and Gender Based Violence.
"I became involved in this project to learn from colleagues in the UK and Global South, make a tangible difference to the lives of one particular remote community in Rwanda, and scale up our research insights to support positive change. We built our network based on trust: trust that we were working towards the same goals, trust that we would do so with respect, dignity and imagination. Removing funding from the Network Plus destroys this trust that takes years to establish, and hurts civil society organisations in countries that are already struggling with the effects of COVID-19."
Dr Zoe Norridge
Rights for Time Researcher Dr Zoe Norridge is a Senior Lecturer and Pro-Vice-Dean for Impact & Innovation at King’s College London researching cultural responses to conflict. She is particularly interested in how Rwandans and international visitors have remembered the 1994 genocide and its aftermath through testimony, photography, memorialisation, literature and film.
“PTC has dedicated significant time and resources to realizing R4T projects, from its earliest stages. Our contributed energies have well surpassed any funding received at this point. We believed the team was building something long term, and invested in an opportunity to share our expertise and amplify good work. Time with R4T was given in addition to the services we regularly carry out, providing Mental Health programs for the people of Gaza. It meant staff were stretched thin, even as we tackled adapting care in the context of COVID-19. Asking so much of our project team in the context of a pandemic, and then cutting the program, is a bad faith act indeed.”
Palestine Trauma Center (UK), innovating Mental Health services for Palestinians in Gaza
“Ajyal came on as an early partner and has been seminal in helping the network craft language and ideas. This is an investment of our time and resources, done with the aim of securing funds for work on education and complex contexts of harm. Cancelling the project essentially renders time and attention given to the project useless, and is ultimately a disservice to our community of Palestinian children and educators who we serve.”
Ajyal Foundation for Education
“The planned research would look at the issues of short-termism that infect law and policy-making surrounding refugees. Such narrow temporal thinking changes everything from the operation of policy to the experiences of refugees themselves.”
Dr Ben Warwick
Rights for Time Researcher Dr Ben Warwick is a specialist in international human rights, the United Nations human rights bodies. His research is frequently used by governmental and non-governmental bodies nationally and internationally, and has been prominently reported in national print and news media.
"These cuts are dangerous because organizations may forgo other funding opportunities on the basis that they have long-term cooperation with UKRI. The sudden withdrawal of funding will hurt because it puts the researchers, their families, and the people being served on the frontline at grave risk. "
Anonymous Researcher from a low income country
"Our GCRF-funded project works in partnership with the Wangu Kanja Foundation, a 15-year-old national non-profit organisation in that assists rape survivors in accessing vital, life-saving services. The research is currently informing child protection initiatives being undertaken by communities and frontline organisations, and these cuts mean that this vital work will not continue. The budget cuts will mean that the next steps of the project will not happen, including:
Examining the potential psychological impacts of rape on survivors and human rights defenders who are documenting the cases;
Creating and conducting an RCT to pilot an interview tool that draws on behavioural principles and uses a trauma-informed approach to gather testimony;
Analysing the interviews to assess the potential value of using behavioural principles to increase the amount and quality of information gathered about offenses;
Disseminating and discussing the findings with human rights defenders, the police, and other stakeholders in the country, and internationally."
Dr Heather Flowe
Principal Investigator for Rights for Time