Photo by Perry Grone

Knowledge2Action in South Asia

Project ‘Knowledge2Action in South Asia’ aims to be a regional hub that promotes and facilitates cooperation in research and education on environmental sustainability and social wellbeing (ES&SW). The project falls under the instrument ‘Clusters of Cooperation in Global South’ (CLOCs) of the swissuniversities Development and Cooperation Network (SUDAC) programme. The CLOC Knowledge2Action is the result of pre-existing collaborations between renowned knowledge institutions in Switzerland and South Asia, especially, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The CLOC aims to address the following four challenges:

  • The lack of comprehensive interdisciplinary teaching curricula relating to ES&SW at the university level in Switzerland and  South Asia
  • The mediation requirement between scientific knowledge on ES&SW and people’s place-based perception and expertise
  • The requirement of very different forms of knowledge outputs for different SDG actors that can be communicated through a wide array of tools and skills
  • The need for procedural knowledge of the regulatory decision-making environment and tactical skills to facilitate appropriate promotion of ES&SW

In recognition of these challenges, during the first funding phase (2019-20), the CLOC will organize a research workshop and a summer school, along with other supporting activities, to enhance the promotion of various sustainable development goals (SDGs), such as:

  • SDG4: Education,life-long learning
  • SDG11: Sustainable cities and communities
  • SDG12: responsible consumption and production
  • SDG13: Climate action
  • SDG16: Peace, justice & strong institutions
  • SDG17: Partnerships for goals

In addition to these, SDG 5: on gender equality and SDG 8: on economic growth and work conditions are considered transversally.


The project ‘Knowledge2Action’ is led by Prof. Dr. Swetha Rao Dhanaka, Haute Ecole de Travail Social Fribourg – HES-SO and Prof. Dr. Rene Veron, University of Lausanne. swissnex India and Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) are the local co-designated institutions to implement the project activities together with the project leads, over next two years.

Other Swiss university partners of the project are: University of Zurich and University of Fribourg.

South Asian partners inlcude: IIT Kharagpur, India; Jawaharlal Nehru University, India; Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India; University of Colombo, Srilanka; University of Mandalay, Myanmar; Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal; and Nepal Centre for Contemporary Research, Nepal.