The Combat Diseases of Poverty Consortium (CDPC) is an exciting initiative funded through ‘The Programme of Strategic Co-Operation between Irish Aid and Higher Education and Research Institutes’, in collaboration with the Higher Education Authority (HEA).
The CDPC brings together scientific, academic, NGO and private sector expertise to build educational and research capacities for combating diseases of poverty. It networks researchers across geographical borders and disciplines, in order to foster scientific exchange, opportunities for research collaborations and to ultimately deliver new insights and workable solutions to pressing health concerns.
The main activities of the consortium include:
Our central mission is to provide short-term training to young East-African and Irish researchers, leading to capacity-building in both Ireland and Africa. Trainees can avail of the African- and Irish-based expertise in our network for a demand-driven 12-week training fellowship. CDPC training alumnis remain part of the strong North-South and South-South network formed in this process, and pass on their newly acquired skills and knowledge to others at their home institutions. Through such networks, we foresee the consortium developing into a formidable research platform that can innovatively address pressing challenges at the intersection of global health, structural inequalities, and political possibilities.
The CDPC is firmly embedded in the NUI Maynooth Campus and engages with postgraduate and undergraduate student bodies to raise awareness of global health and development issues. The CDPC has a strong interdisciplinary mission, being jointly led by the Institute of Immunology and the Department of Anthropology at NUIM. In order to foster interdisciplinary thinking, the CDPC organises a highly successful interdisciplinary seminar series and has also hosted several high-profile guest speakers at NUIM. Furthermore, NUIM student societies have started to work with the CDPC for awareness-raising events around World Malaria Day.
The CDPC also runs an extensive secondary school outreach programme with the aim of embedding development education of issues more firmly into the Irish Secondary School System. Many of our East African trainees participated in visits to Irish schools and felt inspired to establish a similar outreach programme at their home institutions in East Africa. The Outreach programme also helps to break down the barriers between second and third level education, by encouraging participation in CDPC seminars held at NUIM.
The CDPC has established a newsletter, which serves as a platform for the exchange of information between CDPC partners and other interested parties. Furthermore, exchange is encouraged on the CDPC facebook page.
Led by the Department of Anthropology and the Institute of Immunology of NUIM, the Consortium was awarded €1.44 million from Irish Aid under the Programme of Strategic Cooperation between Irish Aid and Higher Education and Research Institutes , 2007-2011.