The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC) and Taylor & Francis Group are delighted to announce Ruksana Haque Rimi and Fred Ikanda as the Scholar and alumni winners of the 60th anniversary (2019) Taylor & Francis Commonwealth Scholar Best Journal Article Prize.
Ruksana was selected for her article Risks of pre-monsoon extreme rainfall events of Bangladesh: is anthropogenic climate change playing a role?, published in a special supplement, ‘Explaining Extreme Events of 2017 from a Climate Change Perspective’, to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society in December 2018. Fred was selected for his article Somali refugees in Kenya and social resilience: resettlement imaginings and the longing for Minnesota, published in African Affairs in July 2018.
Ruksana Haque Rimi – Scholar winner
Ruksana is a Commonwealth Scholar from Bangladesh. She is studying for a DPhil Climate Change at the University of Oxford. Her article assessed, for the first time, the role of anthropogenic climate change drivers in changing the likelihood of an extreme rainfall event in 2017 in northeast Bangladesh. Ruksana’s research concluded that human influence on climate change doubled the likelihood of experiencing the 6-day extreme pre-monsoon rainfall.
Probabilistic event attribution (PEA) can provide scientific information on the extent to which human-induced climate change has played (or not played) a role in changing the risks of experiencing extreme weather events. To date, most PEA based studies have focused on extreme events of mid-latitudes and predominantly events that have occurred in developed countries. Developing countries located at the tropical monsoon regions are underrepresented in this field of research, despite their climate vulnerability.
Bangladesh is a hot spot of climate change impacts and is vulnerable to a combination of increasing challenges, including extreme rainfall events, intense flooding, flash floods, tropical cyclones, and rising sea levels. Bangladesh therefore has a huge interest in recognising and quantifying the human role on climate change. Ruksana’s research has provided a fresh outlook for monitoring extreme weather events in Bangladesh by addressing human influence on climate and other anthropogenic drivers, such as aerosols, and highlighted the need to raise awareness about the human impacts on climate change, scientifically support claims for additional adaptation funds, and improve community level resilience.
Fred Ikanda – alumni winner
Fred is a Commonwealth Scholar from Kenya. He studied for a PhD Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. His article draws on the notion of social resilience in refugee camps in Kenya and highlights the multidimensionality of refugee camps as social worlds, by demonstrating how kin-based networks between Somali refugees in Kenya and their relatives in diaspora create collective imaginaries about better futures.
The refugee situation continues to pose a major challenge to guaranteeing human rights, global prosperity and security. Against this backdrop is the reality of deteriorating conditions of hosting refugees around the world. This problem is particularly acute in African refugee contexts where refugees are increasingly finding themselves in protracted situations. Fred’s research seeks to inspire new research trends in addressing the refugee challenge by embedding the notion of social resilience as a lens for conceptualising multiple camp experiences. He is currently working with researchers from around the world to further implement his findings.