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CLOC Knowledge2Action

About the project

The Cluster of Cooperation (CLOC) Knowledge to Action (K2A) in South Asia is a "public good" open to Swiss and South Asian institutions that are interested in partnering for the promotion of the SDGs in South Asia and Switzerland through research and education.

CLOC K2A South Asia aims to be a regional hub to facilitate cooperation in research and education on environmental sustainability and social wellbeing. It seeks to promote regional collaboration and interdisciplinary engagement for the SDGs in South Asia. The conversion of academic knowledge outputs into actions and tools for diverse SDG actors is the main focus.

The UN Agenda 2030 – Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) address global challenges, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, sustainable cities and communities, and life on land and in water. At the regional level, South Asia’s economic dynamism has triggered social and ecological transformations that are rapid, profound, and unbalanced. These changes have often occurred at the cost of environmental degradation, significantly affecting poor and marginal communities. Switzerland’s lifestyles and consumption patterns are transgressing biophysical boundaries and its fragile ecosystems are facing important climate change challenges.

The fundamental goal of facilitation on the research front is to include a variety of disciplines and knowledge producers from Switzerland and South Asia, to promote regional and interdisciplinary collaboration and to diffuse relevant research outcomes in an accessible manner. The education objectives are disseminating cutting-edge knowledge, making knowledge “actionable” through the dissemination of protocols, , tools and skills (KFPE10: Apply results), and communicating in a customized way with different knowledge consumers and  producers (KFPE8: disseminate results).

The premise of K2A is that cutting-edge research can promote SDGs if we connect academic knowledge to “real world promotion requirements.” These connections will:

-     Valorise voices from local communities, indigenous knowledge and local sense-making of social and environmental transformations  

-      Train regional leaders on the promotion of SDGs

-   Facilitate learning from local and regional engagements

-      Promote science advisory mechanisms that inform policy

-      Support arts-based communication that promote SDGs

-      Develop interdisciplinary approaches and transdisciplinary research proposals

-   Link K2A activities with domestic policies since each country has specific plans to achieve SDGs.



CLOC Activities

Calls and information about the cluster activities will be disseminated through the cluster members’ network, the listserv and through the K2A website

  • Continuous documentation of notable SDG efforts, inspiring unique intiaves and compilation and production of skill video capsules
  • Online SDG academy
  • Skill-based online workshops for partners (converting knowledge to action, obtaining research-funding, modes of “giving back” to communities participating in research etc.)
  • Call for small grants to convert research outputs into forms that facilitate action
  • Call for mobility exchanges with focus on S-S visits to study and cross-fertilise experience on specific SDG actions – bottom-up approach (for example: how to promote rain-water harvesting at a large scale, how to ensure labour rights for migrant construction workers, etc.)
  • Call for regional networking meetings –for example: Swiss researchers working on South Asia, Climate scientist working on the Himalayas across South Asia, Social scientist working on access to decent work in South Asia etc.
  • Call for webinars series

Partner Institutions

Partners in Switzerland:

-       School of Social Work Fribourg – University of Applied Sciences and Arts- Western Switzerland HES-SO; Prof. Swetha Rao Dhananka

-       University of Lausanne, Institute of Geography and Sustainability; Prof.René Véron

-       University of Zurich, Department of Geography; Prof. Christian Huggel and Dr. Veruska Muccione

-       University of Fribourg, Department of Education Science; Prof. Cathryn Magno and Department of Geosciences; Dr. Nadine Salzmann

-       Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva; Prof. Gita Steiner-Khamsi

Partners in South Asia:

-       Ashoka Trust for Ecology and the Environment ATREE, India; Dr. Milind Bunyan

-      Indian Institute of Technology IIT Kharagpur, India, Humanities and social sciences; Prof. Jenia Mukherjee

-         Jawaharlal Nehru University, India, School of Environmental Sciences; Prof. A. P. Dimri and School of international studies;.Prof Meeta K. Mehra-  

-      Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India, Centre for Excellence in Teacher Education;  Prof. Ajay Kumar Singh and Prof. Archana Mehendale

-      Brac University, Bangladesh (new), School of Humanities and Social Sciences; Prof. Phillipe Fôret

-      Nepal Centre for Contemporary Research (NCCR), Nepal; Dr. Bishnu Upreti

-      Royal University Bhutan, Prof. Om Kattel

-      Swissnexindia, Bangalore, India;

-      Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal, Central Department of Hydrology and Meteorology; Prof. Deepak Arya and Prof. Parameshwar Kattel and Department of anthropology, Prof. Jiban Poudel

-      University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Social Policy Analysis and Research Centre (SPARC); Prof. Nishara Fernando

-      University of Mandalay, Myanmar, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies; Prof. Nyo Nyo


Cluster Enlargement Strategy

CLOC K2A South Asia maintains a google groups listserv that includes all interested individuals, organisations, and previous participants in CLOC activities. Through this listserv we disseminate open calls and relevant information.

K2A South Asia aims to enlarge its network in a steered manner. K2A follows therefore an inclusive approach, which is based on:


  • Inclusion of interested Swiss tertiary education institutions or civil society organisations with academic or with international cooperation engagement in the region to participate in the open calls and K2A activities
  •  Actively identifying and including research and education projects that Swiss tertiary education institutions and civil society organisations lead in South Asia. We have continuous exchanges with the SERI Leading house on South Asia, the Swiss National Science Foundation, and existing partners. In particular, we are eager to include the Swiss scholars and networks who have a long-standing relationship in the region.   
  • Identifying new participants through the responses to the open calls
  • South Asian institutions without Swiss partners who are interested in joining K2A South Asia may do so via endorsements. These institutions should contact two current members to endorse their memberships.