The idea for the SCIF was the logical next step for the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) after committing to the ambitious target of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2030. The final puzzle piece in a plan to reduce carbon emissions drastically and only offset unavoidable emissions.
The SCIF team started working in 2021 to identify possible projects with the greatest positive impact on communities and the environment. Based in London and Entebbe, Uganda we undertook extensive research to ensure that we develop projects, that are grounded in rigorous and ethical principles.
Potential SCIF projects were identified through a scoping exercise led by a team of SCIF-appointed specialists who directly engaged and worked with local communities and stakeholders in each location. This scoping and assessment process allowed us to better understand the local needs and opportunities that SCIF projects can provide. The project development process was also informed by research into local health and wellbeing trends and issues that could be effectively addressed through SCIF projects in the community.
The SCIF team in Uganda, led by our Project Coordinator, Juliet Kabasiita in Entebbe, looked to engage with as many different stakeholders as possible, making sure that different priorities were heard and considered in the project design phase. She met with local communities, political and technical leaders both at local and district levels, water and environmental officers, health experts, engineers and community development groups.
In these meetings it became clear that some of the most important issues communities and officials cared about included better health, increased income, but also safe water for people and their livestock, alongside new opportunities for people in the region to earn a living.
After extensive research and engagement with communities, businesses and experts, potential projects were considered and assessed for practical feasibility, emission impacts, additional impacts, and the timeframe within which the community would start benefiting. The aim for SCIF projects is to deliver interventions that are at all times guided by local needs. Moreover, these interventions will also be satisfying a number of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
For us at SCIF, it is clear that we will continue building on the relationships established throughout this process. We will be working closely with partners based in Uganda to continuously learn more about people’s experience and priorities and whether the projects are delivering what they promised – better health, environmental benefits but also new economic opportunities.