Professor Carlos Lucas - Coordinator of the UEM-Sida collaboration

Professor Carlos Lucas is the coordinator of 13 ongoing PhD research programs at Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) in Maputo, Mozambique.

Professor Ana Maria Mondjana, Academic Vice Rector at UEM together with Professor Carlos Lucas.

Professor Lucas is currently in Stockholm, Sweden to take part in the third UEM-Sida workshop 3-4 November 2014. The 65 workshop participants include a delegation from UEM, members from ISP and Sida, as well as Swedish supervisors, gathered to discuss and evaluate the collaboration and the way forward.

The research programs at UEM are a part of and funded by the Sida bilateral research cooperation, and ISP functions as the coordinator on the Swedish side. Here Professor Lucas explains ISP’s coordination role, what has worked well and how it might be improved.

How would you describe ISP’s role in the UEM-Sida collaboration?
ISP functions a bridge for us to reach universities and even our students when they are in Sweden. ISP is giving assistance to students, supervisors or co-supervisors who want to come to Sweden from Mozambique or the other way around. They help us with all the bureaucracy that we are familiar with. ISP is also quite instrumental in terms of putting researchers in Sweden in contact with each other on behalf of Mozambique.

How has the coordination role functioned so far?
It has worked very well. We could not do this from Maputo, it is too far away. The management of the programs is not only paper work it is also about contact, physical contact. And that is provided by ISP. I cannot see the development of this program without ISP.  They are giving us reports from activities from each institution, and giving us reports from our own activities. We also get information about our students when they are in Sweden and ISP supports them in terms of accommodation, health- and social aspects.  

Have there been any problems?
I don’t see any problems, but I see room for improvement regarding several things. Mainly regarding practical issues. The responsibility to arrange accommodation for students who come to Sweden lies on the Swedish supervisors. They are however not always able to arrange this in time and they therefore turn to ISP, who can help out. This is an area that we can try to improve and discuss further with ISP. Accommodation should not be found while the student is waiting somewhere. The second issue is that supervisors sometimes come to Mozambique without properly informing ISP and therefore they don’t have a letter of invitation. This may cause problems when entering Mozambique. It is not an ISP problem but something that can be improved.

November 2014