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Bicycles for Development: Community of Practice Exploration Workshop Blog

Bicycles for Development: Community of Practice Exploration Workshop

Knowledge Translation Workshop: Building A Community of Practice For Bicycles Related Development Work

Date: January 31, 9:00am – 11:00am EST

This workshop will review past and current work taking place in the BFD sector by York University’s BFD research team , World Bicycle Relief , and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) D-Lab’s research team, to identify ways forward for research, practice, and policy on the role of the bicycle in development. The workshop will also provide an overview of a ‘Community of Practice’ and offer an opportunity for discussion between organizations, researchers, and policymakers to begin to construct a ‘community of practice’ intended to form a Transnational Bicycle Collective made up of stakeholders within the BFD field. Overall, the workshop is intended to create a collaborative space for BFD stakeholders to work with one another moving forward. The workshop will be held online to accommodate stakeholders from different countries and regions.

The bicycles-for-development (BFD) field is made up of a number of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), corporations, international organizations and local communities using the bicycle as a tool for stimulating social change and addressing various development aims (e.g., gender equality, equitable transport) (Ardizzi et al., 2020; McSweeney et al., 2021; United Nations, 2020). We are a research team that for the last five years have been conducting research into how the bicycle is used for development by individuals and communities in Canada, South Africa, India, Uganda, and Nicaragua. Currently, we are undertaking a new five-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada-funded research project that explores (1) the impacts of COVID-19 on BFD for women and girls in Canada, Uganda and Nicaragua; and (2) possible BFD activities during recovery aligned with the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. 

Despite a number of organizations and stakeholders involved in the BFD field, there remains a need – particularly due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic – to understand the role of the bicycle in development efforts. In addition, while the BFD field is made up of a number of diverse organizations, enhanced collaboration amongst stakeholders (e.g., NGOs, researchers, policy-makers, etc.) may enable better advocacy initiatives that mainstream the bicycle in international, regional, and community development.  


Bicycles for Development 1.0

Collaborative Digital Story | Cycling Against Poverty | 2016 – 2021 | SSHRC

This video was created by Julia Ferreira Gomes with support and collaboration from Mitchell McSweeney, Jessica Nachman, Janet Otte, Eyul Patrick, Donna Tara Parytci, Lidieth del Socorro Cruz Centeno, Charles Chiu, Alix Aylen, and participants from Union of Hope, Charlie’s Freewheels and Asociación Movimiento de Jóvenes de la Isla de Ometepe.