Public Policy Challenge Fund award

Prof. Sullivan de Estrada secures Public Policy Challenge Fund award for research-based policy engagement with the Indian Ocean Commission


ioc july

Image credit: Sentinel Hub. Original image has been cropped. Used under a CC BY 2.0 license.

OSGA’s Associate Professor Kate Sullivan de Estrada has secured a competitive Public Policy Challenge Fund award from the University’s Oxford Policy Exchange Network for her Indian Ocean-based project ‘Balancing 'Sovereignty Trade-offs' in Small-State Maritime Security Co-operation.’ The project, running from January to December 2024, will enable Prof. Sullivan de Estrada to continue her knowledge exchange work with the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), headquartered in Mauritius. Over the past decade, the IOC has developed a local maritime security architecture to monitor vessel movements and respond operationally to illicit activities – such as illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, drug trafficking and environmental damage – that devastate local communities. This architecture requires buy-in and resourcing from powerful economic, naval and technological actors, UN agencies and national governments, each with their own policy and security priorities. The proposed project will map multiple perspectives on the real and potential 'sovereignty trade-offs' that result. It will also deliver independent evaluation of the benefits of the IOC's architecture for maritime security. The wider aims of project are to contribute to strengthening the local ownership of maritime governance, local capacity building and human resource development, and the reduction of maritime crime in the region.