Issues specific to urban and rural contexts, including migration, environment, economics, food systems, and property rights.


The research responds to the unprecedented emergence of global environmental norms intended to reconcile natural resource management with poverty alleviation. Prominent examples of such norms are the social safeguards included in global conventions and the human rights-based rulings of international courts.

Community management of handpumps has been the accepted mode of thinking for rural water supply over three decades in Africa. The paradigm underpins the hundreds of millions of US dollars invested each year to reduce institutional and operational water risks.

This innovative project examines the causes of low educational outcomes in schools in India where many children fail to achieve basic literacy and numeracy levels, while dropout rates, affecting girls more than boys, are very high. A starting point of this research is that bilingualism and multilingualism have revealed cognitive advantages and good learning skills in children raised in western societies. Multilingualism is the norm in India.

Small-scale communities in the border regions of Southern Senegal, Western Mali and Eastern Guinea have developed longstanding strategies allowing them to adapt to recurrent deep changes in political structure and social stratification that are typical of Frontier societies.

This research examines the energy practices of very poor women, men and young people living in informal settlements in peri-urban situations in Nigeria, South Sudan, Nepal and Bangladesh and how these are changing, drawing comparative lessons across the study countries. It challenges conventional approaches to energy transition research. Lack of access to clean energy limits economic development, stifles people's life chances and traps millions into extreme poverty.

Urbanisation in low-income nations presents both opportunities and immense challenges. As urban centres grow rapidly, inadequate housing and the lack of basic infrastructure and services affect a large and growing proportion of their population. There is also a growing body of evidence on urban poverty and its links with environmental hazards.

Rapid changes in the natural, social, and economic environment are occurring in Ethiopia's Lower Omo Valley, as part of a state-led development vision of repositioning the region as a major sugar exporter. At the same time, these changes raise risks of environmental degradation, and the emergence of new kinds of inequality and conflict.

This project seeks to incorporate migrant perspectives and sources of innovation into urban planning to build safer and more sustainable cities. The project represents frontier research in framing new migrant populations as sources of innovation and sustainability, and in using multiple methods to incorporate new migrant population perspectives into sustainable places.

This research project addresses the nexus of poverty, environmental sustainability and conflict in Somalia from the perspective of the most vulnerable in-migrants to cities, people who were internally displaced (IDPs). The interplay between violent conflict and droughts is described as one of the main drivers of internal displacement in Somalia, but rapid in-migration to cities further increases pressures on the urban and rural environment.

Effective community-based management of common pool resources (CPR) in contexts facing environmental degradation and social conflict is urgently required to sustainably move people worldwide towards a decent level of human well-being, as sought in the Sustainable Development Goals. In the seasonally dry tropics, water stored in reservoirs.

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