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Governance and Inclusive Development

Human Geography, Planning and International Development Studies

Governance and Inclusive Development

Governance and Inclusive Development (GID) scrutinizes development dynamics at various geographical, jurisdictional and temporal scales, realizing that these are situated in different but interconnected multi-level processes. GID analyses and rethinks dominant development paradigms, and engages with international, national and local development practices, policies and debates to identify viable and socially just alternatives. It thereby  emphasizes that development pathways are affecting and affected by ‘planetary boundaries’ and climate change.   

  • Governance for environmental justice in the Anthropocene
  • Governance for social justice
  • Politics of knowledge

You can find more information on these themes in the full strategy document linked below.

Research goals

The team focuses on the strategic issues of multi-level (glocal) governance and inclusive development. The reason for doing this is that drivers of change and development processes emerge and interact at all scale levels in unpredictable ways. Such dynamics include feedback loops at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. 

Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Centre for Maritime Research

GID hosts the Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and chairs the social-science Centre for Maritime Research, each stimulating the vibrant intellectual exchange of knowledge through their biennial conferences and associated academic journals, newsletters and publication series.  

Programme Group Leader

Prof. J. (Joyeeta) Gupta

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

Research Staff

Our Projects

  • Inclusive business-smallholder partnerships for greater food sovereignty and sustainable landscapes in Ghana and South Africa

    This NWO WOTRO funded project seeks to generate knowledge and methodologies that enable partnerships and associated innovation platforms to enhance food sovereignty, inclusive value chain collaboration, and landscape sustainability.

    The programme, coordinated by Dr Mirjam A.F. Ros-Tonen (AISSR), is an innovative combination of value chain and livelihood trajectory analysis, action research in learning platforms, and a landscape approach. It seeks to generate knowledge and methodologies that enable these partnerships and associated innovation platforms to enhance food sovereignty, inclusive value chain collaboration, and landscape sustainability.

    Three PhD researchers and postdocs, together with an extensive team of Ghanaian and South African researchers, are going to address questions such as:

    1. Do these partnerships align with the livelihood trajectories and innovation capacity of male and female smallholders involved?
    2.  Do they contribute to their food sovereignty (access to food, having a say over the way in which it is produced and marketed, and sustainability)?
    3. Can 'learning platforms' make the collaboration more inclusive and innovative?
    4. How can tree crops contribute to sustainable landscapes?  

    Consortium

    The awarded proposal is one of the first activities under the Memorandum of Understanding between AISSR and KIT and mobilises a broad range of academic partners, governmental and non-governmental institutions and private sector actors in Ghana and South Africa. Together, these partners pledged another 0.2 million euro to the research. Consortium partners in Ghana are the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) in Sunyani and GAABIC (Ghana Agricultural Associations Business & Information Centre), and the University of Limpopo (UL) and Agricultural Research Council (ARC) in South Africa. 

    Towards inclusive commodity chains and innovation platforms – the role of corporate-smallholder and public-private partnerships in increasing food sovereignty in tree crop systems in Ghana and South Africa

    More than 80% of food consumed in developing countries comes from family farms smaller than 2 ha. Smallholders – categories of small-scale family farms producing for both market and subsistence – are becoming increasingly vulnerable due to global economic crises, environmental degradation, and land and water grabbing. This threatens their food security and the natural environment. Policies focus on smallholder market integration and value chain development. Research, however, indicates declining dietary diversity and biodiversity with increasing market-oriented production.

    This research seeks a better understanding of smallholder tree crop systems within the mosaic landscape and of the conditions needed to make chains, partnerships and innovation platforms more inclusive (i.e. better attuned to smallholders’ trajectories and creative adaptations through which they try to increase control over their inputs and strengthen their natural resource base). It critically interrogates the emergence of the market-driven approach towards creating an ‘entrepreneurial smallholder’, which favours a single pathway to intensification that narrowly defines inclusive development by tightening farm-firm relationships, in which the smallholders involved have access to services in exchange for their commercial produce. The knowledge acquired about tree crop systems and platforms will be used to develop methodologies and guidelines for strengthening inclusive institutional arrangements in corporate-smallholder relations.

    Objectives

    1. investigate smallholder trajectories with respect to their potential to be part of innovative partnerships in an autonomous way,
    2. study endogenous processes of resilience-building by smallholders and novel institutional combinations at farm and landscape levels,
    3. develop and test a methodological framework to improve negotiation about the terms of engagement in emergent partnerships and innovation platforms,
    4. mobilise transdisciplinary knowledge to strengthen partners’ institutional capacity and methodological luggage for maintaining more inclusive partnerships, and
    5. disseminate results to enhance novel institutional capacities across wider stakeholder groups and value chain actors. 
       
    • Funded by: NWO/WOTRO 
    • Period: 2014-2019
    dr. M.A.F. (Mirjam) Ros-Tonen

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

    dr. ir. Y.P.B. (Yves) Van Leynseele

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Docenten GPIO

    PhD candidates

    Mr K.O. (Kwabena) Asubonteng MSc

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

    Ms M. (Martha) Ataa-Asantewaa MSc

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

    Ms M.J. (Malin) Olofsson MA

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

  • The Popular Culture of Illegality: Criminal Authority and the Politics of Aesthetics in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Breaking the Vicious Circle between Poverty and Ill-Health. Are cash transfers and social health protection policies in Ghana and Kenya mutually complementing?

    Social protection is increasingly considered as relevant instrument for inclusive growth. This reflects a substantial change of perspective. Good health is an important component of inclusive growth. Cash transfers and social health protection share similar objectives in this regard, but the relationship between both has not been thoroughly addressed yet.

    Nicky Pouw's research aims at developing new strategic knowledge on the effectiveness of cash transfer programs and social health protection policies in Ghana and Kenya with respect to the accumulation of health-related human capital and its spill-over effects on further intermediate inclusive growth objectives, including labour participation, asset accumulation and equality. It seeks to understand if and under which conditions these policies are mutually complementary. It further extends existing research by combining cost-effectiveness with political-economic considerations.

    Methods

    This will be achieved by engaging in a multi-level and interactive process of co-production of knowledge between strategic actors in the process (i.e. researchers, ministries, practitioners). The project will build-up strategic knowledge on the integration of inclusive growth objectives into design and implementation of social protection interventions with a focus on instrument choice and the interaction between different policies integrating technical, financial and political considerations. The research employs a within-country comparison across time using existing household level data. The research addresses in particular poor women and children as these groups are among the most vulnerable population groups. A political economy perspective combining a process-tracing and institutional approach assesses factors hindering or facilitating policy change at national or local level. Results are compared across countries.

    Funding: NWO WOTRO grant under the Research for Inclusive Development in sub-Saharan Africa programme. 

    dr. N.R.M. (Nicky) Pouw

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

  • Women Food Entrepreneurs in Kenya and Burkina Faso.

    Aim

    The project WFE aims to strengthen women’s food entrepreneurship in city slums in Kenya & Burkina Faso, by building inclusive business models for food security. based on an integrated understanding of the complex interactions between soil quality, food production and quality and nutrition for vulnerable groups.

    Objective

    Boosting women’s production, processing and trading of quality foods in Africa’s growing cities can improve food and nutrition security of vulnerable populations. This inter- and trans-disciplinary project examines opportunities and constraints, field-tests innovative food production and processing methods, and designs inclusive business models for women food entrepreneurs.

    Method

    The project has an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary team of social and natural scientists, Dutch, Kenyan and Burkinabé entrepreneurs, government and civil society actors, and community-based women groups. Through a comparative analysis between Kisumu and Ouagadougou, this project address the constraints faced by women as: (i) food producers in (peri-)urban gardens; (ii) food processors; and (iii) food marketeers, within diversified physical, environmental, social and policy contexts. The project (a) co-designs and field-tests hybrid food production and processing technologies; and (b) enhance and promote women’s business knowledge and skills through inclusive business models.

    Countries: Kenya and Burkina Faso

    Dutch policy goal: Inclusive business models for food security.

     

    dr. N.R.M. (Nicky) Pouw

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

  • Improving smallholders’ food and income security by introducing non-timber forest products in reforestation schemes and tree-crop farms: A collaborative learning process in Ghana

    Employing a gender-sensitive and stepwise collaborative learning approach, this project seeks to integrate nutritious shade-tolerant non-timber forest products (NTFPs) (black pepper, grains of paradise and honey) in Ghana’s modified taungya (reforestation) system and off-reserve tree farms, and enhance their production, processing and marketing. The proposed duration allows integrating research and capacity development through the entire NTFP cycle (seedling production, cultivation/honey production, processing and marketing) and go through all collaborative learning stages (inception/taking stock, joint implementation/co-creation of knowledge, dissemination/enhancing uptake) before project closure. Documenting this process lays the basis for replication across and beyond the country.

    Joint learning

    The project involves farmers, practitioners, policymakers, NGOs and value-chain actors in a stepwise collaborative learning approach including inception, joint implementation, and dissemination. Built on knowledge gaps identified by farmers and practitioners, this project contributes to the broader debate on landscape approaches that aim to integrally address food insecurity, deforestation, environmental degradation, and climate change.

    Deliverables

    Deliverables include insights into opportunities for improved production, processing and marketing of NTFPs and how continual learning can be institutionalised in farmer groups, communities of practice, and learning platforms.

    Capacity building

    The project will host six Ghanaian MSc students at UENR and offer fieldwork opportunities for Master students in International Development Studies. On behalf of the AISSR-GID Mirjam Ros will be involved.

    Funded by NWO-WOTRO (The Food & Business Applied Research Fund)

    dr. M.A.F. (Mirjam) Ros-Tonen

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

  • Deltas’ dealings with uncertainty: Multiple practices and knowledges of delta governance - DoUbT

    This project innovatively combines science and technology studies (STS) with the anthropology of development to interrogate how uncertainties are understood and dealt with in environmental planning.

    We use deltas in South and Southeast Asia as our research object. These deltas are dynamic and densely populated environments typified by agricultural intensification, rapid urbanisation and vulnerability to the effects of climate change.

    Recognition of the existence of multiple (definitions of) deltas informs the main project hypothesis: much delta knowledge used in the South comes from specific epistemic communities, whose knowledge travels through and because of global development-cooperation networks. We trace these networks and travels through space and time to critically examine how delta knowledges are generated and gain authority, and their hybridisation with ‘local’ knowledge and governance practices.

    We do this for four deltas with diverging cultural and historical trajectories and contemporary dynamics: the Ganges-Brahmaputra and the Mekong serve as contrasting reference against which the Chao Phraya and the Irrawaddy will be studied in greater detail. Engaging with contemporary debates in STS, the analyses will be used for a re-consideration of expertise and the role of experts in dealing with uncertainties. This in turn will inform the formulation of guiding principles for productive and responsible ways of environmental knowing and planning at different scales.

    Methods

    The methodology of the project as a whole is explicitly interdisciplinary, in its ambition to contribute to the development of conceptual as well as methodological approaches for rethinking the role of globalising experts and expertise in dealing with complex and dynamic nature/cultures and related uncertainties.

    The project favours a creative research design with multiple methods of inquiry, each able to capture different aspects of the cases studied (see IV.4). Together these help to make explicit and interrogate existing, and formulate new, proposals for developing knowledge suitable for dealing with environmental uncertainties.

    Methodologies include network analysis, case studies of circulation of technologies and knowledge artefacts, professional life histories, and participatory modelling.

    In our methodological approach, we acknowledge that the researchers’ (that is, our own) contexts matter too. Hence, the research methods employed are not considered simply to represent reality ‘out there’ (Morita 2014).

    The research team represents an exciting mix of disciplinary backgrounds, and we intend to make use of this in the overall project. The integration of the results is ensured by sharing similar (but not identical) theoretical starting points, by focusing on a similar ‘web’ of study objects (people, discourses/ideas, models/technologies, land and water management practices) and by collaborating in all work packages .

    The joint focus on four deltas – and having part of our team there on the ground – will allow for a systematic comparison between them, while also contributing
    to a high level of integration.

    Period: 1/4/2016 until 31/3/2019
    Funding: NWO ORA

    prof. dr. M.Z. (Margreet) Zwarteveen

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

  • Fish for Food security in city regions of India and Ghana: an inter-regional innovation project (FISH4FOOD)

    This NWO-funded research project studies the food systems that service low-income consumers in selected city regions of South Asia (India) and West Africa (Ghana), with the aim of improving their quality and scope.

    City regions in LMIC are expanding and so are the food security problems of their poorer inhabitants. The nutritional properties of seafood make it vital to the health and food security of millions of poor urban consumers. This project studies the food systems that service low-income consumers in selected city regions of South Asia (India) and West Africa (Ghana), with the aim of improving their quality and scope. These food systems – in which women entrepreneurs often play an important role - derive produce from small-scale as well as industrial (distant water) fisheries, which possess various degrees of environmental sustainability. The project gathers relevant fisheries and food security expertise, pilots new business approaches and investigates their relevant policy environments. The governance lessons gained from the two regions are generalized and fed into the international debate on fish-related food security.

    The following questions guide the project:
    1. What is the contribution of low price fish chains to food security for the poor in selected city regions?
    2. How do low price fish chains operate to service the poor in selected city regions, and how are these chains impacted by policy environments and broader scale economic transformations?
    3. What obstacles exist to the improvement of food security services, with special reference to women traders?
    4. Which policy and business interventions (at national and global levels) are most fruitful in terms of social, economic and environmental sustainability?

    • Funding: NWO
    • Period: sept 2016-aug 2020
    Dr J.M. (Maarten) Bavinck

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

  • Democratization through Education? The role of education in strengthening civil agency and voice in Sub-Saharan Africa. (Case study: Uganda) - EDU-DEM

    This research project, awarded with a Marie Curie Fellowship within the European Commission Horizon 2020 Programme, aims to advance our understanding of the role of education in fostering democratization processes in sub-Saharan Africa. EDU-DEM advances our understanding of the role of education in fostering democratization processes in sub-Saharan Africa from the bottom up.

    Education has been long treated as an area of development programming that is separate from strengthening civil society formation and democratization processes. We still face several knowledge gaps in existing research on how education increases the agency of the wider civil sphere. This void is striking and it is here where EDU-DEM makes an innovative contribution to existing debates.

    EDU-DEM will:

    1) explore the correlations between educational attainment and civil society characteristics and agency;

    2) assess how formal and non-formal education systems and programmes increase the attention to and comprehension of local politics;

    3) identify innovative, multi-scalar and context-specific approaches to nurture democratization processes through education.

    EDU-DEM brings together the disciplines of education and international development while drawing from and contributing to research on democratization, civil society and agency. Uganda serves as a case study as it exemplifies a striking paradox occurring in the majority of sub-Saharan African states. Despite a steady increase of funds and the commitment to support development through the grassroots level, experts witness weak democratization processes on the ground. Leading local CSOs consist of a small group of well-funded, urban-based organisations, led by a highly educated elite, with only a token presence in rural areas. On the other hand, the majority of grassroots and less-visible civil society actors are frequently characterized by political illiteracy –not to mention the country’s poorly educated wider civil sphere.

    • Period: 01/09/2016 until 30/04/2019
    • Funding: Marie Curie Fellowship (Horizon 2020 programme) - European Commission
    dr. T.A. (Mieke) Lopes Cardozo

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

  • LFFU - Leave Fossil Fuels Underground for Sustainable and Inclusive Development: Co-creating Alternative Pathways in Africa and Latin America

    The climate challenge requires a global phase out of fossil fuels and calls for a global transition. This project analyses, develops and shares successful strategies and arguments on ‘Leaving Fossil Fuels Underground’ (LFFU) emerging from Africa and Latin America at multiple levels of governance. Given their potential relevance for realizing SDGs 13, 15 and 16, and given the limited interdisciplinary scholarship on these initiatives, this project assesses these LFFU initiatives - with a special focus on LFFU in South Africa and Ecuador and their potential for upscaling in other countries and regions.

    For fossil fuel rich low and middle income countries LFFU seems to present negative trade-offs with other important national concerns such as poverty, inequality, employment and energy access. Nevertheless, LFFU is proposed by various local communities, civil society organizations and scientists in Africa and Latin America - frequently supported by transnational networks. LFFU initiatives have the potential to simultaneously combat socio-environmental injustice, ecosystem degradation, climate change and achieve inclusive and sustainable development.

    The project addresses questions such as:

    • What are the driving factors for using fossil fuel now and in the future?
    • Which arguments and strategies from local to global level can (potentially) influence decisions to leave oil in the soil at multiple levels of governance (the question of causality)?
    • Which of these arguments and strategies have a likelihood of working within which contexts and why (the question of performance)?
    • Hence, how can these arguments and strategies be scaled-up through epistemic communities and networks to ensure larger support for leaving fossil fuels underground? How can one use agents of change to mobilize successful mechanisms and instruments to enhance socially and ecologically the phase out of dependence on fossil fuels (the question of design)?

    Through a process of co-creating new knowledge with various stakeholders as well as connecting to, and expanding, existing networks, this project expects to have positive impact on the promotion of LFFU. The interdisciplinary team will train MSc/MA and PhD students and practitioners in South Africa, Ecuador, the Netherlands and beyond and will produce multiple tangible tools to adequately share research results with local communities, NGOs, policy-makers, social movements and institutional investors in Africa, Latin America and Europe.

    • Period: 2018-2021
    • Funded by: The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)

    Output so far

    Expected output


    One book, two doctoral theses, various accessible tools – including infographics, policy briefs, information briefs, opinion articles, maps, and videos – training sessions, (inter-)national conferences and an expanding network committed to the promotion of LFFU.

    Team

    Prof. J. (Joyeeta) Gupta

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

    prof. dr. B.B. (Barbara) Hogenboom

    Faculty of Humanities

    CEDLA

    prof. dr. R.A. (Rutgerd) Boelens

    Faculty of Humanities

    CEDLA

    dr. H.J.L.M. (Hebe) Verrest

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

    Mr A.M. (Arthur) Rempel

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

    Ms A.C. (Carolina) Valladares Pasquel MA

    Faculty of Humanities

    CEDLA

  • A safe and just corridor for people and the planet (Working Group 4 of the Earth Commission)

    This research project supports Working Group 4 of the Earth Commission to find governance solutions in the context of planetary boundaries. The Earth Commission is a global commission that is conducting a global scale assessment to define and identify a safe and just corridor for people and the planet. The purpose of Working Group 4 is to find science based evidence of what a just corridor for the Earth’s development looks like, what are just targets and levers to ensure global transformation. Understanding how scholarship assesses what is just and how a just transformation can take place is thus a critical element of this project. The research project aims to contribute to answering the following research questions:

    What does the literature tell us qualitatively and quantitatively about how to define safe and just planetary boundaries and the pathways to staying within these boundaries?

    • What are the socio-economic drivers of earth system changes that are increasing climate risks, threatening biodiversity, intensifying pollution and leading to approaching and/or crossing planetary boundaries and social and environmental tipping points?
    • What is known about integrating and governing social and environmental goals for sustainability, especially in ways that promote a safe environment and just society?
    • What are the trade-offs and synergies between environmental and social goals and targets, and how do biophysical targets sometimes undermine social goals and vice versa?
    • How does achieving a goal in one region have trade-offs and synergies with conditions in other regions?
    • What is known about the effectiveness of different actors, levers and policies that promote transformative change to achieve social goals within planetary boundaries [CR6] and what are the pathways that these transformations can take?

    Funding: Global Challenges Foundation
    Period: 07/2020 until 07/2023

    Prof. J. (Joyeeta) Gupta

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

    Dr C.F. (Crelis) Rammelt

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

    dr. J. (Joeri) Scholtens

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

  • COLANDS – Collaborating on the Operationalization of Landscape Approaches or Nature, Development and Sustainability

    This project comprises 4 PhD trajectories that form part of the broader IKI-funded COLANDS project led by the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Bogor, Indonesia. The COLANDS project as a whole aims to address persistent gaps between strong scientific theory and weak implementation by operationalising an integrated landscape approach in Ghana, Indonesia and Zambia. Through the application of the ten landscape approach principles, the project will facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogue to benefit actors across multiple sectors and decision-making scales, while simultaneously raising awareness of the value of biological diversity in complex multi-functional landscapes to inform national sector policies related to biodiversity and climate change. The project will enhance the capacity of stakeholders engaged in the target landscapes to better identify trade-offs and synergies amongst competing objectives, including food security. In doing so, the project will contribute to existing knowledge on landscape approach effectiveness, improve capacity for implementation, enhance landscape sustainability, empower marginalized groups to more effectively participate in decision-making dialogues, and through the Global Landscape Forum (GLF)feed into global landscape discourses.

    As part of this project, Freddie Siangulube focuses on multi-stakeholder platforms in Zambia; Malaika Yanou on the role of indigenous and traditional knowledge in knowledge co-production for integrated landscape governance in Zambia; Eric Bayala on the potential role of Community Resource Management Areas (CREMAs) in Ghana in integrated landscape governance; and Augusta Anandi on customary governance arrangements as entry points for the implementation of landscape approaches.

    Duration: 2019-2023

    dr. M.A.F. (Mirjam) Ros-Tonen

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

    Partners

    Prof. Terry Sunderland
    Dept. of Forestry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

    Dr. James Reed and Dr. Houria Djoudi
    CIFOR

    PhD candidates

    Ms C.A.M. (Augusta) Anandi

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

    Mr E.R.C. (Eric) Bayala

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

    Mr F.S. (Freddie) Siangulube

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

    Ms M.P. (Malaika) Yanou

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

  • Putting Heads Together: Knowledge brokering and co-creation in multi-stakeholder partnerships

    Background


    Multi-stakeholder platforms are increasingly seen as important vehicles to address challenges related to agriculture, food security and sustainable and inclusive development. However, it is insufficiently clear what contextual factors and institutional dynamics affect multi-actor and cross-sector learning; and whether it leads to research uptake and sustainable institutional change.

    Objective


    This research project aims to unravel processes of knowledge exchange, co-creation and brokering in multi-stakeholder platforms. Such platforms function as important vehicles to address challenges related to agriculture, food security and sustainable and inclusive development.

    Methodology


    The project comprises a systematic literature review (SLR) and empirical research on knowledge exchange and joint learning in two farmer-centered projects. These are:

    • The researchers-driven Inclusive Value Chain Collaboration (Inclusive VCC) project in Ghana and South Africa
    • The practitioners-driven Treefarms project in Ghana.

    Both projects are financed by NWO-WOTRO, under the Global Challenge Programme (GCP) and Applied Research Fund (ARF) respectively. Lastly, the research analyses how lessons learned in these two projects are shared into the Dutch-based Food & Business Knowledge Platform.

    Project duration: 2017-2020

    dr. M.A.F. (Mirjam) Ros-Tonen

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

    dr. E. (Edith) van Ewijk

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Dep. Human Geography, Planning & International Development Studies

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

  • Small Fish Food

    Technical, institutional and socio-cultural transitions are required to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs). Fisheries are almost invisible in strategies to achieve SDG2 and nutrition and food security are not the primary focus in SDG14, which also does not mention freshwater resources that play a dominant role in African fisheries. Following a value chain (food system) approach, the Small Fish for Food project conceptualises advantages of Small Indigenous Fish Species (SIS) utilisation as well as highlights barriers and societal consequences of a constrained access to this important food resource. With that approach the Small Fish for Food project addresses SDG2 (Zero hunger), which aims to achieve food security and promote sustainable agriculture, and SDG14 (Life below water), promoting the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources.

    The Small Fish for Food project works on innovative integration of fish in African food systems to improve nutrition. Our international consortium collaborates to understand how socio-cultural, economic and institutional transformations of the fish food and value chain – from ecosystem to consumer – can contribute to improved, sustainable utilisation of small fish resources for Africa’s low-income population. Next to scientific research, our partners also test and examine technical and infrastructural innovations related to fish processing and marketing. The project is funded by LEAP AGRI, a joint Europe Africa research and innovation initiative related to food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture.

    SmallFishFood is an interdisciplinary project working on four interconnected objectives:

    1. Identify, quantify and map current patterns of production and distribution of small fish for food and feed, with particular reference to Ghana, Kenya and Uganda;
    2. Identify and describe the harvesting, marketing and utilization patterns of small fish and how they contribute to food and nutritional security in these countries;
    3. Improve the production processes to achieve better quality and longer shelf life;
    4. Disseminate the nutritious value of small fish to stakeholders and governance agencies and analyse how barriers to sustainable utilization can be resolved.
    Dr J.M. (Maarten) Bavinck

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

    dr. J. (Joeri) Scholtens

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

  • Development of a municipal wellbeing index for Amsterdam

    In collaboration with the ‘99 van Amsterdam’.

    Currently, the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the most important indicator of the performance of the economy and employment. However, this indicator says little about what economic growth or decline means for our society. Moreover, it stimulates an urban economy in which more growth instead of well-being are central. Even in periods of growth (as well as in decline), inequality has been increasing for decades. The assumption that economic growth automatically has positive consequences for all kinds of groups in society has not proven true for years. And while recently a fairly high degree of consensus on the failure of orthodox economic policy theories has developed, this is much less the case for alternative measures, let alone a translation of this into a new vision for economic policy, especially at municipal / urban level. “Economy is about making choices. But economic choices are about more than just money. Economy is also about health and wellbeing. Instead of setting the maximization of economic growth as the main goal, optimization of wellbeing should be central ”(Pouw, 2020). Wellbeing is defined within this vision as the wellbeing of people in relation to themselves and their social, physical and natural living environment. Wellbeing is therefore not only about individual prosperity, but about the quality of life in relation to an environment. In this sense, wellbeing has three dimensions: a (i material (e.g. income, work, housing, infrastructure, climate, technology), (ii) relational (e.g. social capital, trust, security, sustainability), and (iii) subjective dimension (eg perception of opportunities, neighborhood experience) (see figure 1). Within these three dimensions, specific indicators can be identified that are important for the wellbeing of all residents in the city. The ideal scenario strives for a representative wellbeing index, in which the residents of Amsterdam feel recognized and seen. We recognize this is a negotiated and multi-scalar outcome, that needs revision over time. This applied research project aims to give an impulse to this wellbeing vision of the urban economy.

    To pursue an economy in which the wellbeing of everyone is the goal, we need another measuring ‘tool’ that monitors the development of a wider range of indicators. These indicators need to be integrally connected to the municipal budgets and instruments. If not, alternative indicators will not be used in the daily practice of urban policy and planning. To that end, this projects aims to develop a wellbeing index – and an accompanying “dashboard” that can be used to guide and monitor policy. More specifically, it develops indicators (at the level of households, individuals, neighbourhoods and the city) that are in line with daily practice and urban policy, audit institutions and citizen perceptions, and; provides a broader set of indicators for government, businesses and civil society to look ahead and back.

    The first stage of the project (September-December 2020) focuses on the collection and analysis of various alternative indices developed and initiatives undertaken in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and beyond; on the preliminary identification of relevant indicators for the well-being index for Amsterdam; on collecting the perspectives of key actors in the Amsterdam municipality on alternative economic policy and measurements. This is done in order to realize the following goals:

    1. To know how a wellbeing index links with these existing initiatives, how it can be of added value, and which indicators are available?
    2. To make sure a well-being index fulfills a need and gap in current policy processes and goals in Amsterdam.

    Subsequent stages will focus on the further development of the index through participatory action research.

    dr. N.R.M. (Nicky) Pouw

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

    dr. H.J.L.M. (Hebe) Verrest

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development

  • Beyond the blue water basin: governing green and atmospheric water

    This interdisciplinary research project funded by the Interdisciplinary Doctorate Agreement from the UvA sets out to explore governance questions with respect to green water (soil moisture) and atmospheric water.

    Green and atmospheric water are significant and crucial components of the hydrological cycle that support many ecosystem contributions to humans. In the Anthropocene, rapid environmental change is increasingly interfering with the hydrological cycle and is – in combination with climate change - making water increasingly scarce. However, most water governance, including policies, laws and (international) agreements, is limited to blue surface water and to some extent ground water. In this project, we emphasize the need to expand the field of water governance to include the systemic nature of water, including green and atmospheric water. By bringing together different disciplines (i.e. water governance and law, hydrology, theoretical and computational ecology) we aim to better understand the drivers of change for green and atmospheric water, as well as develop a preemptive framework for inclusive and sustainable governance of green and atmospheric water.

    The following research questions is addressed:

    What are the key social-ecological and technological challenges associated with green and atmospheric water and its relation to land degradation, and how can we design key elements of a proactive multi-level water governance system?

    1. Why is it urgent to go beyond blue water management and govern green and atmospheric water?
    2. How is green and atmospheric water currently implicitly governed?
    3. What are the current and anticipated ecological challenges related to green and atmospheric water?
    4. What are the social and technological challenges related to green and atmospheric water?
    5. How can we effectively govern green and atmospheric water governance and their identified social, ecological and technological challenges?  

      Funding: University of Amsterdam
      Period: Jan 2019 – Jan 2023
    Prof. J. (Joyeeta) Gupta

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development