Tag: poverty

New EBA call for project proposals

Turbid waters spill out into the Gulf of Mexico.

Are you a development researcher based in Sweden with expertise in poverty issues, environment and climate or the steering of Swedish aid? Do you have an idea that is of relevance to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sida and other Swedish development cooperation actors?

The Expert Group for Aid Studies (EBA) has decided to allocate funds for studies within any of its prioritised areas (poverty and its drivers; environment and climate; steering of Swedish aid). Funds are available for researchers active at institutions based in Sweden in order to conduct studies of direct relevance for the MFA, Sida and/or other Swedish development cooperation actors.

The application is made in two separate steps. In a first round a project idea is briefly presented. Final day for project ideas is Sunday 22 May, 2022.

A review committee invites, after selection, short-listed applicants to provide a full application by 22 June, 2022. Final date to provide full applications is 14 August, 2022.

Call for papers: Up-scaling co-benefits of sustainable consumption for development

Environmentally sustainable consumption is now high on the agenda of researchers and policymakers in rich countries. In low and middle-income countries, sustainable consumption is de facto already practised in various contexts, for instance when it comes to energy saving, shared mobility, decentral digital markets, (informal) repair and recycling services or innovative plastic re-use start-ups. Yet, such practices are often realized in settings of poverty, precarious working conditions and environmental hazards.

About the conference

This conference discusses the challenge of how to chart a pathway to sustainable consumption that is aligned with the economic aspirations of growing urbanizing middle classes, and at the same time creates economic benefits in terms of viable business innovations, decent work and good health conditions. Put differently: To unleash a virtuous cycle in which sustainable consumption and production reinforce each other and improve well-being.

The conference is jointly organized by the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) and the Climate Change Center Berlin Brandenburg. The conference is financially supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The conference addresses academics, policymakers, donor organisations and other non-governmental organisations interested in designing demand-side policies and programmes for a green transition.

Submission procedure and target journals

Interested applicants should send their paper title and abstract (max 600 words) to
with the subject line ”Conference co-benefits of sustainable
consumption”. DIE aims to publish the most interesting papers of the conference in a special issue. Target journals are Ecological Economics, the Journal of Cleaner Production or Global Environmental Change. Editors of the journal will be contacted before the workshop with a preliminary list of papers/authors after abstract selection.

Extended deadlines: 24 April 2022

Researcher at the Department of political science and GLD

The Department of Political Science at Gothenburg University is looking for a researcher to join the programme on Governance and Local Development (GLD) for 12 months, start date September 1, 2022 or per agreement.

Job description

As a researcher with GLD, you will be expected to spend your time on GLD- or project-oriented tasks including Assisting in research design and implementation, including the survey, interviews and other fieldwork as necessary; Overseeing survey training and implementation, with fieldwork expected; Analyzing data; Collaborating with Professor Ellen Lust and other researchers in the program, as relevant, to disseminate findings through articles and presentations.

Qualifications 

You should have a PhD in the social sciences and research experience closely connected to the above-described project research area. The ideal candidate has a solid understanding of the theories relating to poverty traps, local governance, the consequences of aid, and sub-Saharan Africa. You should have a track record of independently producing scientific articles of high quality and a record of accomplishments in one or more of the following project research areas: development, governance, service provision, non-state actors, survey methodology and related empirical methods. Experience implementing surveys and/or experiments in the developing world is preferred. Demonstrated knowledge of programs such as R and/or Stata and experience working with unusual data sources (e.g., textual analysis, big data sources, GIS) is meritorious.

Excellence in English orally and written is expected; competence in Chichewa or Chitumbuka is merit. To be successful in this position you must have an eye for detail, be highly organized, and be an active problem solver. You must be able to work well with a large, fluid, and diverse team. We expect you to have excellent communication and collaboration skills, while also having a knack for independent work. We will make an overall assessment and the applicant considered to be best qualified to carry out and develop the duties described above will be appointed to the position.

About the department and the University of Gothenburg

The Department of political science has an open climate that encourages involvement in broader societal debates. Research areas of specialization include elections, democracy, corruption, governance, globalisation, environmental politics, and European studies. The Department hosts research programmes such as the QoG Institute, Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem), Centre for Collective Action Research, (CeCAR), Governance and Local Development (GLD) and the Swedish National Election Studies Programme. We offer several degree programmes at undergraduate, Master’s, and doctoral levels, as well as freestanding courses. Education is provided in both Swedish and English. We have a total of 1 300 students and a staff of about 140. The Department is centrally located in the city of Gothenburg.

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 56 000 students and 6 600 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

About GLD: Governance and Local Development

The Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD) is directed by Professor Ellen Lust, and aims to explain variation in governance and local development in an effort to promote human welfare globally. Read more about the research program on our website at www.gld.gu.se.

GLD, in collaboration with other departments at GU, Linköping University, Chalmers University of Technology, and Harvard University, is undertaking a large project working to identify how competing development programs alter African communities’ opportunities to exit the poverty cycle through the use of satellite images analysed via AI, and mixed survey methods to develop theories of the varieties of poverty traps.

GLD’s role is to conceptualise community-level power structures that impact these poverty traps, and to consider to what extent and how World Bank and Chinese aid programs help to break poverty traps. We will do so by focusing on the nature of poverty traps at individual and community-levels and the impact of existing aid programs in the country. GLD will employ surveys (based on the LGPI, a GLD-developed survey tool); conduct case study interviews with village heads, development chairs, local elders, and the international donor community; and review existing documents, all with the aim to generate a deeper understanding of why donors operate in specific communities and whether this aid defuses poverty traps.

Contact information

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Rose Shaber-Twedt or Professor Ellen Lust.

SweDev’s interview series 2022: Meet Cristiano Lanzano 

A flooded street in Uganda.

Cristiano Lanzano is a social anthropologist at the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI). Lanzano’s research focuses on mining, natural resources and conservation, and the anthropology of sustainable development. In conversation with SweDev’s Alessandro Giacardi, he describes the current Covid-19 and development challenges through an anthropology lens. 

Q: The Covid-19 pandemic has destabilized the world’s balance, worsening the situation of the most fragile countries. With this in mind, what do you think has changed and will change within development studies? 

A: Even if we are still too close to the pandemic to evaluate its long-term consequences, two main elements emerged. Firstly, travel restrictions have given more space to researchers based in the Global South to speak for their reality and witness the Covid-19 impacts on their territories. This may open opportunities for a less Eurocentric production of academic knowledge in the field of development, but the final outcomes remain to be seen.

Secondly, the pandemic places issues such as global health, associated with global inequalities back on the agenda. The pandemic highlights the role of science and technology and calls for a truly global approach and for a greater integration between social and natural sciences. 

Cristiano Lanzano. Photo: NAI

Cristiano Lanzano, Nordic Africa Institute (NAI). Photo: NAI.

Q: You are a social anthropologist focusing on anthropology of development. What does development mean in the context of anthropology and what are you teaching to your students? 

A: The relationship between anthropology and development is complex but very stimulating. James Ferguson has provokingly defined development as “the evil twin of anthropology.” Many anthropologists tend to distance themselves from development as a discipline and practice, even if historically we have a lot in common. Especially when western anthropologists conduct research in the Global South, they can often be mistaken for development workers. After all, beside our background, we often share the same interest for certain topics, and networks. When I first did my fieldwork in Senegal, my initial contact was an Italian NGO working there: this shaped the way I looked at reality during fieldwork, even if I tried to be aware of it and develop a critical stance.


Written by Cristiano Lanzano, Senior Researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute and Alessandro Giacardi, Communication and Research Intern at Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) for the Development and Aid Policy Team and SweDev. Edits by Ylva Rylander and Alice Castensson.