I am involved in a variety of research projects, programmes and consortia. The following are some that keep me occupied. The most recent and active are at the top, with older ones, which I continue to engage with, below.


The STEPS Centre

The STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre is linking environmental sustainability and technology with poverty reduction and social justice. The Centre a global research and policy engagement centre, funded by the ESRC, bringing together development studies with science and technology studies.

PASTRES: Pastoralism, Uncertainty, Resilience: Global Lessons from the Margins

PASTRES is supported by an ERC (European Research Council) Advanced Grant and is working in China, Italy and Kenya. The project aims to learn from the ways that pastoralists respond to uncertainty, applying such ‘lessons from the margins’ to global challenges. It is hosted by the STEPS Centre, in collaboration with the European University Institute in Florence.

ERPI: The Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative

The ERPI is a global collaboration focusing on the rural causes and consequences of authoritarian populism. The initiative has funded a small grants programme, hosted a major conference, convened a blog/video series with openDemocracy and is publishing a series of papers in a special Forum of the Journal of Peasant Studies. The ERPI is now being facilitated by regional groups in Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America and south-east Asia.



The Future Agricultures Consortium

The Future Agricultures Consortium is a multidisciplinary and independent learning alliance of academic researchers and practitioners involved in African agriculture. The Consortium aims to encourage dialogue and the sharing of good practice by policy makers and opinion formers in Africa on the role of agriculture in broad based growth.


The Land Deal Politics Initiative (LDPI) facilitates engaged research on the global land grab. The LDPI aims to provide in-depth and systematic enquiry into the global land grab in order to have deeper, meaningful and productive debates around causes and implications.


Livelihoods after land reform

Livelihoods after land reform in Zimbabwe. Research since 2000 has documented the impacts of land reform in Zimbabwe, highlighting both challenges and opportunities. A major book, Zimbabwe’s Land Reform: Myths and Realities, was published in 2010. A website dedicated to the work, including commentary, blogs, videos and media coverage can be found at: www.zimbabweland.net


The Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium (DDDAC) is a new, interdisciplinary research initiative linking 15 institutions in Europe, Africa and the US to explore ecological, epidemiological, social and economic interactions affecting zoonotic disease emergence, transmission and impacts. The DDDAC is funded by the Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) Programme of the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Department for International Development (DFID) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) (see www.espa.ac.uk).


Veterinary science and policy

Livestock production is accelerating across the world, creating what has been dubbed a global ‘livestock revolution’. But this brings with it risks of disease. And some livestock disease can transfer to humans, with unknown consequences. Work on foot-and-mouth disease in southern Africa and avian influenza in south-east Asia has looked at the policy processes surrounding disease control and management. Issues of risk and uncertainty, trade and livelihoods are explored through a range of case studies.


Genetically-modified (GM) crops are sometimes trumpeted as the solution to the global food crisis, and the route to transforming developing agriculture and reducing poverty for millions. For others they spell doom and disaster, bringing with them unacceptable environmental and safety risks. But what is the reality? Over the past ten years, GM crops – particularly transgenic insect-resistant crop varieties – have been used widely by farmers in different parts of the developing world. What has been the impact on agricultural production and poverty? What institutional, regulatory and wider policy issues arise? The STEPS Centre GM+10 project explores these issues by drawing on more than a decade of research from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe.


Sustainable Livelihoods in Southern Africa

The sustainable livelihoods approach requires new ways of thinking about institutional and organisational arrangements for development, as well as understanding how poor people can gain access to natural resources and influence policy processes so that their concerns are realised. Through case studies in Zambezia (Mozambique), the Eastern Cape Wild Coast (South Africa) and the lowveld area of south-east Zimbabwe, this Sustainable Livelihoods in Southern Africa programme examined the challenges of institutional, organisational and policy reform around land, water and wild resources in southern Africa.

Research Areas

Science, society and sustainability

ESRC grant, 1998-1999; ESRC GEC Programme, 1999-2000; Development Research Centre on Citizenship, Participation and Accountability – Science and Citizenship programme, 2001- ; Rockefeller Foundation, 2005-6; STEPS Centre, 2006 on-going


Land and agrarian development and policy

Rural people’s knowledge, agricultural research and extension, funded by SIDA, 1990-93; coordinator of collaborative research programme with the Farming Systems Research Unit, Ministry of Agriculture, Zimbabwe, funded by EU DG XII, 1991-95; coordinator, Future Agricultures Consortium’, 2005 on-going; DFID funded


Livelihoods, institutions and development

Collaborative research funded by ESRC Global Environmental Change Programme, 1996-98 and DFID ESCOR, 1996-1999; DFID Livestock Production Programme, 1997-2000; and Future Agricultures/STEPS Centre, 2005 on-going


Epidemics, disease and animal health policy

International workshop series organised by IIED, ODI and the Commonwealth Secretariat and funded by ODA/DFID, World Bank, Commonwealth Secretariat among others; 1990-1996; AU-IBAR training programme, 2005-06; Wellcome Trust Livestock for Life, 2006-2008; FAO-PPLPI and DFID Pro-Poor avian influenza risk reduction programme, 2007-2009; Future Agricultures Consortium, 2005 on-going.


Land, livelihoods and rural development in southern Africa

Sustainable Livelihoods in Southern Africa research programme, 2000-2003; consultancy support to South African government through the Land and Agricultural Policy Centre,  funded by ODA, World Bank, SEI, among others; DFID-ESRC Livelihoods after Land Reform programme, 2006-2010; Land grabbing in Africa, funded by ESRC, DFID, Rockefeller.


Agricultural biotechnology: science, politics and policy

DFID ESCOR and Rockefeller grants, 2000-2003.


Power, participation and development

Research, training and consultancy work with a variety of collaborating organisations. Core funding to IIED from SIDA, Ford Foundation, complemented by various other sources; 1988-1994; and DFID, 2003.


Soils management and farming livelihoods in Africa

Collaborative research programme with IIED, London, CDCS, Amsterdam and DLO, Wageningen, plus partners in Africa, including Ethiopia, Mali and Zimbabwe. Funded by EU STD programme (DGXII), DGIS, 1995-2000 and ESRC, 1998-1999.


Livestock and livelihoods in Zimbabwe

PhD thesis work based at the Renewable Resources Assessment Group, Centre for Environmental Technology, Imperial College, London and associated with the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Zimbabwe. Funded by SERC/ESRC interdisciplinary award and IIED, London; 1986 – 90.


Woodlands and wild resources

Coordinator of various linked research activities, including the ‘Hidden Harvest’ project (1992-94) involving IIED’s Sustainable Agriculture Programme, the London Environmental Economics Centre and partners in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Sudan. Funded by WWF-International, SIDA, IDRC, among others.


Wetlands in drylands

Research project involving collaborators in Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe, with follow-up policy work focused in Nigeria and Zambia, in collaboration with IUCN. Funded by SAREC, 1989-1993.


Environmental assessment

Masters thesis work on ecological impact assessment approaches. Funded by quota award to ICCET, Imperial College; 1985-86.

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