University of Gothenburg
Kamodjansk pojke i båt

Research projects in Development Geography

On this page you find information about ongoing and completed projects in Development Geography.

Capacity building projects

Gender and Territory under conditions of Climate Change

Swedish coordinator: Margareta Espling

The academic capacity building programme with the Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique, in collaboration with the Departments of Geography and Anthropology under the theme: Gender and Territory under conditions of Climate Change. The programme includes 2 PhD candidates, 3 Post Docs, and 19 MA students. Further, there are international mobility visits to the University of Gothenburg for Mozambican researchers, and a number of training and workshop activities with a research focus.

Enhancement of Gender Focused Research, Capacity Building of Women in Leadership and Gender Mainstreaming in Higher Education in Uganda.

Swedish coordinator: Margareta Espling

The academic capacity building programme with Makerere University, Uganda, in collaboration with the School of Women and Gender Studies under the theme: Enhancement of Gender Focused Research, Capacity Building of Women in Leadership and Gender Mainstreaming in Higher Education in Uganda. The programme included 8 PhD candidates, 5 Post Docs, and 8 MA students, all at Makerere University. The activities also included a number of training seminars and workshop activities with a research focus. The collaboration programme with Makerere University was concluded by 30 June 2022.

Book cover: Gender and Socio-economic change
The book is one of the results of the cooperation with the School of Women and Gender Studies, Makerere University.

Completed projects

PhD project: Therese Brolin

Over the last decade the focus on results (monitoring and evaluation) has increased immensely within the international development cooperation, leading to stronger demand for accountability and aid effectiveness, but also to a change of focus: from an emphasis on development cooperation owned and driven by partner countries, towards one where results of development cooperation are to be measured against, and attributed to, donors’ development objectives. With Sweden as an example, and with theories derived from political geography, the research explores how the increased pursuit of results is influencing the relationship between a donor country and developing countries.

Jonas Lindberg, in collaboration with Beniamin Knutsson (Faculty of Education)

Governments worldwide, together with representatives for the private sector and civil society, have committed themselves to a ‘new aid architecture’, a global partnership for development built on consensus and coherence between development ‘partners’. Yet, recent research indicates that aid fragmentation is actually worse than ever and there are reasons to suspect that many problems that obstruct implementation are rooted in the post-political logics that underpin the new policy agenda. The aim of this project is to elaborate and employ a new methodology to the study of ‘the political’ in the new aid architecture, with special focus on aid to the education sector in Rwanda. Key to the new methodology is to find ways of understanding and visualizing political tension in environments where such tension is not supposed to exist. The project will produce knowledge on ’the political’ in a global aid landscape with strong post-political features and offer new understandings of the difficulties of implementing the new aid architecture. (Swedish Research Council, 2013-2016)

Robin Biddulph

This project aims to investigate the potential of the mass tourism industry to enable sustainable development. Globally tourism is expanding its share of the world economy, and is also expanding to new destinations which are more and more frequently in impoverished settings in poor countries.

There have been frequent calls for the economic growth generated by mass tourism to be harnessed to stimulate sustainable development, but the structural tendencies of the industry – with economies of scale and vertical linkages favouring transnational business operations who can squeeze the profit margins and wage levels in mass tourism destinations – have meant that these calls have not translated into effective action. Meanwhile, there has also been criticism that advocates of sustainable tourism and pro-poor tourism have typically engaged in consultancy work and have neither conducted long-term studies nor submitted themselves to academic scrutiny in mainstream academic journals. In the mid-1990s Angkor received less than 100 000 visitors per year; today it receives over 3 million, yet Siem Reap province continues to be one of the poorest provinces in a very poor country.

A three-year tracking study using primary qualitative and secondary quantitative data, the project will examine the impacts of the mass tourism at the Angkor temple complex on the impoverished rural districts of surrounding Siem Reap and evaluate whether more sustainable, pro-poor outcomes might be realistic.

Jonas Lindberg

In collaboration with Dr. Camilla Orjuela (School of Global Studies), this project is an attempt to understand the interlinkages between corruption and armed conflict, and the consequences of these interlinkages for people´s everyday lives. The project draws on a literature review, a national-level case study, as well as field-work in two localities in Sri Lanka (Batticaloa and Hambantota). (Sida 2009)

Jonas Lindberg

In collaboration with Dr Karl Palmås (Chalmers), Dr Otto von Bush (School of Design and Crafts), and social entrepreneurs Annika Axelsson and Karin Stenmar at Dem Collective, this project is an attempt to understand how social innovations, generated by social entrepreneurs, spread across society, replicating themselves into producing wider change. In focus for the research project is the social enterprise Dem Collective and their activities in Sri Lanka (e.g. fair trade and ecological clothing). (KK-stiftelsen, 2009-2011)

Margareta Espling

This longitudinal study of individual women, with inter-generational aspects, was carried out in three urban areas in Mozambique, Maputo, Beira and Montepuez. The main aim of this project was to study individual women’s livelihood strategies over 10+ years, with particular focus on livelihood diversification and women’s participation in social or economic reciprocity networks. An additional aim of an inter-generational character was to include the women’s children, to see how their livelihoods had developed since leaving their mothers’ household, with particular focus on kin relations and exchange of resources. With a focus on poverty, it is of importance to find more information about how women and men act and strategize to mobilise and access resources to support themselves and their households in a context of social change and economic hardship. The overall methodology was qualitative, combining techniques for data collection through i) a small-scale survey, ii) focus groups, iii) semi-structured interviews, and iv) observations.

Jonas Lindberg

With examples from different localities in rural Sri Lanka, the study aims to better understand under what conditions rural livelihood diversification leads to ways out of poverty and when it does not. (Adlerbertska Forskningsstiftelsen, 2007)

Jonas Lindberg (in collaboration with Beniamin Knutsson and Linus Bylund, Faculty of Education, and Sofie Hellberg, School of Global Studies)

Together with the departments of Geography and Economics at the University of Kelaniya, the GIS-centre, Lund University, and the Dep of Economics, Gothenburg University. (Sida, 2005-2006)