For us, the strength of a livelihood approach is that it enables issues to be localised and understood at an individual and household scale, which we take as vital for human geographers approaching development issues. However, it is also clear that development processes cannot be analysed in isolated contexts. We study global transformation processes and how these interact with and influence what takes place within poor countries at national level, as well as in local contexts and in people's everyday lives.
While we have as a common interest these global-national-local dynamics and the way that they play out in different ways in different terrains, we also focus on different themes or sectors. Among our current research interests are; non-farm diversification and regional development; the politics of development assistance; land issues and policy; geographies of education; urban space and planning; tourism and poverty; ageing and livelihoods, and; social entrepreneurship in different geographical contexts.
The development geography group within the Unit for Human Geography has its origins in the early 1990s when the late Dr Anders Närman together with three PhD candidates started group activities on joint readings and discussing ongoing research. The three PhD candidates’ respective projects focused on development and livelihoods in Africa: Johan Dahl’s A Cry for Water in Zimbabwe, Margareta Espling’s Women’s Livelihood Strategies in Mozambique and Per Assmo’s Livelihood Strategies and Development in Tanzania.