I am a Research Fellow in Environmental Anthropology for the UK Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) project, Building REsearch Capacity for sustainable water and food security In the drylands of sub-saharan Africa (BRECcIA). BRECcIA is led by the School of Geography and Environmental Sciences at the University of Southampton and consists of partner institutions in Kenya, Ghana, and Malawi as well as regional-level research institutes and UNESCO. BRECcIA takes a transdisciplinary approach to addressing challenges around water/food security as well as seeks to strengthen existing research capabilities in Malawi, Ghana, and Kenya. Currently I am leading a community-based research and research capacity strengthening project in Upper East region of Ghana and Kitui County in Kenya. We are using participatory and ethnographic research approaches to investigate how people anticipate and experience the benefits, costs, and risks of ecological restoration interventions as well as how people perceive and understand restoration more generally. We are in the process of developing outputs that aim to effectively communicate a) how social inequities emerge across multiple spatial and temporal scales in contexts of ecological restoration b) why this matters for achieving development and environmental impact, and c) how implementing organizations, donors, and governments can most effectively address and prevent social inequities. As part of our in-country engagements I am leading facilitation of
participatory research skills training workshops which involve undergraduate students, graduate students, and stakeholders from government and NGOs. In addition to working in Kenya, Ghana, and Malawi, I have conducted long-term fieldwork in northeastern Uganda on land tenure, conflict, and agrarian change.
ABOUT MATT KANDEL
I am a social scientist with research interests in land tenure and property rights, natural resource governance, livelihoods, and the social and equity dimensions to ecological restoration. I work mainly within development contexts in rural Africa although I am interested in working in different regions as well. Methodologically, I favor participatory approaches that place communities at the center of research design/production and co-learning processes. I believe the most viable pathways to delivering impact through research come from community- and stakeholder-engaged approaches and from working cross-disciplines with researchers. I maintain an interest in further developing my social science research methods skills, including in the area of research co-production with non-academic actors. The main focus of my current work is to communicate why differentiated resource access and control impacts the potential for ecological restoration interventions to achieve equitable outcomes. The key message for implementing organizations, government agencies, and companies is that preexisting inequalities and power relations in communities will influence whether interventions are equitable.
Before coming to the University of Southampton I held a two-year British Academy-funded Newton International Fellowship in Development Studies at SOAS, University of London. During 2014-15 I was based in both South Africa and Uganda as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. My PhD, which drew on my fieldwork in 2012-13 in the Teso and Karamoja sub-regions of northeastern Uganda, was completed in 2014 in Anthropology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. My research findings and analysis are published in high-impact academic journals, blogs, and a book chapter. I also have six years of experience teaching in-class and asynchronous online courses in Anthropology, Sociology/Anthropology, and interdisciplinary departments/programs at three universities in New York.
SAMPLE PUBLICATIONS (ACADEMIC JOURNAL ARTICLES AND BLOGS)
KANDEL, MATT, NANCY KADENYI, JANET MUSYOKA, FIONA NGARCHU AND VALLARY MUTAVE NGILA. “DEVELOPING PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH SKILLS IN DRYLAND ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION CONTEXT: REFLECTIONS FROM WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS AND CO-FACILITATORS,” BUILDING RESEARCH CAPACITY FOR SUSTAINABLE WATER/FOOD SECURITY IN THE DRYLANDS OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA (BRECCIA) BLOG.
(WITH FIONA NGARACHU AND CHRISTINE MAGAJU) DEVELOPING CROSS-SCALE SYNERGIES WILL BE CRITICAL FOR ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE AND WATER SECURITY IN THE DRYLANDS,” BUILDING RESEARCH CAPACITY FOR SUSTAINABLE WATER/FOOD SECURITY IN THE DRYLANDS OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
DEVELOPING RESILIENT LIVELIHOODS IN THE DRYLANDS OF AFRICA
Africa: Year in Review 2018, Wilson Center's Africa Program
THE ETHICS OF CO-PRODUCTION AND THE ROLE OF CONSORTIA RESEARCH IN RESILIENCE-BUILDING
Building REsearch capacity for sustainable water and food security in the drylands of sub-Saharan Africa (BRECcCIA) blog
STATE FORMATION AND THE POLITICS OF LAND IN NORTHEASTERN UGANDA
THE POLITICS OF LAND AND STATE STABILITY IN AFRICA
Africa Up Close blog at the Wilson Center's Africa Program
Reposted at Africa at LSE blog
LAND CONFLICTS AND SOCIAL DIFFERENTIATION IN EASTERN UGANDA
Journal of Modern African Studies
YOUTH IN AFRICA: REFOCUSING THE DEBATE
Democracy in Africa blog
RESHAPING THE DEBATE ON LAND ALIENATION IN AFRICA: WHAT ARE THE ORIGINS OF SOCIAL CHANGE?
Development Studies at SOAS
STRUGGLING OVER LAND IN POST-CONFLICT UGANDA
POLITICS FROM BELOW? SMALL-, MID-, AND LARGE-SCALE LAND DISPOSSESSION IN TESO, UGANDA, AND THE RELEVANCE OF SCALE.
Journal of Peasant Studies