The PhD research hopes to add further understanding on how best to use managed resettlement as a way to manage the increasingly severe flooding, particularly in the Lower Shire region of Malawi. This aims to be helpful to both communities and government. The follow on research hopes to add further understanding on what the possibility of future cyclones like Cyclone Idai mean for Malawi's disaster management stratgey.
I am conducting PhD research into the governance of resettlement as a way to manage flooding in the Lower Shire Region in Malawi. I am working with three communities that have different attitudes towards government resettlement: one community which has resettled after severe flooding in 2015; one community which has the opportunity to resettle and assistance promised for this resettlemend, but they are still undecided about whether to resettle; and one community that the government very much wants to resettle but they are unwilling to resettle. My research involved interviews with community members and relevant stakeholders in NGOs and local and national government. The data collection occurred in the autumn of 2017 and the research is now in the writing up phase.
I am now also undertaking further research in collaboration with Scotland Malawi Partnership and Malawi Scotland Partnership exploring the implications of Cylone Idai on Malawi's disaster management strategy. This research will take place in the autumn (2019). I will conduct interviews with the same participants from my PhD research, but this time with the aid of Malawi Scotland Partnership to produce a report to the government of Malawi, Malawi Scotland Partnership and Scotland Malawi Partnership. This research is funded by the KE impact fund at the University of St Andrews and there are 4 other researchers from the university which are also involved in this project.