Kwarteng (2020). Our existence matters: Experiences and belonging of urban space

Our existence matters: Experiences and belonging of urban space from street hawkers perspective – a case study of La-Nkwantanang-Madina municipal area

The study examines the experiences of street hawkers and contributes to the current but less represented debate on hawkers’ ways of appropriating the urban space through space modification and codification that serve greatly their capitalist purposes and how those daily activities influence their sense of belonging to the urban public space. The hawkers in the study area; La-Nkwantanang-Madina Area, Ghana show some social concerns in their informal day-to-day street activities that account for some of the relocation issues that render the repressive measures of city authorities futile.

In understanding the space appropriation and sense of belonging from the hawker’s perspective, the study introduces the concept of “right to the city” for which the purpose of this study conceptualizes it as “the right to the street” so it can better attend to the experiences of place and sense of belonging by the hawkers, the informality concept and the urban citizenship. The study uses qualitative approach which included methods; participant observation, in-depth interviews and Focus group discussion to help unearth some of the issues that contribute to the debate.

The research finds that although the space contestations between the street hawkers and city officials still lingers on, the hawkers are able to successfully reproduce their belonging to the urban streets through exchange value of space and the diversification of urban streets which forms part of the urban fabric without dominating the streets to obstruct the use value for other urban dwellers.

Koromah (2020). Local participation in natural resource management initiatives

Local participation in natural resource management initiatives: A case study of the Gola REDD+ project in Sierra Leone

The United Nation’s programme, Reducing Emission from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) is an international policy mechanism to mitigate global climate change. REDD+ has a significant global impact that is changing how forests are managed around the world, particularly in developing countries and where natural resource dependent communities live. Most REDD+ projects are expected to be participatory, and this builds on existing trends in natural resource management. Nevertheless, existing research has shown that participation in REDD+ is uneven, while the benefits from projects are often inequitably distributed. Using a case study of the Gola REDD+ project in Sierra Leone, this study aims to understand how local-level decision-making for forest management happens under REDD+ and the distribution of benefits for REDD+ projects at the local community level.

Analysis shows that project implementers’ choice of empowering non-elected institutions as representatives of the local people in natural resource management initiatives has undermined opportunities for the inclusive public participation in decision making, thus, leading to an inequitable distribution of benefits among the target population. The findings reveal that decision-makers i.e., the project implementers and non-elected local elites used their positions of power within the social field to gain control of the forest management system. As a result, benefits shared during such initiatives do not fully compensate the local people for the loss of livelihood opportunities. On this basis, it is recommended that there should be a review of the policies to ensure that intervening agencies work directly with elected local institutions instead of non-elected local authorities. This will empower elected local institutions to formulate responses and negotiate bureaucratic procedures in natural resource management interventions to better address local needs.

Tembo (2020). Sociopolitical drivers and barriers to development and adoption of biogas in Mokambo peri-urban in Mufulira, Zambia

Sociopolitical drivers and barriers to development and adoption of biogas in Mokambo peri-urban in Mufulira, Zambia: How does local government fail to provide renewable energy?

Biogas has been acknowledged as one of the most important aspects for sustainable development. It is a renewable energy technology being promoted especially in developing countries for poverty reduction and climate change action. Despite concerted efforts to alleviate poverty, production and adoption of biogas remains very low in Zambia, and they prompt some questions: How do institutional, situational, infrastructural and dispositional barriers affect the production and adoption of biogas? How does the local government fail to provide renewable energy?

In search of answers, this study focuses on Mokambo peri-urban area in Mufulira district. The transformations to sustainability, transition arena, and adaption and mitigation theories have been employed as theoretical framework. The driving factors of biogas production include the protection of environment and climate change mitigation, poverty reduction, and agricultural production. The findings show that the sociopolitical barriers to the production and adoption of biogas include inadequate policies and strategies on modern energy, lack of community awareness on Renewable Energy Technologies (RET). Others are lack of titled land, intersectional inequality and resistance to change. Further, findings reveal that the local government does not provide any alternative sources of energy in the peri-urban area due to lack of funds, staff capacity and expertise. This paper concludes with recommendations and possible future research on biogas technology.

Mihaljević (2020). Breaking the walls: the first Pride March in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Pride Marches are usually considered as the most important manifestations of LGBTI activism and politics, either as festive and commercial celebrations or protests against violations of human rights of the LGBTI population. The first BiH Pride March from September 2019 successfully took the form of the latter, under heavy security measures and without any incidents in Sarajevo. Bosnia is regarded as a highly patriarchal country with strong homophobia and structural discrimination towards its minorities and marginalized groups.

In that context, the Pride March is the most visible expression of LGBTI struggles for social recognition and acceptance. It also illustrates the status of human rights in BiH and represents a form of symbolic politics concerning the EU. This study aims to examine how the event was organized, how it indicated the human rights of LGBTI persons in the country, and what was the influence of Western Embassies and international organizations in BiH on its preparation and staging. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the organizers, the attendees, activists, and members of the LGBTI community in the country; 11 in total.

The analysis shows a connection between the egalitarian Organizing Committee (activists/individuals) and the March´s claim for equality of LGBTI people in BiH society, including a correlation between the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and discrimination of LGBTI persons in BiH. The analysis also shows strong cooperation between the organizers and the international community in the country.

The study concludes the March being organized as a collaborative and a multi-level project, indicating the discrimination and homophobia through additional security costs imposed on the organizers. Finally, the study finds the international community´s efforts as co-decisive for March´s success.

Fløytrup (2020). Burning the woods and flooding the slums

Burning the woods and flooding the slums: examining the socio-economic and environmental burden of wood charcoal in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Wood charcoal is the main source of energy for cooking in urban Sub-Saharan Africa. It is widely known that charcoal production causes numerous environmental impacts, such as deforestation and environmental degradation. Interventions aimed at environmental improvements are common in Sub-Saharan Africa, however, there is limited focus on the trade-offs between the environmental and socio-economic implications across the entire wood charcoal supply chain. In this thesis, the socio-economic and environmental implications for people within the wood charcoal supply chain is examined through a case study of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Furthermore, the study assesses whether or not the identified socio-economic and environmental implications contribute to a sustainable urban energy system for cooking or not. The study utilizes systems-thinking and solution-orientation to understand the wood charcoal supply chain and aid interventions.

The main finding is that the wood charcoal supply chain has a range of environmental impacts that further exacerbate socio-economic challenges faced by people within the chain. The results show that charcoal production contribute to increased deforestation and rainfall. The consequence is found to be that wood charcoal producers and sellers struggle to secure wood charcoal availability and quality which result in increased prices for the end users. The results also indicate that producers and sellers can possibly turn to alternative livelihood activities, whilst users have no feasible alternative energy sources for cooking. Ultimately, the findings show that inter- and intragenerational equity and future sustainability is at stake because of current injustices and unsustainability of the wood charcoal supply chain. This study argues for a more just system that is robust, diversified, and equitable. To achieve such changes, stakeholder participation in decision-making needs to be established as well as alternative energy sources for cooking that meet the needs of current generations, without placing undue harm to the environment and to future generations.

Lwiindi (2020). Participation of women with disabilities in local government decision making structures

Participation of women with disabilities in local government decision making structures: Unpacking the Silent Voice. A qualitative study conducted in Lusaka, Zambia

Participation of each and every person in governance system is a fundamental human right and a basic condition for democratic tenets in society regardless of their physical and socio-economic status in society. Persons with disabilities and women in particular have historically been stigmatized, discriminated and excluded in various decision making processes at global, regional, national and local levels. There is a dearth of literature focusing on the participation of women with disabilities in local decision making structures in Zambia hence this study.

This study aims at exploring the experiences of women with disabilities with regards to their participation in local government decision making structures in Lusaka, Zambia. The study is anchored on three theoretical perspectives: feminist intersectionality, the social model of disability, and participatory development. These theoretical perspectives are complementary and provide insights to the study.

Findings of the study demonstrate that women with disabilities encounter various socio-cultural, economic, attitudinal and physical environmental obstacles with regards to their participation in decision making structures within their localities. The emerged participation obstacles following the responses from interviewees include: negative attitudes towards women with disabilities, poverty, discriminatory traditional beliefs, inaccessible infrastructure and limited social network. Participation opportunities do exist for them to participate in decision making processes as provided for by different pieces of legislation and policy guidelines. However, there is a gap between the existence of the legal and policy framework and actual implementation of participation opportunities. This gap perpetuates the exclusion of these women in decision making structures in their localities.

Madzaramba (2019). Onsite greywater treatment for reuse at Zandspruit informal settlement in Johannesburg

The urban landscape in South Africa is marred by informal settlements. Nearly a quarter of its population lives in shacks and do not have access to sufficient clean water and improved sanitation. The aim of the present study was to ascertain household daily water consumption and quantify the amount of greywater generated at Zandspruit slums. Another objective was to assess perceptions and user acceptability towards treated greywater reuse in urban slums. Overly, the study endeavoured to elucidate the potential benefits of greywater reuse in informal settlements. The author used a systematic literature review and administered a survey questionnaire to fulfil these objectives The survey was conducted between 1 February and 29 March 2019.

Zandspruit settlement has the capacity to produce significant amount of greywater for reuse. Eighty-three per cent of the residents accepted reuse of treated greywater for non-potable purposes. A further 69% expressed willingness to reuse treated greywater for drinking and cooking. The implementation of onsite greywater treatment and reuse will certainly unlock socio-economic benefits and enhance water availability to some of the poorest people in South Africa.

Chandra (2020). To grip or to slip: smallholder inclusion in sustainable palm oil certifications in Riau, Indonesia

Increasing global focus on sustainable palm oil (SPO) initiatives has led to discussions of smallholder integration at the bottom of the supply chain. In 2019, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) introduced a new standard for independent smallholders. Meanwhile, through Presidential Regulation no. 44 of 2020, the President of Indonesia recently made Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) mandatory for smallholders by 2025. While both certifications aim to improve smallholder inclusion, millions of palm oil independent smallholders face difficulties in attaining certification. This study examines the barriers that these smallholders face in pursuing the regulatory process prior to certification process and how they affect smallholder inclusion in sustainable palm oil initiatives.

The study finds that limited access to information regarding SPO certifications, a lack of understanding of regulations concerning land, and limited financial support may hinder independent smallholders from pursuing regulatory compliance. Facilitation can help farmers in addressing these issues; however, at the local level, access to facilitation is unequal. The findings show that the inequality is influenced by three factors, namely local institutional arrangement, land status and legality, and practicalities, must thus be concerned when attempting to improve facilitation opportunity. Furthermore, the current centralised licensing system that has been adopted at the local level limits smallholders’ ability to engage with the legal process; this is mainly due to technical and practical issues that arise in navigating convoluted regulations and bureaucracies.

Furthermore, farmers are facing environmental challenges to differing degrees, which prevents independent smallholder groups from being able to fulfil pre-certification requirements. Thus, from a practical point of view, procedural justice required to incorporate independent smallholders into sustainable palm oil initiatives has not yet been achieved.

Ahlzén (2019). Understanding corruption through social norms

Understanding corruption through social norms – A field study about corrupt behaviour in local institutions in Lusaka

Research shows that conventional policy interventions aiming to reduce corruption have yielded little success. Shifting the focus from macro level aspects of corruption to focus on micro-level aspects, such as social norms and individual decision-making processes, has recently been suggested as a way to understand underlying reasons why corruption remains persistent in many
societies. The thesis aims to uncover reasons for individual corrupt behaviour in Zambia by studying what social norms exist in relation to corruption in local government institutions in Lusaka.

It furthermore investigates how social norms can explain the persisting corruption within these local institutions. By conducting in-depth interviews with citizens and stakeholders the study reveals social norms that are conducive to corruption and that are affecting citizens behaviour when interacting with local government institutions. A conflict in the relation between descriptive norms and injunctive norms is discovered and explained by the logic of prisoner’s dilemma.

The study concludes that social norms could be seen a part of explaining why corruption remains persistent in Lusaka government institutions, and that both injunctive norms and descriptive norms are affecting individual corrupt behaviour. It shows that descriptive norms can explain how individuals justify corrupt behaviour that they in theory think is wrong. It suggests that Lusaka’s local government could benefit from including a social norms perspective when designing anti-corruption interventions in order to achieve better results.

Mulenga (2019). Assessing the awareness, adoptability and sustainability of improved pellet cook stoves of low income households in Lusaka, Zambia.

In order to attain sustainable development, there is need for clean and reliable energy. Woodfuel (charcoal and firewood) make up over 70 percent of the national energy consumption in Zambia as only about 25 percent of the population has access to electricity. It is among the most important domestic fuels for low income households in Zambia. Cooking with solid fuels and inefficient cook stoves has adverse effects for human wellbeing, health and the environment. One initiative for sustainable energy provision in urban Zambia has been the introduction of improved cook stoves (ICS) based on sawdust pellets to replace traditional cooking on charcoal braziers that have dominated usage in homes since the 1930s.

One of the main motivations for improved cook stove interventions has been to reduce household demand for woodfuel thus to reduce pressures on deforestation. However, adoption of improved cook stoves designed to reduce these impacts remain relatively low while the demand for woodfuel remains predominantly high. Using a user centred approach, the study investigated the awareness, adoptability and sustainability of improved pellet cook stoves in view of government policies of Matero- George compound, Lusaka low income households. It sought the factors influencing households’ preference of traditional or modern cook stoves, the knowledge of available energy options, the challenges households had relating to their current cooking solutions and the options available to them and the appropriateness and effectiveness of government policies promoting the use of improved cooking technologies.