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Barbara van Koppen

As rural sociologist and gender expert, she conducts research and action-research on public sector accountability towards poor women and men, in particular on plural water laws and multiple use water services (MUS) in Africa and Asia. This includes supervision of M.Sc. and Ph.D. students and professionals.

She has led six international and inter-continental comparative research projects, and was team member or technical adviser in over a dozen other projects. She has (co-) organized several international conferences and fora for research and policy debate with national and international grassroots water users, implementer, program managers, financers, policy makers, and researchers; she also coordinates the global MUS Group.

She wrote and edited four books, and authored and co-authored over 80 other internationally peer-reviewed publications.

Before joining IWMI, Barbara van Koppen was Associate Professor ‘gender and irrigation’ at the Department of Irrigation and Soil and Water Conser¬vation, Wageningen University and Research Centre, the Netherlands.

Before that, she worked as technical advisor in Burkina Faso for SNV Netherlands Development Organization and as coordinator of the Farm Women’s Group Netherlands.


  • –present
    Researcher , International Water Management Institute