With an NGO background since the early 1990s, my experience spans both humanitarian and development sectors in Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia, Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa. It was this engagement with the on-the-ground realities of those affected by ongoing political instability, social division and shattered infrastructure that first drew me to agroecology. Since co-founding GardenAfrica in 2001, I have co-developed innovative plant-based health and livelihoods approaches with researchers and NGOs, and farmers and civil society organisations to explore strategies that stimulate localised economic opportunity while navigating social-ecological complexity and change. Over this time, I have also established a solid track record in collaborative project design, implementation, management and monitoring, evaluation and learning.
My research is interested in the transformative potential of agroecological processes in fragile environments and, more particularly, in the social-ecological processes and relationships through which communities of practice may be more able to mobilise and shape change on their own terms to reduce attendant vulnerabilities. This has included the potential of agroecology to address forms of violence by supporting social farming and deliberative democratic processes framed around the co-management of resources. It has explored the extent to which small ‘non-movements’ employ non-threatening, practice-based co-generative processes not only to shape physical landscapes, but to negotiate social change by re-forging networks based on principles of reciprocity and trust. My research interests also involve understanding how participatory praxis helps us to link the socio-cultural, ecological and political dimensions, and acts as a bridge between peace formation, disaster risk reduction and/or climate change adaptation on one hand, and equitable resilience and epistemic and cognitive justice on the other.
Stabilisation Agriculture; equitable resilience; participatory action research; political ecology; peacebuilding; critical pedagogy; people’s knowledge; bio-cultural diversity; rooted networks & collective agency; gender & power; disaster risk reduction; generative approaches to climate change adaptation.