Photo of Lyla Mehta

Lyla Mehta - Professorial Fellow

Resource Politics; Cities; Gender and Sexuality
T: +44 (0)1273 915677
E: l.mehta@ids.ac.uk

CV

Administrator:
Alice Shaw

Google Scholar URL:
goo.gl/UjHmTF

Professor Lyla Mehta is a Professorial Fellow at IDS and a Visiting Professor at Noragric, Norwegian University of Life Sciences. She trained as a sociologist (University of Vienna) and has a PhD in Development Studies (University of Sussex).

Her work focuses on water and sanitation, forced displacement and resistance, scarcity, rights and access, resource grabbing and the politics of environment/ development and sustainability. More recently, her projects have addressed peri urban dynamics, the politics of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in Africa and uncertainty and climate change from below in India. She has extensive field research in India studying the politics of water scarcity, the linkages between gender, displacement and resistance, access to water in peri urban areas and climate change and uncertainty.

Additionally, she has worked on water management issues in southern Africa and studied the cultural and institutional aspects of sanitation in Ethiopia, Bangladesh, India and Indonesia and the scaling of community-led total sanitation. Her work uses the case of water to explore conceptual and empirical questions concerning scarcity, power, politics, uncertainty, rights and access to resources, the contested nature of the 'public' and 'private' and the cultural politics of development. She is currently the water and sanitation domain convenor of the STEPS centre.

This project sees uncertainty as a key barrier to efforts to support social transformation to respond to the challenges posed by climate change.

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The Water Justice Programme critically examines the politics and pathways of water and sanitation policy and practice through interdisciplinary research on access, rights and control over these key resources

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This project examines the role of peri-urban spaces in urban expansion and how resilience can be fostered in these contexts.

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The STEPS Centre is an interdisciplinary global research and policy engagement hub, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. It aims to develop a new approach to understanding, action and communication on sustainability and development.

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This EPSRC project focuses on the 'peri-urban' environment, which includes areas outside cities that are characterised by poor infrastructure, and poor access to formal water and sanitation services.

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Water is an invisible passenger travelling on and under roads. Roads also act as dikes altering run-off patterns and sometimes even re-arranging watersheds. Road programs and projects directly deal with existing land and water property and user rights: farmers gaining or losing water resources.

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IDS publications on international development research

Whose Waters? Large-Scale Agricultural Development and Water Grabbing in the Wami-Ruvu River Basin, Tanzania

Water Alternatives 9.3 (2016)

This article asks how IWRM manages the competing interests as well as the diverse priorities of both large and small water users in the midst of foreign direct investment. The article asks whether institutional and capacity weaknesses around IWRM implementation can be exploited by powerful actors that seek to meet their own interests, thus allowing water grabbing to take place. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Flow of IWRM in SADC: The Role of Regional Dynamics, Advocacy Networks and External Actors

Water Alternatives 9.3 (2016)

This article explores the entry and spread of IWRM in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. It traces how the idea of IWRM was promoted and sustained throughout the region by mapping key events, actors and networks that were involved in promoting the approach. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Emergence, Interpretations and Translations of IWRM in South Africa

Water Alternatives 9.3 (2016)

This paper explores how the idea of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) emerged in South Africa, its key debates and interpretations and how it has been translated. It maps out the history, main events, key people, and implementation efforts through a combination of reviews of available documents and in-depth semi-structured interviews with key actors. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Introduction to the Special Issue – Flows and Practices: The Politics of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in Southern Africa

Water Alternatives 9.3 (2016)

This article provides a conceptual framework to study: the flow of IWRM as an idea; its translation and articulation into new policies, institutions and allocation mechanisms, and the resulting practices and effects across multiple scales – global, regional, national and local. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The 'Trickle Down' of IWRM: A Case Study of Local-Level Realities in the Inkomati Water Management Area, South Africa

Water Alternatives 9.3 (2016)

The translation of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) into the South African context and, in particular, the integration of institutions related to land and water have faced many challenges due to the political nature of water and land reforms, and the tendency of governmental departments to work in silos. The paper explores the dynamics surrounding the implementation of IWRM in the Inkomati Water Management Area, and the degree of integration between the parallel land and water reform processes. More details

Thematic Expertise:
Accelerating Sustainability; Citizenship; Climate Change; Climate Change Vulnerability and Resilience; Conflict Violence and Security; Environment; Gender; Migration; Politics and Power; Reducing Inequalities; Rights; Science and Society; Water and Sanitation.

Related Programmes and Centres:
CLTS; STEPS.

Geographic Expertise:
South East Asia; Sub Saharan Africa; Bangladesh; Ethiopia; India; Indonesia; South Africa.