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:
Lina Forgeaux

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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This study aims to understand and compare processes and relationships associated with the ‘marketization of nature’ – how nature-based commodities and markets for trading them are brought into being – in the context of mangrove afforestation, reforestation and restoration projects in Kenya and India.

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Uncertainty in Climate Science: Extreme Weather Events in India

In May 2018, multiple extreme weather events claimed scores of lives, damaged property and brought public life to a standstill in parts of India. In the aftermath of these events, a blame game ensued with some assigning responsibility to scientific and state agencies, and others calling for more research and accurate weather forecasts. It is important to recognise the uncertainties in climate science and embrace them in order to channel resources appropriately, attribute causality, build public trust, and improve policy effectiveness. More details

The Antinomies of Nature and Space

Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space 1.1-2 (2018)

Maria, Irma, Harvey, Katrina – these have become more than names. They represent several of the most recent hurricanes that have devastated communities across North America and the Caribbean. As nature–society encounters, these massive storms elevated a range of historical, sociocultural, and political economic issues to the fore – from colonialism and race, to growing patterns of inequality, government mismanagement, and the politics of knowledge related to climate change. More details

This image is from the book, 'Understanding Uncertainty: Views from Kachchh, Mumbai, and Sundarbans'.

Understanding Uncertainty: Views from Kachchh, Mumbai, and Sundarbans

This issue of Southasiadisasters.net focuses on the theme of climate related uncertainty. This issue draws heavily from the work of the Research Council of Norway (RCN) funded project 'Climate Change, Uncertainty and Transformation'. More details

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Addressing Climate Change Uncertainty in Dryland Kachchh, India

IDS Policy Briefing 147 (2018)

The semi-arid district of Kachchh in Gujarat, India is known for its erratic rainfall, water scarcity, and droughts. Climate change has intensified extreme temperature and rainfall patterns and also led to changes to the long coastline. More details

Non-IDS publication

Addressing Climate Change Uncertainty in Dryland Kachchh, India

IDS Policy Briefing (2018)

The semi-arid district of Kachchh in Gujarat, India is known for its erratic rainfall, water scarcity, and droughts. Climate change has intensified extreme temperature and rainfall patterns and also led to changes to the long coastline. These are affecting not only the lives and livelihoods of local people, but also threatening the vibrant ecosystem of Kachchh. 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.