Lyla Mehta - Research Fellow
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Lyla Mehta is a Professorial Research 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 Ph.d. 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.
Learning from Southern Africa on Fair and Effective Integrated Water Resources ManagementIDS Policy Briefing 77 (2014)
Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) has been promoted by international donors, global water organisations and financers as the answer to the water crisis in the Global South. More details
Global Environmental Justice and the Right to Water: The Case of Peri-Urban Cochabamba and DelhiGeoforum 54 (2014)
This article applies the global environmental justice (GEJ) approach to the problem of universal access to safe and potable water. Nowhere is the challenge more pressing than in peri-urban spaces where the lack of formal water provision and increasing environmental pollution lead to significant challenges for human wellbeing. More details
Liquid Dynamics: Challenges for Sustainability in the Water DomainWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water 1.4 (2014)
We argue that debates about access have so far paid insufficient attention to the long-term sustainability of systems and services for accessing water. They have also neglected issues concerning uncertainty and social, environmental, and technological dynamics—particularly through addressing power imbalances and enhancing equity. More details
The Politics of IWRM in Southern AfricaInternational Journal of Water Resources Development 30.3 (2014)
This article offers an approach to the study of the evolution, spread and uptake of integrated water resources management (IWRM). Specifically, it looks at the flow of IWRM as an idea in international and national fora, its translation and adoption into national contexts, and the on-the-ground practices of IWRM. More details
The Potential and Limits of the ‘Resilience Agenda’ in Peri-urban ContextsIDS Policy Briefing 63 (2014)
Today, it is acknowledged that peri-urban space plays a critical and increasing role role is still poorly understood and peri-urban areas are rarely recognised in the in relation to urban expansion. Yet this different relevant decision-making spheres, leading to the political and economic marginalisation of peri-urban residents, who are often among the poor. More details
Without access to water, there can be no food security15 May 2015
By Lyla Mehta
Displaced by ‘development': land, water and protest in Modi's India24 Apr 2015
By Lyla Mehta
Understanding water for food security04 Apr 2014
By Lyla Mehta
Are African land grabs really water grabs?25 Mar 2013
By Lyla Mehta
Mentions in the media
Citizenship; Climate Change; Climate Change Vulnerability and Resilience; Conflict and Security; Environment; Gender; Migration; Politics and Power; Rights; Science and Society; Water and Sanitation.
South East Asia; Sub Saharan Africa; Bangladesh; Ethiopia; India; Indonesia; South Africa.