Marina Apgar photo

Marina Apgar - Research Fellow

T: +44 (0)1273 915778

Google Scholar URL:

Marina Apgar joined the Participation Cluster in June 2016.  She has 17 years of research and development experience that has involved her working directly with a range of marginalized communities in multiple continents and countries.

For ten years Marina engaged with indigenous peoples in Latin America working on issues of self-determination and use of biocultural approaches to conservation first as a volunteer and later through working with local NGOs. She undertook a collaborative PhD thesis with the Guna indigenous peoples of Panama which focused on the social and cultural processes that support adaptive capacity for endogenous development of their biocultural territory.

Throughout her work, Marina has used a systems approach to participatory action research and is passionate about understanding and facilitating the creative space between research processes and development outcomes through engaging in complex adaptive systems to support emergence.

Most recently she has worked as Knowledge Sharing and Learning Scientist at WorldFish, leading work on participatory action research as a vehicle for agricultural research to engage with stakeholders across scales in aquatic agricultural systems. Previous to that she was responsible for knowledge management and research for an indigenous peoples’ climate change assessment initiative led by Asociacion ANDES from Cusco, Peru.

English; Greek; Spanish; Guna

In an attempt to make better use of what is available, IDS is leading on a pilot programme which examines sets of participatory and systemic data with a view to increase understanding of how data is collected, analysed and shared in development programming.

More details

This Collaboration with the Quality Assurance (QA) Programme of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is now in its second phase, running until December 2017. The aim of the program is to improve the quality and effectiveness of SDC processes and operations focused on poverty.

More details

Sub-Saharan Africa is particularly vulnerable to droughts, floods and other climate-related stressors and shocks. This research aims to contribute to greater understanding of the underlying drivers of risk, while also identifying pathways to improve the impact that climatic information may have on building resilience through bridging the 'usability gap'.

More details


Improving the Impact of Climate Information Services in Kenya’s Arid and Semi-Arid Lands

IDS Policy Briefing 145 (2017)

Climate variability and change are affecting millions of poor people in Kenya, particularly in arid and semi-arid lands. Significant investments are being made in developing Climate Information Services (CIS) which are tailored to the needs of pastoralists and agro-pastoralists and aim to help them adapt to the impact of climate change in these regions. More details

IDS publications on international development research

A New Professionalism for Agricultural Research for Development

International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability (2017)
IDS publications on international development research

Identifying Opportunities to Improve Governance of Aquatic Agricultural Systems through Participatory Action Research

Ecology and Society 22.1 (2017)

Challenges of governance often constitute critical obstacles to efforts to equitably improve livelihoods in social-ecological systems. Yet often, these challenges go unspoken, or are viewed as fixed parts of the context, beyond the scope of influence of agricultural, development, or natural resource management initiatives. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Getting Beneath the Surface in Program Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation: Learning from Use of Participatory Action Research and Theory of Change in the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems

In this paper, we share learning from an agricultural research program that used participatory action research and theory of change to foster learning and support transformative change in aquatic agricultural systems. More details

Thematic Expertise:
Agriculture; Climate Change Knowledge and Learning; Climate Change Vulnerability and Resilience; Environment; Participatory methodologies.

Related Programmes and Centres:

Geographic Expertise:
Central and South Asia; Latin America and the Caribbean; Sub Saharan Africa.