Professor Lyla Mehta is a Professorial Fellow at IDS. 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, climate change, scarcity, rights and access, resource grabbing and the politics of environment/ development and sustainability. Her recent project focus on climate change, uncertainty and transformation in marginal environments and off grid sanitation in urban areas. She has extensive field research in India studying the politics of water scarcity, the linkages between gender, displacement and resistance, access to water and sanitation in peri urban areas and climate change. Additionally, she has worked on the politics of water management in southern Africa and community-led total sanitation. Lyla has engaged in advisory work with various UN agencies and has also been active in advocacy and activist work on gender, environment and development issues with NGOs and social movements in Europe and India. She was the water and sanitation convenor of the STEPS Centre and is currently editor of the journal Environment and Planning E, Nature and Space.