Research projects 3

Access to schooling and higher education are considered as primary means to empower marginalized groups and enhance sustainable development in the Global South. In Ecuador the intercultural bilingual education programme that affirmed the fundamental importance of integrating diverse local languages knowledges and pedagogical practices in education was established already in and later amended based on the community-centric ecologically-balanced and culturally-sensitive philosophy of sumakkawsay (buenvivir). However the programme is still only partially applied and thus education typically follows homogenized standards and fails to include specific cultural realities.


Johanna Hohenthal

  • Head of research Anja Nygren
  • Language n/a

The project analyses the ways that fragile cities are dealing with societal security, environmental vulnerability and representative justice in the spaces of multi-scale governance. The dimensions to be analysed are: 1) governance of insecurity and creation of accountable institutions; 2) authoritarian legacies and political-representation efforts; and 3) governance of environmental vulnerabilities and claims for justice. The research aims to develop a revised theory of urban political ecology and urban justice to better understand the interlinkages and scalar complexities of societal security, environmental vulnerability and representative justice.


Anja Nygren, Florencia Quesada, Mauricio Romero, Elisa Tarnaala, Kjell-Åke Nordquist

Scientific assessments and politics addressing environmental changes rarely involve local residents and their knowledge. Usually reasons of demographic growth and environmental mismanagement are used to justify local degradation; however, our aim is to understand the local perspective about causes and reasons of the degradation that causes insecurity, livelihood changes, migration trends and other decisions that bring into further environmental degradation. An ethnographic research has been conducted in two catchments of Taita Hills, South-East Kenya. Participatory mapping, observation, transect walks, historical timelines, semi-structured interviews with experts and civil society representatives, as well as focus groups were employed as main methods of data gathering.


Paola Minoia, Johanna Hohenthal, Belinda Kivivuori, Marinka Leppänen, Emmah Owidi.