Päivi Virtanen


  • Institution University of Helsinki
  • Department/faculty Palmenia Centre for Continuing Education

Pekka Virtanen

Adjunct Professor, Science Advisor

  • Institution University of Jyväskylä
  • Department/faculty Department of Social Sciences and Philopsophy

Long experience in research and development cooperation activities from sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, particularly in areas of natural resource management, protected areas, climate change, democratization and decentralization.


Sustainable management of natural resources in Mozambique

Marketta Vuola

PhD candidate

  • Institution University of Helsinki
  • Department/faculty Faculty of Social Sciences

My PhD research focuses on the political ecology and interplay between conservation and artisanal and small-scale mining in Madagascar. I am particularly interested in the power dynamics and formal and informal practices and discourses which the actors use to claim land and natural resources. Furthermore, my research aims at providing a venue for local communities to voice their perceptions and aspirations in the land-use question, and to facilitate communication between all stakeholders and development of more inclusive conservation and mining policies.

Sai Väyrynen

Senior lecturer

  • Institution University of Helsinki
  • Department/faculty Open University

I am researcher with a wide experience in education policy development and implementation in developing countries, particularly in Africa. My main interests focus on inclusive education, global basic education questions, and SDG 4. Disability inclusion is an integral part of my work.



  • Institution University of Helsinki
  • Department/faculty Social Sciences, Development Studies

Formerly a Postdoc Researcher at the University of Luxembourg and the University of Helsinki (UH) and University Lecturer at UH, Gutu Olana Wayessa is a researcher. His current research is also affiliated with UH. He received BSc from Haramaya University, Ethiopia; an MSc from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway; and a Ph.D. in Social Sciences, majoring in Development Studies, from UH, Finland. From 1 February to 31 July 2019, he held a Visiting Research Scholar at the American University, Washington DC, USA. His research interests include displacements and resettlements, climate change, large-scale investments, land governance, environmental and social justice, state-society relations, social movements, and rural livelihoods. His theoretical and methodological interests encompass political ecology, political economy, philosophy of science, and mixed-methods research.


Large-scale land deals and local livelihoods in Ethiopia: A political ecology of a contested scheme