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Earth Observation for Flood and Drought Resilience in Ethiopia

Flooding and drought pose severe risks to Ethiopia’s economy and society. Recent analysis by EDRI in collaboration with Vivid Economics and the University of Oxford shows that even modest hydrological variation can affect GDP in the Awash River basin by as much as 5%, with prolonged dry periods causing output to fall by more than 20%.


Black communities, gold and markets: Understanding motivations for and addressing barriers to more sustainable community-based gold mining within Colombia’s Pacific Coast

Gold mining produces large environmental impacts with significant land-use conversion and pollution of both water and air, linked to mercury and other heavy metals. The communities engaged in gold mining are highly dependent on gold traders, in a context of violence, due to the illegality of most gold production.


Social and Environmental Trade-Offs in African Agriculture

There is a huge gap between researchers trying to understand the complex relationships between the need to cut hunger rates to zero and reducing inequality whilst also keeping our ecosystems healthy so that they maintain the clean water, healthy soils and biodiversity essential for humanity’s long-term welfare.


Energy system development pathways for Ethiopia

To enhance energy modelling activities in Ethiopia, the team will develop new models, and build on existing ones developed for research and policy formulation. These will be used to outline different energy system development pathways that meet the fast-growing demand for electricity in the country.


Power Outages, Productivity Cost and Willingness To Pay (WTP) for Reliable Electricity Supply

Tanzania has recently embarked on the industrialization agenda by 2025. Against this agenda, the contribution of efficient, reliable and quality power remains a significant indicator. The effect of unreliable power supply, outages and poor quality electricity is the major challenge which can jeopardize the industrialization strategy. Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) have been making significant contributions towards economic development of Tanzania. It is  estimated that Tanzania has about 3 million SMEs, which contribute to almost 27% of GDP and 23.4% of employment (URT, 2017).


Saving Water in Schools: Evidence on the Use of Smart Water Meters and Behavioural Insights

Cape Town has been facing the worst three-year drought in over a century. The situation has become dire as dam levels have dropped to unprecedented lows and households have been restricted to 50 litres of municipal water per person per day. Reducing unsustainable water consumption habits is difficult due to the time lag between water consumption and information reception about volumes consumed. Smart water metering can address this challenge and create awareness around water usage.


    Determinants and Impact of Use of Climate Smart Agricultural Practices: Evidence from Nigeria Panel Data

    Climate change in addition to food insecurity is among the key problems facing Nigeria.  In fact scientific evidence shows that climate change is affecting grain yield in Nigeria.  Also, Nigeria is currently ranked 84th out of 119 countries on the 2017 global hunger index. Therefore, there is need to evolve evidence-based policies to tackle climate change and enhance food security. Climate-smart agricultural (CSA) technologies, practices and services are proven means of reducing green house gas emissions and enhancing food production.


    Clean Air Transitions in Indian Cities

    Over the last decade, increasing domestic and international visibility of noxious urban air quality in Indian cities has led to several local and national policies to combat the problem. The goal of the project is to use air quality data from pollution monitoring stations in major cities and the timing of specific policy interventions to estimate the impact of these policies.


    Effects of heat on the incomes of workers in the informal sector

    The number of hot days is steadily on the rise and projected to increase at all land locations in almost all climate models. Poverty pockets in developing countries are expected to be harshly hit due to climate change compared to not so poor areas. Heat stress is a grave threat to human health and, therefore, to productivity and welfare. The impacts of high temperatures on informal-sector workers who are among the poor in developing counties, and are likely more exposed to high temperature than any other group with the exception of agricultural workers, is largely unknown.


      Forest resource use and shocks: Empirical evidence from PFM sites in Ethiopia

      Forest products play a significant role in rural livelihoods by providing households forest products as well as important ecological functions. Because the forest sector is being challenges, the government of Ethiopia has extensively adopted a participatory forest management (PFM) program in different parts of the country. The available limited evidences show that PFM has a positive impact on improving the forest condition, providing livelihood for the local people, and in reducing income inequality. The literature also indicates that forests do play roles as safety nets and gap fillers during crises. However, the empirical evidence on whether the current PFM practices in Ethiopia enhance the capacity of rural households in coping with various types of shocks is lacking. Moreover, a rigorous analysis on the determinants of forest resource use separately for members and non-members of PFM is lacking in the country.


      Impact of Social Protection on gender differentiated vulnerability to food insecurity.

      The key social protection instrument in Ethiopia is the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) public works scheme. The The PSNP is a large national social safety net program that provides direct income to poor households primarily through participation in public works scheme, in addition to unconditioned direct support to poor households who are unable to participate in public works. The program aims to reduce the risk exposure of poor households and build their long-term resilience.


      What happens when one no longer gets ecosystem services payments?

      As programs of payment for ecosystem or environmental services (PES) are rising in number, there is a need to understand effects of PES on providers’ motivations and, in turn, behaviors.  ‘Crowding in’ of pro-environmental motivations is possible − although a significant literature has expressed concern with the ‘crowding out’ of such motivations by external interventions. Yet empirical research is scarce concerning any such ‘crowding’ by PES − in either direction. Theoretical hopes and concerns are clear but, to date, the related empirical evidence is limited.


      Willingness to pay for reducing mortality risk caused by air pollution in urban areas

      Urban air pollution affects especially children and the elderly and caused 9 million of deaths at the global scale in 2015, exceeding obesity and road accidents. The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health stated that "despite of the significant effect on human health, the economy and the environment, pollution has been neglected, especially in low income and middle-income countries (L&MIC)”. Many L&MIC have used methods that potentially underestimate the economic cost of pollution.


      Adaptation mechanisms against negative effects of weather on human capital formation

      High school students are at risk: high temperatures decrease academic performance and daily school attendance. Can we mitigate these negative effects through better policies? This project proposes to answer this question by collecting and analyzing comparative data from Latin American countries and exploring the mechanisms under which existing public policies can mitigate the adverse effects of weather on schooling outcomes.


      Cleaning the air: good policies against bad air quality?

      Medellin, the second largest city in Colombia, is located in the Aburrá Valley and exhibits the lowest level of air quality of the country due to PM2.5 (IDEAM, 2016).The topographic characteristics, meteorological conditions and anthropogenic emissions facilitate pollutant accumulation in the air of the Aburrá Valley.


      Studying fuel choices for residential heating and cooking in urban areas of central-southern Chile: the role of preferences, income, prices, and the availability of energy sources and technology

      Air pollution in urban areas is one of the major environmental problems in Chile. In particular, an important number of cities in central and southern Chile exhibit high levels of respirable suspended particulate matter, which are mainly due to emissions from household’s burning of wood for heating and cooking.


        Energy and Development: A Systematic Review

        Energy has been called the “golden thread” connecting economic growth, social equity, and environmental sustainability—but what do we know about the drivers and impacts of energy transitions in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)? To answer this question, the Sustainable Energy Tr


        Economics of domestic water reform in Ho Chi Minh city: water demand, preferences for tariff structure and distributional effects

        In this study, we propose to examine the impacts of water tariff increase on the demand for tap water and ground water simultaneously. Results of this study will provide information for the design of water tariff as well as suggest alternative policies in encouraging water conservation behavior. The study is expected to contribute to a more sustainable water governance in HCMC.


        Female microenterprise creation and business models for private sector distribution of low-cost renewable off-grid LED lighting

        The overall goal of this project it to evaluate whether different business models effectively scale up the distribution of affordable renewable lighting to the poorest of the poor in developing country contexts. It also aims to evaluate the impact of empowering females in poor rural villages via participation in renewable energy enterprises and spillover effects on households’ welfare.


        Can protected areas reduce the vulnerability to climate related disasters?

        The main goal of this project is to test whether protected areas (PAs) reduce the likelihood of climate related disasters such as floods, landslides and storms, in Costa Rica and Honduras. This evaluation study is expected to provide empirical evidence on the role of PAs in providing hydrological services to avoid the occurrence and damages of floods and landslides as a consequence of extreme weather events.


          Off-grid in Nepal: Heterogeneity in Electricity Services and Enterprise Development

          Policymakers promote both large-scale grid expansion and small-scale off-grid renewables alike as a methods of attaining electrification in developing countries. Yet the electricity services provided by these sources often differ; the grid provides unreliable electricity services, whereas off-grid sources provide reliable albeit low quantities of service.


            Waste Not: Can Biogas Deliver Sustainable Development?

            Household biogas systems are a renewable energy technology with the potential to provide sustainable development benefits by reducing pressure on forest stocks and by shifting household time budgets towards higher value activities or long-term investments in human capital.


              Incentives for increased use of clean cookstoves (Cambodia)

              We have conducted pilot experiments that aim to incentivize use of clean stoves in 4 rural Cambodian villages to better 1) understand their potential for inducing behavior change; 2) assess their feasibility; and 3) discern whether larger-scale testing in a future experimental study is warranted.


                Prices, Peers, and Perceptions (P3)

                The P3 project was launched in 2015 through a collaboration among Colorado University, the NHRC, and North Carolina State University. The central aim of the P3 project is to study factors influencing adoption of improved cookstoves in Northern Ghana. Specifically, we look at how economic incentives, social learning, and subjective beliefs interact to influence technology adoption dynamics.