Dr. Irit Eguavoen

Research themes
  • Governance
  • Water resources
  • Environmental and climate change
  • Social and cultural change and adaption
Research countries
  • Burkina Faso
  • Ethiopia
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Ivory Coast
Research projects

* since 2010: WASCAL - West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use,

* 2008-2011: Re-thinking Water Storage for Climate Change Adaptation in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Ghana) www.zef.de/index.php

*2003-2009: Global Change of the Hydrological Cycle in the Volta Basin, www.glowa-volta.de

Working groups

2015,2016: Modules: The Large Dams Controversy/ Wetlands & Climate Change (University of Utrecht, Summer School Climate Change Governance)

2014: Politics of Adaptation/ Climate Change Governance (University of the Gambia, 3 SWS)

since 2009: Field Research Methododology (ZEFa doctoral course, UNU-EHS, University of the Gambia)

2011: Zivilgesellschaft und Entwicklung (Bonn University, 2 SWS)

2010: Lehrforschung in Äthiopien (Universität Köln, 4 SWS)

Tutorship of doctoral candidates

(1) Amit Kumar: Self-mobilization of slum-dwellers in Mumbia, India

(2) Mohammed Hossein: Dynamics of climate finance for climate change mitigation and adaptation in Bangladesh

(3) Marcos Glauser: Political ecology of the subsistence strategies and territorial use of indigenous communities from the Paraguayan Chaco region. (University of Marburg)

(4) Rabia Chaudhry: Military’s definition of and its role in pursuing development in Pakistan

(5) Karsten A. Schulz: The challenges of adaptive governance in Northern Ghana: Mitigating climate change related vulnerabilities and risks

(6) Aminata Germer: Food security under climate change. Farmers perceptions and responses in Ioba Province, Burkina Faso (WASCAL)

(7) Dawda Badgie: Climate change and rice farming in the Gambia (WASCAL)


Magistra Artium - Social Anthropology and African Studies (Berlin 2003)

Dr. phil. - Social and Cultural Anthropology (Köln 2007)

Research partners

WASCAL Master Research School "Climate Change and Education", University of the Gambia


Kavegue, A. and I. Eguavoen. 2016. The experience and impact of urban floods and pollution in Ebo Town, Greater Banjul Area, in The Gambia. ZEF Working Paper, 150. Download [PDF | 2.16MB]
Lauer, H. and I. Eguavoen. 2016. Mainstreaming climate change adaptation into development in the Gambia: A window of opportunity for transformative processes?. In: Filho Leal, W. (eds.): Innovation in climate change adaptation. Springer. 87-98.


Eguavoen, I and J. Wahren. 2015. Climate change adaptation in Burkina Faso: aid dependency and obstacles to political participation. ZEF Working Paper, 140. Download [PDF | 1.86MB]
Eguavoen, I., K. Schulz, S. de Wit, F. Weisser and D. Müller-Mahn. 2015. Political dimensions of climate change adaptation. Conceptual reflections and African examples. In: W. Filho Leal (eds.): Handbook on climate change adaptation. Springer. 1183-1199.


Eguavoen, I. 2014. Book Review: Eren Zink 2013. Hot science, high water. Assembling nature, society and environmental policy in contemporary Vietnam. Climate and Development, 6(3): 288-290. Download [PDF | 397.46KB]


Eguavoen, I. 2013. Far from basic rules. Social dynamics, legal regulations and access to household water in Northern Ghana 1965-2012. Canadian Journal of African Studies, 47(3): 483-500. Further Information
Eguavoen, I. 2013. Climate change and trajectories of blame in Northern Ghana. Anthropological Notebooks, 19(1): 5-24. Download [PDF | 547.23KB]
Eguavoen, I. and B. Schraven. 2013. The ambiguous representation of savanna landscape and its new political relevance in Ghana. In: Yaro, A. (eds.): Rural development in Northern Ghana. Nova Science Publishers: New York. 207-223.
Eguavoen, I. and M. McCartney. 2013. Water Storage: a contribution to climate change adaptation in Africa. Rural 21, 47(1): 38-41. Download [PDF | 1.13MB]
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Eguavoen, I. 2012. Neglect the opportunity? Productive water uses for small income generation. In: H.-P. Hahn, J. Soentgen, K. Cless (eds.): People at the well. Kinds, usages and meanings of water in a global perspective. Campus. 170-189.
Eguavoen, I. and F. zur Heide. 2012. Klimawandel und Anpassungsforschung in Äthiopien. Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, 137(1): 97-118.
Eguavoen, I. and W. Tesfai. 2012. Social impact and impoverishment risks in the Koga irrigation scheme, Blue Nile basin, Ethiopia. Afrika Focus , 25(1): 39-60. Download [PDF | 354.28KB]
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Eguavoen, I., Sisay Demeku Derib, Tilaye Teklewold Deneke, M. McCartney, B.A. Otto und S.S. Billa. 2012. Digging, damming or diverting? Small-scale irrigation in the Blue Nile basin, Ethiopia. Water Alternatives, 5(3): 304-325. Download [PDF | 0.99MB]


Eguavoen, I. 2011. Pro-active farmers and supportive municipalities in Ethiopian dam projects. ZEF Policy Brief, 9. Download [PDF | 1.11MB]
Schraven, B., I. Eguavoen, G. Manske. 2011. Capacity Development durch Bildungsmigration: Ergebnisse einer Befragung von afrikanischen Entwicklungsforschern. In: Baraulina, T., A. Kreienbrinck, A. Riester (eds.): Potenziale der Migration zwischen Afrika und Deutschland. Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge. 293-313.


Eguavoen, I. 2010. Lawbreakers and livelihood makers. Youth-specific poverty and ambiguous livelihood strategies in Africa. Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 5(3): 268-273.
Eguavoen, I., D. Spalthoff. 2010. Getting access right. Rural water right regimes and right-based discourses against the privatization of water in Ghana. In: Mollinga, P., Bhat, A., Saravanan, S.V. (eds.): When policy meets reality. Political dynamics and the practice of integration in water resources management reform. Lit Verlag. 129-150.
Eguavoen, I., W. Laube. 2010. Negotiating local governance. Natural resources management at the interface of communities and the state. Lit. Münster.
Eguavoen, I., W. Laube. 2010. Natural resources governance at the interface of user communities and the state in developing countries. In: Eguavoen, I., W. Laube (eds.): Negotiating local governance. Natural resources management at the interface of communities and the state. Lit. 1-20.


Eguavoen, I. 2008. Killer cults on campus. Secrets, security and services among Nigerian students. Sociologus, 59(1): 1-25.
Eguavoen, I. 2008. Changing household water rights in rural Northern Ghana. Development, 51(1): 126-129.
Eguavoen, I. 2008. How water users operate policy. The case of pump communities in the Kassena-Nankana district of Ghana. Ghana Journal for Development Studies, 5(1): 58-79. Download [PDF | 2.21MB]
Eguavoen, I. 2008. Knowledge resources (yet) untapped. The challenge of finding one's place in an interdisciplinary water research project on the Volta River basin, West Africa. In: Mollinga, P., C. Wall (eds.): Fieldwork in difficult environments. Methodology as boundary work in development research. Lit. 111-135.
Eguavoen, I. 2008. The Political Ecology of Household Water in Northern Ghana. Lit. Münster. Review


Eguavoen, I. and E. Tambo. Transformative learning for global change? Reflections on the WASCAL master programme in Climate Change and Education in the Gambia. In: Haltermann, I. und J. Tischler (eds.): Environmental change and African societies – past, present and future. Climate and Culture Series. Brill. Leiden.

Irit Eguavoen

Senior Researcher


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