Dr. Irit Eguavoen

Country of current residence


Current position

Postdoctoral Researcher

Current institute employer

University of Bonn




legal anthropology; political anthropology; social anthropology; urban studies

Degrees / expertise

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

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


Eguavoen, I.  2022.  Reclamation and expulsion. Frontiers of city expansion and the loss of public and communal space at Abidjan’s lagoonal waterfronts.  Urban Forum, . (Open Access)   Further Information


Eguavoen, I.  2021.  "We do the social." Deal-making by non-accredited estate agencies, small-scale investors and tenants around low cost rental housing in Abidjan.  Afrika Focus, 34(2)   : 183-213   . Further Information
Eguavoen, I.  2021.  Geschäft mit illegalen Mietobjekten in Abidjan.  E+Z, 12   : 27-28   . Further Information


Eguavoen, I.  2020.  Dense and tense. High population density and low quality housing in Abidjan.  ZEF News, 41   : 3-4   .
Eguavoen, I.  2020.  Book Review: Paul Stacey. 2019. State of Slum: Precarity and Informal Governance at the Margins of Accra. London: Zed Books.  African Studies Quarterly, 19(3-4)   : 72-73   .
Eguavoen, I. and E. Tambo.  2020.  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. Climate and Culture Series. Brill. Leiden.   199-224.  Further Information
Eguavoen, I., P- Attemene, F. Kouame, E.G. Konan, C.A. Madhy, and K. Gleisberg-Gerber.  2020.  Dernier refuge ou presqu'île d'opportunités? Démographie et conditions de vie à Adjahui-Coubé, un habitat spontané à Abidjan.  ZEF Working Paper, 187   . (Open Access)   Further Information


Eguavoen, I.  2019.  Twelve months – twelve books: My 2019 reading list on cities (ZEF blog post).  Further Information
Eguavoen, I., S. Forneck, A. Kumar, S. Sharma.  2019.  Postcard from India: visiting RC21 conference and exploring low-income residential areas in Delhi and Mumbai (ZEF blog post).  Further Information
Kabran, Estelle G. and I. Eguavoen.  2019.  Ferry transportation in Abidjan. Establishment, operation and sustainability of a paratransit system.  ZEF Working Paper, 179   . Further Information


Eguavoen, I.  2018.  Twelve months – twelve books: My 2018 reading list on cities (ZEF blog post).  Further Information


Attemene, P. and I. Eguavoen.  2017.  Coastal ecotourism in The Gambia. Effects of sustainability communication on environments and rural livelihoods.  ZEF Working Paper, 154   . Further Information
Eguavoen, I.  2017.  Postcard from Yazd in Iran: Knowledge hub on qanats, water reservoirs, wind catchers and cloud seeding (ZEF blog post).  Further Information
Eguavoen, I.  2017.  Waterfronts and green spaces in central Cairo. What´s the way forward? (ZEF blog post).  Further Information
Eguavoen, I.  2017.  Postcard from Paris/ Rive Gauche: Urban renewal and controversies about the Right to the City in the South (ZEF blog post).  Further Information
Eguavoen, I and M. Hossain.  2017.  Contribution to COP 23: Different stakes in environmental activism against coal. Perspectives from Germany and Bangladesh (ZEF blog post).  Further Information
Tan, J. and I. Eguavoen.  2017.  Digital environmental governance in China: Information disclosure, pollution control, and environmental activism in the Yellow River Delta.  Water Alternatives, 10(3)   : 910-929   . (Open Access)   Further Information


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   . Further Information
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   .
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   .


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   .
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   .


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   .
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   .


Eguavoen, I.  2011.  Pro-active farmers and supportive municipalities in Ethiopian dam projects.  ZEF Policy Brief, 9   .
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.  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   .
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..  “We do the social.” Deal-making by non-accredited estate agencies, small-scale investors and tenants around low-cost rental housing in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.  Africa Focus, .

Additionals, Curriculum Vitae
and Downloads
Research themes
  • Governance and conflict
  • Migration, mobility and urbanization
Research countries
  • Ivory Coast
Research projects

* 2017-2019: Waterfront Metropolis Abidjan

* 2010-2017: 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)

* 2003-2009: GLOWA Volta - Global Change of the Hydrological Cycle in the Volta Basin


Methods for qualitative field research (interviews, FGI, participant observation, visual methods, field notes, discourse analysis, data management)

Tutorship of doctoral candidates

(1) Arslan Waheed: Development discourses and urban poor. A comparative study of slums of Islamabad and Brasilia

(2) Amit Kumar: The Mumbai slum movement. Self-organisation and mobilisation of dwellers in unrecognised slums

Supervision of
ongoing doctoral theses

(1) Pauline Attemene: Social learning in designing integrated household energy strategies in Ghana and the Cote d'Ivoire. (WASCAL DRP Climate Change and Education)

(2) Phillip G. Innis: Risk in everyday life. Vulnerability and practices in flood-prone precarious settlements in Monrovia, Liberia.


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

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

Irit Eguavoen

Former Senior Researcher

Former Division/Group:
Cultural and Political Change

Office E-Mail: