NEWAVE PhD 4: Rainwater harvesting, storage and use in mitigating drought emergencies in semiarid environments

University of Nairobi

Nairobi, , KE

Home institution: University of Nairobi, Kenya
Principal supervisor: Prof. Oguge Nicholas Oguge
Co-supervisor: Prof. Robert Hope
Non-academic co-supervisor: Mr. James Oduor
Application deadline: 24 May 2020
Expected starting date: before 15 October 2020
Duration: 3 years


Policies in water governance tend to be addressed either as an infrastructure or food production issue. Different sectors are often mandated to manage the two components, and rarely is a nexus approach applied. Water governance as an infrastructure focuses on development of water facilities, while for food production, the focus is on sustaining livelihoods and food security. In East Africa, this dichotomous approach has led marginal consideration of rainwater harvesting in policies, strategies and frameworks in the public sector. It is our thesis that appropriate public policies, strategies and regulation of rainwater harvesting would significantly contribute to environmental, economic and social development.  In semiarid environments, this would increase smallholder farmers resilience to climate change.

This PhD position will:

  1. Analyse Regulatory frameworks for water facilities and use in East Africa;
  2. Contribute to understanding rainwater harvesting systems and use in the region;
  3. Assess the role of networks in development rainwater harvesting systems;
  4. Conduct cost-benefits analysis
  5. Develop models of decentralised rainwater harvesting and utilisation.

Expected results:

  1. Determination of policy enablers and barriers;
  2. Cost effective rainwater harvesting systems for small holder farmers in different contexts;
  3. Models for integrating water infrastructure and farmer livelihoods.
About University of Nairobi

University of Nairobi (UoN) is the pioneer institution for tertiary education in Kenya having been set up in 1956 as a Royal Technical College by the British Colonial Government. Currently UoN has 15,000 graduate students constituting 20% of the total student population. The Centre for Advanced Studies in Environmental law & Policy (CASELAP) was set up in 2007 to undertake research and advanced level capacity development in environmental governance through innovative and market-driven programmes that addresses international, regional, national, community and industry needs by promoting sustainable patterns of production and consumption, and application of appropriate technologies.

We seek
  • Above-average MSc (or equivalent degree) in Environmental Policy, Environmental Science, Water Resources Management, or related fields
  • Good command of English
  • A commitment to academic excellence with a track record of high impact research
  • Proven skills in executing empirical research in challenging contexts
  • Capacity to work independently and as part of a team
  • Examples of high-quality written work, such as a journal paper or equivalent
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills to work with multiple stakeholders
Eligibility criteria*
  • You must – at the date of recruitment – have obtained the MSc degree entitling you to embark on a doctorate
  • You must – at the date of recruitment – be within the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of your research career and not have a doctoral degree
  • Mobility rule: you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the host organisation you are applying for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.

*Please make sure you comply with the eligibility criteria before applying. You need to be able to provide documentation proving your eligibility for recruitment. You can read the full description of eligibility criteria in the Information Note for ITN Fellows.


Prof. Oguge Nicholas Otienoh
Professor of Environmental Policy, Centre for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP), University of Nairobi

Prof. Robert Hope
Professor of Water Policy, Director, Water Security Initiative, School of Geography and the Environment, Director of the Water Programme, Smith School for Enterprise and the Environment
University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Mr. James Oduor
CEO at National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), Kenya





You ad could be here!