In 2019, the Land Matrix established it’s PhD programme as part of its drive to strengthen data analysis and promote research activities. Three years later, the Initiative is proud to congratulate the first two students to finalise their PhD theses and complete the programme, Quentin Grislain and Wegayehu Bogale.
The PhD programme brings together a collaborative group of PhD students based at various partners and Regional Focal Points (RFPs) with the aim of encouraging the generation of new knowledge on large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) and their impact on poverty, livelihoods, and sustainable development, as well as cross-regional exchanges and cooperation in research activities.
Not only did Grislain and Bogale successfully contribute to achieving this aim through their academic output, they also supported the improvement of the Land Matrix in a number of important ways – from updating the database and participating in data campaigns, to collaborating on the development of products designed to refine the Initiative’s strategic development by, for example, closely examining the functioning of national land observatories. In addition to their field research – no mean feat in the thick of a global pandemic – they published their work in well-respected journals and presented it at international conferences. Milestones include Grislain’s paper Going Beyond Panaceas: The Diversity of Land Observatory Forms in Africa published in the journal Land and Bogale’s paper The effect of large-scale agricultural investments on household food Security in Madagascar published in the journal Food Security. A summary of her paper was published on the Conversation website as well. Both Grislain and Bogale also participated in key events, such as the Conference on Land Policy in Africa (CLPA).
While Quentin Grislain and Wegayehu Bogale have ticked their PhDs off their to-do lists, this is only the beginning of their exciting journeys as they carry on with their work in development research – and the Land Matrix team is looking forward to following their continued success.