PhD: Governing Informal Markets in Eastern Africa

Smith School for Enterprise and the Environment (University of Oxford)
Oxford, United Kingdom
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified


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Governing Informal Markets in Eastern Africa (Supervisor: Associate Professor Dustin Garrick)

Informal water markets have proliferated in response to rapid urbanisation and increasing competition for freshwater. From Kenya to Kathmandu, tanker operators, packaged water vendors and other small-scale water enterprises operate in diverse settings, ranging from small towns to mega-cities. Despite their prevalence, informal markets are virtually uncharted, particularly their governance and patterns of cooperation, conflict and competition. Myths dominate in the absence of evidence, fuelling perceptions that informal markets prey on the poor and lead inexorably towards inequality and unsustainable outcomes. This study will examine the institutions and political economy of informal water markets in eastern Africa using a mixed-methods approach. The project will start with a systematic review of the institutions governing informal water markets. The study will chart new ground by comparing the emergence, evolution and impacts of informal water markets in Eastern Africa.

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