Primary Investigators: Dr Joshua Kirshner, Dr Matthew Cotton (Department of Environment and Geography, University of York), Boaventura Cuamba, Carlos Shenga, Lorraine Howe, João Feijó, Yara Nova
External Collaborators: Centre for Research on Governance and Development (CPGD), Observatorio do Meio Rural (OMR) and University of Eduardo Mondlane (UEM)
Funder: UK Aid (Department for International Development - DFID), through its Energy for Economic Growth programme
The project is titled, ‘A political-economic analysis of electricity grid access histories and futures in Mozambique’ (POLARIZE), with an aim to improve livelihoods primarily in urban and peri-urban communities. The project is run in partnership with three organisations in Mozambique: the Centre for Research on Governance and Development (CPGD), Observatorio do Meio Rural (OMR) and University of Eduardo Mondlane (UEM). It will fund a two-year research assistant in Maputo, and an 18-month postdoctoral research associate based at University of York.
Working closely with local partners, Joshua Kirshner and Matthew Cotton will examine the historical-institutional and political-economic factors shaping electricity network development in three cities with differing governance structures. Examining dynamics in rapidly growing urban areas, at the interface of grid-connected and off-grid approaches, will complement previous state-led and donor-supported programs to enhance sustainable energy access. Early evidence suggests that greater local influence and responsibility over energy provision could support effective responses to improve energy access and integrate it with other urban services, including sanitation and disaster management. The project aims to develop tools and guidelines that are applicable in the urban global South.