Jamila Haider is a post-doctoral researcher studying resilience and development. Her research looks specifically at development as a process of coevolution where ecosystems and people are deeply intertwined.
Her PhD thesis (2017) explored how efforts to alleviate poverty can better account for coevolving relationships between people and nature. Persistent poverty is often conceptualised as a poverty trap, a concept which has thus far failed to incorporate interdependencies between human well-being, nature and culture. As such, interventions to alleviate poverty are often ineffective or may even exacerbate poverty – especially in areas with rich biological and cultural (biocultural) diversity. Drawing upon multiple approaches, Jamila’s PhD thesis advances new conceptualisations of development that more explicitly incorporate social and ecological interdependencies, and offers a new lens for examining the implications of development interventions. Jamila’s work also underscores the need to improve how we navigate tensions among the various contrasting epistemologies and methodologies that together are needed for delivering a rigorous sustainability science.
Further interests include: assessing resilience, stewardship, integrating knowledge systems, early-career journeys in sustainability science, and gardening.
Prior her PhD at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Jamila completed her Master’s degree at the University of Cambridge. Her thesis used Elinor Ostrom’s Social-Ecological Systems framework to assess institutional governance of Joint Forestry Management in Tajikistan. Jamila has Bachelor degrees in Biology and Political Science (Development Studies focus) from Carleton University, where her Honour’s thesis focused on Community Based Natural Resource Management in South-East Madagascar.
Jamila worked from 2009-2011 as an International Development practitioner with the Aga Khan Foundation in Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
Jamila is a member of:
Jamila is also a author of book, “With Our Own Hands: A celebration of food and life in the Pamir Mountains of Afghanistan and Tajikistan,” which was featured by different media sources, including BBC.
Abigayil Blandon, MSc candidate
Research news | 2018-05-17
Applying Elinor Ostrom’s principles on common pool resources management demonstrates how forest management in the Pamir Mountains may not be so tragic after all. But Soviet era legacy lingers, new research shows
Research news | 2018-01-29
Review study of poverty traps examines the concept’s use across disciplines, and how it is defined and applied in a rural context
Research news | 2018-01-24
Former and current PhD students from SRC propose a new framework to help early-career sustainability scholars to become “undisciplinary”
Research news | 2017-10-19
The starting point for a rethink on how we produce our food
2018 - Journal / article
In the Pamir Mountains of Eastern Tajikistan, the clearance of mountain forests to provide fuelwood for an increasing population is a major source of environmental degradation. International development organisations have implemented joint forestry management institutions to help restore once-forested mountainous regions, but the success of these institutions has been highly variable. This study uses a multi-method approach, d...
2017 - Journal / article
The poverty trap concept strongly influences current research and policy on poverty alleviation. Financial or technological inputs intended to “push” the rural poor out of a poverty trap have had many successes but have also failed unexpectedly with serious ecological and social consequences that can reinforce poverty. Resilience thinking can help to (i) understand how these failures emerge from the complex relationships betwe...
2017 - Journal / article
Food lies at the heart of both health and sustainability challenges. We use a social-ecological framework to illustrate how major changes to the volume, nutrition and safety of food systems between 1961 and today impact health and sustainability. These changes have almost halved undernutrition while doubling the proportion who are overweight. They have also resulted in reduced resilience of the biosphere, pushing four out of s...
2017 - Dissertation
How can efforts to alleviate poverty better account for coevolving relationships between people and nature? Persistent poverty is often conceptualised as a poverty trap, a concept which has thus far failed to incorporate interdependencies between human well-being, nature and culture. As such, interventions to alleviate poverty are often ineffective or may even exacerbate poverty – especially in areas with rich biological and c...