SOAS University of London

Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP)

Professor Laurence Smith

BSc (Cranfield), MSc (London)
  • Overview
  • Teaching
  • Publications


Laurence Smith
Centre for Development, Environment and Policy

Professor of Environmental Policy and Development

Centre for Water and Development

Member, Centre for Water and Development

SOAS Food Studies Centre

Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre

Professor Laurence Smith
Email address:
+44 (0)20 7074 5162
Office No:


Laurence Smith specialises as an economist working on natural resource management, rural development, and water resources management.  He has experience of research, consultancy, education and training work in the UK and internationally. He has worked for leading international agencies including DFID, World Bank, FAO and IWMI. He has recently been principal investigator for research on catchment management funded by the Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) programme of the UK Research Councils. This research investigated how to control diffuse pollution and the governance necessary to achieve this. He is currently principal investigator for a second RELU funded project investigating innovative market-based mechanisms and networks for long term protection of water resources. The focus is ‘Payments for Ecosystems Services’ schemes, and the project partners and evaluates the Westcountry Rivers Trust’s WATER project in South West England, which aims to develop a market-based catchment restoration scheme. Similar research focusing on collaborative approaches to catchment management and the protection of water resources is being developed internationally through partnerships with researchers in China and other countries.

Affiliations to Organisations


Programmes Convened
Modules Taught

Academic head of the Centre for Development, Environment and Policy and its international postgraduate programmes by distance learning.

Academic Programme Convenor for postgraduate programme in Applied Environmental Economics delivered worldwide by distance learning.

Tutor for postgraduate distance learning module (P526) Water Resources Management

Inaugural Lecture

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Taking Care of our Waters: People, Policy and Practice



Bellarby, J and Surridge, BWJ and Haygarth, PM and Liu, K and Siciliano, Giuseppina and Smith, Laurence and Rahn, C and Meng, F (2017) 'The stocks and flows of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium across a 30-year time series for agriculture in Huantai county, China'. Science of the Total Environment 619-620, pp 606-620.

Bellarby, Jessica and Siciliano, Giuseppina and Smith, Laurence and Xin, Lai and Zhou, Jianbin and Liu, Kun and Jie, Li and Meng, Fanqiao and Inman, Alex and Rahn, Clive and Surridge, Ben and Haygarth, Phillip (2017) 'Strategies for sustainable nutrient management: Insights from a mixed natural and social science analysis of Chinese crop production systems'. Environmental Development, (21), pp 52-65.

Cook, Hadrian and Smith, Laurence and Couldrick, Laurence (2017) 'An assessment of intermediary roles in payments for ecosystem services schemes in the context of catchment management: An example from South West England'. Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, (19) 1.

Liu, Kun and Ren, Tianzhi and Wu, Wenliang and Meng, Fanquiao and Bellarby, Jessica and Smith, Laurence (2016) 'Prevention and Control of Agricultural Non-Point Source Pollutions in UK and Suggestions to China'. Journal of Agro-Environment Science, (35) 5, pp 817-823.

King, Hugh and Smith, Laurence (2016) 'Many Rivers to Cross: Evaluating the Benefits and Limitations of Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Koshi River Basin'. Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, (18) 2.

Padfield, Rory and Tham, Mun Hou and Costes, Sophie and Smith, Laurence (2016) 'Uneven development and the commercialisation of public utilities: a political ecology analysis of water reforms in Malaysia'. Utilities Policy, (40), pp 152-161.

Smith, Laurence and Siciliano, Giuseppina (2015) 'A comprehensive review of constraints to improved management of fertilizers in China and mitigation of diffuse water pollution from agriculture'. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, (209), pp 15-25.

Benson, D and Jordan, A and Smith, Laurence (2013) 'Is environmental management really more collaborative? A comparative analysis of putative ‘paradigm shifts’'. Environmental and Planning A, (45) 7, pp 1695-1712.

Benson, D and Jordan, A and Cook, H and Smith, Laurence (2013) 'Collaborative environmental governance: are watershed partnerships swimming or are they sinking?'. Land Use Policy, (30) 1, pp 748-757.

Benson, D and Jordan, A and Smith, Laurence (2013) 'Collaboration or Agency Control? Measuring paradigm shift in catchment management'. Environmental and Planning A.

Smith, Laurence and Inman, A and Cherrington, R (2012) 'The Potential of Land Conservation Agreements for Protection of Water Resources'. Environmental Science and Policy, (24), pp 92-100.

Krueger, Tobias and Page, Trevor and Hubacek, Klaus and Smith, Laurence and Hiscock, Kevin (2012) 'The role of expert opinion in environmental modelling'. Environmental Modelling and Software, (36), pp 4-18.

Krueger, T and Page, T and Smith, Laurence and Voinov, A (2012) 'A guide to expert opinion in environmental modelling and management'. Environmental Modelling and Software, (36), pp 1-3.

Cook, H and Benson, D and Inman, A and Jordan, A and Smith, Laurence (2011) 'Catchment management groups in England and Wales: extent, roles and influences'. Water and Environment Journal, (26) 1, pp 47-55.

Smith, Laurence and Porter, Keith (2010) 'Management of Catchments for the Protection of Water Resources: Drawing on the New York City Watershed Experience'. Regional Environmental Change, (10) 4, pp 311-326.

Namara, R.E. and Hanjra, M.A. and Castillo, G.E. and Ravnborg, H.M. and Smith, Laurence and Van Koppen, B. (2010) 'Agricultural water management and poverty linkages'. Agricultural Water Management, (97) 4, pp 520-527.

Balcombe, K. and Fraser, I. and Latruffe, L. and Rahman, M. and Smith, Laurence (2008) 'An Application of the DEA Double Bootstrap to Examine Sources of Efficiency in Bangladesh Rice Farming'. Applied Economics, (40) 15, pp 1919-1925.

Balcombe, K. and Fraser, I. and Rahman, M. and Smith, Laurence (2007) 'Examining the Technical Efficiency of Rice Producers in Bangladesh'. Journal of International Development, (19) 1, pp 1-16.

Rahman, M. and Balcombe, K. and Smith, Laurence (2006) 'A Non-parametric Approach to Model the Technical, Allocative, Cost and Scale Efficiency of Rice Producers in Bangladesh'. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Economics, (1) 1, pp 27-48.

Cook, H. and Smith, Laurence (2005) 'Catchment Management – Relevant in Developed and Developing Countries'. Waterlines, (24) 1, pp 2-3.

Smith, Laurence (2004) 'Assessment of the Contribution of Irrigation to Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Livelihoods'. International Journal of Water Resources Development, (20) 2, pp 243-57.

Nguyen-Khoa, S. and Smith, Laurence (2004) 'Irrigation and Fisheries: Irreconcilable Conflicts or Potential Synergies?'. Irrigation and Drainage, (53) 4, pp 415-427.

Aheeyar, M. M. M. and Smith, Laurence (1999) 'The Impact of Farmer Participation on Water Distribution Performance in Two Irrigation Schemes in Sri Lanka'. Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences, (22) 1&2, pp 27-43.

Balcombe, K and Smith, Laurence (1999) 'Refining the Use of Monte-Carlo Techniques for Risk Analysis in Project Planning'. Journal of Development Studies, (36) 2, pp 112-134.

Smith, Laurence and Stockbridge, Mike and Lohano, H.R. (1999) 'Facilitating The Provision Of Farm Credit: The Role Of Interlocking Transactions Between Traders and Zamindars In Crop Marketing Systems in Sindh'. World Development, (27) 2, pp 403-418.

Khushk, A.M. and Smith, Laurence (1999) 'Factors Affecting Mango Production in Sindh'. Sarhad Journal of Agriculture, (15) 3, pp 371-379.

Khushk, A.M. and Smith, Laurence (1999) 'Analysis of Financial Viability of Long Term Investment in Mango Orchards in Sindh Province of Pakistan'. Sarhad Journal of Agriculture, (15) 2, pp 153-161.

Smith, Laurence and Khushk, A.M. and Stockbridge, Mike (1999) 'Case Studies of Corruption in Agricultural Markets in Sindh Province, Pakistan, and Implications for Market Liberalisation'. The Journal of International Food and Agribusiness Marketing, (11) 1, pp 19-42.

Lohano, H. R. and Smith, Laurence and Stockbridge, Mike (1998) 'Comparing the Seed Cotton and Wheat Marketing Chains in Sindh'. The Pakistan Development Review, (37) 1, pp 53-75.

Aheeyar, M.M.M. and Smith, Laurence (1998) 'Participatory Irrigation Management In Sri Lanka: Lessons of Experience'. ICID Journal, (47) 2, pp 77-86.

Smith, Laurence and Franks, T. and kay, M. (1997) 'Water - An Economic Good?: Theory and Practice'. ICID Journal, (46) 2, pp 1-13.

Khushk, A.M. and Smith, Laurence (1996) 'A Preliminary Analysis of the Marketing of Mango in Sindh Province'. The Pakistan Development Review, (35) 3, pp 241-256.

Smith, Laurence (1995) 'A Progress Report on the Sindh University-Wye College Link Project'. Open Learning, (10) 3, pp 44-47.

Smith, Laurence and Keddal, H. (1995) 'An Assessment of Project Management Software as a Decision Support System for Irrigation Management in Morocco'. Irrigation and Drainage Systems, (4) 9, pp 329-355.

Smith, Laurence and Yun, Wenju (1994) 'A Critique of Methods of Economic Appraisal for Agricultural Investment Projects'. Journal of Agro-Technical Economics 4.

Smith, Laurence (1993) 'Pandangan Ahli Ekonomi Terhadap Penilaian Kinerja Irigasi: Berseta Contoh-Contoh Pada Irigasi Besar Di Maroko'. VISI Irigasi Indonesia, (8) 3, pp 5-19.

Kotagama, H. B. and Carruthers, I. and Smith, Laurence (1992) 'Identification and Estimation of Priority Weights of Irrigation System Management Objectives for Irrigation System Performance Assessment'. Tropical Agricultural Research, (4), pp 297-307.

Smith, Laurence (1990) 'An Economist's Perspective on Irrigation Performance Assessment: With Examples from Large Scale Irrigation in Morocco'. Irrigation and Drainage Systems, (4) 3, pp 329-343.

Carruthers, I and Smith, Laurence (1989) 'The River Wadu Role Play - Ten Years Experience'. Irrigation and Drainage Systems, (3) 3.

Smith, Laurence (1989) 'The Wye College Irrigation Game'. Irrigation and Drainage Systems, (3) 3.

Smith, Laurence (1986) 'The Role of Simulation Exercises in Training Irrigation Managers'. ODI/IIMI Irrigation Management Network Paper 86/2c.

Edited Books or Journals

Smith, Laurence and Porter, K and Hiscock, K and Porter, MJ and Benson, D, (eds.), (2015) Catchment and River Basin Management: Integrating Science and Governance. Abingdon; New York: Routledge. (Earthscan Studies in Water Resource Management).

Kay, M. and Franks, T. and Smith, Laurence, (eds.), (1997) Water: Economics, Management and Demand. London: E & FN Spon, Chapman Hall.

Smith, Laurence, (ed.), (1996) Handbook for Economic Appraisal of Agricultural Projects. Beijing: Chinese Agriculture Publishing.

Book Chapters

Smith, Laurence (2018) 'Water Management by Farmers'. In: Allan, Tony and Bromwich, Brendan and Colman, Tony and Keulertz, Martin, (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Food, Water and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Araya, Y and Dorward, Andrew and Gideon, J and Kock, R and Smith, L and Waage, Jeff (2015) 'Agriculture and food'. In: Waage, Jeff and Yap, C., (eds.), Thinking Beyond Sectors for Sustainable Development. London: Ubiquity Press, pp 45-50.

Smith, Laurence (2013) 'Land Conservation Agreements'. Payments for Ecosystem Services: A Best Practice Guide. London: Defra, pp 64-67.

Hazell, Peter and Sharma, Abjhit and Smith, Laurence (2013) 'Market-driven Agricultural Growth: Contrasting Experiences in Punjab and Rajasthan'. In: Hope, N and Kochar, A and Noll, R and Srinivasan, T N, (eds.), Economic Reform in India: Challenges, Prospects and Lessons. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Smith, Laurence (2008) 'Local and Adaptive Management of Catchments for the Protection of Water Quality: Drawing on International Experience'. In: Crighton, K. and Audsley, R., (eds.), Land Management in a Changing Environment, Proceedings of the SAC and SEPA Biennial Conference, Agriculture and the Environment VII, Edinburgh, 26-27 March 2008. Edinburgh: NERC Open Research Archive and Centre for Ecology &Hydrology.

Castillo, G. E. and Namara, R. E. and Munk Ravnborg, H. and Hanjra, M. A. and Smith, Laurence and Hussein, M. H. (2007) 'Reversing the flow: agricultural water management pathways for poverty reduction'. In: Molden, D., (ed.), Water for food Water for life. London: Earthscan, pp 149-191.

Smith, Laurence (2001) 'Drainage Needs in the Lower Indus, Pakistan'. In: Merrett, S., (ed.), Water for Agriculture: Irrigation Economics in International Perspective. London: Spon Press, pp 112-119.

Dorward, Andrew and Kydd, Jonathan and Morrison, J. and Poulton, Colin and Smith, Laurence (2000) 'New Institutional Economics: Insights on Innovation Dissemination and UptakE'. In: Hainsworth, S.D. and Eden-Green, S.J., (eds.), Sustaining change: proceedings of a workshop on the factors affecting uptake and adoption of Department for International Development (DFID) Crop Protection Programme (CPP) research outputs ; 21-23 June 2000, Imperial College at Wye, Kent, UK. Chatham Maritime, Kent, UK: Natural Resources International Limited, pp 97-103.

Smith, Laurence and Teshome, A. (1999) 'Distance Learning and its Potential Role in Water Sector Capacity Building'. In: Alaerts, G.J. and Hartvelt, F.J.A. and Patorni, F.M., (eds.), Water Sector Capacity Building: Concepts and Instruments, Proceedings of the Second UNDP Symposium on Water Sector Capacity Building, Delft, 1996. Rotterdam, Netherlands: A.A. Balkema, pp 395-412.

Stockbridge, Mike and Smith, Laurence and Lohano, H.R. (1998) 'Cotton and Wheat Marketing and the Provision of Pre-harvest Services in Sindh Province, Pakistan'. In: Dorward, Andrew and Kydd, Jonathan and Poulton, Colin, (eds.), Smallholder Cash Crop Production Under Market Liberalization: A New Institutional Economics Perspective. Wallingford: CAB International, pp 177-239.

Smith, Laurence and Sohani, A. (1997) 'Participatory Irrigation Management: A Case Study of Ability to Pay'. In: Kay, M. and Franks, T. and Smith, Laurence, (eds.), Water: Economics, Management and Demand. London: E & FN Spon, Chapman Hall, pp 210-218.

Smith, Laurence and Pathan, P.A. (1996) 'Private Groundwater Development in the Lower Indus: Policy Issues'. In: Howsam, P. and Carter, R., (eds.), Water Policy: Allocation and Management in Practice, Proceedings of International Conference on Water Policy, Cranfield University 23-24 September 1996. London: E & FN Spon, Chapman Hall, pp 311-318.

Carruthers, I. and Smith, Laurence (1990) 'The Economics of Drainage'. Proceedings of the Symposium on Land Drainage for Salinity Control in Arid and SemiArid Regions, Vol 1, Keynotes. Cairo: Nubar Printing House.

Smith, Laurence and Carruthers, I. (1989) 'Technical, Financial and Economic Characteristics of Drainage Projects and their Implications for Project Evaluation: Experience from the Lower Indus Basin'. In: Rydzewski, J.R. and Ward, C.F., (eds.), Irrigation: Theory and Practice. London: Pentech Press.

Monographs and Working Papers

Smith, Laurence and Inman, Alex and Xin, Lai and Haifang, Zhang and Zhiwen, Wang and Meng, Fanqiao and Zhou, Jianbin and Burke, Sean and Rahn, Clive and Siciliano, Giuseppina and Surridge, Ben (2016) Mitigation of diffuse water pollution from agriculture in England and China, and the scope for policy transfer. SAIN.

Bellarby, J and Surridge, B and Haygarth, P and Xin, L and Guilong, Z and Xialong, S and Zhou, J and Meng, F and Shen, J and Rahn, C and Burke, S and Smith, Laurence and Siciliano, Giuseppina (2015) Inefficiency and Environmental Risks associated with Nutrient Use in Agriculture within China and the UK. UK-China Sustainable Agricultural Innovation Network (SAIN).

Smith, Laurence and Siciliano, Giuseppina and Inman, A. and Rahn, C. and Bellarby, J. and Surridge, B. and Haygarth, P. and Xin, L. and Guilong, Z. and Ji, L. and Zhou, J. and Meng, F. and Burke, S. (2015) Delivering improved nutrient stewardship in China: the knowledge, attitudes and practices of farmers and advisers. UK-China Sustainable Agricultural Innovation Network (SAIN).

Couldrick, Laurence and Smith, Laurence (2014) Catchment partnerships –better planning for our rivers and landscapes. Swindon: Living with Environmental Change.

Smith, Laurence (2013) The United Kingdom Case Study: Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) and collective action – Upstream Thinking in the South West of England. Paris: OECD.

Senaratna, S.S. and Mith, S. and Hoanh, C.T. and Johnston, R. and Baran, E. and Dubois, M. and Soeun, M. and Craig, I. and Nam, S. and Smith, L. (2010) Commune agroecosystem analysis to support decision making for water allocation for fisheries and agriculture in the Tonle Sap wetland system. Colombo, Sri Lanka: Challeng Program for Water and Food.

Burton, M. A. and Smith, Laurence and Roux, J. (2008) Toolkit for Monitoring and Evaluation of Agricultural Water Management Projects. Washington D.C.: The World Bank.

Lorenzen, K. and Smith, Laurence and Nguyen Khoa, S. and Burton, M. and Garaway, C. (2007) Guidance Manual: Management of Impacts of Irrigation Development on Fisheries. Colombo, Sri Lanka: IWMI and WorldFish Center.

Hermans, L. and Renault, D. and Emerton, L. and Perrot-Maitre, D. and Nguyen Khoa, S. and Smith, Laurence (2006) Stakeholder-oriented valuation to support water resources management processes. Rome: FAO.

Nguyen-Khao, S. and Smith, Laurence and Lorenzen, K. (2005) Impacts of Irrigation on Inland Fisheries: Appraisals in Laos and Sri Lanka. (Comprehensive Assessment Research Report 7). Colombo, Sri Lanka: Comprehensive Assessment Secretariat.

Nguyen Khoa, S. and Smith, Laurence and Lorenzen, K. (2005) Adaptive, Participatory and Integrated Assessment of the Impacts of Irrigation on Fisheries: Evaluation of the Approach in Sri Lanka. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute.

Poulton, Colin and Al-Hassan, R. and Cadisch, G. and Reddy, C. and Smith, Laurence (2001) The Cash Crop Versus Food Crop Debate. DFID Crop Post-Harvest Programme Issues Paper 3.

Smith, Laurence (2000) Options in Agricultural Policy [Contributing Paper prepared for Assessment of Irrigation Options, Thematic Review IV.2]. .


Nguyen-Khoa, S. and Smith, Laurence and Lorenzen, K. (2005) 'Integrating Fisheries Into Irrigation Planning and Management'.

Dorward, Andrew and Kydd, Jonathan and Lyon, F. and Poole, Nigel and Smith, Laurence and Stockbridge, Mike (1998) 'Commercial Financing of Seasonal Input Use by Smallholders in Liberalised Agricultural Marketing Systems'.

Smith, Laurence (1998) 'Knowledge, Institutions and Capacity – Lessons for Water Resource Development and for Universities'.


This list was last generated on Saturday, 20th July 2019, 19:31 Europe/London.