SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Andrew Newsham

  • Overview
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Publications


Andrew Newsham
Department of Development Studies

Lecturer in International Development

Dr Andrew Newsham
Email address:
020 7898 4884
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
By appointment:
On Sabbatical:
Term 1 & 3 (18/19)


Andrew is Lecturer in International Development and is Programme Convenor for the dissertations programme at the Centre for Development, Environment and Policy. He brings practical and theoretical insights from social anthropology and human geography to a research agenda which encompasses environment and development in Southern Africa and South America, with a particular focus on climate change adaptation and development.


Programmes Convened
Modules Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Catherine Doe Adodoadji , Climate Change and Vulnerable Coastal Communities in Ghana (working title)
  • Linlan Huang, The Sino-Japanese Cooperation on Clean Coal Technologies in the Post-ODA Period: A Local Policy-Making Interplay

Andrew is programme convenor for CeDEP dissertations and is currently involved in developing courses on biodiversity, conservation and management, as well as climate change, energy and development.

PhD supervision

Andrew is currently supervising the following students:

Catherine Doe Adodoadji, ‘Climate Change and Vulnerable Coastal Cities in Ghana’

Maliha Muzammil, ‘Opportunities and barriers for low carbon, climate resilient development pathways in Bangladesh’

He is especially happy to consider proposals on locally-held knowledge and power-politics within climate adaptation policy; ecosystems-based adaptation and vulnerability analysis; and community-based conservation in 21st-century.


Andrew has four sets of research interests interconnected by a longstanding concern with knowledge, power-politics and vulnerability. The first, deriving from PhD research, relates to local knowledge and participation in combined conservation and development initiatives (Argentina, Namibia and Zimbabwe). The second explores the potential of local agro-ecological knowledge as a form of adaptive capacity to climate change impacts on agriculture (Namibia, Kenya) and the ways in which such knowledge is drawn into – or falls out of – climate policy processes. The third considers the vulnerability to climate impacts of people living within or adjacent to protected areas (Mexico), with a view to critically evaluating the conceptual and practical value of ‘ecosystems-based adaptation’, a term currently gaining momentum within the adaptation arena. The fourth assesses the synergies and trade-offs inherent in efforts to integrate social protection, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction objectives and outcomes.

Andrew is currently involved in three research initiatives:

  1. The political economy of climate-compatible development: This CDKN-funded research looks at the opportunities and barriers for interventions which may have the potential to contribute to poverty reduction, (carbon emissions) mitigation and adaptation objectives simultaneously (climate-compatible development). Such initiatives do not happen in a vacuum. Rather, they unfold within and are shaped by existing policy and decision-making processes. Evidence from aid effectiveness research suggests that an understanding of politics and policy processes is crucial to delivering outcomes that help the poorest and most vulnerable people. However, political economy analysis is missing from much engagement on climate change and development, which often focuses on technical assistance, toolkits and capacity-building. Exploring interventions in Ghana, Kenya, and Mozambique, this research agenda seeks to address this gap.
  2. Tools for analysing vulnerability to climate impacts at the local level in Tanzania: This research, being carried out with CCAFS partners (Bioversity International in particular), seeks to explore and test a participatory toolkit for analysing the food security and nutritional dimensions of vulnerability to climate impacts. Qualitative, local–level vulnerability analysis is often seen to be expensive and time consuming – at least by policymakers and others who commission research. How quickly can a coherent vulnerability analysis be conducted, which will give sufficiently fine-grained information for making decisions about adaptation? What are the implications of such a method for the ways in which we think about and do vulnerability analysis at local and national levels? This piece of research explores these questions in the context of Tanzania.
  3. Vulnerability analysis and ecosystems-based adaptation in Mexican protected areas: this research has refined and built upon methods for analysing the vulnerability to climate impacts of protected area inhabitants in Mexico’s Sierra Madre Oriental, and options for ecosystems based adaptation. The most recent phase of the research has adjusted and tested a recent toolkit, with a view to it being rolled out at the national level by the National commission first natural protected areas. Not only is this research contributing to the vulnerability analysis agenda, but it has also generated insights about the extent to which ecosystems-based adaptation is frequently a trade-off between conservation and development objectives.


Authored Books

Newsham, Andrew and Bhagwat, Shonil (2016) Conservation and Development. Abingdon; New York: Routledge.


Newsham, Andrew and Pulido, María T. and Ulrichs, Martina and Cruz, Roberto Muñoz and Ocón, Xóchitl Cantellano and Shankland, Alexander and Cannon, Terry (2018) 'Ecosystems-based adaptation: Are we being conned? Evidence from Mexico'. Global Environmental Change, (49), pp 14-26.

Naess, L.O. and Newell, P.J. and Newsham, A. J. and Phillips, J. and Quan, J.F. and Tanner, T. (2015) 'Climate policy meets national development contexts: Insights from Kenya and Mozambique'. Global Environmental Change, (35), pp 534-544.

Quan, Julian and Naess, Lars Otto and Newsham, Andrew and Sitoe, Almeida and Corral Fernandez, María (2014) 'Carbon Forestry and Climate Compatible Development in Mozambique: A Political Economy Analysis'. IDS Working Papers Series, (2014) 448, pp 1-40.

Béné, Christophe and Newsham, Andrew and Davies, Mark and Ulrichs, Martina and Godfrey-Wood, Rachel (2014) 'Resilience, poverty and development'. Journal of International Development, (26), pp 598-623.

Davies, Mark and Béné, Christophe and Arnall, Alexander and Tanner, Thomas and Newsham, Andrew and Coirolo, Cristina (2013) 'Promoting Resilient Livelihoods through Adaptive Social Protection: Lessons from 124 programmes in South Asia'. Development Policy Review, (31) 1, pp 27-58.

Béné, Christophe and Godfrey-Wood, Rachel and Newsham, Andrew and Davies, Mark (2012) 'Resilience: New Utopia or New Tyranny? Reflection about the Potentials and Limits of the Concept of Resilience in Relation to Vulnerability Reduction Programmes'. IDS Working Paper Series 405, pp 1-61.

Newsham, Andrew and Guthiga, Paul and Naess, Lars Otto (2011) 'Farmers' Knowledge and Climate Change Adaptation: Insights from Policy Processes in Kenya and Namibia'. Future Agricultures Consortium working papers 70.

Newsham, Andrew and Thomas, David SG (2011) 'Knowing, farming and climate change adaptation in North-Central Namibia'. Global Environmental Change, (21), pp 761-770.

Guthiga, Paul and Newsham, Andrew (2011) 'Meteorologists Meeting Rainmakers: Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Policy Processes in Kenya'. IDS Bulletin, (42) 3, pp 104-109.

Newsham, Andrew and Satterthwaite, David and Winkels, Alexandra and Seballos, Fran (2011) 'Tackling Poverty in a Changing Climate: Bridging Concepts and Practice for Low Carbon Climate Resilient Development'. DfID-IDS Learning Hub Bridging Paper Series 2, pp 1-32.

Book Chapters

Quan, Julian F. and Naess, Lars Otto and Newsham, Andrew and Corral Fernandez, María (2016) 'The Political Economy of REDD + in Mozambique: Implications for Climate Compatible Development'. In: Nunan, Fiona, (ed.), Making Climate Compatible Development Happen. Abdingdon, Oxon: Routledge, pp 1-27. [Forthcoming]

Kelman, Ilan and Colbourn, Tim and Costello, Anthony and Georgeson, Lucien and Kovats, Sari and Maslin, Mark and Newsham, Andrew and Sammonds, Peter and Urban, Frauke and Waage, Jeff and Wilkinson, Paul (2015) 'Climate and Climate Change.'. In: Waage, Jeff and Yap, Christopher, (eds.), Thinking Beyond Sectors for Sustainable Development.. London: Ubiquity Press, pp 11-17.

Monographs and Working Papers

Newsham, Andrew and Kohnstamm, Sarah and Otto Naess, Lars and Atela, Joanes (2018) Agricultural Commercialisation Pathways: Climate Change and Agriculture, APRA Policy Brief 6. Future Agricultures Consortium.

Maina, Immaculate and Newsham, Andrew and Okoti, Michael (2013) Agriculture and Climate Change in Kenya: Climate Chaos, Policy Dilemmas. Brighton: Future Agricultures Consortium.

Book Reviews

Newsham, Andrew (2008) 'African development and African studies'. Oxford Journals, (107) 429, pp 641-650.


Béné, Christophe and Newsham, Andrew and Davies, Mark (2013) 'Making the most of resilience' IDS In Focus Policy Briefings.

Béné, Christophe and Newsham, Andrew (2011) 'Social Protection and Climate Resilience. Report from an international workshop, Addis Ababa' World Bank Workshop Reports.

Newsham, Andrew and Goulden, Marisa (2009) 'Changing the climate of African development. Workshop report.'.


This list was last generated on Saturday, 20th April 2019, 18:57 Europe/London.