Department of Social & Policy Sciences

Dr Roy Maconachie

Roy Maconachie

Reader in International Development

3 East 3.28
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 4524

PhD Supervison

I am interested in supervising PhD students working on topics related to:

  • The environmental and socio-economic dimensions of artisanal and small-scale mining.
  • The dynamics of conflict and competition over natural resources in developing countries.
  • Community based resource management and livelihoods in post conflict states.

I am particularly committed to working with students whose research interests lie in West Africa.

Artisanal mining and development in West Africa

Dr Roy Maconachie shares 15 years of experience carrying out field-based research in Sierra Leone.


My research in Sub-Saharan Africa explores the social, political and economic aspects of food production and natural resource management, and their relationships to wider societal change. My most recent work has been concerned with the politics around natural resource management in West Africa, with a particular focus on the extractive industries, livelihood change and social conflict. My disciplinary background is in human geography, but my work has largely been interdisciplinary in its approach, drawing principally upon anthropology and politics/political economy.

In pursuing my research, I have developed strong international links with a wide range of institutions in Africa, including Fourah Bay College (Sierra Leone), Bayero University Kano (Nigeria) and Makerere University (Uganda). Before joining the International Development Group at Bath, I was a post-doctoral fellow at IDPM, University of Manchester (2007-2009) and IDS Sussex (2005-2007).

Research interests

  • Socio-economic dimensions of small-scale mining in West Africa
  • Natural resource governance and the extractive industries
  • Community-based resource management, livelihoods and institution building in post-conflict states
  • Youth identity politics and rural development in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Urban and peri-urban food production and resource management in West Africa

Recent and current projects

2017-18: Mapping informal financial flows in the artisanal mining sector: the cases of Sierra Leone and Liberia. Funding provided by the International Growth Centre.

2016-17: Mining conflict, North and South: Deepening the governance debate. Funding provided by The Leverhulme Trust.

2016-18: Deepening governance and widening 'spaces' for change: community participation and natural resources transparency in post-conflict West Africa. Funding provided by Humanity United.

2016-17: Opening the door to formalisation: small-scale diamond mining and rural economic development in Sierra Leone. Funding provided by International Growth Centre.

2016-17: Blazing the path to formalisation: Artisanal Mining, Wealth Creation and Rural Livelihoods in Ghana. Funding provided by Canadian International Resources and Development Institute (CIRDI).

2015-16: Fairtrade cocoa production and gender in Ghana: a participatory video approach. Funding provided by the British Academy.

2014: Building Sustainable and Peaceful Cities in Comparative Global Perspective. Funding provided by the British Council.

2012-2013: Youth livelihoods, activism and extractive industry in Sierra Leone. Funding provided by the British Academy.

2010-2013: Urban growth, domestic fuel and sustainable forestry in Kano, Nigeria. Funding provided by DfID under the British Council DelPHE scheme.

2008-2011: Urban and peri-urban agriculture in Freetown: Food security and income generation in post-conflict Sierra Leone. Funding provided by DfID under the British Council DelPHE scheme.

2008-2009: Beyond the resource curse?: Diamond mining, global capitalism and local development in post-conflict Sierra Leone. Funding provided by the Nuffield Foundation.

2007-2009: International environmental conventions, national policy agendas and local needs: Exploring wetland policy processes and practices in Uganda. Funding provided by Hallsworth Research Fellowship, University of Manchester.

2005-2007: Decentralization, institutions and wetland management in Sierra Leone. Funding provided by the Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship Scheme.

2004: Post-conflict reconstruction and re-building institutions and rural livelihoods in the Eastern Province, Sierra Leone?. Funding provided by the Nuffield Foundation.


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