Continued Research in Rwanda

Cohort 2017 Fellow Candace Famiglietti is planning to continue her research in Rwanda, looking at the politics of innovation and the role of entrepreneurship in sustainable state development. This research comes at a time when the development paradigm is elevating the role of the private sector and science and technology in sustainable development – a framework that considers social cohesion, environmental protection, and economic growth as mutually supporting. State-led initiatives for poverty reduction are establishing Rwanda as a hot spot for startups and venture capital in the African continent, leading to high economic growth (8% per annum), poverty reduction, and increased equality (World Bank, Rwanda Overview 2017). Her research seeks to understand if and how Rwanda is fostering a national system of truly sustainable innovation and development, and if so, can this knowledge be transferred to other nation’s development models.

Jeremiah Asaka conducts research in Kenya

Jeremiah Asaka, Coasts and Communities fellow from Cohort 2014, is conducting his field work in the northern rangelands of Kenya in summer 2016. Here, he is preparing to hold a focus group discussion with a group of Samburu warriors under an acacia tree.

Acacia tree

In Kenya, he is hosted by the University of Nairobi ( under the supervision of Prof. Alice Oluoko-Odingo of the Institution’s Geography and Environmental Studies Department ( She also serves as an external member of Jeremiah’s dissertation committee. Prof. Tim Shaw is the chair of the dissertation committee, which includes Prof. Jane Parpart and Prof. Heidi Gengenbach as members.

Jeremiah’s fieldwork in Kenya is funded by UMass Boston’s National Science Foundation (NSF) Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship ( fellowship. University of Nairobi is a partner institution of the IGERT program. Jeremiah’s fieldwork in Kenya is primarily for local level data collection. Afterwards, he will embark on global level data collection as he is interested in understanding the human security implications of transformations in conservation governance for conservation area communities.


Arrival in Ethiopia


the group of IGERT fellows traveled from Boston through Dubai, and arrived at Addis Ababa Bole International airport at 3:30pm on a nice and warm Saturday, January 16, 2016.

The vans were waiting for us and took us to the Samantha and Kefetew guesthouses, where are are staying. Everyone is tired, but happy to be in Ethiopia.

2016-01-16 15.40.20
Welcome to Ethiopia! Miranda, Christine, Kaley, Jamila, and Nichole
Dubai airport
IGERT group at Dubai airport, ready to board plane for Addis