Transregional Collaborative Research Grants


This project examines the nature of transformative social innovations in small-scale fisheries that have emerged in contexts of increased vulnerability due to resource scarcity and climate change, as well as threats on coastal livelihoods posed by neo-liberal growth-oriented policies. The research team will explore twelve case studies across Bangladesh, India, Madagascar, South Africa, Tanzania, and Thailand using a people-centred and dialogical approach. The project aims to: highlight the complexities and contradictions of transforming the governance of small-scale fisheries in the Indian Ocean region from the point of view of the governed; document and theorize pertinent examples of community-led social innovations in this region aiming to transform the governance of small-scale fisheries; and contribute to processes of co-designing policy and governance instruments that secure sustainable small-scale fisheries in the context of food security and poverty reduction.

Principal Investigators

Almas Mazigo

Lecturer, Dar es Salaam University College of Education

Dr. Almas Fortunatus Mazigo is an emerging scholar based at the Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE) of the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. He holds a PhD in applied ethics from Stellenbosch University in South Africa, a master of arts in development studies from University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, and a bachelor of philosophy from the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Italy. Dr. Mazigo has interest and expertise in development ethics, development evaluation, phronetic social science research, transformative social innovations, business ethics and corporate governance, climate change and sustainability ethics. He is committed to undertaking social and ethical enquiries to understand socio-cultural and moral resources which can influence positively the practices of individual and collective moral agents to responsibly engage in improving human conditions and addressing sustainability challenges. Dr. Mazigo has successfully conducted research on fostering responsible climate change management, sustainable business practices, cultures and ethics of sustainability, ethical leadership practices, and ethical issues in development practices and published his research findings in prestigious international journals such as the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Etikk i praksis-Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics, Journal of Development Policy Review and Utafiti Journal of African Perspectives. In February 2020, Dr. Mazigo invited seven scholars and led them to conceptualize and develop the Transregional collaborative research project on community-led social innovations to transform the governance of the small-scale fisheries in the Indian Ocean region, which was selected and awarded a 2020 Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Transregional Collaborative Research Planning Grant. Between August 2020 and April 2021, Dr. Mazigo successfully led the team in implementing planning activities including the co-development of the grant proposal. The team’s collaborative project proposal titled “Small-Scale Fisheries, Governance and Transformative Social Innovations in the Indian Ocean Region” was selected and awarded a 2021 Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Transregional Collaborative Research Grant. Dr. Mazigo will lead the team of eight scholars in implementing planned project activities between September 1st, 2021 and August 31st 2022.

Johan Hattingh

Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

Johan Hattingh is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, and was dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University from 2013 to 2017. Based in the department since 1980, he specialized in applied ethics, ideology critique, development ethics, and particularly in environmental ethics and climate change ethics. He was a member of the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) of UNESCO (from 2004 - 2011). He was also the president of an Ad Hoc Expert Group convened in 2016 by the director general of UNESCO to draft a Declaration of Ethical Principles in Relation to Climate Change (that was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in December 2017). With more than 70 academic publications to his credit, he finds it fascinating to work at the interface of theory and practice in the analysis of value disputes in the context of policy formulation, environmental decision-making and management, as well as ethical issues related to climate change. In this regard, he follows and further develops the case study method in applied ethics. This methodology is particularly suited for the analysis of value disputes, social innovation and ethical issues around governance practices of small-scale fishing communities, and has been successfully used in a study of small-scale fishing communities in Lake Victoria. Living in South Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, he has easy access to a number of small-scale fishing communities along the southern shores of Africa.

Mahmudul Islam

Associate Professor, Sylhet Agricultural University, Bangladesh

Mahmudul Islam is an associate professor at the Department of Coastal and Marine Fisheries at Sylhet Agricultural University in Bangladesh. He received his PhD from the University of Bremen in Germany. His PhD research contextualized poverty and vulnerability in the livelihoods of coastal fishing communities in Bangladesh. With a background in marine science, oceanography, and fisheries development studies, Dr. Islam is an interdisciplinary marine social scientist with interests in coastal social-ecological systems. He has more than ten years of experience in conducting research on coastal communities, small-scale fisheries, and marine conservation in Bangladesh. Some of his works focused on policy and marine management, thus he has gathered experiences in working at the science-policy-interface. His recent research interests include marine protected areas governance, climate change impacts, and disaster risk reduction in coastal Bangladesh. Recently he led a research project on the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF Guidelines) in Bangladesh small-scale fisheries.