Environmental Refugees: Climate, Health, and Livelihood in the Indian Ocean World

University of Sussex


The livelihood of coastal communities is at risk as climate change events accelerate natural disasters such as tropical cyclones, and growing inequalities and displacement are pushing vulnerable littoral populations to migrate to cities and rural hinterlands in South Asia and East Africa. Our planned program seeks to advance the under researched field of climate change, livelihood, migration and health issues in the Indian Ocean littoral by mapping the subjective experiences of migrant families, and highlighting the wealth of community coping strategies that exists within supposedly vulnerable communities focusing on case studies in India, Bangladesh, Tanzania and Mozambique.

Research Team

Principal Investigators

Debojyoti Das

Lecturer and Global Research Associate School of Global Studies, University of Sussex, UK

  • Bio ▾

    I am an anthropologist, focusing on the borderlands of eastern India and the Indian Ocean world. My work is deeply interdisciplinary, bridging my training as an ethnographer with extensive use of visual media and oral sources. My current research focuses on climate change, health and wellbeing, natural disaster, migration, and sustainable development issues among Dalits and ethnic minorities in the Indian Ocean littoral. I have interests in transdisciplinary and community focused work which feeds into the use of different qualitative methods and tools for action research. Besides academic peer reviewed publications I have contributed to newspapers, blogs, photo exhibitions, seminars, and stakeholder’s workshops. I am also the recipient of the Inter Asia New Paradigm Grant (2019–20). I have contributed papers to peer reviewed outlets such as the Journal of the Indian Ocean Region, Journal of South Asian Development, Economic and Political Weekly, European Bulletin of Himalayan Research, Asian Ethnology, among others which have a high impact factor.

Simi Mehta

CEO and Editorial Director, Impact and Policy Research Institute

  • Bio ▾

    I have a background in political science and international relations. My research areas include policy perspectives of sustainable development and climate change issues, linking them to international political economy, agriculture, food security, and impact on health and nutrition. I hold a PhD from the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University and was a Fulbright Fellow at Ohio State University. Currently, I am the CEO and editorial director of the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi. At IMPRI, we have established the Centre for Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development for studying environmental changes and their impact on society and economy. I must point out that my participation in this planning grant has been made possible through deliberations supported by the SSRC Scholarly Borderlands roundtables held at University of Dar es Salaam in 2018, where I met other participants and researchers from Tanzania, India, and the US working in the Indian Ocean Region.

Stephen O Maluka

Associate Professor of Public Health, Dar es Salaam University College of Education

  • Bio ▾

    Dr. Stephen Maluka is an associate professor of public health at Dar es Salaam University College of Education of the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He has been involved in a number of multi-country research projects on health policy and systems including the following: strengthening fairness and accountability in health systems priority setting at district level; supporting decentralized management to improve health workforce performance; understanding the effect of the takeover of informal sector health insurance scheme by a formal sector scheme on universal coverage in terms of risk pooling and purchasing; universal health coverage in Tanzania and South Africa: monitoring and evaluating progress; Consortium for Health Policy and Systems Analysis in Africa; improving access to health services and quality of care for mothers and children in Tanzania under the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health Programme in Africa; engaging non-state providers toward universal health coverage in Tanzania; and examining effects of decision-making space on health systems performance in Tanzania (RIGHT). Professor Maluka has published more than 30 articles on various public health issues in international, peer reviewed journals.


Bina Sengar

Assistant Professor, Department of History, Baba Saheb Ambedkar Maratwara University

Shababa Haque

Program Officer, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCAD)

Almas Mazigo

Assistant Professor, University of Dar es Salaam

  • Bio ▾

    Dr. Almas Fortunatus Mazigo 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 is a lecturer and researcher at the Dar es Salaam University College of Education of the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. He also serves as the Coordinator of DUCE’s Center for Social and Policy Research.


    Dr. Mazigo has interest and expertise in phronetic social science research, monitoring and evaluation of development interventions, development ethics and global justice, management of public service and organizational ethics, business ethics and corporate governance, ethics and leadership in business and politics, ethical climate change responses, sustainability thinking and practices, transformative social innovations, gender issues, and management of small and medium enterprises.

    Dr. Mazigo has successfully conducted research on fostering responsible climate change management, sustainable business practices, cultures and ethics of sustainability, ethical leadership practices, and sthical issues in development practices, and published his research findings in prestigious international journals such as the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities and Etikk i praksis-Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics.

Victoria Makulilo

Lecturer-DUCE, Political and Public Administration, University of Dar es Salaam

Daniel Zacarias

Lecturer, Eduardo Mondlane University

Upasona Ghosh

Assistant Professor in Anthropology, Indian Institute of Public Health

Mahmuda Akter

Research Officer, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD)

Tasfia Tasnim

Senior Research Associate, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD)

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