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Background and activities

Phd Project title: Voicing Noise - Action research with informal settlement groups and their support organizations in Malawi

Project aim: To explore the space for transformative participation within the participatory planning discourse in Malawi.

Brief Outline: The Phd project explores spaces for transformative participation through an action research project with informal settlement groups and their partners in Malawi facilitated through the Malawi Federation of the Rural and Urban Poor, their support NGO Center for Community Organization and Development (CCODE), and the Urban Research Institute (URI). The project documents, analyzes, and engages with various community and slum upgrading processes in the four main cities of Malawi. These are gathered in a mini-case studies series geared towards decision makers: http://www.ccodemw.org/publications-resources/case-studies 

Key concepts: Transformative participation, political agency, citizenship, deconstruction of discourse, critical action research.

Teaching areas: Introduction to Africa Studies, Humanitarianism in Theory and Practice, Geography in Practice - Qualitative Methodology, North-South relations, Urban Ecological Planning, Theories of Development and Globalization.

Have previously worked on:

  • Urban displacement (Refugee Law Project)
  • Slum upgrading, gender, youth, and community participation (Cities Alliance)
  • Emergency response rosters (Norwegian Refugee Council)

Journal articles

Refstie, H. and Brun, C. (2016): Voicing Noise - Political agency and the trialectics of participation in urban Malawi, Geoforum, 74, p 136-146. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303982747_Voicing_noise_Political_agency_and_the_trialectics_of_participation_in_urban_Malawi 

Andresen, S. A., Epremian, L.,  Jakobsen, T. S, Jones, M, Refstie, H. (2015): Fighting fog - The case of creeping neoliberalism and weakening university democracy in Norway. Krisis: Tijdschrift voor empirische filosofie 2015 (2) p. 27-33.

Lange – Vik M., and Refstie, H. (2014): Medvirkning, Makt, og Avmakt i Planlegging – Norge og Malawi,Kart og Plan, Vol 74 årg. 107 (4) p 280-290.

Morris, T., Crisp, J., Refstie, H. (2012): Displacement in urban areas: new challenges, new partnerships, Disasters Volume 35, Issue 4, Overseas Development Institute, London; DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7717.2012.01284.x https://www.researchgate.net/publication/225304886_Displacement_in_urban_areas_New_challenges_new_partnerships 

Refstie, H., Brun, C. (2011) Towards Transformative Participation: Collaborative Research with 'Urban IDPs' in Uganda Journal of Refugee Studies 2011, Oxford Journals; DOI: 10.1093/jrs/fer047 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275120208_Towards_Transformative_Participation_Collaborative_Research_with_'Urban_IDPs'_in_Uganda       


Practice and Policy related writing

Refstie, H. 2015. Is this Participatory Budgeting? The Blantyre Process, NTNU, CCODE, and URI, Lilongwe.

Refstie H., Hunga, W. 2015. Some lessons to be learned – Informal Settlement Upgrading Project in Chinsapo and Mtandire, NTNU, CCODE, and URI, Lilongwe.

Refstie, H (2014): Left Hanging? Participatory slum upgrading and studio planning in Salisburyline – Mzuzu, CCODE and URI http://www.ccodemw.org/images/pdf/m38114.pdf

Refstie, H (2014): Negotiating services through community committees – Ndirande Makata, Blantyre, CCODE and URI http://www.ccodemw.org/publications-resources-2/case-studies/48-case-study-4-ndirande-makata

Refstie, H (2014): From plans to action – Mobilizing credit and funds for slum upgrading, Nancholi Chimiire – Blantyre, CCODE and URI  http://www.ccodemw.org/publications-resources-2/case-studies/50-case-study-3-nancholi-chiimire

Refstie, H (2014): Building Representation and Partnerships – Zomba, Chikanda settlement, CCODE and URI http://www.ccodemw.org/publications-resources-2/case-studies/47-case-study-2-zomba-chikanda

Refstie, H (2014): Doing it ourselves – Community mobilization and strategic planning in Senti settlement – Lilongwe, CCODE and URI http://www.ccodemw.org/publications-resources-2/case-studies/27-case-study-1-senti

Refstie, H and Da Silva F. (2012): Youth: The face of Urbanization, Inclusive Cities, CIVICS Cities Alliance, Washington DC, https://www.citiesalliance.org/sites/citiesalliance.org/files/CIVIS_January2012.pdf

Refstie, H. (2011): The urbanisation of displaced people, CIVICS Cities Alliance, Washington DC, https://www.citiesalliance.org/sites/citiesalliance.org/files/CIVIS-DisplacedPeople-July2011.pdf

Cities Alliance (2009): 2009 Annual report Building Cities and Citizens – Highlighting Gender Issues in Slum Upgrading. http://www.citiesalliance.org/ca/sites/citiesalliance.org/files/AR09_FullText_0.pdf

Refstie H., Dolan, C., Okello M. (2009): Urban IDPs in Uganda, Victims of Institutional Convenience? Forced Migration Review 34 (2009): http://repository.forcedmigration.org/show_metadata.jsp?pid=fmo:5597 

Refstie (2008): IDPs redefined – Participatory Action Research with urban IDPs in Uganda, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim  http://ntnu.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?searchId=1&pid=diva2:134244

Refugee Law Project 2008a: Special Bulletin on urban IDPs Oct 2008, Refugee Law Project, Kampala, http://reliefweb.int/report/uganda/refugee-law-project-special-bulletin-urban-idps-oct-2008

Refugee Law Project 2008b: Special Bulletin on urban IDPs July 2008, Refugee Law Project, Kampala, http://www.refugeelawproject.org/files/others/idpspecialbulletin2.pdf

Refugee Law Project 2008c: Special Bulletin on urban IDPs Mar 2008, Refugee Law Project, Kampala, http://reliefweb.int/report/uganda/refugee-law-project-special-bulletin-urban-idps-mar-2008

Refugee Law project (2007): What About Us? – The Exclusion of Urban IDPs from Uganda’s IDP related Policies and Intervention, Refugee Law Project, Kampala http://refugeelawproject.org/resources/briefing-notes-and-special-reports/12-conflict-and-tj-special-reports/26-what-about-us-the-exclusion-of-urban-idps-from-uganda-s-idp-related-policies-and-interventions-dec-2007 


Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database

Journal publications