WIoDER thematic schools

Several thematic schools are organized in Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique and Tanzania. They have been designed as methodological exchanges between researchers as well as training sessions for Post-graduate students. They are also an opportunity to visit sites that are often difficult to access. These moments of exchange and research in the field are essential for the implementation of a comparative approach and for the buiding-up of the network.



Five thematic schools to understand four deltas - The four countries participating in the first phase of the WIoDER project have each chosen a study site: the Tana delta in Kenya, the Rufiji delta in Tanzania, the Limpopo delta in Mozambique, the Betsiboka delta in Madagascar.

For each of the deltas we have selected a key topic for the thematic school:

  • "Hydrology" in the Limpopo,
  • "Mangroves" in the Betsiboka,
  • "Fish Biodiversity” in the Tana,
  • "Livelihoods" and "Migrations" in the Rufiji.


Hydrology in the Limpopo delta, Mozambique,

3rd to 7th December 2018

The "Hydrology" thematic school aims at refreshing the unifying theory of surface and groundwater interactions and management, applying theory, methods and tools of sampling and monitoring of surface- and groundwater. We will focus on some basic and sound methods that can be used to collect data on these variables for both assessment and monitoring.

We will carry on the field school in a lower portion of the Limpopo River that intersects a large Holocene dune system holding large quantities of shallow ground-water. We will make use of open source software as much as possible.

Biodiversity in the Tana delta, Kenya, March 2018 

This thematic school focuses on fisheries and biodiversity in the Tana delta, allowing participants to share in methodology for fish biodiversity assessments. Participants learnt methods of fish reference material curation at the National Museums of Kenya and participated in a field expedition in the Tana River Delta to appreciate the biodiversity in the rich ecosystems of the delta and interact with communities that rely directly on nature for livelihoods.

Livelihoods in the Rufiji delta, Tanzania, November 2017

This thematic school focus was on the various methodologies and tools to study livelihoods: analyzing the discourses versus observation of the practices, land-use analysis with remote-sensing, the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA) approach and on implementation of techniques such as: focus groups and individual interviews, participatory mapping and landscape transect. Examples were taken from a field study conducted in Kipo village, in the Rufiji floodplain.

Mangroves in the Betsiboka delta, Madagascar, April 2018

The focus is on mangroves and remote sensing.

Learn more about this school 


Migration in the Rufiji delta, Tanzania, May 2018 

The "Migration" field school will introduce participants to migration within the context of the sustainable livelihood framework, emphasising gender differences. In addition to contextual knowledge on the Rufiji delta, focus will be placed on developing and practising the qualitative research skills required to undertake grassroots-level gender-sensitive research