Dr Sally CawoodLecturer in Economic Geography
My research and teaching sits at the intersection of human geography, urban studies, critical development studies, political ecology and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) engineering. Over the past 10 years, I've worked on interdisciplinary research projects on water and sanitation (infrastructure, services and governance), urban marginality and climate change, gender, participation and collective action (among residents of low-income, informal settlements), and on hazardous labour practices, including manual scavenging.
I am currently PI on an ESRC project (2022-25) focusing on the historical (colonial) legacies and contemporary realities of those involved in manually handling human waste in drains, pit latrines, septic tanks and sewers in Bangladesh and India. Before this, I was PI of a GCRF-QR project (2019-21) on gender, caste and urban sanitation in India and Bangladesh at the University of Sheffield.
During and shortly after my PhD, I was also a Research Associate/Fellow in four interdisciplinary projects:
- BMGF Funded 'Climate and Costs in Urban Sanitation Project' (OPP1153400), University of Leeds
- British Academy-Funded 'Safeguarding the "Last 100 Metres" in Dhaka, Bangladesh and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania' (GF160004), University of Manchester (TUOM).
- ESPA-Funded EcoPoor Project - ‘Institutions for the Urban Poor’s Access to Ecosystem Services: A Comparison of Green and Blue Structures in Bangladesh and Tanzania’ (NE-L001616-1), TUOM.
- ESRC-DFID Funded ClimUrb Project - 'Climate Change and Urban Poverty in Bangladesh' (RES-167-25-0510), TUOM.
I am a joint coordinator of the UK-wide Sanitation Community of Practice (SanCoP) network. I also sit on a global advisory board on sanitation work, convened by the Initiative for Sanitation Workers, including the ILO, WHO and WaterAid. Linked to this, in 2021 colleagues (in India, the UK and US) and I organised a free, online, open-access 'Sanitation Workers Forum' bringing together 60 speakers and 350 participants from 38 countries. All videos can be found here.
PhD Supervision Interests
I am interested to receive enquiries from prospective PhD students interested in/working on the following broad areas: (1) Urban water and sanitation governance, infrastructure and services (focusing especially on intersections of gender, class, race) (2) Colonial infrastructural legacies (especially around sanitation and sanitation labour) (3) Hazardous and exploitative labour practices (including, for example, tea gardens, brick kilns, rice mills, construction)
Hazardous Sanitation Labour: Connecting the Past, Present and Future of Manual Scavenging in Bangladesh
01/12/2022 → 31/05/2025
- Political Ecology