PhD defence

Relational rationality in land- and water use: Facing Mount Kenya in times of Change

PhD candidate MN (Margaret) Githinji
Promotor GJ (Gert Jan) Hofstede
External promotor dr. Erika Speelman
External copromotor prof.dr. Meine van Noordwijk &
prof.dr. Catherine Muthuri
Organisation Wageningen University, Information Technology Group

Mon 17 June 2024 13:30 to 15:00

Venue Omnia, building number 105
Hoge Steeg 2
6708 PH Wageningen
+31 (0) 317 - 484500
Room Auditorium


In my PhD research titled “Relational rationality in land- and water use: Facing Mount Kenya in times of change”, I explored the influence of social relations on farmer land- and water- use decisions. This was in view of supporting sustainable land and water use in the region which is faced with water scarcity, perceived water inequalities and persistent water related conflicts. I found that farmer decisions are not only driven by the economic viability of a decision but, they seek to align their decisions with opinions of important persons, group of persons or imagined entities like the spirits. Understanding rationality of farmer decisions is critical for policy makers or other stakeholders initiating strategies towards management of the scarce water commons. This understanding can be established by actively engagement of farmers though innovative approaches such as serious games.