Thesis subject

(Mis)matches between current agricultural impact investments and socioeconomic and ecological conditions of targeted area. A multiscalar analysis

The Environmental Systems Analysis Group provides the possibility for students to do their thesis in collaboration with our group. This is one of many possible thesis subjects. Please feel free to contact Dr le Clech' (right) for more information.

In the context of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the need to improve sustainability in agriculture increases. Impact investors have recently emerged as a new group of potent actors that position themselves to contribute towards achieving the SDGs. Impact investors aim to adapt their investment strategies to deliver financial results, while at the same time claiming to realize positive social and environmental outcomes.

At the country level, impact investments fall short of their social and environmental potential for impact (Ledermann et al., in prep). A better understanding of the mismatches depending on the spatial level of analysis and given the heterogeneity within countries, is necessary to robustly judge on the adequacy of the locations of impact investments and this way, to better assess the potential contribution of impact investments to reaching the SDGs. Information about these mismatches and about areas with high potential for impact investment could contribute to better target marginalized populations and hot spots of environmental degradation, thus increasing potential positive impacts of agricultural practices on the environment and society.

The aims of a MSc thesis related to this topic is an analysis of the (mis)match between actual locations of impact investment in agriculture and high impact potential locations. This study could lead to a map of suitability for future impact investments in agriculture.

This MSc thesis will be achieved in partnership with ETH Zurich (Switzerland; contact: Dr. Adrian Müller) and George Washington University (USA; contact: Dr. Samuel Ledermann)

Start time: t.b.d.

Special requirements: The candidate should be able to perform (basic) spatial analysis