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I am an
associate professor in development management and governance at ISS. Pressing societal issues in which multi-stakeholder and multi-level governance perspectives are needed, are at the heart of what I do. Currently, I am researching the issue of adaptation to heatwaves from a governance perspective. Heatwaves are becoming more frequent and intense, silently killing thousands of vulnerable people around the world every year. I strongly believe that adaptation to the effects of heatwaves requires collective action at various governance levels. I am also participating in research initiatives on the governance of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and humanitarian and social accountability.
Over the past 20 years, I have built up research and policy expertise in the areas of:
local governance and decentralisation natural resource management (particularly water and mining) public sector reform
in the Global South, and the
Middle East and North Africa region in particular.
The red thread through all my work are
citizen-state relations and how they are embedded in the ‘politics of development’. This notion refers to how different types of (local, national, global) authorities and ordinary citizens negotiate over access to services, information, and social justice, often mediated by consultants or other brokers. I am particularly interested in how local actors translate and appropriate – and sometimes resist- global policy models and tools.
In my research, I am also able to draw on my substantial teaching and thesis supervision experience at BA, MA, and PhD levels in the areas of political science, governance, and public policy & management (including evaluation). This experience allows me to approach the pressing issues of our time from an interdisciplinary perspective and using a range of research methods. Listening to the research needs of actors on the ground, and engaging my extensive networks to disseminate the results and try to influence policy at various governance levels is central in my research. I find it important that my research improves people’s lives.
Are you interested in doing research on these topics with me? I am available to supervise PhD candidates and keen on setting up international research collaborations. Please get in touch at email@example.com.
Publications (92) Article (26) Academic (25) Kumba Digdowiseiso, Syed M. Murshed & Sylvia I. Bergh (2022) - How Effective Is Fiscal Decentralization for Inequality Reduction in Developing Countries? - Sustainability (Switzerland), 14 (1) - doi: 10.3390/su14010505 - [link] Leonardo Zea-Reyes, Veronica Olivotto & Sylvia I. Bergh (2021) - Understanding institutional barriers in the climate change adaptation planning process of the city of Beirut: vicious cycles and opportunities - Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 26 (6) - doi: 10.1007/s11027-021-09961-6 - [link] Laura Ballerini & Sylvia I. Bergh (2021) - Using citizen science data to monitor the Sustainable Development Goals: a bottom-up analysis - Sustainability Science, 16 (6), 1945-1962 - doi: 10.1007/s11625-021-01001-1 - [link] C Iguma Wakenge, M-R Bashwira Nyenyezi, Sylvia Bergh & J Cuvelier (2021) - From ‘conflict minerals’ to peace? Reviewing mining reforms, gender, and state performance in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo - The Extractive Industries and Society: an International Journal (print), 8 (2) - doi: 10.1016/j.exis.2021.100894 Alireza Naficy, Sylvia Bergh, S H Akhavan Alavi, A Maleki & M Mirehei (2021) - Understanding the Role of Outsiders in Community-Based Development Interventions: A Framework with Findings from Iran. - Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations - doi: 10.1007/s11266-021-00339-5 B Montanari & Sylvia Bergh (2019) - Why women's traditional knowledge matters in the production processes of natural product development: The case of the Green Morocco Plan - Women's Studies International Forum, 77 - doi: 10.1016/j.wsif.2019.102275 - [link] B Montanari & Sylvia Bergh (2019) - A gendered analysis of the income generating activities under the Green Morocco Plan: Who profits? - Human Ecology, 47 (3), 409-417 - doi: 10.1007/s10745-019-00086-8 - [link] B Montanari & Sylvia Bergh (2019) - Une analyse genrée des activités génératrices de revenus (AGR) dans le cadre du Plan Maroc vert : à qui profite-t-il ? - Maghreb - Machrek, 4 (242), 49-66 - [link] Karin Willemse & Sylvia Bergh (2016) - Struggles over access to the Muslim public sphere: Multiple publics and discourses on agency, belonging and citizenship (Introduction to the Themed Section) - Contemporary Islam, 10 (3), 297-309 - doi: 10.1007/s11562-016-0367-1 - [link] Sylvia Bergh (2016) - Developing a policy proposal to promote diversity for equality and inclusion at ISS – a view from the diversity taskforce - DevISSues, 18 (1), 4-6 - [link] Sylvia Bergh & Daniele Rossi Doria (2015) - Plus ça Change? Observing the Dynamics of Morocco's ‘Arab Spring’ in the High Atlas - Mediterranean Politics, 20 (2), 198-216 - doi: 10.1080/13629395.2015.1033900 - [link] B Montanari & Sylvia Bergh (2014) - The challenges of ‘participatory’ development in a semi-authoritarian context: the case of an essential oil distillation project in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco - Journal of North African Studies (print), 19 (5), 828-851 - doi: 10.1080/13629387.2013.878247 - [link] Sylvia Bergh (2012) - `Inclusive¿ Neoliberalism, Local Governance Reforms and the Redeployment of State Power: The Case of the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH) in Morocco - Mediterranean Politics, 17 (3), 410-426 - doi: 10.1080/13629395.2012.725304 - [link] Sylvia Bergh (2012) - Introduction: Researching the effects of neoliberal reforms on local governance in the Southern Mediterranean - Mediterranean Politics, 17 (3), 303-321 - doi: 10.1080/13629395.2012.725299 - [link] Sylvia Bergh & R y Namara (2011) - Partnerships as entities, agreements, and venues to interact: The case of the Uganda AIDS Commission and the Uganda HIV/AIDS Partnership - Ugandan Journal of Management and Public Policy Studies, 2 (1), 37-56 - [link] Sylvia Bergh (2010) - Decentralisation and Local Governance in the MENA Region - Med. Mediterranean Yearbook, 2010 (Januari), 253-258 - [link] Sylvia Bergh (2010) - Assessing the Scope for Partnerships Between Local Governments and Community-Based Organizations: Findings from Rural Morocco - International Journal of Public Administration, 33 (12-13), 740-751 - doi: 10.1080/01900692.2010.513358 - [link] Sylvia Bergh & M Jari (2010) - Introduction to the Special Journal Issue: Spaces for Change? Decentralization, Participation and Local Governance in the Middle East/North Africa Region - Journal of Economic and Social Research, 12 (1), 1-7 - [link] Sylvia Bergh (2010) - Assessing Local Governance Innovations in Morocco in Light of the Participatory Budgeting Experience in Brazil: The Case of ¿Civil Society¿ Federations (Espaces Associatifs) in Al Haouz Province - Journal of Economic and Social Research, 12 (1), 113-138 - [link] Sylvia Bergh (2009) - Traditional village councils, modern associations, and the emergence of hybrid political orders in rural Morocco - Peace Review, 21 (1), 45-53 - doi: 10.1080/10402650802690060 - [link] Sylvia Bergh (2009) - Constraints to strengthening public sector accountability through civil society: the case of Morocco - International Journal of Public Policy, 4 (3/4), 344-365 - [link] Sylvia Bergh (2007) - The Western Sahara Conflict: Fresh Perspectives (review essay) - International Peacekeeping, 14 (5), 662-669 - doi: 10.1080/13533310701780290 - [link] S Pellissery & Sylvia Bergh (2007) - Adapting the Capability Approach to Explain the Effects of Participatory Development Programs: Case Studies from India and Morocco - Journal of Human Development, 8 (2), 283-302 - doi: 10.1080/14649880701371174 - [link] Sylvia Bergh (2006) - Les rapports entre la dégradation des ressources naturelles et l'exode rural: le cas du Maroc [French summary of conference paper in English] - Revue Marocaine d'Etudes Internationales, 14, 129-132 Sylvia Bergh (2004) - Democratic decentralisation and local participation - A review of some recent research - Development in Practice, 14 (6), 780-790 - doi: 10.1080/0961452042000284012 - [link] Book/Film/Article review (16) Sylvia Bergh (2020) - Local Politics in Jordan and Morocco: Strategies of Centralization and Decentralization - International Journal of Middle East Studies, 52, 590-592 - doi: 10.1017/S0020743820000446 Sylvia Bergh (2015) - Book review of "Wellbeing, Justice and Development Ethics" by S. Deneulin - European Journal of Development Research, 27, 627-629 - doi: 10.1057/ejdr.2015.19 - [link] Sylvia Bergh (2013) - Empowered Participation or Political Manipulation? State, Civil Society and Social Funds in Egypt and Bolivia by Rabab El-Mahdi - Development in Practice, 23, 152-153 - doi: 10.1080/09614524.2013.753032 Sylvia Bergh (2011) - Anne-Meike Fechter and Heather Hindman (eds): Inside the Everyday Lives of Development Workers. The Challenges and Futures of Aidland - Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 23, 532-534 - doi: 10.1007/s11266-011-9224-2 Sylvia Bergh (2011) - Sue Kenny and Matthew Clarke (eds.) (2010): Challenging Capacity Building: Comparative Perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan. - Development in Practice, 21, 445-446 Sylvia Bergh (2010) - Sadhvi Dar and Bill Cooke (eds), The New Development Management: Critiquing the Dual Modernization - Development and Change, 41, 179-180 - [link] Sylvia Bergh (2010) - Roland Brake and Ulrich Deller (eds): Community Development - A European Challenge - Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 21, 631-632 - doi: 10.1007/s11266-010-9150-8 - [link] Sylvia Bergh (2010) - Jenny Pearce (ed.): Participation and Democracy in the Twenty-First Century City - Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 22, 550-551 - doi: 10.1007/s11266-010-9168-y - [link] Sylvia Bergh (2010) - Book review of ''Cairo Contested: Governance, Urban Space, and Global Modernity'' ed. by Singerman, D. - Review of Middle East Studies, 44, 258-259 Sylvia Bergh (2009) - Duncan Green, From Poverty to Power: How Active Citizens and Effective States can Change the World - Development and Change, 40, 806-807 - doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7660.2009.01580.x - [link] Sylvia Bergh (2009) - Andrea Liverani, Civil Society in Algeria: The Political Functions of Associational Life - Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 20, 316-317 - doi: 10.1007/s11266-009-9092-1 - [link] Sylvia Bergh (2008) - Book Review of Africa and Development Challenges in the New Millennium: The NEPAD Debate (By J.O. Adesina Y. Graham, and A. Olukoshi (eds.) (2006). London and New York: Zed Books, Pretoria: UNISA Press, in association with CODESRIA, Dakar) - Journal of International Development, 20, 403-404 - doi: 10.1002/jid.1457 - [link] Sylvia Bergh (2008) - Book Review of "Political Life in Cairo's New Quarters: Encountering the Everyday State" by S. Ismail - Anthropology Review Database - [link] Sylvia Bergh (2007) - Book Review of "The Management of Non-Governmental Development Organizations" by D. Lewis - Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 18, 308-309 Sylvia Bergh (2004) - Book Review of "Managing and Measuring Social Enterprises" by R. Paton (ed.) - Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 15, 213-214 Sylvia Bergh (2004) - Book Review of "A Man of Three Worlds: Samuel Pallache, a Moroccan Jew in Catholic and Protestant Europe" (B M. Garc Arenal and G. Wiegers eds., Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003) - Canadian Journal of History, 39, 118-120 Chapter (11) Sylvia Bergh (2021) - Thinking and Working Politically? The role of external actors in decentralization reforms in Morocco and Tunisia - In Thomas Demmelhuber & Roland Sturm, Decentralization in the Middle East and North Africa: Informal Politics, Subnational Governance, and the Periphery (pp. 151) - doi: 10.5771/9783748920731-151 - Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft Sylvia Bergh (2021) - Chapter 26: Democratic decentralization and local development: insights from Morocco’s advanced regionalization process - In G. Crawford & A.-G. Abdulai, Research Handbook on Democracy and Development (pp. 482-501) - doi: 10.4337/9781788112659.00039 - Edward Elgar Publishing Sylvia Bergh (2019) - Social accountability, citizenship, and social protection in the MENA region: Exploring the linkages - In R. Jawad, N. Jones & M. Messkoub, Social policy in the Middle East and North Africa: The New Social Protection Paradigm and Universal Coverage (pp. 220-242) - [link] - Edward Elgar Publishing Sylvia Bergh & S Ahmadou (2018) - Claiming spaces for acts of citizenship: recent experiences of activists in Morocco - In N.A. Butenschøn & R. Meijer, The Middle East in Transition: The Centrality of Citizenship (pp. 91-114) - doi: 10.4337/9781788111133 - [link] - Edward Elgar Publishing Kees Biekart & Sylvia Bergh (2016) - Can consultants be civic innovators? Exploring their roles as auditors and allies - In K. Biekart, W. Harcourt & P. Knorringa, Exploring Civic Innovation for Social and Economic Transformation (pp. 67-86) - Routledge Thanh Dam Truong, Des Gasper, Jeff Handmaker & Sylvia Bergh (2014) - Migration, Gender, Social Justice: Perspectives on Human Insecurity - In T-D. Truong, D. Gasper, J. Handmaker & S. Bergh, Migration, gender and social justice: perspectives on human insecurity (pp. 3-26) - doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-28012-2 - Springer A Tandian & Sylvia Bergh (2014) - From temporary work in agriculture to irregular status in domestic service: the transition and experiences of Senegalese migrant women in Spain - In T-D. Truong, D. Gasper, J. Handmaker & S. Bergh, Migration, gender and social justice: perspectives on human insecurity (pp. 47-68) - Springer Sylvia Bergh & A Tandian (2013) - From Temporary Work in Agriculture to Irregular Status in Domestic Service: The Transition and Experiences of Senegalese Migrant Women in Spain - In T Truong, D. Gasper, J. Handmaker & S. Bergh, Migration, Gender and Social Justice: Perspectives on Human Security (pp. 47-67) - Springer Sylvia Bergh (2012) - Governance Reforms in Morocco - Beyond Electoral Authoritarianism? - In A. Kadhim, Governance in the Middle East and North Africa: A Handbook - Routledge Sylvia Bergh (2010) - Morocco case study - In A. van de Pas, S. Rottenberg & K. Hassan, Beyond Orthodox Approaches: Assessing Opportunities for Democracy Support in the Middle East and North Africa (pp. 17-27) - [link] - NIMD / Hivos Sylvia Bergh (2008) - Middle East and North Africa Region: Case Study Morocco - In Globalisation and economic success: policy lessons for developing countries (pp. 356-392) - The Brenthurst Foundation, E. Oppenheimer & Son Conference contribution (19) Sylvia Bergh (2009) - The 2009 Municipal Elections in Morocco: Some observations on the interplay between formal and informal institutions in a rural area - Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting 2009 Sylvia Bergh (2009) - Participation and decentralisation in the World Bank¿s `Good Governance¿ Agenda ¿ some unintended consequences for local governance in Morocco - 5th (Post-) Doctoral Workshop on the World Bank Sylvia Bergh (2009) - Local Co-Governance Innovations in Morocco and Brazil - some Insights from a Comparative Analysis - Presented at the workshop entitled ‘Spaces for Change? Decentralization, participation, and local governance in MENA’, held at the Tenth Mediterranean Research Meeting Sylvia Bergh (2008) - The emergence of hybrid political orders as a result of government and donor policies – The case of ''civil'' and ''political'' societies in rural Morocco - Global Conference of the International Peace Research Organization (IPRA) Sylvia Bergh (2008) - Policy Incoherence in the 'Good Governance' Agenda: the Case of Decentralisation and Community-based Development in Morocco - 12th EADI General Conference on ''Global Governance for Sustainable Development: The need for Policy Coherence and new Partnerships" Sylvia Bergh (2008) - What are the conditions for Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) at the local level in rural Morocco? (Paper presented at the International Conference on Decentralization, Local Power and Womens Rights: Global trends in participation, representation and access to public services, organized by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Mexico City, 18-21 November 2008) Sylvia Bergh (2008) - Assessing the scope for partnerships between local governments and civil society: lessons from Morocco (Paper presented at the European Group of Public Administration (EGPA) Annual Conference on Innovation in the Public Sector, as part of the panel organized by the EGPA Study Group on Local Governance and Democracy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, September 3-6 2008; Paper available at: http://www.eur.nl/fileadmin/ASSETS/fsw/Tufan/EGPA2008/Papers/PSG4/Bergh.pdf) Sylvia Bergh (2008) - Decentralisation reforms and participatory approaches to rural development: Implications for local governance in Morocco' (Paper presented at the School of Economics, University of Nottingham, Development Economics Seminar, 21 May 2008) Sylvia Bergh (2008) - Can there be a developmental state in Morocco? Finding the right balance between autonomy and embeddedness (Paper presented at the 58th Political Studies Association Annual Conference on Democracy, Governance and Conflict: Dilemmas of Theory and Practice, Swansea University, UK, 1 - 3 April 2008; Paper available at: http://www.psa.ac.uk/2008/pps/Bergh.pdf) - [link] - 58th Political Studies Association Annual Conference on Democracy, Governance and Conflict: Dilemmas of Theory and Practice Sylvia Bergh (2008) - Decentralisation reforms and participatory approaches to rural development: Implications for local governance in Morocco (Paper presented at ISS Development Research Seminar, 27 February 2008) Sylvia Bergh (2008) - Invited to contribute a session entitled 'Decentralisation et approches participatives au Maroc: quelles implications pour la gouvernance locale?' to the course 88/06 'Decentralisation rurale et gouvernance locale', organised by Wageningen International and The Royal Tropical Institute, Wageningen (NL), 12 September 2008) Sylvia Bergh (2007) - Public administration capacity to implement 'participatory' development policy: Evidence from Morocco (Paper presented at the conference on "European Conference on African Studies: African Alternatives: Initiative and Creativity beyond Current Constraints organised by Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies (AEGIS) African Studies Centre Leiden on 11 - 14 July 2007) Sylvia Bergh (2007) - Overcoming Tensions in Local Development: the Scope for Synergies between Decentralization and Participatory Approaches in the Case of Morocco (Paper presented at the conference on "Development Dialogue 2007: Development and its Discontents" organised by Institute of Social Studies The Hague on 4 July 2007) Sylvia Bergh (2007) - Assessing the potential for synergies between decentralization and participatory development projects: the case of Morocco (Paper presented at the conference on "Making Institutions Work for the Poor? Annual Conference of the Norwegian Association for Development Research" organised by Chr. Michelsen Institute and Norwegian Association for Development Research (NFU) Bergen, Norway on 5-7 November 2007) Sylvia Bergh (2006) - Morocco Case Study (Paper on the Moroccan economy and implications for Africa) - Conference "Globalisation and Economic Success: Policy Options for Africa" (invited and sponsored by the Brenthurst Foundation, South Africa) Sylvia Bergh (2006) - Theory-Based Evaluation of Institutional Sustainability in “Participatory” Development Projects – A Case Study from Morocco - Paper presented at the EASY-ECO Conference on ''Improving the Quality of Sustainable Development Projects'' Sylvia Bergh & S Pellissery (2006) - Participation discourse as the bridge between individual freedom and group rights: Comparative experiences from development projects in India and North Africa - Paper presented at the 2006 International Conference of the Human Development and Capability Association Sylvia Bergh (2006) - Conceptual Issues in Capacity Building: A Case Study on Local Government and Village Associations in Morocco - Paper presented at the 4th Development Dialogue at the Institute of Social Studies on "Capacity Building in Practice: Does It Really Matter for Development?'' Sylvia Bergh (2005) - Water Governance, Participation, and Poverty: A Critique with Reference to Irrigation Projects and Water User Associations in Morocco - Paper presented at the International Workshop on Water Poverty and Social Crisis: Perspectives for Research and Action (organized by IRD, Montpellier, France) Digital or Visual Products (1) Media (3) Public engagement activities (2) Sylvia Bergh (1 January 2018) - The redeployment of state power in the Southern Mediterranean: Implications for local governance - Interview on the topic of the invited lecture as part of the Aula Mediterrània Lecture Series 2017-2018 Sylvia Bergh (1 January 2011) - Interview on the Arab Spring (‘Arabische opstand’) - Interview on the Arab Spring (‘Arabische opstand’) Activities (17) Editorial work (4) Sylvia Bergh (2016) - Mediterranean Politics (Journal) Sylvia Bergh (2016) - European Journal of Development Research (Journal) Sylvia Bergh (2015) - SpringerPlus (Journal) Sylvia Bergh (2015) - Cogent Social Sciences (Journal) Oral presentation (11) Sylvia Bergh (2018) - The Redeployement of State Power in the Southern Mediterranean - Implications for Local Governance - Aula Mediterrània 2017-2018 - Series of lectures held at the European Institue of the Mediterranean (IEMed) Sylvia Bergh (2015) - Decentralisation and regional inequalities – evidence from The Netherlands and Morocco - Seminar 'Quelle réforme de la gouvernance publique pour un développement local et regional meilleur?’ Sylvia Bergh & Kees Biekart (2015) - Can (Evaluation) Consultants be Civic Innovators? Exploring the Shift from Auditors to Allies - Conference on Monitoring and Evaluation for Responsible Innovation, at Wageningen University Sylvia Bergh & Daniele Rossi Doria (2014) - Plus ça change? Observing the Dynamics of Morocco’s ‘Arab Spring’ in the High Atlas - 14th General Conference of the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) Sylvia Bergh & Daniele Rossi Doria (2014) - Plus ça change? Observing the Dynamics of Morocco’s ‘Arab Spring’ in the High Atlas - International conference on ‘Bringing People Back In Politics: the Role of Civil Society, Organizations and Political Parties in a Post-‘Arab Spring’ Context' Sylvia Bergh (2014) - Research and Policy Influence: Challenges and Opportunities for Social Policy - Workshop on ‘Strengthening Research Capacities and Networks for Social Policy in the Middle East and North African (MENA) Region' Sylvia Bergh (2013) - Decentralisation and local governance in the Euromed region - Meeting of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM – launched by the EU’s Committee of the Regions) Sylvia Bergh (2013) - Final discussant’s comments - Workshop on 'Dispossession and Collective Action: Neoliberal (Re)Structurings of the Rural in Egypt, Morocco and Turkey' Sylvia Bergh (2013) - Social movements in Morocco and the 2011 Constitution: Assessing the Linkages - 4th conference of the GDRI-DREEM on ‘Evaluation of Economic Policies and Institutional Changes in Mediterranean Countries' Sylvia Bergh (2011) - The National Human Development Initiative in Morocco: Some implications for local governance - Middle East Studies Association Annual Meeting Sylvia Bergh (2011) - Undermining the potential for representative democracy in the name of “participatory democracy”? The case of the National Initiative for Human Development and regime stability in Morocco - Twelfth Mediterranean Research Meeting Publication Peer-review (2) Sylvia Bergh & Karin Willemse (2016) - Contemporary Islam (Journal) Sylvia Bergh (2012) - Mediterranean Politics (Journal) Ancillary activities (1) The Hague Unviersity of Applied Sciences HHS Start date approval September 2020 End date approval September 2023 Place THE HAGUE Description employment next to my part-time EUR appointment Teaching (7) Year 2021 Course Code ISS-3105-21-22 Year 2021 Course Code ISS-4392-21-22 Year 2021 Course Code ISS-5401-21-22 Year 2021 Course Code ISSGENERAL-21-22 Year 2021 Course Code ISS-BOE-21-22 Year 2021 Course Code ISS-GDP-21-22 Year 2021 Course Code ISS-MI-8102 Other positions (1) Senior researcher, Centre of Expertise on Global Governance Start date approval September 2020