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Prof. Danny Simatele

Qualification: BAEd; MSc; PhD; DPhil.
Department: Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies

Research Interests

My research interests straddle human processes, the built-up environment and the physical environment. I am particularly interested in understanding how human and physical environmental processes interlink within different ecosystems and how the outcomes of these relationships influence policy outcomes. In pursuing my research, I have developed strong international links with a wide range of institutions in Africa and Europe. Much of my research focus has revolved within the following broad areas:

  • Climate change adaptation in urban areas of the developing South
  • Urban and peri-urban transformations
  • Rural and urban agriculture 
  • Environment and migration
  • Community-based development and institution building in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Sustainable development.

Before joining the University of the Witwatersrand, I worked for the following universities: University of St. Andrews in Scotland, University of Manchester - UK, University of Brighton - UK, University of Sussex -Uk, The Open University in the South at Oxford and the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.



  • GEOG 3023: Theory and Practice of Sustainability Science and Development
  • GEOG 2012: Environmental Governance: From the Local to the Global
  • GEOG4037: Environmental Policy and Practice
  • APES7017: Interdisciplinary Global Change Studies


Postgraduate Student Supervision (Current PhDs and MSc)

  • Clement Etambakonga: Solid waste: Resource or Jeopardy? A study of Kinshasa DRC.
  • Serge Kubanza: Urban Environmental Problems: A Study of Social and Environmental Injustice in Solid Waste Management in the City of Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Dianna Long: Reaching for Sustainability: Ecological Modernisation and Environmental Justice in South African Energy Policy and Practice
  • Prue Mutumi: For profit or the environment? An analysis of the relationship between the motor vehicle manufacturing industry and the Green Economy in South Africa
  • Coleman Dube: The Impact of Land Reform on Women’s Livelihoods in Ngoko-Mberengwa District in Zimbabwe.
  • Esther Sigauke: The Commodification Of Urban Space: A Study Of Wetland Conservation And Sustainability In Harare Metropolitan Province, Zimbabwe
  • Eromose Ebhuoma: Climate Change Risk Communication and Asset Protection in the Delta State of Nigeria: Perspectives on the Impacts of Extreme Weather Conditions on the Livelihoods of Small-scale Farmers.
  • Banze Nkulu Mulunda Frank: The Role of Environmental legislation in (promoting) Sustainable Mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo: A study of Katanga province
  • Regis Musavengane: Social capital and collaborative environmental governance in tribal communities in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa.
  • Simphiwe Chabalala: Towards a Sustainable Water Resource Monitoring Framework in Gauteng, South Africa
  • Bikwibili Tantoh Henry: Community-Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) in Sub- Saharan Africa: perspectives on potable water Supply in Northwest Cameroon
  • M’vita D M’bambi: Food Security In A Changing Climate: Exploring The Potential Of Permaculture As An Adaptive Strategy Against Climate Variability In Kinshasa, Democratic Republic Of Congo (DRC).
  • Josephine Omowunmi Orilogbon: From electronic waste to sustainable livelihoods of the urban poor in Nigeria: A study of Lagos.
  • Penelope Mkhondo: Pro-poor adaptation to climate variability and food and nutrition security in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Chanda Mwale: Exploring the implications of institutional fragmentation and the role of community participation in sustainable natural resource management in Zambia.A study of Lochinvar National Park
  • Laura Dotse: Exploring The Relationship Between Water Scarcity On Food And Nutritional Security In Rural Households In the Nqgeleni Location, Eastern Cape
  • Melisha Nagiah: Understanding the current functionality of the Kwa-Thema Extension 3 wetland in response to anthropogenic activities
  • Khumbelo Chisebe: Exploring potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on ground water contamination in the Karoo. Perspectives on institutional capabilities in water management in South Africa
  • Llody McFarlane: Feast or famine: Harvest yields, sustainable livelihoods and climate variability
  • Shonisani Felix: Evaluation of the effectiveness of Environmental Impact Assessment in promoting sustainable development in the energy sector of South Africa
  • Vennesa Pillay: Water Resource Management In South Africa:  Perspectives On Governance Frameworks In Sustainable Policy Development.
  • Olivia Letlalo: Transformation of high potential agriculture land by fragmented legislation in the Erkhulelani Municipality
  • Victoria de Silva Pereira: Perspective on ISO14001: 2004 as environmental performance tool of corporate firms: Study of Eskom Distribution, South Africa



A). Edited book

  • Simatele, D., (eds) (2013). Urban Development and Planning in Zambia: Challenges, Opportunities and Constraints. Zed Books. With Simatele, M.
  • (2016) “Pro-adaptation to climate change in Zambia”. In I. J., Knieling and Klindworth (eds), Climate Adaptation Governance Theory, Concepts and Praxis in Cities and Regions. Chapter 3; Pp 76 – 98. HafenCity University Press, Hamburg.

B). Peer – Reviewed Book chapters

  • (2012) “Asset Adaptation and Urban Food Security in a Changing Climate: A case study from Lusaka, Zambia”. In Moser. C; B. Frayne & G. Ziervogel (Eds), Climate Change, Assets and Food security in African Cities. Chapter 6; Pp 110 – 131, Earthscan.
  • (2010), “The Evolution and Dynamics of Urban Poverty in Zambia”. In T. Beasley (Ed), Poverty in Africa. Pp 177 -192, Nova Publications. (with M. Simatele). ISBN 978-1-60741-737-8

C). Articles in Refereed/Peer-reviewed Journals

  • (2015) Scavenging for solid waste in Kinshasa: A livelihood strategy for the urban poor in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Habitat International 29, Pp 266 – 274. [Impact factor: 1.946]
  • (2015) Social and environmental injustice in solid waste management in Sub-Saharan Africa: a study of Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Local Environment: International Journal of environment and justice. DOI:1080/13549839.2015.1038985. [H Index: 35]
  • (2015) Migration as an Adaptive Strategy to Climate Variability: A case study of the Tonga speaking people of Southern Zambia. Journal of Disasters 37 (5), Pp 8 – 22. [Impact factor: 0.724]
  • (2015), Climate variability and urban food security in sub-Saharan Africa: lessons from Zambia using an asset-based adaptation framework. South African Geographic Journal, 97 (3), Pp 243 - 263. [Impact factor: 0.65].
  • (2012), “Is climate change the new driver of poverty in sub-Saharan Africa? An exploration of gender dimensions of extreme weather conditions on the urban poor in Zambia”. Journal of International Development 24 (2), Pp 89 - 98. [Impact factor: 0.622].
  • (2012), “A Rocky Road to Recovery: exploring the role of NGOs in fostering sustainable development in post- election (2007) crisis in Kenya”. Development and Change 43 (5), Pp. 21 - 39. [Impact factor: 1.561].
  • (2012), “Holistic assessment of food security and diverse positive outcomes of Urban Agriculture initiatives in Chicago”. Journal of Human Ecology 39 (1) Pp.67 – 72. (With Lucy Arndt and Ioan Fazey). [Impact factor: 1.215].
  • (2012), “Urban livelihoods under a changing climate: perspectives on urban agriculture and Planning in Lusaka, Zambia”. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 13 (2), Pp 269-293. (with Tony Binns & Munacinga Simatele). [Impact factor: 0.855].
  • (2012) “Sustaining livelihoods in a changing climate: a case of urban agriculture in Lusaka, Zambia”. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 55 (9), Pp. 32 -51. (With T. Binns). DOI:1080/09640568.2011.637688. [Impact factor: 1.096].
  • (2011), “From Structural Adjustment fatigue to climate change adaptation in sub-Saharan African Cities. Lessons from Zambian”. AdaptNet Digest, 38 (2), Pp. 102 – 112. [Impact factor: 0?].
  • (2010) “Vulnerability and resilience of the urban poor to climate change in Lusaka: from an asset-based adaptation perspective”. Zambia Development Bulletin 2, pp 3 -10. [Impact factor: 0?].
  • (2010), “Muzoka Ulya Kwendende: Climate Change and Migration in Southern Province of Zambia”. Environment, Forced Migration and Social Vulnerability Publisher: Springer | ISBN: 3642124151 | edition 2009 |.
  • (2009) “Kwacha Ngwee: A Snapshot at Zambia’s Migration Patterns”. Journal of Urban Policy and Research 4 (1), Pp. 56 - 76 (with M. Simatele) [Impact factor: 1.033]
  • (2008) “Motivation and Marginalization in African Urban Agriculture: the case of Lusaka, Zambia”. Urban Forum 19 (1) pp. 1 – 23 (with T. Binns) [Impact factor: 678]

C). Forth Coming Publications

  1. Edited Book
  2. Institutions and Development in Zambia. [Book proposal accepted by Noval publications & Manuscript under development]
  3. Articles in Refereed/Peer-reviewed Journals (Accepted for publication)
  • Community-based water resource management in Northwest Cameroon: the role of potable water supply in community development. World Development. [Impact factor: 1.965].
  • Community-based natural resource management: social capital and collaborative environmental management in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Development Southern Africa. [Impact factor: 0.557].
  • Is Corporate Social Responsibility in Mining Communities a myth or reality? A study of the eMalahleni Municipality - South Africa. Journal of Corporate Citizen. [Impact factor: 3.321].
  • Community participation as a land-use option for ecotourism in KwaZulu Natal’s tribal areas – South Africa. Journal of Contemporary African Studies. [Impact factor:0.549]
  • When the poor don’t matter: environmental justice and solid waste management in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. [Impact factor: 1.367]
  • Sustainable solid waste management in sub-Saharan African cities: application of system thinking and systematic dynamic as methodological imperatives in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Habitat International. [Impact factor: 946]
  • Pro-poor adaptation to climate change in urban Zambia. Environment and Urbanisation. [Impact factor: 1.324].
  • (2015) Resettlement of Spontaneous Residents of Resettlement of Spontaneous Residents of Kliptown in the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality-South Africa”. Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS). University of Wits.


D)  Refereed/Peer-Reviewed Conference Proceedings

  • (2015) “Food Security in a Changing Climate in African Cities”.  (Forth coming event). This article will appear in the proceedings of the 2nd Africa Food Security and Adaptation conference (AFSAC2)".  30th -31st July, 2015, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • (2014) “Rethinking urban food production in sub-Saharan African cities: Lessons from South Africa”. Proceedings of the 1st IDRC, CRDI and NORADs on “Climate change and climate smart agriculture: Positioning policies, institutional frameworks and research in Africa. 23-24th April, 2014, Pretoria, South Africa.
  • (2014) “Climate change adaptation and Food Security in African Sub- Saharan African CitiesLessons from Mombasa - Kenya and Lusaka- Zambia. Proceedings of “The 40th Symposium on Agro-ecology for Food Security and Nutrition”, FAO. 18th – 20th September, Rome, Italy.
  • (2014) “Environmental migration in Sub-Saharan Africa: a myth or reality?” Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on International Migration and Human Security (ICIMHS). July 30 - 31, 2014, Zurich, Switzerland.
  • (2013), “vulnerability of food security for urban poor households to extreme weather conditions in Lusaka, Zambia: a search for adaptive strategies from an asset-based adaptation framework”. Proceedings of START, ICSU, IIED and CCAFS on Climate change and food security in Africa. 20th -22nd March 2013 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • (2013) “Is climate change the new driver of poverty in Africa? Exploring the gender dimensions of climate variability in Kenya and Zambia”. Proceedings of CGIAR’s 6th conference on Africa Agriculture Science Week: Empowering Women and the Youth for Agricultural Innovation. 15th – 19th July, 2015, Accra, Ghana.
  • (2012), “Waiving our future”. Proceedings of the 12th Fifi Sustainability Association. 3rd – 5th October, 2012, Edinburg, Scotland.
  • (2011), “Urban and peri-urban transformations: climate change, livelihood diversification and urban poor in Lusaka, Zambia” Proceeding of the British Council DelPHE Programme. 26th -28th January, 2011. Freetown, Sierra Leone.
  • (2011) “Urban Food Security and Asset Adaptation in a Changing Climate in Sub-Saharan African cities: The case of Lusaka, Zambia”. Proceedings of the African Studies Association. 23rd – 26th September, 2011, St. Anthony’s College, Oxford Oxford, UK.
  • (2011), “Climate change and ecosystems services in sub-Saharan African cities: implications for conservation efforts”. Proceedings of the World Wide Fund (WWF). 17th – 20th March, 2011. Lusaka, Zambia.
  • (2010), “Asset adaptation and urban food security in a changing climate: a case study from Lusaka, Zambia”. Proceeding of the Global Urban Research Centre, the African Centre for Cities and the African Food Urban Network. 3rd-5th February, 2010. Cape Town South Africa.
  • (2010) “Urban livelihoods under a changing climate: perspectives on urban agriculture and planning in Lusaka, Zambia”. Proceedings of the the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers. 27th - 29th August, 2009. Manchester, UK.
  • (2010), “Muzoka ulya Kwendeenda: climate change and migration in Southern Province of Zambia”. Proceedings of the International Conference on Environment, Forced Migration and Social Vulnerability. 9th -11th October, 2008. United Nations University, Bonn.

E). Other Output

        1). Publication of Official Reports

  • (2015) An Evaluation of the Programmatic Outcomes of The Netherlands Tear Fund/African Cooperation Action Trust (ACAT) Integrated Livelihood’s Program On Food and Nutrition Security in Kwa-Zulu Natal Province, South Africa. A Report submitted to Tear-fund, The Netherlands.
  • (2014), The Food Security and Agricultural Livelihoods Programme (FSALP). A Report to Wesbank.
  • (2010), “Climate Change and Asset Adaptation in an Urban Context: A Background Review of Selected Climate Change Communities and Community-Focused Approaches and Methodologies”. Ford Foundation and Global Urban Research Centre, University of Manchester.
  • (2010), “Climate Change Issues and Research Institutions in Selected East and Southern African Cities”. Ford Foundation and Global Urban Research Centre, University of Manchester.
  • (2005), “Urban agriculture and Food security in sub-Saharan African Cities: A case study of Lusaka, Zambia”. A report submitted to Agropolis and the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada.
  • (2003), “Linkages between HIV/AIDS, Agricultural Production and Food Security in Southern Province of Zambia”. Report submitted to the Integrated Support to Sustainable Development and Food Security Programme (IP), Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) (with FASAZ).
  • Working Papers
  • (2015) Food Security Working Paper 1: A systemic review of food security in the Gauteng City Region. Gauteng City Region Observatory (GCRO) Food Systems Review Paper.
  • (2012) Implementing Urban Participatory Climate Change Adaptation Appraisals: A Methodological Guideline. Global Urban Research Centre (GURC), working Paper Series, No. 5. University of Manchester. Available on:   
  • (2010) Pro-poor Adaptation to Climate Change in Urban Areas: A Case Study of Lusaka, Zambia. Global Urban Research Centre (GURC), working Paper Series, No. 6. University of Manchester. Available on:
  • (2009), Climate Change Adaptation and Assets: A Background Review of Current Community-Focused Conceptual and Methodological Approaches. Global Urban Research Centre (GURC), working Paper Series, No. 2. University of Manchester. Available on:
  • (2004), Social and Spatial marginality: perspectives on migration, urbanization and structural reforms in Zambia. Kulturgeografi working paper No. 2002/2003:2. University of Goteborg. Available on: