Dr. Evance Evan Mwathunga

  • Role in Center:

    Advanced Researcher

  • Discipline:

    Human Geography and Urban Planning

  • University:

    University of Malawi

  • Country:


Biography: Dr. Evance Mwathunga is a Human Geographer and an Urban Planner in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College. He holds a PhD in Geography and Environmental Studies from Stellenbosch University, South Africa and a Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning from Heriot-Watt University (UK). He has diverse research interests ranging from urban and regional planning, development and environmental geographies. He is recurrently researching two projects: the transcalar politics of large scale urban developments in Africa; and pathways to sustainability in post-industrial cities of the global South. He has also researched water governance, including borehole functionality; rural-urban linkages and energy geographies. He is a Visiting Lecturer in the School of Architecture and Planning at Witwatersrand University (RSA) under the WITS-TUB Urban Lab Project and the Programme Coordinator for the MSc in water modelling and governance at the University of Malawi. Dr Evance Mwathunga serves as the Commissioner and the Chair of the policy and programmes subcommittee of the Malawi National Planning Commission. He also served as Chairperson of the Technical Sub-Committee of the Board of the Malawi Housing Corporation. He also worked as Head of Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College.

Selected Publications:

  • Whaley, L./Cleaver, F./Mwathunga, E. (forthcoming: 2021): Flesh and bones: Working with the grain to improve community management of water. In: World Development, Volume 138, 105-286.

  • Whaley, L./Mac Allister, D. J./Bonsor, H./Mwathunga, E./Banda, S./Katusiime, F./Tadesse, Y./Cleaver, F./MacDonald, A. (2019): Evidence, ideology, and the policy of community management in Africa. In Environmental Research Letters 14, 8, 11, 085013.

  • Lapworth, D.J./MacDonald, A.M./Kebede, S./Owor, M./Chavula, G./Fallas, H./Wilson, P./Ward, J.S.T./Lark, M./Okullo, J./Mwathunga, E./Banda, S./Gwengweya, G./Nedaw, D./Jumbo, S./Banks, E./Cook, P./Casey, V. (forthcoming: 2020): Drinking water quality from rural handpump boreholes in Africa. Environmental Research Letters.

  • Mwathunga, E./Donaldson, R. (2018): Urban land contestations, challenges and planning strategies in Malawi’s main urban centres. In Land Use Policy 77, 1-8.

  • Oates, N./Mwathunga, E. (2018): A political economy analysis of Malawi’s rural water supply sector. Overseas Development Institute 2018, 35.

  • Kalanda-Joshua, M. /Ngongondo, C./Mwathunga, E./Liwenga, E./Stathers, T. E./Chipungu, F./Lamboll, R./Majule, A./Ndau, S. (2015): Implications of climate change risks on rural-urban agricultural and food flows in Blantyre City, Malawi. Journal of Public Administration (JOPA): Green Economy and Local Government 50, 125-142.

  • Mwathunga, E. (2012): Informal settlements: a product of deficient formal land management policies? In Donaldson, R./Marais, L. (eds) Small Town Geographies in Africa: Experiences from South and elsewhere. Chapter 29, 433-449. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

  • Mwathunga, E. (2014): Contesting spaces in urban Malawi: a Lefebvrian analysis. PhD, Department of Geography & Environmental Studies, Stellenbosch University.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Urban and regional planning
  • Development Geography
  • Water Governance
  • Environmental Geography
  • Human Geography

Current Position(s):

  • Lecturer in Geography and Planning, Department of Geography & Earth Sciences, Chancellor College, University of Malawi, Malawi
  • Programme Coordinator, MSc in Water Resources and Modelling
  • Commissioner, Board of the Malawi National Planning Commission
  • Co-Investigator, Making Africa Urban (MAU) – ERC funded research

Past Position(s)

  • Head of Department, Geography and Earth Sciences
  • Deputy Head of Department, Geography and Earth Sciences

Prizes & Awards:

  • Research Grant, ERC H2020 Project – Making Africa Urban: transcalar politics of large scale urban developments in Africa
  • Research Grant, Pathways to sustainability in post-industrial cities of the global South – Royal Academy of Engineering, UK
  • Research Grant (ESRC/DFID), Social cash transfers, generational relations and youth poverty trajectories in rural Lesotho and Malawi (2015-2019)
  • Research Grant (ESRC/NERC), A hidden crisi: unravelling current failures for future success in rural groundwater supply (2015 – 2019),

Memberships & Networks: