Intensive field research training in Kenya

AEGIS member ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon, invites applications for an intensive two-week workshop in Kenya from 29 June – 10 July, focused on qualitative research methodologies applied to the afterlives of a Finnish-Kenyan water infrastructure project in Kakamega, western Kenya, known as Kefinco. Application deadline 30 April 2023.  


The methodology workshop in Western Kenya (29 June – 10 July) will include first a preparatory week in Nairobi, field training in Kakamega with researchers currently studying the afterlives of development interventions, and a one-day symposium at Moi University, Eldoret.

The main method guiding the workshop is ECRIS [‘Enquête collective rapide d’identification des conflits et des groupes stratégiques’ in French, or ‘Rapid collective investigation for the identification of conflicts and strategic interest groups’ in English.] This approach – developed by anthropologists Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan and Thomas Bierschenk – employs a number of collective-investigation and team-synthesizing research practices to examine diverse perspectives surrounding a policy or social issue.

The case study is a large-scale Finnish-Kenyan water infrastructure project called Kefinco, which ran for some 15 years during the Moi regime in the 1980s and 1990s. The study will explore the ways the project has altered over time through various collaborations with other projects and experiments with a range of community participation practices, and trace its different infrastructural, institutional and social legacies. It will also raise broader questions about appropriate approaches and methods for studying the complex long-term legacies and remains of development interventions in East Africa.

Participants will include junior and senior social scientists from a variety of academic disciplines (above all anthropology).

Application procedure

Applicants should submit their complete academic CV and a two-page letter of motivation, in which they refer to their ongoing research and to their academic career more broadly, and explain how they will benefit from participation. Applications should be sent by email to

Applications are open to early-career researchers (MA students, doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, early-stage lecturers) with demonstrable interest in the topic and qualitative methods.

Applicants’ research should be based in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and/or Mozambique) and related to development projects. Interest and/or experience in development’s long-term legacies, and in water projects, would be an added advantage.

Applications will be evaluated according to three criteria: research relevance, academic merit, and significance to the candidate’s career development.


Limited funding is available to support participants. This aims specifically at enhancing the participation of applicants from the global South, and is provided with the support of the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD, France). Funding will include domestic transport within Kenya, accommodation, and meals, as well as flights in the case of non-Kenyan participants.

Applications to be submitted by 30 April 2023. Decisions are expected by mid-May.

Requests for additional information by prospective candidates should be addressed to the organizers via

Further reading

Bierschenk, Thomas, and Jean-Pierre de Sardan, 1997. ‘ECRIS: Rapid Collective Inquiry for the Identification of Conflicts and Strategic Groups’, Human Organization, 56(2): 238-244
Vuori, Timo, 1986. ‘Water for a Million’, World Health (December): 22-24
Gez, Yonatan N, 2021. ‘The Afterlives of International Development Interventions: A Site[1]Specific Approach’, Journal of Development Studies, 57(9): 1511-1526