Eleven cases in our library were developed in collaboration with international planning practitioners and action researchers. Three were developed by our project staff based on their work in disaster risk reduction, informal settlements and nutrition planning. One case, on the US-Mexico Border, was developed by our team using materials available from secondary sources. You can read about some of our case contributors below.*


Charisma Acey (Nigeria Case)

CharismaAcey_photoCharisma Acey is an Assistant Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on poverty reduction and urban governance, with an emphasis on inequities in basic services delivery and access to water in the context of local sustainability. Her recent and ongoing research includes fieldwork in Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda exploring the human right to water, gender and participatory governance.

Jahi Chappell (Brazil Food Systems Case)

Jahi_ChappellJahi Chappell is Senior Staff Scientist at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). There, he provides scientific input for all of IATP’s programs. He has consulted for the FAO, the city of Belo Horizonte, and La Via Campesina. He is past Chair of the Agroecology Section of the Ecological Society of America, and serves on the board of the Open Source Seed Initiative. He holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Michigan. His first book about Belo Horizonte, Beginning to End Hunger, will be published by the University of California Press in 2017.

Clara Irazábal (Colombia Case)

Clara_IrazabalClara Irazábal is the Latin Lab Director and Associate Professor of Urban Planning in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, New York City. She earned her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley and has two master degrees. In her research and teaching, she explores the interactions of culture, politics, and placemaking, and their impact on community development and socio-spatial justice in Latin American cities and Latino and immigrant communities. Irazábal has published academic work in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. She is the author of Urban Governance and City Making in the Americas: Curitiba and Portland (Ashgate, 2005) and the editor of Transbordering Latin Americas: Liminal Places, Cultures, and Powers (T)Here (Routledge 2014) and Ordinary Places, Extraordinary Events: Citizenship, Democracy, and Public Space in Latin America (Routledge 2008, 2015). Irazábal has worked as consultant, researcher, and/or professor in Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, Germany, Spain, and Vietnam; and has lectured in many other countries.

Nick Macdonald (Sri Lanka Case)

Nick_MacdonaldNick Macdonald is a relief and development professional with 20 years of experience working on conflict and displacement issues. He works for Mercy Corps helping the organization to use data to make better quality decisions and improve their work in conflict. He teaches conflict and humanitarianism at the University of Oregon and consults with nonprofits in analytics and social impact.

Rebekah Paci-Green (Former Soviet Republic Case Study)

Rebekah_Paci-GreenRebekah Paci-Green is an assistant professor of Environmental Studies at Western Washington University where she teaches courses in natural hazards planning and disaster risk reduction. She is also Director of the Resilience Institute, where she oversees projects aimed at reducing disasters and enhancing community resilience. She has worked with countries across Asia to ensure school safety in hazard prone places, and worked with communities in the United States to reduce vulnerability and recover from disasters.

Daniel M. Robison (Bolivia Case)

Dan_RobisonDaniel M. Robison was born and grew up in Bolivia.  He was an exchange student in Thailand and before graduating from university hitchhiked across Africa with his sister from north to south. After graduating from Kansas State University in Natural Resources Management in 1984 he went to Britain as a Marshall Scholar and in 1987 obtained a Ph.D. at the University of Reading, with fieldwork in tropical Bolivia. His life interest is the sustainable use of the Amazon. Between 1988 and 1993 he did postdoctoral work in the Agroecological Studies Unit at CIAT, Colombia. In 1993 he returned to Bolivia as an independent consultant in Protected Areas Management and Agroecology. He lives and farms in Rurrenabaque, the Amazonian gateway to Madidi National Park. Since 2005 he has been Professor in the Future Generations Graduate School.

Jennifer Rumbach (Kenya Case)

Jennifer_RumbachJennifer Rumbach is part of the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) team at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and serves as Focal Point to the UN-GLOBE. She has worked with refugees in countries such as Ghana, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Nepal. She designed the five-module training program, “Working with LGBTI Persons in Forced Displacement and the Humanitarian Context” and has trained more than 1200 staff in 16 countries. She was a Fulbright scholar to Ghana and co-authored, “Sexual and gender minorities in humanitarian emergencies,” in Larry Roeder (Ed.) Disaster Management and Gender and Sexuality.

Bjørn Sletto (Dominican Republic Case)

Bjorn Sletto (1)Bjørn Sletto is an associate professor in the Graduate Program in Community and Regional Planning at The University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on indigenous land rights, environmental and social justice, and alternative planning approaches, both in the United States and in Latin America. He is engaged with research on informality and community development in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, focusing on the role of critical pedagogy for insurgent planning in neoliberal contexts. Bjørn also examines the relationship between pedagogy, planning practice, and environmental and social justice in low-income communities in Texas.

Sam Tabory (Dominican Republic Case)

Tabory_PhotoSam Tabory is a graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin affiliated with the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies and the Graduate Program in Community and Regional Planning. Sam has been working with the University of Texas’ ongoing collaboration with community residents, civil society representatives, and government officials in the Dominican Republic since 2014. His research interests include pro-poor municipal management and urban governance concerns in the Global South. Prior to graduate school, Sam worked as a project manager for an international non-governmental organization.

Ana Paula Pimentel Walker (Brazil Informal Settlements Case)

Ana_PaulaAna Paula Pimentel Walker is an Assistant Professor in Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. Her research examines the outcomes of participatory urban governance from the perspective of those living in informal settlements and Afro-Brazilian territories. Pimentel Walker’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Foundation for Urban and Regional Studies. She received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, San Diego, master’s degrees in both Urban Planning and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, and law degree from Brazil. Pimentel Walker’s research has been published in journals such as Ethos and Economic Anthropology.

* Several case contributors asked to remain anonymous.