Network of experts

SVF is grounded within Utrecht University’s International Development Studies (Department of Human Geography and Planning), and collaborates closely with the faculty of Geosciences, and the faculty of Law, Economics and Governance. It hosts an international platform of experts (all PhD alumni), currently working on SDG-related topics, and who are willing to share their knowledge and experience.

Annelies Zoomers
Natural Resource Conflicts | Food Security | Sustainable Livelihoods | Impacts of Large-scale Investments | International Migration

Annelies (E.B.) Zoomers is professor of International Development Studies (IDS) at Utrecht  University and the chair of the board of WOTRO Science for Global Development (NWO). After finishing her PhD in 1988, she worked for the Netherlands Economic Institute (Rotterdam) and the Royal Tropical Institute (Amsterdam) on long- and short-term consulting assignments for various organizations (e.g. the World Bank, IFAD, ILO, EU, DGIS) in various countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Between 1995 and 2007 she was associate professor at the Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation (Amsterdam) and between 2005 and 2009,  professor of International Migration at the Radboud University (Nijmegen). She is the founding chair of the Netherlands Land Academy LANDac (2009-2019) and Shared Value Foundation SVF (2017- to date). 

Guus Van Westen
Food Security | Private Sector Development | Inclusive Agribusiness | Value Chains | Land Governance

Guus van Westen is assistant professor of International Development Studies (IDS) at Utrecht University and Co-chair of LANDac, the Netherlands Land Academy.

Maru Shete
Impact Evaluation | Agricultural Economics | Development Economics | Food Security | Land Tenure | Livelihood Analysis

Maru Shete, an associate professor at St. Mary's University, Ethiopia, has expertise on development economics and agricultural economics,  impact evaluation, project analysis, food security studies, agricultural production economics, land tenure studies, and livelihood analysis.


Femke van Noorloos
Urban Development | New Cities | Gender | Transnational Mobilities | Housing

Femke van Noorloos is assistant professor of International Development Studies at Utrecht University. Her expertise includes:

  • Research and teaching on urban development, land, housing, new cities, tourism, gender, transnational mobilities
  • Co-coordinated multiple international trans-disciplinary research projects
  • Research experience in multiple African and Latin American contexts
  • International Development Studies Master’s Programme Coordinator; teaching in BA and MA programmes


Janwillem Liebrand
Sustainable urban transitions | Water-environment-food nexus | Climate change | Social justice | Gender relations

Janwillem Liebrand is assistant professor at Utrecht University.  His research and education focus on sustainable transitions in a rapidly urbanizing world. His areas of expertise are sustainable urban transitions, technology, water-environment-food nexus, climate change, natural resources management, higher education and engineering, social justice, and race - and gender relations, with a focus on Europe and the regions of South Asia and Southern Africa. In his work, he adopts a people-centered approach, keeping an eye on the excluded and acknowledging plurality and diversity. In thinking about planning sustainable urban transitions, he pays attention to citizens' initiatives, competing claims and contestations over spaces, resources, jobs and education, mobility opportunities etc. With the objective to contribute to a more socially just and sustainable world.

Ari Susanti
Agroforestry | Smallholder Agriculture | Forest Ecosystems | Rural Development

Ari Susanti is a lecturer at the University of Gadjah Mada and also works as a consultant in Indonesia.

She is involved in projects that actively promote oil palm agroforestry within the social forestry programme in Indonesia. This approach is part of the trajectories in solving tenure-related conflict in the designated forest areas which are disturbed by monoculture oil palm plantations managed by smallholder farmers. This is not only a socio-technical but also an institution and policy approach to restoring the structure and functions of forest ecosystems. She has been intensively working with smallholder farmers in the rural areas of Indonesia, village leaders, local governments (regency and province levels), and central government (i.e. Ministry of Environmental and Forestry and National Peatland Restoration Agency BRG).

George Schoneveld
Private Sector | Sustainable Food Systems | Social Inclusion | Resilience | Smallholder Integration | Agribusiness Innovation

George Schoneveld is a senior scientist at Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)  and World Agroforestry (ICRAF).

His work focuses on the role of the private sector in a sustainable food systems transition. Specifically, he works on agribusiness innovations that simultaneously advance social inclusion, ecological resilience and smallholder productivity objectives.  The emphasis of his works is on institutional innovations that help minimize socio-ecological trade-offs and unintended consequences of smallholder integration in global agri-food chains. This, on the one hand, involves use of econometric tools that identify the multi-dimension poverty impacts and farm-level impacts of smallholder integration, combined with remote sensing to determine impacts on land use patterns at the landscape-level. He performs institutional analyses, inspired by GVC and GPN frameworks, to unpack the structures that facilitate integration.  This helps identify the causal mechanisms through which observe impacts materialize and that are amenable to scaling and replication. 

Richmond Antwi-Bediako
Land Governance | Social Implications Biofuel Production | Agriculture | West-Africa | Food Security |Public Policies

Richmond Antwi-Bediako is the executive director of the Rural Care Association in Ghana.

With geographical and field research experience in Africa, especially Ghana, Ethiopia and Cote d'ivoire, he leads interdisciplinary consultancies and research in line with land governance, environmental justice, assessing environmental impacts and local socio-economic development, policy rationality for development, and investment-induced impacts.

From 2010 to 2016, he coordinated a jatropha and rural land use project in Ghana and Ethiopia, under the Conflict and Cooperation Over Natural Resources (CoCooN) project ‘Assessing Socio-Economic Implications of Industrial Biofuel Plantations: Repercussions of Jatropha Curcas on Rural Land Use Alienation and Conflict Escalation in Ghana and Ethiopia’ (commissioned by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research NWO) .

His PhD dissertation at Utrecht University entitled "In the Aftermath of the Jathropa Boom: Exploring socio-political and ecological dynamics in 'failed' jatropha spaces in Ghana" delves into the various transformations causing unknown outcomes and complexities before, during and after the bust of jatropha.

Erda Rindrasih
Resilience | Disaster Management | Urban and Regional Planning | Tourism Development | Community Planning

Erda Rindrasih is a lecturer at Universitas Gadjah Madah and consultant in Indonesia.

She focuses on issues of sustainability, resilience, disaster management, urban and regional planning and tourism development. She is also interested in research on community-based tourism, community resilience, and planning.

Erlis Saputra
Urban Development | Regional Development | Land Subsidence | Land Governance Disaster-prone areas

Erlis Saputra is a lecturer and head of the Department of Development Geography at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia.

His expertise and interest are urban geography (urban sprawl and development), land subsidence, and regional development (DRR-based regional development).  He did his  PhD (2014-2020) on land subsidence, especially on socio-economic and governance issues. Currently he is conducting a research on land value factors and dynamics in disaster-prone coastal areas. This research is trying to measure and collect the value of land and factors that affect (positively and negatively) land value in different geographical phenomena.

All his research were developed and analysed based on approaches on geography (spatial, environment, behavioural, livelihood, socio-economic, and governance).


Pham Huu Ty
GIS | Remote Sensing | Agriculture | Rural Development | Displacements | Land and Water Governance | Land Management

Pham Huu Ty is head of the International Cooperation and Research Office at Hue University of Agriculture and Forestry (HUAF), Vietnam.

He finished Bachelor’s of Land Management (1996 to 2000) at HUAF. Between 2006 and 2008, he completed a Master’s of Applied Biological engineering (specializing in GIS and remote sensing) at Dalhousie University, Canada. He then returned to work at HUAF where he carried out several studies related to development-induced displacement and resettlement. In 2010, he began his PhD research at the International Development Studies (IDS), Department of Human Geography and Planning at Utrecht University and defended his dissertation "Dilemmas of hydropower development in Vietnam: between dam-induced displacement and sustainable development" in January 2015. He has been teaching and doing researches on rural livelihoods, displacement and resettlement, land and water governance, GIS and remote sensing for land management, climate change, and agriculture and rural development, ICT for agriculture. 

Idsert Jelsma
Collective action | Smallholders | Farmer Organization | Agroforestry | Agro-commodities | Oil Palm | Supply Chains  

Idsert Jelsma is an independent consultant. He worked with Tropenbos Indonesia and Tropenbos International on several infobriefs, involved in writing ToRs with GIZ, consultancies for SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, Climate Policy and CIRAD, mainly on smallholder oil palm issues in Indonesia.


Rika Theo
Migration | Mobility | International Political Economy and Development | Media Discourse Analyses | Chinese-Indonesian Transnationalism

Rika Theo is an independent researcher, archivist and former journalist. 

She is particularly skilled in conducting qualitative and archival research as well as analyzing media discourses, historical archives, and information policies. Her research interests include international mobilities and development, Chinese-Indonesian transnationalism, decolonization of knowledge and contested history, information privacy, transparency, and accountability, as well as accessibility and representation in the archives.

Roxana Dulon Gonzales
Project Formulation and Evaluation | Strategic and Operational Planning | Social and Financial Evaluation | Gender Inequality | Sustainable and Equitable Development

Roxana Dulón Gonzáles is regional director of Fundacion ACLO in Bolivia. She teaches research methodologies, project formulation and evaluation, strategic and operational planning,  and social and financial evaluation.

She finished her BA in Business Administration and MBA in Bolivia and PhD at Utrecht University. She also has diplomas in Gender and Development and Social Management. Her professional expertise is related to management and direction processes, planning, monitoring and evaluation, mainstreaming of approaches, preparation, implementation and evaluation of strategic plans, research, design of technical and financial strategies, fund management, organization of teams, and personal motivation.

She remains passionate about rural life strategies, the popular economy and the circular and solidarity economy.  She is committed to working to overcome all kinds of inequality gaps, especially related to gender.

In recent years, her work has mainly been related to rural and urban development issues, livelihood development and promotion of sustainable and equitable development.


James Wangu
Food and nutrition security | Food systems | Smallholder farmers | Inclusive agri-business | Livelihoods | Land governance | Gender | Rural development

James Wangu is a coordinator for the Professional Learning Network of the Netherlands Land Academy (LANDac).

He is a sustainable and inclusive development enthusiast, particularly in areas of food and nutrition security, food systems, smallholder agriculture and agribusiness, land governance and gender. His expertise and interest are in conducting and sharing empirical research, and knowledge management and learning in these thematic areas.