Associate researchers



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Africanist anthropologist, trained at Geneva IUED, Luigi has specialized in the understanding of local principles of land tenure and natural resource management. His work experience has addressed infrastructure and pastoral areas management, as well as conservation projects. In recent years, his interests include mining related issues, at both industrial and artisanal scales.

Luigi spent 15 years working in West Africa, most of which in Burkina Faso. Former Research Director at Laboratoire Citoyennetés (Ouagadougou), he was research fellow at the IRD (UMR GRED) during the same period. He has conducted studies for international cooperation agencies, research institutes and private firms in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Senegal, Chad, Niger and Djibouti.



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Etienne holds a PhD in social anthropology from the University Lumière-Lyon 2 (France). His research is mainly situated at the crossroads of the anthropology of politics (governmentality/subjectivity), work (wage labour) and environment (sustainability). He has carried out ethnographic fieldwork in the logging sector in Gabon to understand the way of life and the sociabilities linked to logging sites. Considering the scales involved, he is also interested in the transformations that forestry is undergoing in Central Africa as a result of sustainable development and within the context of globalisation. These investigations have mainly taken place in the regions of Libreville and Makokou (Ogooué-Ivindo) and have been extended by focusing on associative dynamics in rural Gabon.
Etienne also has a varied teaching experience, both in universities and in various schools of higher education (including the 3A school in Lyon) and is interested in cooperative practices in the social sciences as well as in the modalities of their presence in public spaces.



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Martina has a PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the Goethe University of Frankfurt (Germany). Her research interests revolve around smallholder economies, land rights, farming knowledge, and food security from a gender perspective. Since 2010, she has been conducting research in West Africa, where she has applied her anthropological expertise, first to the field of international development through the collaboration with projects on education, gender equity, and microfinance (2010-2014) and later through in-depth ethnographic fieldwork. Her doctoral research in Burkina Faso (2016-2017) provides a gender perspective on the impact of sociopolitical and environmental factors on decision-making in agriculture. Martina has also received training in soil science at the ISRIC-World Soil Information (Netherlands) and KU-Leuven (Belgium), where she earned a certification in soil analysis and classification in tropical ecosystems. 



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Fonction : Chercheur
Institution : Centre International de Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD) – France
Thèmes de recherche : Gestion des ressources naturelles, animation et modélisation participative



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Socio-anthropologist and ethnologist (EHESS / CNRS), Mathieu has been working in West Africa for more than fifteen years, particularly in Guinea. His work falls within the field of techniques and conceptions of nature and Mathieu is particularly interested in socio-technical innovation processes and socio-cultural and environmental changes. He has evolved in different programs where he has been able to specialize in history and orality, and traditional forms of power and land tenure. His research interests currently concern heritage, particularly processes associating natural spaces with religious and ritual practices (PCI), the analysis of socio-environmental transitions, communication and awareness in transcultural contexts and social crises.



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Doctor of Philosophy in International Development from the University of Ottawa (2021), Mathilde Grandgonnet is interested in the collective processes of identity construction and the individual navigations associated with it. Her doctoral research focused on People of Indian origin in East Africa (Tanzania and Uganda) and collective experiences of migration and the power relations between host and migrant populations.
Based in Kampala since 2018, she is currently employed as a Qualitative Research and Evaluation Manager by the Center for Evaluation and Development in Kampala (Uganda). Combining theoretical expertise and practical experience in development intervention areas, she mainly works project evaluations focusing on the employability of vulnerable populations across the African continent.



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Cristiano is a social anthropologist. He has studied and worked as researcher and lecturer at the universities of Torino and Genova (Italy), and is currently Senior Researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala (Sweden). He has also worked as associate researcher for several development projects in Italy, for the Laboratoire Citoyennetés in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), and as a consultant for Insuco and for Altromercato (an Italian fair trade organisation).

He has conducted anthropological and ethnographic research on youth in urban contexts (Senegal), on gender relations and rural development (Burkina Faso, Senegal), and on natural resources management and protected areas (Burkina Faso). Since 2012, he has been deepening his studies regarding the mining sector, particularly regarding the (in)formal governance and the production in artisanal mining sites (Burkina Faso, Guinea).



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PhD in development geography, specialised in the assessment and management of environmental and social risks, including involuntary resettlement of populations, and in the design and management of socio-economic observatories, David is a recognised expert in social and societal engineering. Over the past 20 years, he has participated in the development of information and evaluation systems for the CNRS (French National Institute for Scientific Research), various NGOs, mining companies, consulting firms and for the French Development Agency (AFD). Mainly in Africa, but also in the Maghreb, the Middle East and in Asia, he has developed deep experience regarding the management of intercultural and multi-partner projects, such as socio-economic baseline studies, or environmental and social impact assessments, among others. He has published in international scientific journals and communicates about his research in international conferences. In particular, he coordinated in 2012 the Atlas of Voluntary and Solidarity Commitments at international level.



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PhD in sociology at the University of Québec in Montréal (UQAM), in collaboration with Cirad, Marie has worked more than 10 years as a researcher on behalf of the Research Group on Mining Activities in Africa (GRAMA), based at UQAM, Canada. She has published several articles, book chapters and participated as a guest at international conferences on the themes of governance and reform of the African mining sectors. For more than 10 years, she has been an independent consultant. She has worked in the Central African Republic, DR Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, on behalf of USAID and UNDP, as well as various consulting firms such as Insuco, TetraTech, PWC, etc. She has specialized in the realization of social impact assessment and the question of CSR issue in the mining sector.



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Alizèta holds a PhD in sociology and anthropology from the Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Des Enjeux Contemporains (LADEC) of the Université Lumière Lyon 2 (France) and the Laboratoire Genre et Développement of the Université Joseph Ki-Zerbo of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso).

She specializes in project management and qualitative research on mining issues (artisanal, semi-mechanized and industrial), gender, health, land tenure, cultural heritage management in mining projects, Conflict and complaint management in the implementation of Resettlement Action Plans (RAP) and Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA), Stakeholder engagement and stakeholder mapping, territorial and participatory multi-stakeholder consultations, and social safeguarding through a gender and sustainable development approach.

Alizèta has worked on these issues in research institutes (IFSRA and IRD), NGOs working in the artisanal and small-scale mining sector (Artisanal Gold Council in Burkina Faso), consultancies (Insuco Burkina Faso) and mining companies (NordGold).

Alizèta is a lecturer (Vacation) at the Centre d’Etudes, de Formation et de Recherche en Gestion des Risques Sociaux (CEFORGRIS) of the Joseph Ki-Zerbo University. In addition, she is a member of the scientific council of the Barké International Institute of Ouagadougou where she was in charge of the course on “Socio-anthropology of health”.


Agronomist – Geographer

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Agro-economist and holder of a PhD in Development Geography, Pascal has over 15 years of experience in Africa, Asia and South America, gathered by working in community development and development research programmes with the French National Scientific Research Centre (CNRS), International funders and mining companies. He has developed an approach based on the understanding of local power relations in order to understand the methods of land management at micro-local scales. Pascal combines both field expertise and an up-to-date knowledge of leading issues in development policies. His work is regularly published in scientific journals and reviews, in particular on issues related to land rights, natural resource management, decision-making processes, justice conceptions and CSR in the extractive sector. He gives lectures at the Sorbonne University (Paris I) and the University of Djibouti on urban planning, research methodology and the extractive sector in Africa.

Associate phd students


PhD Student in Cultural Studies

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Serge Bayala is a PhD student at the Joseph Ki Zerbo University in Ouagadougou. His research is based on African cultural studies which aims to provide research and teaching on the languages and expressive cultures of Africa and Africans in the world.

His research focuses mainly on a critical theoretical framework and uses mixed methodological approaches to deepen the analysis of Africans and African descendants in different historical, socio-cultural, political, transnational and economic contexts.

Serge Bayala has been involved in many projects conducting field surveys at IFSRA. His last project aimed at setting up the production of solar energy lamps in Burkina Faso (Dédougou) and Benin (Porto-Novo) for local communities. This project was the subject of his final thesis for which he obtained his master’s degree in conflict prevention and social peace management at the IAC Ouagadougou.

His research focuses on the role of culture in political change in Africa. His current doctoral thesis is entitled “Imaginary and cultural representations in political change in the Sahel” and focuses on three countries: Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

Serge Bayala is an expert in assessing the social and economic impacts of development projects on local communities. He proactively engages with local communities and indigenous people to find local solutions and alternatives for agricultural production, processing and promotion of local products (Made in Africa).

Serge Bayala promotes civic education in several schools, universities, institutions and local and community businesses. He enjoys giving and sharing knowledge related to political governance and the activities of the Pan-African movement. Through his multiple national and international conferences, he sensitizes African societies on the urgency of becoming aware of the cultural, political, artistic, economic and developmental reality of their communities.


PhD student in Anthropology

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Victoire Chalin is an anthropologist, photographer and international agri-development engineer. She conducts surveys as an independent researcher and in collective projects. Restituing and disseminating the research findings in plural forms is central in her work. She is writing an anthropology thesis based on a survey with sedentary pastoralists in Uganda entitled “Race, land grabbing and modern madness. A transdisciplinary study of the sedentarisation of pastoralists around Lake Mburo National Park or How race enables the monopolisation of the commons”. In 2022, she co-created a nomadic research space on polymorphic and “pluriversal” languages. As a researcher of sensibilities, she is interested in affects as part of the research process.