Simon Manda

Simon Manda


I joined the University of Leeds Sustainability Research Institute (SRI) as a PhD student in October 2014. Before joining SRI, I worked as Lecturer at the University of Zambia in the Department of Development Studies for three years. I did my Masters in Global Developent at the University of Leeds and have a BA degree in Development Studies from the University of Zambia. My research combines qualitative participatory methods with quantitative household surveys to investigate commodity expansion, rural livelihoods and response pathways for sugarcane growers.      

Research interests

Am passionate about environment, agriculture, agri-food systems and development. I strive to use my skills in working with academic and organisations in other sectors to contribute to a positive impact in the world. My current research uses the Global Value Chain and the Sustainable Livelihood Approaches to explore and understand the extent to which large-scale agricultural investments in the era of 'land-grabbing' impacts local development and rural livelihoods. Through the analytic lens of sugar value chains in Zambia, this mixed methods research integrates four interrelated elements: policy and institutional processes, value-chain inclusion and/or exclusion, sustainable livelihoods and agribusiness 'power of presence.' In the next 3 years, my research will focus on Soy transitions and implications on agri-food systems in Zambia.


  • MA Global Development, University of Leeds (Merit)
  • BA Development Studies, University of Zambia (Distinction)

Research groups and institutes

  • Environment and Development