Georgina McAllister


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    Personal profile


    With an NGO background since the early 1990s, my experience spans both humanitarian and development sectors in Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia, Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa. It was this engagement with the on-the-ground realities of those affected by ongoing political instability, social division and shattered infrastructure that first drew me to agroecology. Since co-founding GardenAfrica in 2001, I have co-developed innovative plant-based health and livelihoods approaches with researchers and NGOs, and farmers and civil society organisations to explore strategies that stimulate localised economic opportunity while navigating social-ecological complexity and change. Over this time, I have also established a solid track record in collaborative project design, implementation, management and monitoring, evaluation and learning.

    Research Interests

    Stabilisation Agriculture; equitable resilience; participatory action research; political ecology; peacebuilding; critical pedagogy; people’s knowledge; bio-cultural diversity; rooted networks & collective agency; gender & power; disaster risk reduction; generative approaches to climate change adaptation.

    My research is interested in the transformative potential of agroecological processes in fragile environments and, more particularly, in the social-ecological processes and relationships through which communities of practice may be more able to mobilise and shape change on their own terms to reduce attendant vulnerabilities. This has included the potential of agroecology to address forms of violence by supporting social farming and deliberative democratic processes framed around the co-management of resources. It has explored the extent to which small ‘non-movements’ employ non-threatening, practice-based co-generative processes not only to shape physical landscapes, but to negotiate social change by re-forging networks based on principles of reciprocity and trust. My research interests also involve understanding how participatory praxis helps us to link the socio-cultural, ecological and political dimensions, and acts as a bridge between peace formation, disaster risk reduction and/or climate change adaptation on one hand, and equitable resilience and epistemic and cognitive justice on the other.


    Vision Statement

    By integrating agroecology into the heart of prevention, preparedness, response and recovery strategies, I believe that we can dramatically reduce the impacts of disruptive events in rapidly changing and often fragile social, ecological, economic and political landscapes. But transformative agroecology also represents an opportunity to go beyond the biophysical to consider social and political change through emancipatory practice-led social learning. This is capable of strengthening social-ecological relationships by restoring eroded knowledge, recovering lost resources and rebuilding bonds between people and their landscapes. For this to happen, we need to facilitate inclusive processes that invite people into decision-making, not only to link relief to development more coherently, but to stimulate new ways of thinking and acting together. In applying these principles to stabilisation agriculture, my vision is to co-create and disseminate a body of transdisciplinary research that generates new insights, thought and practices that more clearly demonstrates pathways to social and environmental justice through equitable resilience. Seen in this way, stabilisation agriculture rooted in agroecological principles and practices can and should play a more prominent role in institutional formations, policies and processes dedicated to the prevention of, and recovery from, human-induced and natural disasters for more inclusive, equitable and ultimately durable outcomes.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
    • SDG 13 - Climate Action
    • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

    Education/Academic qualification

    PhD in Stabilisation Agriculture - CAWR, Participatory action research linking agroecology and conflict transformation in farming communities in rural Zimbabwe, Coventry University

    Award Date: 11 Apr 2019

    MA in Post-war Reconstruction - PRDU, Decentralising post-conflict governance in Sierra Leone., University of York

    Award Date: 13 Jul 2001

    BA Hons in Politics & Society - Peace Studies, Sectarian identities and nation-building in post-war Lebanon, University of Bradford

    Award Date: 9 Jul 1999

    External positions

    Board member, Re-Alliance

    23 Sept 2019 → …

    Advisor - Permaculture Research Association of Kenya

    2014 → …

    Co-founder & board member - GardenAfrica

    2001 → …


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