Department of Geography

Staff

Photo of Dr Julia Brown

Dr Julia Brown

  • Qualifications: BSc (Geography), MRes (Environment and Development), PhD (Development Policy and Management), PGCert.
  • Role Title: Associate Head of Teaching, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Geography
  • Address: Buckingham Building, Lion Terrace, Portsmouth, PO1 3HE
  • Telephone: 023 9284 2489
  • Email: julia.brown@port.ac.uk
  • Department: Geography
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science

Biography

I completed a Bachelor of Science in Geography at the University of Lancaster in 1999. I then went on to complete a Master of Research in Environment and Development (Overseas Placement), in 2001. I then worked for a London based consultancy company for three years before completing a PhD in “Participatory Processes and Outcomes of South Africa’s Water Reforms”, in the Institute of Development Policy and Management (IDPM) at the University of Manchester in 2007. Whilst at Manchester I undertook research for the Centre on Regulation and Competition, a UK DfID funded research centre at IDPM. I joined the Geography Department in March 2008, completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in 2010.

Teaching Responsibilities

I deliver environmental geography components of the undergraduate teaching in the department. I am the co-ordinator of the following units:

  • L4 Population Resources and the Environment
  • L5 Sustainable Environmental Management.

I also contribute to the following co-taught units:

  • Level 6 Environmental Theory and Assessment
  • Level 6 Water Rivers and Coasts
  • Level 6 Independent Study
  • Level 5 Geographical Research Methods
  • Level 4 Geography Skills and Prospects
  • Level 4 City of Portsmouth, Cities of the World

I also jointly teach a Residential Fieldclass to Malta with a focus on Environmental Geography.

Research

Geographies of Water: participation, power and politics

My empirically-grounded critiques of the failings of participatory governance initiatives in South Africa to overcome existing power relations and effect redistribution of water have made a contribution to the growing geography of water literature. Failure to account for the inherently political nature of water management and its reform indicates fundamental policy flaws, and state directed reallocations of water are called for. 

Rural Ground Water Supplies: community-based management or social entrepreneurs?

In order to meet the ambitious Millennium Development Goals of halving the number of people without access to safe and clean drinking water, there is the need for donors, NGOs and governments to focus on the sustainability of water supplies, and not just extending the supply network. The current community-based model of rural water management is deemed by one NGO, The Water Trust, to be failing in Uganda. An evaluation of a pilot scheme that is vesting the management and maintenance of rural water pumps with local social entrepreneurs in Uganda commences summer 2013. External funding will then be sought to determine whether the social entrepreneur model offers a more sustainable solution to rural water supplies, and achievement of the Millennium Development, than the current community-based model.

Evaluating Evaluations

It is increasingly recognised in development circles that new policies initiatives need to be subject to rigorous and critical review and evaluation. But how to evaluate is something many agencies and NGOs are still grappling with. Building on my PhD studies, I have developed an evaluative framework that explores both the processes and outcomes of new programmes and initiatives across different scales which will be used in future work.

Mobile Phones and Development

With colleagues across Portsmouth, I am interested in critically exploring the utility of mobile phones in the context of hard and soft security.

Current Research Projects

Rural Ground Water Supplies: community-based management or social entrepreneurs?

Evaluation of a pilot study to determine whether rural social entrepreneurs and community based approaches may offer a more realistic hope of achieving Millennium Development Goals for water in Uganda.   

Mobile Phones and Development

The newly formed cross-faculty research cluster (International Development Studies and Security Issues) is currently undertaking a desk-top scoping study exploring the utility of mobile phones in the context of hard and soft security. Brown is exploring the role of the role of mobile phone technology in enhancing the reliability of rural water supplies through reporting maintenance requirements of water pumps. 

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Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

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