Resources on Seasonality

Robert Chambers states that "As a dimension of poverty, seasonality is as glaringly obvious as it is still grossly neglected. Attempts to embed its recognition in professional mindsets, policy and practices have still a long way to go" (Chambers, 2012: xv; in the Forward of Devereux, Sabates-Wheeler and Longhurst, 2012). This quote comes from an edited volume on seasonality, which brings together a range of interrelated topics revolving around the topic. The book itself draws upon works presented at a conference, and is a sort of follow-on to a similar conference (1978) and book (1981) – highlighting the research gap that has emerged since an interest in seasonality in the 1980s and early 1990s. Drawing upon the 2012 book, below are some of the key resources identified by the authors, as a means to further research on seasonality and support the identification of research taking seasonality as a focal point of study (in chronological order):


Chambers, R., Longhurst, R. and Pacey, A. 1981. Seasonal Dimensions to Rural Poverty. Frances Pinter: London.

Longhurst, R. (Ed) 1986. Seasonality and Poverty. IDS Bulletin 17(3).

Sahn, D. 1989. Seasonal Variability in Third World Agriculture: The Consequences for Food Security. Johns Hopkins University Press: London.

Chen, M. A. 1991. Coping with Seasonality and Drought. Sage: New Delhi.

Gill, G. 1991. Seasonality and Agriculture in the Developing World: A Problem of the Poor and Powerless. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

Ulijaszek, S. and Strickland, S. 1993. Seasonality and Human Ecology. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

Devereux, S. Vaitla, B. and Hauenstein-Swan, S. 2008. Seasons of Hunger. Pluto Press: London.

Devereux, S., Sabates-Wheeler, R. and Longhurst, R. 2012. Seasonality, Rural Livelihoods and Development. Earthscan: New York.


For those interested in more reading, I suggest the 2012 edited volume Seasonality, Rural Livelihoods and Development as a key resource from which many more references can be obtained.


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Post-doc: Gender & Fishing Livelihoods

Fish is a critical source of nutrition and livelihoods in low-income countries such as Bangladesh. WorldFish has played a key role in increasing the supply and availability of fish in low-income contexts through the Livestock & Fish CGIAR Research Program. This impact-oriented research will be the foundation for continuing innovation in fish breeding in the upcoming Fish Agri-foods CGIAR Research Program (FISH CRP). A major challenge for sustainable nutrition and livelihoods security is the development of robust strains of fish that meet the specific needs of poor women and men engaging in smallholder aquaculture. Currently, there are pressing gaps in knowledge regarding gendered preferences and outcomes. In particular, evidence is required as to whether, to what extent, and why the focus and results of fish genetic breeding programs have different outcomes for men and women. This includes the extent to which improved strains meet different needs that women and men may have, and in what way, such technologies may reinforce or shift gender roles, relations, and equity of outcomes. Addressing this gap is the primary focus of this Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) position.

The PDF will tackle the overarching research question: How do the intended gender-equitable outcomes of the fish breeding program compare with the empirical gendered preferences and impacts, and what are the lessons for breeding program design, implementation and fish seed distribution? The PDF will do so through undertaking a systematic literature review and in depth, mixed methods empirical studies in Bangladesh in relation to the FISH CRP/WorldFish's tilapia and carp breeding program.

Additionally, the PDF will also play a key role in identifying, refining, and communicating to researchers across a range of FISH CRP countries insights into best practice and cutting-edge gender methods and strategies appropriate to different types and phases of aquaculture and fisheries research.

More details.

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Post-doc: Migration, livelihoods, gender

Two-year full-time postdoc Migration, livelihoods and SRHR: A triple case-study of young female migrants (YFMs) in Dhaka, Bangladesh

The Jahangir Nagar University (JU), Research Initiatives Bangladesh (RIB) and the Anthropology Department at the VU University are looking for a post-doc researcher for the two year WOTRO funded project "Migration, livelihoods and SRHR: A triple case-study of young female migrants (YFMs) in Dhaka, Bangladesh". This call pertains to the case-study of young female migrant workers in the Ready Made Garments Industry. The post-doc will be stationed in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Description of the project: Existing SRHR policies and programs in Bangladesh are predominantly geared to reducing fertility through family planning and safe motherhood. However, SRH is more than fertility and contraceptive use. An increasing number of NGOs are now working towards the improvement of adolescents' and women's SRHR in rural and urban Bangladesh. Their programs are geared towards the awareness-raising of SRR and the improvement of SRH interventions. Nonetheless, Bangladesh still has the highest fertility rate for adolescent girls in the world. The scale of gender violence is unprecedented, and (access to) SRH service is extremely limited. There is still much work needed to assure women and men of their SRHR.

This project focuses on three different groups of young female migrants (YFMs) in Dhaka: ready-made garment workers, Garo beauty parlor workers, and female sex workers. Consistent economic growth for three decades has caused a rapid increase of female participation in the workforce and rural-urban migration. A focus on these separate cases of highly vulnerable young women allows us to acquire a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of gender, age, class, ethnicity and religions, income generating activities, sexuality and migration. The project approaches SRHR as grounded and contextualized in the daily lives of YFMs. It will identify their needs, desires, knowledge, possibilities and (structural) restraints regarding SRHR. We will look at how self-determination and sexual autonomy of young (unmarried) women living and working in the urban context are enhanced or obstructed through their income-generating activities. A high degree of collaboration is expected between the three cases. The project contains different knowledge sharing and capacitating activities aimed to transform academic knowledge into policy or practical knowledge and skills. The project will use an array of qualitative methods which includes ethnographic methods and Participatory Action Research.

Research Questions:
1. How do existing national and local policies, legislation and services affect YFMs and help or obstruct them to exercise their SRHR?
2. What are the needs, desires and knowledge regarding SRHR of vulnerable female migrants?
3. How does YFMs' pre-migration situation contribute to the choices they make in their migrant trajectory?
4. How is the self-determination and autonomy regarding the sexuality of (unmarried) young women living and working in the urban context enhanced or obstructed through their positions as migrants?
5. How do the different types of income activities of this group of migrants create conditions that positively or negatively affect their sexual and reproductive health?

• Completed applications should be emailed to Meghna Guhathakurta, Ainoon Naher, Ellen Bal, and Lorraine Nencel.

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Post-doc: Migration (Netherlands)

Topic: Migration, livelihoods and SRHR: A triple case-study of young female migrants (YFMs) in Dhaka, Bangladesh


The Anthropology Department at the VU University is looking for a post-doc researcher for the two year WOTRO funded project "Migration, livelihoods and SRHR: A triple case-study of young female migrants (YFMs) in Dhaka, Bangladesh". The post-doc will be stationed in the Netherlands but be expected to travel regularly and for longer periods of time to Dhaka.
Description of the project

Existing SRHR policies and programs in Bangladesh are predominantly geared to reducing fertility through family planning and safe motherhood. However, SRH is more than fertility and contraceptive use. An increasing number of NGOs are now working towards the improvement of adolescents' and women's SRHR in rural and urban Bangladesh. Their programs are geared towards the awareness-raising of SRR and the improvement of SRH interventions. Nonetheless, Bangladesh still has the highest fertility rate for adolescent girls in the world. The scale of gender violence is unprecedented, and (access to) SRH service is extremely limited. There is still much work needed to assure women and men of their SRHR.

This project focuses on three different groups of young female migrants (YFMs) in Dhaka: ready-made garment workers, Garo beauty parlor workers, and female sex workers. Consistent economic growth for three decades has caused a rapid increase of female participation in the workforce and rural-urban migration. A focus on these separate cases of highly vulnerable young women allows us to acquire a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of gender, age, class, ethnicity and religions, income generating activities, sexuality and migration. The project approaches SRHR as grounded and contextualized in the daily lives of YFMs. It will identify their needs, desires, knowledge, possibilities and (structural) restraints regarding SRHR. We will look at how self-determination and sexual autonomy of young (unmarried) women living and working in the urban context are enhanced or obstructed through their income-generating activities. A high degree of collaboration is expected between the three cases. The project contains different knowledge sharing and capacitating activities aimed to transform academic knowledge into policy or practical knowledge and skills. The project will use an array of qualitative methods which includes ethnographic methods and Participatory Action Research.


More details (two postings, first based in Bangladesh, second based in the Netherlands).

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Logan Cochrane

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