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Dipl. Soz.-Wiss. Anne Siebert

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Research Fellow + PhD Student

Institute of Development Research and Development Policy
Ruhr-University Bochum
Universitätsstr. 105, Room 2.06
44789 Bochum

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: +49 (0)234 / 32-19024

Fax: +49 (0)234 / 32-14294

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Research Interests

  • Global Water and Food Policies, their Local Implementation and Impacts
  • Concepts of Food Security and Food Sovereignty
  • Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainable Transformation of Cities
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of Development Projects

PhD Project

Food Sovereignty Initiatives in Ghana and South Africa: policy implications and impacts in urban and peri-urban agriculture

In Ghana and South Africa, the official interest in agriculture in urban centres and suburbs is quite recent, although it has been practised for a long time. Urban agriculture is associated with many benefits including increasing food security of households, diversifying diets, and income provision. These are just some of the reasons why academics, governments, and aid organisations have touted urban agriculture as the panacea for disadvantaged neighbourhoods in the Global South. However, an adequate consideration of interests and needs of urban farmers and their incorporation into policies remains weak.

This research project applies a more critical perspective on existing top-down approaches in urban agriculture, emphasising the agenda of food gardeners, their motivations and how they individually perceive the benefits. Guided by the theoretical approach of the right to the city and the concept of food sovereignty, the role of innovative farming initiatives in the urban food system, their political value for an inclusive and sustainable transformation of the city is analysed. The combination of both theoretical concepts offers important aspects for the improvement of urban agriculture from a socio-political and ecological perspective. Based on this considerations, a platform for the much needed dialogue between policy-makers and communities is introduced. In this context, this research questions how an optimal environment for urban farming initiatives in terms of governmental support and integration on a local level should be designed. Empirical research will be conducted in George, South Africa and Tamale, Ghana.

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Pierre Thielbörger

Vita / Education

2013 - present:            Institute of Development Research and Development Policy (IEE), Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
Research Fellow and PhD Student
2015 - 2016:   Institute for Development Studies (ISD), University of the Western Cape, South Africa
EUSA_ID Fellow, one-year research stay and teaching mobility
2012:   Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Semarang, Indonesia
Junior Consultant, Project Policy Advice for Environment and Climate Change (PAKLIM)
2005 - 2012:   Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany
Master in Social Sciences (Dipl. Soz.-Wiss.), with a focus on developing regions
2010 - 2011:   Makerere University Kampala, Uganda
Research stay within the Academic Partnership for Environment and Development Innovations in Africa (APEDIA)


  • Engler, S.; Siebert; A. (2016): Die Mehrdeutigkeit der globalen Ernährungskrise. Weg zu einer neuen Nachhaltigkeit am Beispiel der Stadt George, Südafrika. In: Potysch, N.; Bauer; M. (eds.), Deutungsspielräume. Mehrdeutigkeit als kulturelles Phänomen. Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main.
  • Siebert, A.; May, J. (2016): Urbane Landwirtschaft und das Recht auf Stadt. Theoretische Reflektion und ein Praxisbeispiel aus George, Südafrika. In: Engler, S. et al. (eds.) Regional, innovativ und gesund. Nachhaltige Ernährung als Teil der großen Transformation. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, pp. 153-168.
  • Metzger, J.; Ollendorf, F.; Siebert, A. (2015): Smallholder Farming under Threat? In: Digital Development Debates, Issue 16 Food & Farming.
  • Buchholz, S.; Siebert, A. (2014): Deutsch-südafrikanische Hochschulkooperation. (Engl. German – South African Cooperation in Higher Education) In: Afrika Süd. Zeitschrift zum südlichen Afrika, 6/2014, 36-37.
  • Engler, S.; Köster, J.; Siebert, A. (2014): Farmers Food Insecurity Monitoring. Identifying situations of food insecurity and famine. In: IFHV Working Paper, Vol. 4, No. 3, Bochum.
  • Siebert, A. (2014): Die Global Governance des Wassers - Eine Untersuchung der Wasserpolitik und städtischen Versorgungslage in Uganda. In: Working Papers on Development and Global Governance - No. 5), UA Ruhr Graduate Centre for Development Studies, Duisburg/Bochum.



  • Summer Term 2016: Social Science Perspectives on Development. Master Programme in Development Management, University of the Western Cape, South Africa, with Buchholz, S.
  • Summer Term 2015: Research Logic. Master Programme in Management and Economics for Afghan Lecturers, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany.
  • Winter Term 2014/2015 (Summer School): How to Conduct a Field Survey. Master Programme in Development Management, University of the Western Cape, South Africa, with Buchholz, S., Hansen, M., and Thürer, T.
  • Winter Term 2014/2015: Public Sector Management. Master Programme in Development Management, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, with Knoblich, R.
  • Winter Term 2014/2015: Social Science Perspectives on Development. Master Programme in Development Management, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, with Buchholz, S.
  • Winter Term 2014/2015 (Summer School): Statistical Methods of Empirical Social Research. Master Programme in Development Management, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, with Voß, W., Sadikhzahdeh, E., and Thürer, T.
  • Summer Term 2014: Social Science Perspectives on Development. Master Programme in Development Management, University of the Western Cape, South Africa, with Buchholz, S.
  • Winter Term 2013/2014: Research Methodology. Master Programme in Development Management, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, with Buchholz, S. and Knoblich, R.

Presentations and Workshops

  • 'Transforming Urban Food Systems: The Role of Food Sovereignty and Urban Agriculture Initiatives. Perspectives from South Africa' , exploratory workshop 'Envisioning the Future of Food Across North-South Divides: Transregional Foo Networks and Movements' , Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin, 2 December 2016
  • 'Urban Agriculture and Food Sovereignty: The Role of Local Food Movements in Urban Food Policies. A Case Study of George, South Africa' , Food Studies Conference 2016, University of Berkely California, 13 October 2016
  • 'Promoting sustainable livelihoods and healthy nutrition: The role of community-driven gardening initiatives in urban food systems. A case study of George, South Africa' , World Nutrition Congress 2016, University of the Western Cape, 31 August 2016
  • 'Food Sovereignty in South Africa: the Right to the City in Urban Agriculture', Conference on Global Sustainability and Local Foods, The American University of Rome and the American Academy in Rome, Italy, 2 October 2015.
  • 'Food Sovereignty in South Africa: Policy Implications and the Right to the City in Urban Agriculture', Tropentag 2015: Management of land use systems for enhanced food security - conflicts, controversies and resolutions, Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) and Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany, 17 September 2015.
  • 'Food Sovereignty in Ghana and South Africa: Policy Implications and Impacts in Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture', Global Day, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, 12 June 2015.
  • 'From Zuma's South Africa to Museveni's Uganda', Africa Today, Deutsch Afrika Ruhr Forum (DARF) e.V., Bochum, 11 May 2014.
  • 'Adaptive capacity of low-income communities in inundation affected areas in Indonesia', The Post Disaster Space: Recovery, Recuperation and Adaptation. Research Experiences from the Global North and South, Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities” (KWI), Essen, 3 December 2013.
  • 'Evaluating the Concept of Food Sovereignty in Sub-Saharan Africa', UAMR Development Day – Development challenges in a changing context of global cooperation, University Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany, 4 November 2013.

Mentoring (Master of Development Management)

  • Hannah Posern (2016): Food Sovereignty in Urban Areas. Promoting Marginalized Communities through Urban Gardening. A Case Study of George, South Africa.
  • Kennedy Omollo Osano (2014): Public Participation in Solid Waste Management in Informal Settlements: A Case of Kisumu City in Kenya.

How to contact us

Institute of Development Research and Development Policy
Ruhr University Bochum

Room 2.04
Universitaetsstr. 105
D-44789 Bochum

E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone:   +49-(0)234 / 32-22418
or   32-22243
Fax:   +49-(0)234 / 32-14-294

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Latest Publications

Beier, Raffael & Fritzsche, Jasmin: Refugees and the City: UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda. In: Forced Migration Review 55, pp. 29-30.

Themba Nyasulu: Harnessing Economic Impacts of Migrant Remittances for Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Critical Review of the Literature.

Annika Engelbert: Public Procurement Law in Sub-Saharan Africa. A Means to Curb Corruption?

More information: "Publications / New Publications"

IEE on Tour

June 06 - 23:
Nicole Dittrich
in Bamenda/Kamerun for a research stay within the Urban Food.Plus programme

June 21 - 23:
Christina Seeger, Dr. Martina Shakya, Dr. Tobias Thürer
at Göttingen University for the Urban Food.Plus summer school

June 27 - 28:
Anne Siebert
at Gustav-Stresemann-Institut, Bonn, attending the seminar "Deutsche Entwicklungspoltik in der Praxis"

June 28 - July 1
Dr. Elkhan Richard Sadik-Zada
in Athens/Greece, attending and presenting at the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists / EAERE 23rd Annual Conference

June 28 - July 2
Raffael Beier
at the University of Basel/Switzerland, attending the 7th European Conference on African Studies ECAS 2017

June 28 - July 2
Britta Niklas
at the University of Padova/Italy, attending at presenting at the 11th Annual AAWE Conference (American Association of Wine Economists)

IEE on Field Research

Jasmin Fritzsche has a Visiting Study Fellowship at ODID, University of Oxford/UK, from end-April to mid-June.

Ruth Knoblich spends a research period from Jan. 2017 until Dec. 2017 for her PhD at the University of Cape Town/South Africa as an EUSA-ID Scholar.

Henrike Roth spends a research period in Bamenda/Kamerun for the Urban Food.Plus programme from June 06 to August 06.