Dr Sonia Hoque

Senior Research Associate in Water Security and Society


Sonia Ferdous Hoque is an environmental social scientist, currently working as a Senior Research Associate in Water Security and Society for the REACH programme. She leads the ‘Water Society Interactions and Sustainable Development’ module and co-leads the ‘Research Design and Skills’ module of the MSc in Water Science, Policy and Managementat SoGE. She also co-leads the ‘Water Inequalities, Sustainability and Enterprise’ module of the MSc in Sustainability, Enterprise and the Environment at the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment.

Drawing on theories of human-environment interactions, Sonia’s research focuses on the nature, drivers and distribution of water risks related to drinking water services in rural areas and small towns in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Kenya, as well as urban river pollution linked to the global fashion industry. She is particularly interested in exploring the socio-spatial inequalities in people’s water use behaviour and decision-making through water diary methods, direct observations, and intra-household surveys.

Sonia is part of the core leadership team of the ‘SafePani’ model – a collaboration between the REACH programme at Oxford, the Government of Bangladesh, UNICEF and HYSAWA to reform the institutional design, financing and information systems on rural drinking water services in Bangladesh. The programme seeks to drive scalable impacts to improve water availability and safety in schools, communities, and healthcare centres.

Sonia’s PhD research at the University of Leeds (2016) explored the differential livelihood adaptation to social-ecological change in coastal Bangladesh. She has an MSc in Environmental Management (2011) from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and a BSc in Environmental Science (2009) from North South University, Dhaka. Sonia received the Shell Gold Medal and Prize and the Chancellor's Gold Medal for being the most outstanding student of her masters and bachelors cohort respectively.

Prior to joining her PhD program, Sonia worked as a Research Associate at the Institute of Water Policy (IWP), NUS (2011 - 2013), where her research focused on the roles of private and public sector in urban water governance and water tariffs in urban domestic and non-domestic sectors.

Selected Publications


Journal Articles

Book Chapters


  • Fischer, A., Hope, R., Thomson, P., Hoque, S.F., Alam, M., El Achi, N., Charles, K., Hakim, S., Islam, S.M., Nowicki, S., Salehin, M., Bradley, D., Ibrahim, M. and Chowdhury, E.H. (2021) Policy reform to deliver safely managed drinking water services for schools in rural Bangladesh. University of Oxford and UNICEF, Oxford, UK. REACH Working Paper 11.
  • Hope, R., Fischer, A., Hoque, S.F., Alam, M.M., Charles, K., Ibrahim, M., Chowdhury, E.H., Salehin, M., Mahmud, Z.H., Akhter, T., Thomson, P., Johnson, D., Hakim, S.A., Islam, M.S., Hall, J.W., Roman, O., Achi, N.E.and Bradley, D. (2021) Policy reform for safe drinking water service delivery in Bangladesh. University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. REACH Working Paper 9.
  • Hoque, S.F., Hope, R., Alam, M.M., Charles, K., Salehin, M., Mahmud, Z.H., Akter, T., Fischer, A., Johnson, D., Thomson, P., Zakaria, A., Hall, J., Garcia, O.R., Achi, N.E. and Jumlad, M. (2021) Drinking water services in coastal Bangladesh. University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. REACH Working Paper 10.
  • Murgatroyd, A., Charles, K.J., Chautard, A., Dyer, E., Grasham, C., Hope, R., Hoque, S.F., Korzenevica, M., Munday, C., Alvarez-Sala, J., Dadson, S., Hall, J.W., Kebede, S., Nileshwar, A., Olago, D., Salehin, M., Ward, F., Washington, R., Yeo, D. and Zeleke, G. (2021) Water Security for Climate Resilience Report. University of Oxford: REACH, UK.