Professor Rob Hope

Professor of Water Policy


Professor Rob Hope is Director of the Water Security Initiative at the School of Geography and the Environment and Director of the Water Programme at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. His research interests focus on water policy, poverty and economics, largely in Africa and Asia.

He is Director of the REACH programme, a member of ESRC's International Development Expert Group for the Global Challenges Research Programme, and a member of an expert consultative group on global monitoring and WASH affordability convened by UNICEF and the WHO.

In 2018, he was part of a research team with Engineering Science which won the inaugural University of Oxford's Vice Chancellor's Innovation Awardfor the 'smart handpumps' project.

He is the Academic Director for the MSc Water Science, Policy and Management (2020-present), formerly Course Director (2006-13), and supervises a group of outstanding DPhil/PhD students. He is a Trustee of Water Services Maintenance Trust Fund in Kenya and the Uptime Water Facility.

Current research projects


Graduate research students

  • Caroline King (NERC) | Oasis ecosystems, global change and human development in north Africa (co-supervisor, Prof D. Thomas, SoGE) | 2008-12 (completed)
  • Alvar Closas | Burning water: institutions, technology, statecraft and the production of water scarcity Spain | 2009-13 (completed)
  • Alexandra Girard (Hay) | Women, Water and Work in Rural India | 2009-14 (completed)
  • Aaron Krolikowski (Clarendon) | Wireless Water - impacts and implications of mobile water payment innovations in Dar Es Salaam | 2011-14 (completed)
  • Alex Money | Corporate water risk and return (co-supervisor, Prof G.L. Clark, SSEE) | 2010-2014 (completed)
  • Tim Foster (ESRC) | From cash flows to water flows - new models for rural water sustainability in Africa | 2012-2016 (completed)
  • Johanna Koehler (Clarendon) | Water Risks and Institutional Change in Kenya | 2014-2018 (completed)
  • Jacob Katuva (BASE/Oxford) | Water and Welfare in Coastal Kenya | 2014-2020 (completed)
  • Heloise Greeff (UNICEF) | Condition monitoring methods to predict handpump failure in rural Africa (Lead supervisor - Prof Clifton, EngSci) | 2015-2020 (submitted)
  • Alex Fischer | Building water secure institutions in rural Bangladesh | 2015-2019 (completed)
  • Ranu Sinha (OIC, Somerville) | Irrigation infrastructure, institutions and poverty in India (co-supervisor - Prof Dadson, SoGE) | 2015-2020 (submitted)
  • Rebecca Peters (Marshall & REACH) | Normalized non-compliance - regulation of river pollution in Dhaka, Bangladesh | 2017-present
  • Andrew Armstrong | Financing rural piped water | 2019-present
  • Johannes Wagner (EU NEWAVE) | Rural Water Finance | 2020- present
  • Sandra Serumaga-Zake | Water Infrastructure Finance in sub-Saharan Africa | 2022

Selected publications


Journal articles

Book chapters