Eleanor Balchin

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I am a social scientist with a background in International Development, with a particular interest in agriculture and livelihoods in Eastern and Southern Africa.
I hold a BA in International Development, and an MA in Environment, Development, and Policy; both from the University of Sussex. My dissertations looked at conservation through commercialisation of the argan forest, and climate vulnerability of smallholder farmers in Northern Uganda respectively.
Since moving to the University of Liverpool I completed my Mres in decision making under risk and uncertainty, with my dissertation looking at smallholder access to financial services in Gulu, Uganda, a topic relevant to my PhD.
I am currently based in Busia, Kenya for fieldwork, hosted by the International Livestock Research Institute's ZooLink (zoonosis in livestock in Kenya) project.

Research Interests: Rural livelihoods, agriculture, smallholder farming, international development

Research project title: Farming in Transition in East Africa: Financial Risk Taking and Agricultural Intensification

Project description: 'Farming in Transition in East Africa: Financial Risk-Taking and Agricultural Intensification' considers both financial and social risks that occur as a result of farmers attempting to intensify from subsistence to commercially oriented models of farming. The study will be using a mixed-method longitudinal approach in the form of a Financial Diary, adapted from the Financial Diary methodology developed by Bankable Frontier Associates (see financialdiaries.com). Methods that will be used include financial diary interviews (cash flow statements and balance sheets), questionnaires, ethnographic interviews, observation, photography, and possibly semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Therefore, this study will provide a wealth of human side data relating to intensification, the reason farmers choose to intensify their production, and the complexities of the impacts this has on the homesteads.

Supervisory team: Prof. Eric Fevre, Prof. Jude Robinson, Dr. Rob Christley

ORCID: 0000-0002-9269-5887