Photographer: Bram Belloni

dr. M.A. (Michaela) Hordijk

  • Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
    GPIO : Governance and Inclusive Development
  • Visiting address
    REC BC
    Nieuwe Achtergracht 166  Amsterdam
    Room number: B4.04
  • Postal address:
    Postbus  15629
    1001 NC  Amsterdam
    T: 0205254058

I am human geographer by training, and specialized in urban issues in developing countries in an early phase of my studies. My main interests are urban poverty, urban environmental management, (participatory) urban governance, participatory budgeting, youth in cities, and ‘participatory action research’. All these themes came together in my PhD research ‘Of Dreams and Deeds: Community Based Environmental Management in Lima, Peru’ (1995-2000), which had a strong action research component. I worked with both youth groups, women’s groups and the neighbourhood organizations in participatory planning and design exercises to improve the environmental conditions in their neighbourhoods. This resulted in the foundation of Aynimundo, supporting community initiatives in peripheral districts in Lima.

Since 2001 I am assistant professor International Development Studies at the Department Geography, Planning and International Development Research (GPIO) at UvA, and senior researcher at the Governance for Inclusive Development (GID) Programme Group of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR). As of June 2013 I am guest lecturer at UNESCO-IHE in the water governance Chairgroup. In the past I have worked at the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), at the Centre for Latin American Education and Documentation (CEDLA) and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Current research

I am currently adjunct-scientific coordinator of the EU 7th Framework Programme research project Chance2sustain ( and co-responsible for workpackage 4, which focuses on urban water governance, participatory risk assessment and inclusive scenario building for climate change. Chance2Sustain is a research project examining how governments and citizens in Indian, South African, Peruvian and Brazilian cities with differing patterns of urban economic growth make use of participatory (or integrated) spatial knowledge management to direct urban governance towards more sustainable development.

Current teaching

I am director of the Research Master’s International Development Studies at the Graduate School of Social Sciences of the UvA, and teach courses on research methodology and urban resilience. In the past I have been teaching at both undergraduate and graduate level. This included courses on urban poverty alleviation, poverty and development, introduction to development studies, cities in the global and urban environmental management. I have led the curriculum development of the Master’s International Development Studies at the UvA, and participated in the curriculum development and teaching at the master’s programmes in Urban Environmental Management at the Universidad de Ingenería in Lima, the Universidad Nacional San Augustin in Arequipa and the Universidad Privada Antenor Orrego (Trujillo), partners in the NUFFIC funded programme PEGUP. In this programme I taught courses on urban environmental management, local agenda 21 processes, research methods and conducted thesis seminars.




The urban waterscapes in most cities in the Global South contrast starkly with the idealized portrayals of the modern networked city. In such a city one service provider delivers standardized and high-technology services to all inhabitants within the city boundaries. Rather, the prevailing urban waterscape is fragmented into a variety of diverse service configurations. These service modalities or configurations consist of different service provision activities (abstraction, treatment, distribution, storage), involve a variety of different actors in these different stages and are subject to a range of bureaucratic and socially-embedded institutions and social relations which shape behavior of the actors.  State-led or regulated water utilities serve between 40% and 70% of the urban population (Nickson, 2002; Mwanza, 2005). Where water utilities in the global South do not provide services, the water market is fragmented into a large variety of small-scale water providers (Matshine et al., 2008), which operate for profit or for philanthropic reasons (Clark, 1995; Solo, 1999; Brinkerhoff, 2002; Kariuki and Schwartz, 2005; Batley, 2006). In describing this fragmentation of the water services sector Bakker (2003: 337) has used the analogy of an archipelagos of “spatially separated but linked ‘islands’ of networked supply in the urban fabric”.




The main overarching research objective is to explore how the urban waterscape is produced and transformed by focusing on the interaction of ecological, technological and social processes that shape this waterscape. For more information on the UNHIDE project see





  • Desportes, I., Waddell, J., & Hordijk, M. (2016). Improving flood risk governance through multi-stakeholder collaboration: a case study of Sweet Home informal settlement, Cape Town. South African Geographical Journal, 98(1), 61-83. DOI: 10.1080/03736245.2015.1052842 [details]
  • Strauch, L., & Hordijk, M. (2016). Settlement story 4.5: The role of knowledge and information management in organizing collective resistance to a mega-project in Lima. In V. Dupont, D. Jordhus-Lier, C. Sutherland, & E. Braathen (Eds.), The politics of slums in the global South: urban informality in Brazil, India, South Africa and Peru. (pp. 107-108). (Routledge studies in cities and development). Abingdon: Routledge. [details]
  • Strauch, L., & Hordijk, M. (2016). Settlement story 6.4: Collective contestation of the Vía Parque Rímac mega-project from the low-income settlements along the river Rímac in Lima. In V. Dupont, D. Jordhus-Lier, C. Sutherland, & E. Braathen (Eds.), The politics of slums in the global South: urban informality in Brazil, India, South Africa and Peru. (pp. 163-168). (Routledge studies in cities and development). Abingdon: Routledge. [details]


  • Hordijk, M. (2015). Debe ser esfuerzo propio: aspirations and belongings of the young generation in the old barriadas of Southern Lima, Peru. In C. Klaufus, & A. Ouweneel (Eds.), Housing and belonging in Latin America (pp. 81-103). (CEDLA Latin America studies; No. 105). Oxford: Berghahn Books. [details]
  • Hordijk, M., Miranda Sara, L., Sutherland, C., & Scott, D. (2015). Participatory instruments and practices in urban governance. In J. Gupta, K. Pfeffer, H. Verrest, & M. Ros-Tonen (Eds.), Geographies of urban governance: advanced theories, methods and practices (pp. 127-146). Cham: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-21272-2_7 [details]
  • van Ewijk, E., Baud, I., Bontenbal, M., Hordijk, M., van Lindert, P., Nijenhuis, G., & van Westen, G. (2015). Capacity development or new learning spaces through municipal international cooperation: policy mobility at work? Urban Studies, 52(4), 756-774. DOI: 10.1177/0042098014528057 [details]
  • Khan, S., Miranda Sara, L., Sydenstricker-Neto, J., Sutherland, C., & Hordijk, M. (2015). Scenario building as a process and tool in urban governance. In H. Verrest, M. Ros-Tonen, J. Gupta, & K. Pfeffer (Eds.), Geographies of urban governance: advanced theories, methods and practices (pp. 193-214). Cham: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-21272-2_10 [details]
  • Strauch, L., Takano, G., & Hordijk, M. (2015). Mixed-use spaces and mixed social responses: Popular resistance to a megaproject in Central Lima, Peru. Habitat International, 45(3), 177-184. DOI: 10.1016/j.habitatint.2014.02.005 [details]
  • Sutherland, C., Scott, D., & Hordijk, M. (2015). Urban water governance for more inclusive development: a reflection on the ‘waterscapes’ of Durban, South Africa. European Journal of Development Research, 27(4), 488-504. DOI: 10.1057/ejdr.2015.49 [details]


  • Filippi, M. E., Hordijk, M., Alegría, J., & Denis Rojas, J. (2014). Knowledge integration: a step forward? Continuities and changes in Arequipa’s water governance system. Environment and Urbanization, 26(2), 526-546. DOI: 10.1177/0956247814539233 [details]
  • Hordijk, M., Sutherland, C., & Miranda Sara, L. (2014). Resilience, Transition or Transformation? A comparative analysis of changing water governance systems in four Southern cities. Environment and Urbanization, 26(1), 130-146. DOI: 10.1177/0956247813519044 [details]
  • van den Brandeler, F., Hordijk, M., von Schönfeld, K., & Sydenstricker-Neto, J. (2014). Decentralization, participation and deliberation in water governance: a case study of the implications for Guarulhos, Brazil. Environment and Urbanization, 26(2), 489-504. DOI: 10.1177/0956247814544423 [details]
  • Sutherland, C., Hordijk, M., Lewis, B., Meyer, C., & Buthelezi, S. (2014). Water and sanitation provision in eThekwini Municipality: a spatially differentiated approach. Environment and Urbanization, 26(2), 469-488. DOI: 10.1177/0956247814544871 [details]


  • Hordijk, M. (2013). Being young and urban: changing patterns of youth involvement in local environmental action in Lima, Peru. Local Environment, 18(3), 396-412. DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2012.738654 [details]
  • de Bruine, E., Hordijk, M., Tamagno, C., & Sánchez Arimborgo, Y. (2013). Living between multiple sites: transnational family relations from the perspective of elderly non-migrants in Junín, Peru. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 39(3), 483-500. DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2013.733865 [details]


  • Hordijk, M. (2012). Citizenship, local government and democracy. In N. Pouw, & I. Baud (Eds.), Local governance and poverty in developing nations (pp. 194-213). (Routledge studies in development and society; No. 31). New York: Routledge. [details]


  • Hordijk, M., & Baud, I. (2011). Inclusive adaptation: linking participatory learning and knowledge managament to urban resilience. In K. Otto-Zimmermann (Ed.), Resilient cities: cities and adaptation to climate change: proceedings of the Global Forum 2010. (pp. 111-121). Dordrecht: Springer Verlag. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-0785-6_11 [details]



  • Baud, I. S. A., & Hordijk, M. (2008). Verstedelijking van de wereldbevolking: De stille revolutie. In A. J. Dietz, F. den Hertog, & H. van der Wusten (Eds.), Van natuurlandschap tot risicomaatschappij. De geografie van de relatie tussen mens en milieu (pp. 47-55). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. [details]


  • Sutherland, C., Lewis, B., Hordijk, M., Meyer, C., & Scott, D. (2013). Community adaptation and innovative water and climate change policies in Durban (South Africa): engaging with the relational spaces of abstract planning and everyday lived worlds. In ClimUrb International Workshop: Living in Low-income Urban Settlements in an Era of Climate Change: Processes, Practices, Policies and Politics. Manchester. [details]


  • Miranda Sara, L., Hordijk, M., & Khan, S. (2014). Actors’ capacities to address water vulnerabilities in metropolitan cities facing climate change: exploring actor network configurations, discourse coalitions, power relations and scenario building processes as social contstructions of knowledge for multi-scalar water governance. (WP4 thematic report; No. 3). Bonn: EADI/Chance2Sustain. [details]


  • Miranda, L., Hordijk, M., & Torres Molina, R. K. (2011). Water governance the key approaches: an analytical framework: literature review. (Literature review; No. 4). Bonn: Chance2sustain, EADI. [details]


  • Baud, I., Hordijk, M., van Lindert, P., Nijenhuis, G., van Westen, G., van Ewijk, E., & Bontebal, M. (2010). Towards improved local governance through strengthened local government: evaluation of the LOGO South Programme 2007-2010. The Hague: VNG-International. [details] [PDF]


  • Baud, I. S. A., Hordijk, M. A., & Smit, D. (2009). Logo South evaluation: strategic report South Africa. The Hague: VNG. [details] [PDF]


  • Hordijk, M. A., Brandeler, F., & Filippi, M. E. (2013). Facing the Floods: Community Responses to Increased Rainfall in Guarulhos (Brazil) and Arequipa (Peru). Paper presented at Paper presented at the CLIMURB conference: Living in Low-income Urban Settlements in an Era of Climate Change: Processes, Practices, Policies and Politics, . [details]
  • Brandeler, F., Hordijk, M. A., Miranda Sara, L., Sutherland, C., Sydenstricker-Neto, J., & Batata, A. (2013). Convergence or Divergence in Metropolitan Water Governance: Comparing Changes in Guarulhos (Brazil), Lima (Peru) and Durban (South Africa). Paper presented at Paper presented at the 4th Encontro Internacional da Gobernanca da Agua, Sao Paulo, Brazil, . [details]
  • Desportes, I., Waddell, J., & Hordijk, M. A. (2013). Increasing resilience to flood risk through multi-stakeholder collaboration: a case study of Sweet Home informal settlement, Cape Town. Paper presented at Paper presented at the CLIMURB Conference: Living in Low-income Urban Settlements in an Era of Climate Change: Processes, Practices, Policies and Politics., . [details]
This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications.
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