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Personal profile


My PhD research focusses on how power relations at the (inter)national level affect the design and implementation of cash transfers in Lesotho and Malawi. Cash transfers are small grants that are provided to poor and vulnerable groups in society. In Lesotho and Malawi creating these programmes involves a range of different stakeholders such as international organisations, political institutions, the civil service, academia, etc. All these actors have an impact on the policy process and I try to understand what impact they have, why this is the case, and what the implications for this are on the final project/programme/policy.

Keywords: cash transfers, social protection, policy, power, decision-making, Africa.


Academic publications:

-       Hemsteede, R. (2018, forthcoming). Reflections on empowerment: farm workers’ perspectives from South Africa (Reflexiones sobre el empoderamiento: las perspectivas de los trabajadores agrícolas de Sudáfrica). In: M. Sánchez, F. Pérez and I. Yoldi, ed., Zonas vitivinícolas, trabajadores immigrantes y transformaciones sociales. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

-       Dietz, A.J., M.M.E.M. Rutten, M. van den Bergh, D.W.J. Foeken, S. Hees, R. Hemsteede, F. Jarawura, L. Nijzink, G. Seuren & F.Veldkamp, Water dynamics in the seven African countries of Dutch policy focus: Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Sudan: General report and pressing needs.Leiden: African Studies Centre, 2014.



Hemsteede, R. (2018). From manual to digital: First hand insight into Malawi’s Social Cash Transfer. Available at http://socialprotection.org/learn/blog/manual-digital-first-hand-insight-malawi’s-social-cash-transfer

Hemsteede, R. (2018). Conditional or unconditional cash transfers? From ideology to policy dialogue. Available at http://socialprotection.org/learn/blog/conditional-or-unconditional-cash-transfers-ideology-policy-dialogue

Hemsteede, R. (2017). Lesotho’s Child Grants Programme: From donor pilot to government programme. Available at http://socialprotection.org/learn/blog/lesotho’s-child-grants-programme-donor-pilot-government-programme

Hemsteede, R. (2017). Community level implementation of cash transfers: Eligibility, fairness, and informal redistribution. Available at http://socialprotection.org/learn/blog/community-level-implementation-cash-transfers-eligibility-fairness-and-informal

Hemsteede, R. (2017). Fragmented donor funding: Malawi’s Social Cash Transfer Programme. Available at http://socialprotection.org/learn/blog/fragmented-donor-funding-malawi’s-social-cash-transfer-programme


Conferences and international seminars:

-       Presentation at the African Studies Association UK conference, “The politics of cash transfer targeting: findings from Lesotho and Malawi”, 13 September 2017, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

-       Presentation at the African Studies Association UK conference, “Leading the way on a straight road: power relations in the design and implementation of cash transfers”, Birmingham, 11 September 2018, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

-       Invited as a guest speaker at the international seminar “Zonas vitivinícolas, trabajadores inmigrantes transformaciones sociales” (Wine-growing areas, immigrant workers, social transformations)at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. 9 – 11 October 2017, Mexico City, Mexico.

-       Presentation at the RGS-IBG conference, postgraduate forum, “Knowledge is power: interviewing as an outsider”, 31 August 2017, London, United Kingdom.

-       Presentation at the RGS-IBG conference, Developing Areas Research Group, “Donor Involvement in Social Protection: The entrance and exit strategy for Lesotho’s Child Grants Program”, 30 August 2017, London, United Kingdom.


Media engagements:

-       Expert interview on the Dutch national radio (BNR Nieuwsradio) about the 2018 presidential elections in Zimbabwe, 31 July 2018.

-       Expert interview on the Dutch national radio (BNR Nieuwsradio) about the 2017 coup in Zimbabwe, 20 November 2017 (https://www.bnr.nl/player/audio/10071640/10333714in Dutch).