Sabina Shaikh, COSAS Member and Senior Instructional Professor in the Program on the Global Environment has two new publications in connection with the Neubauer project, “Becoming Urban: Understanding the Urban Transformation of Migrants to Phnom Penh.” The project explores “the lived experiences of Cambodian migrants from rural villages to urban centers; the factors that drove the decision to migrate; and the changes that result from becoming urban.” In addition to Shaikh, the research team is comprised of Anni Beukes, Marco Garrido, Alan Kolata, Monin Nong, Julio Postigo, and Try Thuon, who began their collaborative work on the topic in 2020. The first of the two publications, entitled “Home and Away: Drivers and Perceptions of Migration Among Urban Migrants and their Rural Families in the Lower Mekong Basin of Cambodia” (2023, October), was completed in collaboration with Bernard E. and Ellen C. Sunny Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences in the College and fellow COSAS member Alan Kolata. “Using a framework of interconnected migration factors, this article reports on rural-to-urban migration in five provinces around Phnom Penh—from the perspective of both urban migrants and their rural family members. The work examines the economic, environmental, and sociocultural factors influencing migrants’ current and desired movements, changing livelihood activities, and the permanency of migration choices.”
Also this year, Shaikh published “Riverine food environments and food security: a case study of the Mekong River, Cambodia” in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. The publication “describe[s] the dynamism and multifaceted nature of rivers as food environments (i.e. the place within food systems where people obtain their food) and their role in securing food security including improved diets and overall health. [It] also provide[s] a conceptual framework that explains rivers as food environments within the broader food system and approaches to characterizing these food environments to better inform our understanding of how they influence food security and nutrition outcomes. Applying this framework to the Mekong River in Cambodia, [the piece] describe[s] rivers as multifaceted wild food environments embedded within ecosystems, sociocultural and political environments and sectors of influence.”
Congratulations, Dr. Shaikh, on your impressive contributions to the field!