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Ellis A. Adams

Assistant Professor

2016 PhD Geography, Environmental & Spatial Sciences, Michigan State University
2012 Certificate in Sustainable Water Resources Planning, Ohio State University
2011 M.S Environmental Policy, Michigan Technological University
2007 B. S Natural Resources Mgt, University of Science and Technology, Ghana


Global water security, Water policy and governance, Water resources, Water-sanitation-health, Cities and informal settlements, Africa, Urban political ecology, global health, Gender, Human-environment interactions, Community-Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM)


Ellis Adjei Adams is an Assistant Professor of Global Studies and Geosciences at Georgia State University. His research lies at the intersection of human-environment interactions in cities, poor urban and peri-urban, and informal settlements of Sub-Saharan Africa. His primary research for the past few years has explored institutional, governance, and socio-political dimensions of water resources and potable water access in the Sub-Saharan African context, including the role of neoliberal, market-based privatization of urban water supply. His most recent project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant examined the impact of decentralization reforms (via community-public partnerships) on access to potable water in Malawi’s urban and peri-urban informal settlements. Dr. Adams continues to be interested in scholarship on urban livelihoods, urban and political geography, and sustainable development, and particularly passionate about how institutions, socio-economics, politics, and culture influence access to water, sanitation, and other resources in cities and informal settlements of Sub-Saharan Africa, all in the context of population growth and unprecedented, rapid urbanization in the region. He is currently involved in the following research projects either as a lead or a collaborator:


Price H., Adams E.A, Quilliam R. (2019) The Difference a Day can Make: The Temporal Dynamics of Drinking Water Access and Quality in Urban Slums. Science of the Total Environment 671, 818-826

Adams E. A., Price H., Stoler J. (2019) Urban Slums, Drinking Water, and Health: Trends and Lessons from Sub-Saharan Africa. In Handbook of Global Urban Health, Routledge. Forthcoming

Adu Ampong E., Adams E.A., (2019) “But you are also Ghanaian, you should know”: negotiating the insider-outsider research positionality in the fieldwork encounter. Qualitative Inquiry. ***Accepted without revisions

Ajibade I., Adams (2019) E.A. Planning Principles and Assessment of Transformational Adaptation: Towards a Refined Ethical Approach. Climate and Development, 1- 13. 2019 Brewis A., Rosinger A., Wutich A., Adams E.A, Cronk L., Pearson A., Workman Cassandra, Young S, and the HWISE Consortium. Water sharing, reciprocity, and need: A comparative study of interhousehold water transfers in sub-Saharan Africa. Economic Anthropology. Economic Anthropology.

Vasquez W., Adams E.A, (2019) Climbing the Water Ladder in Poor Urban Areas: Stated Preferences for ‘Limited’ and ‘Basic’ Water Services in Nima-Maamobi, Ghana. Science of the Total Environment.

Adams E.A., Boateng G. (2018) Are Urban Informal Communities Capable of Coproduction? The Influence of Community Public Partnerships on Water Access in Lilongwe, Malawi. Environment and Urbanization 0956247818792059.

Adams E.A., Juran L., Ajibade I. (2018) ‘Spaces of Exclusion’ in Community Water Governance: A Feminist Political Ecology of Gender and Participation in Malawi’s Urban Water User Associations. Geoforum, 95, 133-142.

Wutich, A., J. Budds, W. Jepson, L. Harris, E. Adams, A. Brewis, L. Cronk, C. DeMyers, K. Maes, T. Marley, J. Miller, A. Pearson, A. Rosinger, R. Schuster, J. Stoler, C. Staddon, P. Wiessner, C. Workman, S.L. Young. (2018) Household water sharing: A review of water gifts, exchanges, and transfers across cultures. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews – Water.

Adams E.A., Smiley S. (2018) Urban-Rural Water Access Inequalities in Malawi: Implications for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Natural Resources Forum. Special Issue on Inequality.

Zulu L., Adams E. A, Chikowo R., (2018) Community Dynamics of Agricultural Technology Adoption: The Case of Livestock Management for Pigeon Peas in Central Malawi. Food Policy.
2018 Adams E.A., Sambu D., Smiley S., Urban Water Supply in Sub-Saharan Africa: Historical and Emerging Policies and Institutional Arrangements. Int. Journal of Water Resources Development. 1-24 (**Editor’s choice. Open access for 3 months)

Stauber C., Adams E.A., (2018) Rothenberg R., Dai D., Luo R., Weaver S., Prasad Amit., Kano M., Heath J. (2018). Measuring the Impact of Environment on the Health of Large Cities. Int. Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 15 (6), 1216.

Ananga E., Ambe N., Adams E.A., (2018) Peaden C., Factors impeding efficient functionality of community operated urban water schemes: the experience of Kisumu, Kenya. Sustainable Water Resources Management.

Adams E.A. (2018) Intra-Urban Inequalities in Water Access among Households in Malawi’s Informal Settlements: Toward Pro-Poor Urban Water Policies. Environmental Development, 26, 34-42

Siiba A, Adams E.A, (2018) Cobbinah P. Chieftaincy and Sustainable Land Use Planning in Yendi, Ghana. Cities 73 (96-105).

Cobbinah P.B., Adams EA., (2018) Urbanization and Electric Power Crisis in Ghana: Trends, Policies, and Socio-Economic Implications. In: G. Bena (ed.). “Urbanization and Its Impact on Socio-Economic Growth in Developing Regions”. Hersey, PA, USA: IGI Global.

Adams, E. A., Thirsty Slums in African Cities: Access to Potable water in Malawi’s Urban and Peri-Urban Informal Settlements. International Journal of Water Resources Development.

  1. Dos Santos, E. A. Adams, E. M. Bernhardt, A. de Sherbinin, G. Neuville, Y. Wada. S. B. Adamo. Urban Growth and Water Access in Least Developed Countries: Progress, Challenges, and Emerging Research Directions. Science of the Total Environment.607-608 (497-508)

Adams E.A, Zulu L.C (2015). Participants or Customers in Water Governance? Community-Public Partnerships for Peri-Urban Water Supply. Geoforum 65 (112-124).

Adams E.A, Boateng O. J, Amoyaw O. J (2015). Socioeconomic and Demographic Predictors of Potable Water and Sanitation Access in Ghana. Social Indicators Research (1-15).

Adams, E. A., Halvorsen, K. (2014). Nongovernmental Organization Staff Views of Global Water Privatization. Human Geographies 8 (2):1-15

Adams E. A (2014). Behavioral Attitudes towards Water Conservation and Re-use among the United States Public. Resources and Environment 4 (3):162-167.

Otoo R, Adams EA, Boateng D, Baffour PA. (2014). Waste Management Services in the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana. International Journal of Community Development 2(2):23-29

Tia-Adjei M., Boateng D, Adams E. A (2013). Determinants of Household Water Quality in the Tamale Metropolis, Ghana. Journal of Environment and Health Sciences 3(7):70-77