Dr Beacon Mbiba
BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, PgDipDPT, Cert GIS, MRTPI, FHEA, MZIRUP
Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning and International Development
School of the Built Environment
Before joining Oxford Brookes University, Mbiba was Lecturer in Urban Development Policy in the Department of Geography, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Mbiba is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK). He has previously taught at the University of Zimbabwe, Development Planning Unit (DPU) University College London, Birkbeck College, London and The University of Reading.
Mbiba has also worked in various Urban Development Policy and Management roles in Africa and the United Kingdom. He teaches core MSc modules (i) Urban Land Policy and Urban Management and (ii) Urban Planning and Policy in Practice and manages the MSc Planning in Developing and Transitional Regions programme.
Areas of expertise
- Urban and peri-urban transformations management and policy
- Land develpment analysis policy
- Infrastructure development
- Diaspora, migration and development policy.
- Evaluation and monitoring of development
Teaching and supervision
- Environmental Impact Assessment and Management (MSc)
- Infrastructure Planning and Sustainable Development (MSc, PGDip, PGCert)
- Real Estate (MSc, PGDip)
- Spatial Planning (MSc)
- Applied Research Methods
- Infrastructure Finance and Planning
- Development in Practice
Currently supervising four candidates, each working on projects in Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, and Mozambique respectively.
Recent PhD completions:
- Dr Sarah Abdelbaki Mahmoud Hamza, “Renewable energy transitions in developing countries: towards an integrated model of providing energy in low income housing in Egypt”
- Dr Lukman Ahmed LAWAL, “Human security in a post-conflict livelihoods change context: case of Buni-Yadi, Northeast Nigeria”.
- Dr Arthur Munyua MWAURA “Mediating Conflicting Planning Rationalities: Collaborative Approaches in Low Income Neighbourhoods in Nairobi, Kenya”.
- Dr Afua-Adu BOATENG “Determinants of the Adoption of Climate Change Policies in Urban Africa”
Mbiba has research interests in land conflicts, identity, urban and peri-urban transformations, infrastructure planning and global citizenship in the UK and Africa. He has written and contributed to development policy work on access to land and justice for the poor, productive and inclusive African cities and a leading expert on urban agriculture (visit RUAF Foundation at www.ruaf.org) urban governance, urban housing, rural-urban linkages and poverty alleviation.
In 2008 he was appointed to the five member International Jury for the Dubai International Award for Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment (DIABP) see details of DIABP - detail available On-Line: www.dubaiaward.ae. Recently, he was appointed international consultant (2009-2010) to assess implementation of Results Based Management in UN-HABITAT with specific reference to "the organization's Medium Term Strategic and Institutional Plan (MTSIP)".
Mbiba is a member of several international research networks and contributes to community for example as:
- Board Member, Editorial Board of Africanus: Journal of Development Studies, published at UNISA, South Africa (appointed 2009)
- Board Member and Trustee, Cannon Collins Trust – Education for Southern Africa (from 2009) for activities of the trust see www.canoncollins.org (to 2019)
- Board Member, Hyde Housing Association, London and South East Customer Services Board (from 2002 to 2012) – for activities of Hyde Housing, see www.hyde-housing.co.uk
- A member of the Zimbabwe Diaspora Focus Group the linchpin for development policy dialogue between the Zimbabwean Diaspora, the Zimbabwean government and HMG United Kingdom.
Examples of recent projects
- Influencing processes and content of global policies
- Was Expert evaluator for the Czech-Norwegian Research Programme, The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic (April – June 2014).
- Was expert Evaluator for Polish-Norwegian Research Programme, The National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR), (http://www.ncbir.pl/en/norwaygrants/) (December 2012 – April 2013)
- Was appointed Expert Evaluator for the European Commission Research and Innovation Directorate, Covent Garden, Brussels in relation to the Seventh Framework Programme, Social Sciences and Humanities (March – June 2012)
- Was Expert Evaluator for the European Commission Research and Innovation Directorate, Covent Garden, Brussels in relation to the Seventh Framework Programme, Social Sciences and Humanities (March – June 2011)
- Consultant to The African Development Bank (Tunisia) to prepare a report titled 'Financing Urban Development in Africa', 18th November 2010 – 27th January 2011.
- Was appointed Rapporteur on 'Migration and Development: What Links Exist Between the European Policies and the Civil Society's Practices?' for The European Network on Migrations and Development (EUNOMAD) and Association for Regional Economic Development (ADER), Paris; 1st - 30th November 2010, www.eunomad.org
- Contracted by UN-HABITAT as regional consultant to 'analyze the role of urban growth, urban economies, social development, urban housing, and land conditions in Southern African cities' and drafted the Southern Africa section of the report: 'The State of African Cities 2010: Governance, Inequality and Land Markets' - report launched November 2010, see www.unhabitat.org
- Contracted by United Nations (HABITAT), to produce background document 'The State of Cities in Southern Africa' for the UN-HABITAT State of African Cities Report 2008/2009 launched at the World Urban Forum, November 2008
- In 2006 he was consultant to UN International Labour Office, Geneva (ILO) on the role of local authorities in promoting decent work in the construction sector and related services
- In 2004-2005 Mbiba worked as Policy Research Analyst and Outreach Executive for The Secretariat to the Commission for Africa (CFA). Set up in early 2004 by then UK Prime Minister Hon. Tony Blair, the CFA presented its report in March 2005 and completed its work in July 2005 (for details of report, visit www.commissionforafrica.info)
- Research projects completed since 2000 include those on access to land for the urban poor in East and Southern Africa funded by IDRC Canada (US$380,000.00); Urban and Peri-Urban Transformations in Africa supported by the British Academy, UK (£20,000.00); Formalization of Urban Markets and Trading (covering Kenya, Ghana and Senegal) funded by Department for International Development (DFID), UK (£190,000.00)
- Since 1990 he has acted as consultant on impact studies and project evaluations for mining companies and international development organisations and was co-author of the Zimbabwe National Report and Plan of Action on Human Settlements presented at HABITAT II, Istanbul, June, 1996. He completed action oriented research projects as key member of research networks such as the Association of Rural and Urban Planners in East and Southern Africa (RUPSEA), the Swedish funded Gender Research on Urbanization, Housing Planning and Everyday Life in East and Southern Africa (GRUPHEL), and the Mazingira (Nairobi) based African Research Network for Urban Management (ARNUM)
- Mbiba is Coordinator of Peri-NET (The Urban and Peri-Urban Research Network, Africa).
- Senior Expert for the Research Project. Abrahams, L., Mbiba, B., Chitekwe-Biti, B., Brown, C. and Smith, T. (2017) Research Report “Zimbabwe’s Changing landscape: Infrastructure and Cities for Economic Development (ICED) Research Report prepared for the DFID Zimbabwe country office”. London: HMG Department for International Development (DFID).
- 2016: Lead Author of the United Nations “HABITAT III Regional Report for Africa: Progress, Challenges and Priorities for Housing and Sustainable Development in the Africa Region” (an input to the HABITAT III process and the New Urban Agenda adopted at the Quito Conference October 2016). New York: United Nations/Nairobi: United Nations HABITAT/ Addis Ababa: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
- 2016: Contributed expertise to Part II (Chapter 6 – 8) of the flagship report “African Economic Outlook 2016: Sustainable Cities and Structural Transformation. OECD: Paris/African Development Bank: Abidjan/United Development Programme: New York.
- 2010: Lead Researcher and Author of Chapter 6 (Southern Africa Region) of the United Nations (UN-HABITAT) flagship report “The State of African Cities, 2010: Governance, inequality and urban land markets. Nairobi: United Nations HABITAT and United Nations Environment Programme. (UNEP). (ISBN Number: 978-92-1-132291-0)
- 2008: Lead Researcher andAuthor of Chapter 5 (Southern Africa Region) of the inaugural United Nations (UN-HABITAT) flagship report “The State of African Cities: A framework for addressing urban challenges in Africa. Nairobi: United Nations Habitat and Addis Ababa: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UCA). ISBN 9789211320152.
Mphambukeli TN, Mbiba B, Zondi S, Sempijja N, 'Urban (in) Security and Social Justice in Post Colonies [editorial]'
Frontiers in Sustainable Cities 5 (2023)
ISSN: 2624-9634 eISSN: 2624-9634Published here Open Access on RADAR
Mbiba B, 'Urban Infrastructure Development - Human Security Nexus in Africa’s Post-Colonies: Flows, Spaces and Livelihoods Framework for Comparative Research'
Frontiers in Sustainable Cities 4 (2022)
ISSN: 2624-9634 eISSN: 2624-9634Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Baeta PV, Mbiba B, Butina-Watson G, 'Circumventing the investor-friendly city and displaceability in Maputo’s street economy space'
City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action 26 (5/6) (2022) pp.963-982
ISSN: 1360-4813 eISSN: 1470-3629Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Mbiba B, Mupfumira D, 'Rising to the Occasion: Diaspora Remittances to Zimbabwe during the COVID-19 Pandemic'
World Development Perspectives 27 (2022)
eISSN: 2452-2929Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Mbiba B, 'The mystery of recurrent housing demolitions in urban Zimbabwe'
International Planning Studies 27 (4) (2022) pp.320-335
ISSN: 1356-3475 eISSN: 1469-9265Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Mbiba B, Chireka B, Kunonga E, Gezi K, Matsvai P, Manatse Z
, 'At the Deep End: COVID-19 Experiences of Zimbabwean Health and Care Workers in the United Kingdom.
Journal of Migration and Health 1/2 (2020)
ISSN: 2666-6235 eISSN: 2666-6235Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Mbiba, B., 'Planning Scholarship and the Fetish About Planning in Southern Africa: The Case of Zimbabwe’s Operation Murambatsvina'
International Planning Studies 24 (2) (2018) pp.97-109
ISSN: 1356-3475 eISSN: 1469-9265Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Mbiba B, 'Harare: From a European Settler "Sunshine City" to a "Zhingzhong" African City'
International Development Planning Review 39 (4) (2017) pp.375-398
ISSN: 1474-6743Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Mbiba B, 'Idioms of accumulation: corporate accumulation by dispossession in urban Zimbabwe'
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 41 (2) (2017) pp.213-234
ISSN: 0309-1317Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Mbiba B, 'Urban solid waste characteristics and household appetite for separation at source in Eastern and Southern Africa'
Habitat International 43 (2014) pp.152-162
ISSN: 0197-3975Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Mbiba B, 'Zimbabwean diaspora politics in Britain: insights from the cathedral moment 2009'
Commonwealth and Comparative Politics 50 (2) (2012) pp.226-252
ISSN: 1466-2043Abstract Published here
Mbiba B, 'Beyond abject space: enterprising Zimbabwean diaspora in Britain'
African Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Africa in a Global World 4 (1) (2011) pp.50-75
ISSN: 1872-5457Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Mbiba B, 'Untold Stories: The Commission for Africa and Zimbabwe'
The Round Table 95 (384) (2006) pp.201-218
ISSN: 0035-8533 eISSN: 1474-029XAbstract Published here
Mbiba B, 'A clash of time cultures and planning: reflections from Zimbabwe'
Planning Theory & Practice 4 (4) (2003) pp.477-483
ISSN: 1464-9357Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Mbiba B, 'Financing City Farms in London'
Urban Agriculture Magazine 9 (2003) pp.20-22
ISSN: 1571-6244Abstract Published here
Mbiba B, 'Urban Agriculture in the London Borough of Bexley'
Urban Agriculture Magazine 11 (2003) pp.32-33
ISSN: 1571-6244Abstract Published here
Mbiba B, 'Contentious development: peri-urban studies in sub-Sahara Africa'
Progress in Development Studies 2 (2) (2002) pp.113-131
ISSN: 1464-9934Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Mbiba B, 'Communal land rights as state sanction and social control: a narrative'
Africa 71 (3) (2001) pp.426-448
ISSN: 0001-9720Abstract Published here
Mbiba B, van Veenhuizen R, 'The Integration of Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture in Urban Planning'
Urban Agriculture Magazine 4 (2001)
ISSN: 1571-6244Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Mbiba B, 'The Marginalisation of Urban Agriculture in Lusaka'
Urban Agriculture Magazine 4 (2001) pp.19-21
ISSN: 1571-6244Abstract Published here
Mbiba B, 'Security of tenure, development victims and the limits of environmental impact assessment in Zimbabwe's communal lands'
Development in Practice 9 (3) (1999) pp.316-322
ISSN: 0961-4524Published here Open Access on RADAR
Mbiba B, 'Classification and description of urban agriculture in Harare'
Development Southern Africa 12 (1) (1995) pp.75-86
ISSN: 0376-835XPublished here Open Access on RADAR
Mbiba B, 'Institutional responses to uncontrolled urban cultivation in Harare'
Environment and Urbanization 6 (1) (1994) pp.188-202
ISSN: 0956-2478Abstract Published here
Memberships of professional bodies
Professional Membership and Corporate
- Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute, RTPI (Corporate Member)
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK)
- Trustee of the Canon Collins Educational and Legal Assistance Trust of Southern Africa (CCELAT)
- Director, Shinfield Park Estate Management Company
- DFID/ICED Senior Advisor on Zimbabwe - Infrastructure Cities and Econmic Development (ICED)
- External Examiner, Urban Studies, University of Glasgow, School of Social and Political Sciences (2015 -2018)
- External Examiner, Rural and Urban Development, Great Zimbabwe University, School of Social Sciences (2014 - 2018)
Recent Appointments as PhD External Examiner
Examined higher degrees (PhD) as external examiner at:
- University of The Free State, South Africa, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (2020) Candidate 2007063261.
- University of Cape Town, Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences (2019) Candidate TRRPER001
- University of The Free State, South Africa, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, (2019) Candidate: 2014154716.
- Royal Holloway University, Department of Politics and International Relations and Politics (December 2017).
- University of Salford, School of the Built Environment, Candidate: 00401972, (Nov. 2017)
- University of Johannesburg, Social Change Research Unit, (2016) Candidate 920415978.
- London South Bank University, Department of Social Sciences, (2015) Candidate UREC 1368.
- University of South Africa, Pretoria, (UNISA), Department of Geography, (2014) PhD Candidate, 7355092.
- Neslon Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa, Department of Geography (2013) PhD Candidate 208093692
- University College London (UCL), PhD candidate in the Development Planning Unit, Viva held 14th December 2009. Candidate 39051974
- University of Oxford, Master of Legal Studies Research, Candidate at Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, VIVA held 25th September 2009
- University of Sheffield, PhD candidate in the Department of Town and Regional Planning, VIVA held, 23rd April, 2009. Candidate 030180130
- University of Wales, Swansea (2007/8) – PhD candidate at the Centre for Development Studies School of the Environment & Society. VIVA held February 2008. Candidate 296270