Professor Rob Hope

Professor of Water Policy

Director, Water Security Initiative, School of Geography and the Environment

Director of the Water Programme, Smith School for Enterprise and the Environment

Member of the Oxford Water Network

Member of the Environment Research Doctoral Training Partnership

Academic Profile

Professor Rob Hope is Director of the Water Security Initiative at the School of Geography and the Environment and Director of the Water Programme at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. His research interests focus on water policy, poverty and economics, largely in Africa and Asia.

Rob is Director of the REACH programme, which is a £22m UK FCDO programme to improve water security for 10 million poor people between 2015-2024. His wider research has been funded by UKRI (ESRC, NERC), UNICEF, USAID, GIZ/BMZ and OECD.

In 2018, he was part of a research team with Engineering Science which won the inaugural University of Oxford's Vice Chancellor's Innovation Award. Between 2018 and 2022, he has served as an expert member of the ESRC International Development Expert Group for the GBP1 billion Global Challenges Research Programme, and between 2019-2021 as member of the UNICEF/WHO/World Bank global working group for Measuring and Monitoring Drinking Water Affordability for SDG6.

Rob has served as both the Academic Director and the Course Director for the MSc Water Science, Policy and Management (WSPM). He teaches and supervises students on WSPM and the MSc on Sustainability, Enterprise and the Environment, and supervises a cohort of DPhil/PhD students.

Since 2016, Rob has been a Trustee of Water Services Maintenance Trust Fund in Kenya and, since 2020, a Trustee of the Uptime Catalyst Facility which has disbursed USD1 million for professional service providers providing reliable drinking water for 1.5 million people in 7 African countries.

Current Research

Teaching and Supervision

Graduate Research Students

Medha Mukherjee
Intersectional Inequalities and Drinking Water Choices in India 2022-present
Kristina Nilsson
(Bank of America/ Uptime Global)
Public finance and drinking water services in rural Africa and Asia 2022-present
Sandra Serumaga-Zake Water Infrastructure Finance in sub-Saharan Africa
(co-supervisor Dr Alex Money)
2021- present
Johannes Wagner
Rural Water Finance in Africa
(co-supervisor Dr Johanna Koehler)
2020- present
Andrew Armstrong Revenue patterns of piped water services in rural Africa
(co-supervisor Dr Johanna Koehler)
Rebecca Peters
(Marshall & REACH)
Normalized non-compliance - regulation of river pollution in Dhaka, Bangladesh 2017-2022
Ranu Sinha
(OICSD, Somerville)
Irrigation infrastructure, institutions and poverty in India
(co-supervisor - Prof Simon Dadson)
Heloise Greeff
Condition monitoring methods to predict handpump failure in rural Africa
(lead supervisor - Prof David Clifton)
Alex Fischer
Building water secure institutions in rural Bangladesh 2015-2019
Jacob Katuva
Water and Welfare in Coastal Kenya 2014-2020
Johanna Koehler
Water Risks and Institutional Change in Kenya 2014-2018
Tim Foster
From cash flows to water flows - new models for rural water sustainability in Africa 2012-2016
Alex Money Corporate water risk and return
(co-supervisor, Prof Gordon Clark)
Aaron Krolikowski
Wireless Water - impacts and implications of mobile water payment innovations in Dar Es Salaam 2011-14
Alvar Closas Burning water: institutions, technology, statecraft and the production of water scarcity Spain 2009-13
Alexandra Girard
Women, Water and Work in Rural India 2009-14
Caroline King
Oasis ecosystems, global change and human development in north Africa
(co-supervisor, Prof D. Thomas, SoGE)

Selected Publications

Water Science, Policy, and Management: A Global Challenge
Dadson, S.J., Garrick, D.E., Penning-Rowsell, E.C., Hall, J.W., Hope, R. and Hughes, J. (eds.) (2019)
John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Water Science, Policy, and Management: A Global Challenge
Negotiating Watershed Services
Hope, R.A., Porras, I., Borgoyary, M., Miranda, M., Agarwal, C., Tiwari, S. and Amezaga, J.M. (2007)
International Institute for the Environment and Development, London
Negotiating watershed services
Hope, R., Charles, K., Grafton, R., Olago, D., Salehin, M., Hossain, M., Peters, R., Gren, A., Woldehanna, T., Ibrahim, M., Chowdhury, E., Alam, M., Goyol, K., McDonnell, R. and Nileshwar, A. (2024) Nature Water [Preprint].
2007656 - Science?practitioner partnerships for sustainable ...
Chintalapati, P., Nyaga, C., Walters, J., Koehler, J., Javernick-Will, A., Hope, R. and Linden, K. (2022) Environmental science & technology, 56(23), pp. 17364–17374.
1309726 - Improving the Reliability of Water Service Deliver...
Armstrong, A., Dyer, E., Koehler, J. and Hope, R. (2022) Global Environmental Change, 76.
1259058 - Intra-seasonal rainfall and piped water revenue va...
Armstrong, A., Hope, R. and Koehler, J. (2022) Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability, 2(3), pp. 035003–035003.
1232266 - Piped water revenue and investment strategies in r...
Armstrong, A., Dyer, E., Koehler, J. and Hope, R. (2022) Global Environmental Change, 76, p. 102592.
1281459 - Intra-seasonal rainfall and piped water revenue va...
Armstrong, A., Hope, R. and Koehler, J. (2022) Environmental Research Infrastructure and Sustainability, 2(3), p. 035003.
1267232 - Piped water revenue and investment strategies in r...
Sinha, R., Borgomeo, E., Fischer, C. and Hope, R. (2021) Water Economics and Policy, 7(4).
1209999 - Do rehabilitated canals influence irrigation techn...
Hope, R. and Ballon, P. (2021) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(40).
1193537 - Individual choices and universal rights for drinki...
Hoque, S., Peters, R., Whitehead, P., Hope, R. and Hossain, M. (2021) Environmental Research Communications, 3(9).
1194232 - River pollution and social inequalities in Dhaka, ...
Grasham, C., Calow, R., Casey, V., Charles, K., de Wit, S., Dyer, E., Fullwood-Thomas, J., Hirons, M., Hope, R., Hoque, S., Jepson, W., Korzenevica, M., Murphy, R., Plastow, J., Ross, I., Ruiz-Apilánez, I., Schipper, E., Trevor, J., Walmsley, N. and Zaidi, H. (2021) npj Clean Water, 4(1).
1189707 - Engaging with the politics of climate resilience t...