Els Lecoutere

Post-doctoral research fellow

Foto ID

About Els Lecoutere

My research focus

My research focus is gender and collective action. I study the effect of gendered social relations, norms and preferences on economic behaviour in common pool resource settings and at the intra-household level in developing contexts. Additionally, I examine the extent to which interventions or policy can alter gendered relations, behaviour and outcomes. My background in (development) economics and demography, combined with a PhD in political sciences, allows me to approach these topics in a multidisciplinary way, applying qualitative and quantitative methods, including experimental methods. Most of my work concentrates on East-Africa.

I have been switching between academic research and more policy and practice oriented research in Tanzania and Uganda. This has been a deliberate choice, which, on the one hand, allows to improve my theoretical and methodological basis and, on the other hand, ensures my research remains relevant and useful. In Tanzania (2001-2003), I first worked with an NGO in rural development and then joined REPOA, a renown Tanzanian research institute, doing research on poverty alleviation. Thereafter (2004-2011), I joined the Department of Conflict and Development Studies at Ghent University and engaged in doctoral research on the way irrigation water is governed and shared in rural Tanzania.

From 2011 until 2015, I lived and worked in Uganda where I conducted research on inclusive value chains, land rights for women, empowering effects of cooperative membership and intra household decision making in farming households in collaboration with local and international development organisations and research institutes.

In October 2015, I joined the Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB), a multidisciplinary institute involved in scientific research on development processes, actors and policies, academic teaching and service to the community. As a post-doctoral research fellow at the IOB, I study the impact of improved intra household decision making on the sustainability, efficiency and equitability of household farming in sub-Saharan Africa in collaboration with a development partner and an international research institute. I was awarded a 24-month Marie Skłodowska-Curie individual fellowship (October 2016-September 2018) to extend this study.  I have also been involved in a collaborative project with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in which we randomly varied the gender composition of the messengers and recipients of ICT mediated extension videos in a three by three factorial design to stimulate inclusive sustainable intensification of maize production in Uganda.

Research in action: A video documenting my research on intrahousehold decision-making in Tanzania






My research in Smurf






My personal website


Statute & functions

Bijzonder academisch personeel
  • Academisch medewerker (AAP)


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Tel. 032655048