Tamara joined the Institute for Sustainable Futures as a Research Consultant in October 2017. She possesses strong practitioner experience in social development and bilateral aid projects of the South Asia region. As Country Manager of the Australian Volunteers for International Development program in Indonesia, she developed program strategy aligned with bilateral priorities and designed capacity building projects in multiple sectors. She built intensive partnerships and conducted monitoring and evaluation with NGOs, government agencies and knowledge institutes in urban and remote locations in Indonesia and Timor Leste. She supported volunteers with training on working cross-culturally, child protection and development effectiveness. As the Head of Development for Nuffic Neso Indonesia, she worked closely with the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science to promote internationalisation of education. Tamara delivered training for top-ranked universities in 8 ASEAN countries related to the EU-funded SHARE program to build a regional education platform. She developed an innovative knowledge exchange project on integrated urban water management between the City of Rotterdam and the City of Jakarta, with co-funding between private and public sources. She evaluated the Netherlands Initiative for Capacity Building in Higher Education program in Indonesia for effectiveness and alignment with labour market needs and gender sensitivity. She designed bilateral capacity building projects to increase quality of vocational education in horticulture.
Aside from project management and training, Tamara is experienced in qualitative research. For her Masters dissertation, Tamara researched the livelihoods of traditional weavers in Eastern Indonesia using an ethnographic approach and diverse economic analysis. Most recently, she worked on a research project about small-scale fisheries and the impact of marine spatial planning governance approaches. Tamara’s research interests include development effectiveness, gender and sexual diversity, community economies and political ecological approaches to natural resource management. She has a particular interest in working with disadvantaged communities and individuals, and analysing policies and practices that produce or reproduce global inequalities. She desires to contribute research of social relevance for a more just and equitable world, and which pays explicit attention to the way in which knowledge is produced - research which is not just about people, but also with and for people.
- Social policy and inclusion approaches
- Sustainable livelihoods
- Agrarian change and social movements
- Gender and women’s rights in development
- Design, Monitoring and Evaluation
- Training and designing learning programs
- Management of scholarship, volunteer and people programs
- Qualitative methodology
- Participatory research
- Action research
Megaw, T 2019, 'Contradictory Outcomes of Development Technologies on Women Weavers' Livelihoods in Eastern Indonesia', Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 1039-1047.
Indarti, N, Rostiani, R, Megaw, T & Willetts, J 2019, 'Women's involvement in economic opportunities in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in Indonesia: Examining personal experiences and potential for empowerment', Development Studies Research, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 76-91.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019, © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The involvement of women in economic activity in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in Indonesia is increasing, and yet this is the first study to examine empowerment in this context. This qualitative study explored the experiences of 18 women business owners, mobilizers, and public sector employees in WASH-related activities. The women were observed to have strong social motivations, and only those responsibile for household income expressed economic motivations. Women’s experiences were analyzed against four dimensions of empowerment: ‘power within,’ ‘power to,’ ‘power over,’ and ‘power with.’ Significant evidence of empowerment was found, and in some cases, economic empowerment. Equally, the complexity of the empowerment process as well as challenges, contradictions, and negotiations were observed. Evidence of self-belief and recognition that women had capabilities equal to men was tempered by adherence to gender norms concerning men’s roles in technical matters and decision-making. While some women experienced support from close family relatives, others were limited by household duties, restricted mobility, and limited financial independence. Based on the results, the WASH programs and policies promoting involvement in economic activities need more nuanced consideration of women’s empowerment, and to develop multi-pronged strategies that can support women in negotiating pathways towards greater gender equality.
Gender inequality, unequal power relations and discrimination are barriers that often prevent women, girls and people of diverse sexual and gender identities from equal representation and participation in many aspects of society. Addressing these issues in climate change programming is
crucial, given the ways in which climate change can amplify existing gender inequalities (CEDAW 2018). Pacific Island Countries (PICs) are already experiencing the impacts of climate change. Although the diverse cultures of the Pacific have adapted to severe weather over the millennia, the broad range and severity of climate change impacts require new interventions to ensure lives and access to basic rights are protected. All sectors and all levels of society—from local to national, rural to urban—require new ways of working to adapt to climate change. These new ways need to ensure that marginalised segments of society, including women, girls and boys, people of diverse sexual and gender identities, people with disability and indigenous people, are considered. 'Gender transformative climate change action' seeks to address some of these issues, by transforming underlying norms and behaviours, relations, systems and structures to ensure gender equality.
Megaw, T 2019, 'Troubling encounters: The pursuit of human rights to water and sanitation in the face of climate change', Human Rights in Southeast Asia: Theory meets Practice Conference, University of Jember, Indonesia.
Megaw, T, Winterford, K & Ferdows Lipi, H 2019, 'Role of social accountability in promoting women's leadership and gender transformative change', RDI Conference 2019 Leadership for Inclusive Development, La Trobe.
This report was developed as a result of a partnership between Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney (ISF-UTS) and WaterAid. The strategic and practical gender changes that men and women had experienced at community and household levels were discovered through the project. The study engaged 172 people across nine communities with an explicit focus on reflection, learning and action research with 18 field staff.
Winterford, K, Panday, PK, Baroi, HS, Ahsan, AHMK, Megaw, T & Willetts, J Prepared for World Vision Bangladesh 2020, Learning Report from the Nobo Jatra Program: Gender-transformative social accountability for inclusive WASH, Sydney.
Megaw, T, Winterford, K & Falletta, J Prepared for Act for Peace, OfERR, TBC, by the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney. 2019, 'I'm Prepared: Equality for Refugee Women in the Return and Reintegration Context' Year 2 Learning Report, Sydney.
In 2015 there were an estimated 300 privately managed water supply schemes in rural Cambodia, serving over onemillion people (World Bank, 2015,p. 15). In recent years, a range of policies has been put in place by the Cambodian Government to promote gender equality within the rural water and sanitation sector. One such policy is theCambodian National Strategy for Rural Water Supply (2011–2025),whichincludesprovisions to increase gender equality. One of the ways the Strategy aims to do this is by: ‘Mainstream[ing]gender in the [rural water supply] sector’ (Cambodian Government, 2011, p.10). However, there are major knowledge gaps related to how gender norms intersect with the rural water sector, and with the growth of water enterprises in Cambodia. These gaps include:a lack of knowledge about how gender influences who becomes a water entrepreneur; what the experiences, challenges and opportunities of water entrepreneurs are; and how water entrepreneurship relates towomen’s empowerment, including economic empowerment. To begin to address these knowledge gaps, this study examined the extent to whichwomen’s ownership and management of water supply schemes led to their empowerment, including economic empowerment. This study, and a related concurrent study in Indonesia,arethe first of their kind to systematically look into the experiences and needs of female water supply scheme entrepreneurs(henceforth referred to as “entrepreneurs”), and the first to explore their experiences with reference to women’s empowerment frameworks.
Megaw, T & Winterford, K 2018, I'm Prepared: Year 1 Research Findings Gender Analysis, Prepared for Act for Peace, OfERR, TBC, by the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney..