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URPP Human Reproduction Reloaded | H2R

Emma  Mavodza

Emma Mavodza , Dr.

  • Postdoc

Dr. Emma Mavodza is an adjunct researcher in the URPP Human Reproduction Reloaded │ H2R  at the University of Zurich.

Emma is an avid development researcher with a specific focus on the symbiotic interaction between innovative digital technologies and society. She specialises in multiple topics including the politics of financial inclusion and exclusion, gender, positive contribution of local mundane financial and health practices, indigenous knowledge systems IKSs (culture, traditions, values, social norms, taboos, etc). In her doctoral thesis, she examined the social life of digital money in selected locations in the global South. Based on her rich ethnographic data, she rejects some framings of mobile money as financial inclusion and demonstrates how it is intertwined with the socio-economic reproduction of precarity as well as existing social relations, structures, practices, and social meanings of the adoptive communities. She has extensive experience with both conventional and innovative qualitative methodologies including interviews, participant observation, photo voice and participant digital diaries. Starting in September 2023, Emma is an Early Career Researcher at the Joint Institute for Advanced Studies of ETH, UZH and ZHdK (Collegium Helveticum).


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Development Studies, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa (2023)
  • MA in Development Studies, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa (2016)
  • BSSc Honours in Development Studies, University of Pretoria (2014)
  • BSSc in Sociology and Rural Development, Great Zimbabwe University, Zimbabwe (2009)

Work and Research Experience (Selection)

  • Early Career Researcher (Postdoctoral), Collegium Helveticum, ETH Zurich, Switzerland (September 2023)
  • ZUKOnnect Fellow, Zukunftscolleg, University of Konstanz, Germany (July 2022-June 2023)
  • Erasmus+ Global Mobility Scholar, Department of Development and Planning, University of Agder, Norway (January-July 2020)
  • Lecturer, Social Work Department, Eswatini Medical Christian University, Eswatini (2016-2021)
  • External Consultant, Department of Community Development, Institute of Development Management, Eswatini (April 2019-Present)
  • Teaching Assistant, Department of Sociology, University of Witwatersrand (2015)
  • Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) Laureate MA Thesis writing Grant (2015)