Development-Induced Displacement and Women and Children's Well-Being: Evidence from the Brazilian Amazon

Heather Randell, PhD
Assistant Professor in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Faculty Affiliate of the Minnesota Population Center
Date and Time:

537 Heller Hall

Abstract: An estimated 20 million people worldwide are forcibly displaced each year to make way for development projects including hydropower dams, highways, and urban infrastructure, with potentially hazardous implications for their health and well-being. While research suggests that development-induced displacement may be linked with poor health, the effects on those most vulnerable—women and children—remain poorly understood. This new project focuses on displacement due to the Belo Monte Dam, which was recently completed in the Brazilian Amazon and is the fourth largest hydropower dam in the world. Through in-depth interviews with displaced and non-displaced mothers and daughters, we seek to understand how women and children experienced and responded to displacement, uncover who is most vulnerable, and explore the mechanisms underlying the observed relationships between displacement, health, and well-being. In this talk, I will provide an overview of the project and data collection process, as well as some preliminary findings. 

This talk is a part of UMN International Women's Day Event Series 2024 sponsored by the Women's Health Equity, Empowerment, and Leadership (WHEEL) Series

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About the Speaker

Heather Randell is an Assistant Professor in the global policy area at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and is a faculty affiliate of the Minnesota Population Center. Dr. Randell is a sociologist and demographer with interests in understanding how climate change and dam building impact the health and well-being of marginalized populations. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation and has been published in journals including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Environmental Research Letters, and Social Science & Medicine. Dr. Randell received a PhD in Sociology from Brown University, a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University, and a BS in Biology from Cornell University.

Interdisciplinary Research Colloquium

The Interdisciplinary Research Colloquium series offers informal lectures and discussions on current research projects by ICGC Scholars, affiliated faculty, visiting scholars, and practitioners. These events are open to the public. Guests are welcome to bring their lunches and eat during the sessions.