Thesis Supervision Master and bachelor students from the University of St.Gallen have the possibility to conduct research and write their theses on topics relevant to the Latin American region. Informed by ongoing research and/or co-developed by institutional partnerships, participating students benefit from GIMLA’s strategy to close the practice – academia gap. This is done for several selected topics and based on two major modalities. The first thesis modality offers the unique possibility to work close to and with other researchers and aim at skills development of students in scientific conduct. The second thesis modality offers topics informed by current development challenges that are do-developed with different institutional partners. Results are shared with these stakeholders and have the potential to influence current development practice. Current Offers Are you interested in socio-environmental issues and looking for a thesis topic? GIMLA just launched a call for 3 thesis topics. In addition, the down below offers are available to interested HSG students and listed by their level of priority. Renewable Energy Potential and Smart Grid Innovations in Latin America Expanding the renewable share in energy supply is a fundamental requirement in most countries to meet climate targets. The challenge remains how to integrate this supply with often accentuated peak hours efficiently to the main energy grid. In the perspective of the growth potential, a lot of businesses develop digital tools to enable the efficient integration of renewables, Latin America appears to be a highly dynamic region for smart grid technologies. The interested student would establish an overview of current initiatives in the highly dynamic region of Latin America. Collaborating Partner: Climatenza, Energie Start-up & HSG Competence Center Energy Management (Dr. Christian Opitz) Format: Desktop; Master Requirements: An interest in the topic and Spanish language skills an asset Status: Ongoing, accepting requests Cities & Finance - How to leverage capital and active development benefits Cities administrations are increasingly under pressure how to finance and realize important projects. Linked to neoliberal reforms and de-regulations, throughout the world an important role is given to private actors while the public sector remains with often little direct means to translate urban planning visions into reality. Local governments have to be increasingly inventive in organizing the required financial means.This research aims at analyzing recent advancement in financing urban development that often take place in partnership between governments, private sector and international investments.Collaborating Partner: WISE Format: Desktop; Master / Bachelor Requirements: An interest in the topic, an econ. / finance / real estate background an advantage Status: Ongoing, accepting requests Slum Upgrading - How to learn from Best Practices to provide Affordable Housing Almost a billion people live in slums and many more are inadequately housed. Affordable Housing is one of the great development challenges of our time. Governments around the world increasingly acknowledge the scale of the problem and launch new interventions to remedy the situation. GIMLA advances its own research on the scientific analysis of slum upgrading and housing programs but also collaborates with very important knowledge stakeholders, such as the UHPH (Urban Housing Practitioners Hub) and Cities Alliance. Specific topics are co-developed with interested students and may range from in-depth analysis of specific projects, the review of the experiences in a country to structural investigations of specific issues in the Latin American but also other world regions. Collaborating Partner: WISE, UHPH, Cities Alliance Format: Onsite / Desktop; Master / Bachelor Requirements: Portuguese, French, Spanish skills an asset Status: Ongoing, accepting requests Ongoing Assignments The projects listed below are currently in different phases of elaboration. Student requests might still be possible based on the level of available supervising capacity of GIMLA staff. Norms of Common but Differentiated Treatment in Trade, Environment and Health Collaborating Partner: Linked to ongoing HSG project Format: Desktop; Master / Bachelor Status: Ongoing, accepting requests The Impact of Chinese Investments in the Brazilian Amazon Collaborating Partner: An international Research Network Format: Onsite / Desktop; Master / Bachelor Requirements: Portuguese skills an asset Status: Ongoing, accepting requests The Role of Real Estate Developers in Urban Development Real estate developers are central agents of change and influence urban development throughout the world. Despite the centrality of these stakeholders in steering urbanization processes and their spatial manifestation, the existing body of literature remains thin. The aim of this research project is to advance our understanding on the institutional dimension of the real estate ecosystem and highlight the interlinkages between the development industry and urban planning, policy making, as well as financial investment practices. Collaborating Partner: WISE Format: Desktop; Master / Bachelor Requirements: An interest in the topic. Status: Ongoing, accepting requests Public Goods and Service Provision and Equitable Development Cities Alliance has established a Joint Work Programme (JWP) to respond to the equitable economic growth challenge in cities. The JWP focuses on supporting equitable access to public goods and services (e.g. basic infrastructure, public space, public transportation, energy) by all citizens and formal and informal businesses in urban areas. GIMLA supports the collaboration with three academic networks to gather and synthesize knowledge on the local socio-economic effects of programs implemented in various cities in the LAC region. Collaborating Partner: Cities Alliance, N-AERUS, REDEUS, NAURI Format: Desktop; Master / Bachelor Requirements: An interest in the topic. Status: Ongoing, accepting requests Smart Cities and Sustainable and Inclusive Development in Latin America Smart cities are increasingly discussed in Latin America and seen as a new urban paradigm to answer the development challenges in the 21st century. The wilful alignment of governments with the private market in the pursuit of technological innovations brings new opportunities but also risks to the highly urbanized societies in Latin America. This research project seeks to produce knowledge on smart cities and its impact on participation/accountability/bottom-up initiative as well as on sustainability and inclusion. Theses based on literature reviews as well as in-depth case studies are possible. Depending on the particular interest and motivation of the student, other topics in relation to smart cities can be pursued. Collaborating Partner: WISE Format: Onsite / Desktop; Master / Bachelor Requirements: Portuguese or Spanish skills an asset Status: Ongoing, accepting requests Operationalizing Business Improvement Districts in Latin America Business Improvement Districts (BID) are a specific form of multi-sector partnerships, where local governments, the business sector and land owners jointly work towards realizing well-managed, clean, safe, attractive urban environments. Despite a broad application in some countries of the Global North, implementation in Latin America has been punctual and at best experimental. Little is known about the success factor of BID (and similar programs) in the world and the major impediments to its application in LAC. Within the project, IDB supported by GIMLA, aims at reviewing the existing literature, developing a toolbox, analyzing case studies, and implementing pilot programs. Collaborating Partner: Inter-American Development Bank Format: Onsite / Desktop, Master / Bachelor Requirements: Portuguese or Spanish skills an asset Status: In progress, closed for applications. Other topics can be given consideration, upon request. Interested students can contact GIMLA to receive more information about topics, supervision conditions, and timeline.