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. 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 Informal Economy in Latin America – Reviewing Policy Interventions The concept of the informal economy has been coined in the 1970s based on research in Africa. Later institutionalized by the ILO, discourses, and policy interventions have been particularly vivid in Latin America. Despite over four decades, there is no common agreement on definitions, measurements, and way of interventions. This research advances our knowledge of the informal economy with a special focus on policy interventions, government programs, and specific projects initiated by the public, private, or civic sector. Collaborating Partner: WISE Format: Onsite / Desktop; Master / Bachelor Requirements: Portuguese or Spanish skills an asset 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 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 The Role of Real Estate Developers in Urban Development Since the 1980s, private markets were assigned an increasingly important role in delivering basic and other services once under extensive government control. This sectoral transition has not gone without conflicts (e.g. water wars in Latin America) and often produced unexpected outcomes. In the field of housing, the enabling paradigm was promoted by the Washington consensus to unlock the potential of real estate markets to deliver housing for all. In practice, these policies often led to segregation, suburbanization, and mistargeted benefits. One explanatory vector is the little knowledge base such reforms have been based on. This research project aims to advance knowledge of the role of real estate developers in affordable housing. Possible thesis topics include literature reviews or analyzing the best practice database of the UHPH. Collaborating Partner: WISE; Urban Housing Practitioners Hub (UHPH) Format: Onsite / Desktop; Master / Bachelor Requirements: Portuguese or Spanish skills an asset Status: Ongoing, accepting requests Affordable Housing: Of Policy Interventions, Programs and Best Case Studies 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. At the same time, interesting housing projects are also developed by civil society and the engaged public. GIMLA advances its own research on the scientific analysis of housing programs and policy interventions but also collaborates with the UHPH (Urban Housing Practitioners Hub) and their growing best case study database. Specific topics are co-developed with interested students and may range from in-depth analysis of projects, the review of the experiences in a country to structural investigations of specific issues in the Latin American region. Collaborating Partner: WISE, UHPH, Cities Alliance Format: Onsite / Desktop; Master / Bachelor Requirements: Portuguese, French, Spanish skills an asset Status: Ongoing, accepting requests 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. Integrating Sustainable Development into Planning The Sustainable Development Goals represent an international agreement on the largest development challenges of our times. Goal 11 focuses on the explicit on cities. In parallel to this 2030 agenda, the New Urban Agenda (NUA) was ratified in Quito 2016 and lays the largest urban development challenges and concrete ways to answer them. This project works with different international organizations engaged in aligning the SDG and NUA as well as translating them into local contexts. The envisioned theses may elaborate specific topics (e.g. engagement with the business community) or provide in-depth studies of current cities translating sustainability concerns into their planning frameworks. Collaborating Partner: United Cities of Local Governments (UCLG) and the City of São Paulo; GIZ and the AIE of Ecuador Format: Onsite / Desktop; Master / Bachelor Requirements: An interest in sustainability and cities 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. 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: Portuguese or Spanish skills an asset Status: Ongoing, accepting requests Other topics can be given consideration, upon request. Interested students can contact GIMLA to receive more information about topics, supervision conditions, and timeline.