Mariam Zaqout

Mariam Zaqout

Profile

I am a second-year PhD researcher based at the School of Civil Engineering. I come from Palestine where I obtained a BSc degree in Environmental Engineering from the Islamic University of Gaza, Palestine. Later, I worked for two years in consulting companies there concerned with environmental studies. During my BSc, I spent one academic year at the University of L’Aquila, Italy as part of the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship Programme. In 2017, I received the Chevening Scholarship to study MSc of Water, Sanitation and Health Engineering at the University of Leeds. During my MSc, I became interested to focus on sanitation challenges in Bangladesh, where I received the Mathew Treadgold Award to conducted aa primary qualitative study across three cities investigating the livelihoods of sanitation workers. Refer to my blog “My experience of conducting research in Bangladesh” and a short findings report about the study at:

https://wash.leeds.ac.uk/my-experience-of-conducting-research-in-bangladesh/

And I also wrote about the study in WaterAid Blog “Will pit emptiers escape the inheritance burden of their jobs for good?” at:

https://washmatters.wateraid.org/blog/will-pit-emptiers-escape-the-inheritance-burden-of-their-jobs-for-good

I have also volunteered with WaterAid UK in 2019 to study the challenges of sustainable management of large sanitation infrastructure in Bangladesh as well as joining the CACTUS Project at the School of Civil Engineering in two data collection visits in Bangladesh to gather sanitation cost data from running projects in the country. 

I am currently part of a consultancy team at the School of Civil Engineering providing Evaluation service to Practical Action UK for their Sanitation Business Models in three countries: Bangladesh, India, and Kenya. I also assist with research methods teaching to the MSc of Water, Sanitation and Health Engineering Course. I will also start next month my role as Sustainability Architect with the Sustainability Team at the University to assess the curriculums of the Business School against the Sustainable Development Goals and work with their academic team to reflecting the goals on the education and research of the faculty.  

Research interests

  • Breaking the silence about the importance of providing decent and sustainable sanitation jobs in South Asia,
  • The political economy of sanitation services and specifically the incentives of sanitation stakeholders to fund/allocate resources across the various sanitation services, 
  • The financial suitability of sanitation services 

My PhD research

Funded by the School of Civil Engineering/Phil Dolan Scholarship, my research focuses on the political economy of sanitation services and specifically the incentives of sanitation stakeholders to fund/allocate resources across the various sanitation services. The research examines public services literature and how the characteristics of these services influence the incentives of the involved stakeholders to fund it. It then reflects on the characteristics of sanitation various services and the created incentives against the stakeholders. The research eventually aims to challenge these incentives in a given context in order to plan for a sustainable allocation of funds across the various sanitation services, taking Urban Bangladesh as a case study.

Accepted publications 

Zaqout, M. and Hueso, A.  Providing municipal faecal sludge management services: Lessons from Bangladesh. Waterlines (accepted).

Qualifications

  • 2018 MSc of Water, Sanitation and Health Engineering, University of Leeds, UK
  • 2016 BSc of Environmental Engineering, Islamic University of Gaza, Palestine

Research groups and institutes

  • Water, Public Health and Environmental Engineering