Dr Tira Foran

Social Scientist - Interdisciplinary research for sustainable development

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I joined CSIRO in 2010 as a human geographer to focus on international research-for-development. My background includes substantive work on water and energy governance, in eight Asian and African developing countries.

My group at CSIRO (Basin Management Outcomes) applies capability in water-related analysis and governance to a variety of developing country contexts. We aspire to improve decision making around water, food, and energy security. This requires detailed historical and institutional knowledge, effective networks with state and non-state actors in each setting, and fluency with a range of social science and interdisciplinary methodologies.

To support outcomes in this space, I develop and apply techniques that take interdisciplinary inquiry, and the social complexity of knowledge production seriously. I pursue a range of methods and techniques to enhance deliberative policy development, including: scenario building, argumentation analysis, institutional and political analysis, and livelihoods analysis. I typically work in non-English speaking developing countries and pursue international collaboration and partnership opportunities.

Current Roles

  • Project Leader
    Ayeyarwady Basin Exploratory Scoping Study (AWP 5)

  • Lead social scientist
    Koshi Basin (Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio) Project

Academic Qualifications

  • 2007

    University of Sydney (Geography)

  • 1999

    University of California at Berkeley (Wildland Resource Science)

  • 1989

    Harvard University (Anthropology Magna cum Laude)

Professional Experiences

  • 2010-2011

    Team Leader
    CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences

  • 2007-2010

    Research Fellow
    Chiang Mai University, Thailand

  • 2006-2007

    Research Fellow & Senior Program Officer
    IUCN – The World Conservation Union

  • 2003-2004

    Technical Advisor
    IUCN – The World Conservation Union

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2010-present

    Reviewer for academic journals: Asia Pacific Viewpoint, Ecology and Society, Ecological Economics, Energy Policy, Energy and Sustainable Development, Energy Efficiency, Landscape and Urban Planning, Water Resources & Rural Development, Water History, Third World Quarterly, Water Alternatives, WIRES Water


We have publications by Dr Tira Foran