PRG Fellows

The PRG Fellows Program provides selected fellows from the Global South the opportunity to participate in a short residency and intensive mentoring at the University of California Los Angeles and a grant to fund an empirical research project on natural resource governance.

Fola Aina

Centre for Conflict and Peace Africa, South Africa


Biography: Fola is a political scientist by training and a researcher who studies conflict, security and development. He has worked as an independent consultant for the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance in Switzerland, the International Institute for Strategic Studies in the United Kingdom, and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars’ Africa Program in the United States. He holds a master’s degree in African studies from the University of Oxford and another master’s degree in international development policy from Seoul National University. 


Project Description: Competition over access to minerals, especially gold, has shaped the threats to security in Nigeria’s North West. In 2019, the Federal Government of Nigeria launched the Presidential Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI) to respond to this nexus between conflict and natural resource use by fostering the formalization and integration of artisanal gold mining activities into the country’s legal, economic, and institutional framework. This research seeks to examine PAGMI’s contributions toward mitigating armed conflict in northwestern Nigeria.

Mukhlish Jamal Musa Holle

Kolaborasi Inklusi Konservasi (KONKLUSI), Indonesia

Biography: Jamal is a researcher who studies the agriculture-forestry-climate nexus. He is interested in promoting environmental sustainability and conservation through evidence-based policy interventions focusing on the agriculture sector in the biodiversity-rich tropical region. He is a faculty member at the Biology Department of Gadjah Mada University and a co-founder of KONKLUSI, an Indonesia-based conservation organization. He holds an MBA from Quantic School of Business and Technology and is currently pursuing a PhD in biology at the University of Oxford. 


Project Description: Agriculture is the major driver of deforestation and the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in Indonesia. While sustainable agriculture practices provide a path for people in the sector to reduce the harmful environmental impacts of their activities, the adoption of such practices remains lacking. By focusing on tropical agribusinesses, this research seeks to identify barriers preventing the adoption of sustainable agriculture practices and test the effectiveness of an intervention designed to encourage the application of these practices.

Ambaliou O. Olounlade

Centre d'Actions pour la Sécurité Alimentaire et le Développement Durable (CASAD), Benin

Biography: Ambaliou is an agricultural economist and the Executive Director of CASAD, a think-and-do tank based in Benin that works on climate change mitigation and adaptation to improve food and nutrition security and reduce poverty in the most vulnerable communities. He combines research, policy, and local action to develop a better policy for the good natural resources governance in Benin. He has published widely in refereed peer-reviewed journals. He holds a PhD in agricultural economics from Huazhong Agricultural University.



Project Description: Over the last decades, Benin has been experiencing a massive degradation of mangroves at a rate higher than those of other tropical forest ecosystems. Unconditional conservation payments (UCP) have been proposed as a potentially cost-efficient and logistically simple way to alleviate economic pressures that push people towards unsustainable mangrove exploitation. This research seeks to evaluate the impacts of UCP on the mangrove forest canopy and household livelihoods in Benin’s coastal communities.