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Centre for Sustainable Development

Est 2000 - home of the MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

Dr. Duncan McNicholl has nearly 10 years of experience in the WASH sector in Africa, Asia, and South America. He was formerly the Program Manager of the Water and Sanitation Team of Engineers Without Borders Canada in Malawi, and was most recently the General Manager of Whave Solutions Ltd., a Ugandan non-profit social enterprise that provides preventive maintenance services for community water sources that serve over 150,000 people. Dr. McNicholl completed his PhD in Engineering from the Cambridge University Centre for Sustainable Development in 2017, where he studied how stakeholder networks influence institutional development for managing rural water supply in Ghana, Malawi, India, Tajikistan, Bangladesh, and Bolivia. He is a member of Hughes Hall. 


Dr. McNicholl is also the editor of Volunteer Voices: Key insights from international development experiences. (link: 


Thesis details

Title: Characteristics of Stakeholder Networks Supporting Institutional Development in Rural Water Service Delivery
Social network analysis was used in combination with qualitative methods to identify characteristics of stakeholder networks that supported cases of institutional development in rural water sectors in Ghana, Malawi, India, Tajikistan, and Bolivia. Institutions studied included local governments, a national government institution, and community operator committees managing water treatment facilities.


Duncan McNicholl