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Manuel Heckel

College positions:
Affiliated Postdoctoral Researcher
Department of Geography
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Dr Manuel Heckel

Dr Manuel Heckel is an Affiliated Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge.

Manuel holds a PhD in Urban Studies from the University of Sheffield. In his doctoral research, he investigated the commercialisation of development funding in Kenya’s water supply and sanitation services sector. He was particularly interested in looking at how the trend to commercially finance basic services has hit the ground in globally Southern cities and shaped how people currently under-serviced by formal providers may gain access to regulated services.

During his time in Cambridge at the Department of Geography, Manuel will explore alternative pathways to mobilising resources, including commercial ones, that may promise more just and inclusive access to basic services. As a member of the Cambridge Social Ontology Group, he will also examine the nature of basic services providers such as water utilities and the organisation of basic services sectors such as a country’s water sector.

Dr Heckel co-taught in post-graduate courses on Southern urbanism as well as urban policies and planning, and lectured on infrastructure and basic services at the Department of International Urbanism at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. There, he also led the Department’s participation in an EU-funded research and staff exchange project on “delivering safe and affordable social housing”. Before his PhD research, he briefly worked with the German development agency GIZ in Chișinău, in Moldova on modernising local public services, and in Bonn, Germany on policy advice to the Ministry.

Select publications

  • Heckel, Manuel (forthcoming). “Water utilities as debt emitters: the commercialization of development funding and services provision in Kenya’s water sector”. In: Globalizations

Select Awards

  • ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • University of Sheffield Publication Scholarship
  • German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholarship