Dr. S. (Sylvia) Bergh

International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Sylvia I. Bergh (a Swedish national) is Associate Professor in development management and governance at the ISS. She completed her D.Phil. thesis in Development Studies at the University of Oxford in 2008, focusing on decentralisation and local governance in Morocco. Previously, she worked at the World Bank, both in the President's Office in Washington D.C. and in the Morocco Country Office. Her academic background includes a strong focus on the Middle East/North Africa region; having gained a First Class degree in Arabic and International Relations from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland in 1999, she obtained an M.Phil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford in 2001. She has extensive consultancy experience, including for UNIFEM (evaluating the Gender Responsive Budgeting Program in Morocco) and Dutch NGOs (on democracy promotion in Morocco).

Sylvia is currently working on an NWO-ICSSR financed research project on 'Service with Accountability: Examining public service characteristics in differing political regimes'. She is in particular focusing on social accountability initiatives in the Middle East and North Africa region, including projects using the Community Score Card methodology in Morocco.

Areas of Interest: Decentralisation and local governance, capacity building and institutional sustainability, participatory approaches to rural development, natural resources management and collective action (water governance in particular), project implementation and evaluation, donor policies and aid harmonisation, migration and developmental impact of remittances. Geographical focus: Morocco, Middle East and North Africa region, Uganda, Suriname, Georgia

  • S.I. Bergh (2017). The Politics of Development in Morocco: Local Governance and Participation in North Africa. London: I.B. Tauris
  • T. Truong, D. Gasper, J.D. Handmaker & S. Bergh (Ed.). (2014). Migration, Gender and Social Justice: Perspectives on Human Insecurity (Hexagon Series on Human and Environmental Security and Peace, 9). Heidelberg: Springer
  • S. Bergh (Ed.). (2013). The Redeployment of State Power in the Southern Mediterranean: Implications of Neoliberal Reforms for Local Governance (A special issue of Mediterranean Politics). London and New York: Routledge
  • S.I. Bergh & S. Ahmadou (2018). Claiming spaces for acts of citizenship: recent experiences of activists in Morocco. In N.A. Butenschøn & R. Meijer (Eds.), The Middle East in Transition: The Centrality of Citizenship (pp. 91-114). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar
  • K. Biekart & S.I. Bergh (2016). Can consultants be civic innovators? Exploring their roles as auditors and allies. In K. Biekart, W. Harcourt & P. Knorringa (Eds.), Exploring Civic Innovation for Social and Economic Transformation (Routledge Studies in Development Economics) (pp. 67-86). Abington, UK: Routledge
  • A. Tandian & S.I. Bergh (2014). From temporary work in agriculture to irregular status in domestic service: the transition and experiences of Senegalese migrant women in Spain. In T-D. Truong, D. Gasper, J. Handmaker & S. Bergh (Eds.), Migration, gender and social justice: perspectives on human insecurity (Hexagon Series on Human and Environmental Security and Peace, 9) (pp. 47-68). Heidelberg: Springer
  • S. Bergh & A. Tandian (2013). From Temporary Work in Agriculture to Irregular Status in Domestic Service: The Transition and Experiences of Senegalese Migrant Women in Spain. In T Truong, D. Gasper, J. Handmaker & S. Bergh (Eds.), Migration, Gender and Social Justice: Perspectives on Human Security (pp. 47-67). Berlin: Springer
  • S. Bergh (2012). Governance Reforms in Morocco - Beyond Electoral Authoritarianism? In A. Kadhim (Ed.), Governance in the Middle East and North Africa: A Handbook . London: Routledge
  • S. Bergh (2010). Morocco case study. In A. van de Pas, S. Rottenberg & K. Hassan (Eds.), Beyond Orthodox Approaches: Assessing Opportunities for Democracy Support in the Middle East and North Africa (pp. 17-27). The Hague: NIMD / Hivos
  • S. Bergh (2008). Middle East and North Africa Region: Case Study Morocco. In Globalisation and economic success: policy lessons for developing countries (pp. 356-392). Johannesburg: The Brenthurst Foundation, E. Oppenheimer & Son
  • S.I. Bergh (2018). The redeployment of state power in the Southern Mediterranean: Implications for local governance. Interview on the topic of the invited lecture as part of the Aula Mediterrània Lecture Series 2017-2018: Barcelona.
  • S.I. Bergh & C.L.A. Willemse (Eds.). (2016) Contemporary Islam, 10 (3).
  • S.I. Bergh (2016). Interview with Sigrid Kaag, United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon. Opening Congress, EFR Business Week 2016: Rotterdam (2016, maart 30).
  • S.I. Bergh (2015, juni 15). Decentralisation and regional inequalities – evidence from The Netherlands and Morocco. Tunis, Seminar 'Quelle réforme de la gouvernance publique pour un développement local et regional meilleur?’.
  • S.I. Bergh & K. Biekart (2015, maart 19). Can (Evaluation) Consultants be Civic Innovators? Exploring the Shift from Auditors to Allies. Wageningen (Netherlands), Conference on Monitoring and Evaluation for Responsible Innovation, at Wageningen University.
  • S.I. Bergh (2014, februari 20). Research and Policy Influence: Challenges and Opportunities for Social Policy. Rabat, Morocco, Workshop on ‘Strengthening Research Capacities and Networks for Social Policy in the Middle East and North African (MENA) Region'.
  • S.I. Bergh & D. Rossi-Doria (2014, juni 23). Plus ça change? Observing the Dynamics of Morocco’s ‘Arab Spring’ in the High Atlas. Bonn, 14th General Conference of the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI).
  • S.I. Bergh & D. Rossi-Doria (2014, april 6). Plus ça change? Observing the Dynamics of Morocco’s ‘Arab Spring’ in the High Atlas. Amman, Jordan, International conference on ‘Bringing People Back In Politics: the Role of Civil Society, Organizations and Political Parties in a Post-‘Arab Spring’ Context'.
  • S.I. Bergh (2013, september 12). Social movements in Morocco and the 2011 Constitution: Assessing the Linkages. Florence, Italy, 4th conference of the GDRI-DREEM on ‘Evaluation of Economic Policies and Institutional Changes in Mediterranean Countries'.
  • S.I. Bergh (2013, november 18). Decentralisation and local governance in the Euromed region. Brussels, Belgium, Meeting of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM – launched by the EU’s Committee of the Regions).
  • S.I. Bergh (2011, april 6). Undermining the potential for representative democracy in the name of “participatory democracy”? The case of the National Initiative for Human Development and regime stability in Morocco. Florence, Italy, Twelfth Mediterranean Research Meeting.
  • S.I. Bergh (2011, december 1). The National Human Development Initiative in Morocco: Some implications for local governance. Washington D.C., USA, Middle East Studies Association Annual Meeting.
  • S. Bergh Video review of ''Water First: Reaching the Millennium Development Goals'' / Amy Hart (2008). . Retrieved Sep 09, 2010, from http://wings.buffalo.edu/ARD/cgi/showme.cgi?keycode=3361
  • S. Bergh (2006, oktober 3). Alice Cherki. Frantz Fanon: A Portrait (Book review). . Retrieved Dec 01, 2011, from http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=12424

Editorial positions (15)

  • Development and Change

    Ad Hoc Reviewer

  • Journal of Development Studies

    Ad Hoc Reviewer

  • Community Development Journal

    Ad Hoc Reviewer

  • Journal of Social Policy

    Ad Hoc Reviewer

  • European Journal of Development Research

    Member Editorial Board

  • Gender, Technology and Development

    Ad Hoc Reviewer

  • Forum for Development Studies

    Ad Hoc Reviewer

  • Democratization

    Ad Hoc Reviewer

  • ISS Working Paper

    Editor Series

  • Mediterranean Politics

    Member International Editorial Advisory Board

  • Public Management Review (online)

    Ad Hoc Reviewer

  • Human Resources For Health

    Ad Hoc Reviewer

  • British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies

    Ad Hoc Reviewer

  • SpringerPlus

    Member Editorial Board

  • Cogent Social Sciences

    Member Editorial Board

Organization Memberships (2)

Side positions (2)

  • Islam Research Project Academic Advisory Board


  • Association for Law and Administration in Developing and Transition Countries

    Member of the Board


Visiting address

Office: G I3-16
Kortenaerkade 12
2518 AX The Hague

Postal address

Postbus 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam