School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment


Miss Poonam Pritika Devi

Contact Information:

E-mail: s11075357(at)
Phone: +679 32 32734
Office: Room 20, SGESE Building, Lower Campus

Research Interests

Poonam Devi is a Graduate Assistant for Research at the School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment. She is a human geographer with a research focus on squatter settlements in Fiji (urban poor communities).  Her research interests are in social and development geography, especially, in land, social, and environmental issues in squatter settlements. Her recent publication includes work on comparison of consumption patterns in two squatter settlements in Suva, Fiji using an ecological footprint survey. 

Degree: PhD

Research project: A critical examination of the effectiveness of squatter upgrading plans in Fiji 

Supervisors: Dr. Naohiro Nakamura and Dr. John Lowry 

PhD Project Summary

The PhD project looks at the effectiveness of upgrading and relocation plans for the squatter settlements in Suva (Nanuku and Nauluvatu settlement) and Lautoka (Tomuka, Nasoata and Field 40 settlement), Fiji. The project is fundamentally interested in how the residents have been consulted in the process of upgrading plans and how the community responds to certain initiatives. In Fiji, while several upgrading plans have taken place, the effectiveness of such plans have not been critically examined. In particular, how the residents will benefit from each upgrading project has nearly been overlooked. This is partly due to the ineffective structure of the government or the tendency that decisions are usually made in a top-down style. The research aims to suggest some means to make upgrading plans more efficient, primarily for squatter residents. The research also contributes to academic literature on squatter settlements, which have missed to include the views of residents towards upgrading plans. 


Devi, P.P., Lowry, J., & Weber, E. (2017).  Global environmental impact of informal settlements and perceptions of local environmental threats: An empirical case study in Suva, Fiji. Habitat International, 69, 58-67. 





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School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment
Faculty of Science, Technology & Environment
The University of the South Pacific
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Suva, Fiji.
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