Scott Naysmith

Study program:
Ph.D. Social Policy
Current affiliation:
London School of Economics and Political Science

Scott is examining how poultry farmers in Indonesia are coping with government interventions to contain avian influenza.

Interrogating perceptions, priorities and livelihoods: a multi-site ethnography of avian influenza in two communities in Indonesia

Scott Naysmith’s doctoral research sets out to understand how local populations experience and interact with global and national programmes aimed at containing the spread and impact of avian influenza (AI).  Informed by qualitative methods, this multi-site study is being undertaken in two communities in Indonesia.  Key informants are small-hold poultry farmers and those who work in the poultry trade.  Targeted by containment measures such as widespread culling, some of these informants have suffered economic hardships, food insecurity and social stigma.  As a result, some individuals and communities have disengaged and actively resisted containment measures.  When those who work with poultry no longer partake in interventions to control the spread and impact of AI, a pandemic becomes more likely.  Scott’s research identifies what incentives and disincentives exist for target populations to partake in control programmes, and seeks to ensure that efficacious disease control is concomitant to the protection of social and economic livelihoods.

Scott studied history at the University of Victoria, graduating with a BA in 2004. In 2007, Scott graduated with an MSc in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Upon completion of his masters, Scott was selected for a one-year visiting fellowship in an inaugural collaboration between the LSE and the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD) in Durban, South Africa. There, he completed research projects on the social and economic impacts of HIV/AIDS in southern Africa and presented findings at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City in August 2008 and the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa in Dakar, Senegal in December 2008.

Prior to beginning his PhD, Scott co-designed a qualitative project to understand the experiences of female truck drivers in South Africa – an industry that is both male dominated and disproportionately HIV-affected. Findings from this qualitative study have been published widely, and inspired a photographer and a filmmaker to document the lives of a few of these women.

Scott has written for both academic and public mediums, most notably discussing the relationship between food insecurity and HIV/AIDS, the participation of marginalized populations in disease containment programs, and emerging infectious diseases.

In September 2008 Scott began a PhD in the Department of Social Policy at the LSE. Along with the Trudeau Foundation, Scott's PhD research has been supported by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the University of London. Scott’s doctoral research looks at community perceptions of avian influenza in Indonesia, focusing primarily on people who work at the animal-human interface in live poultry markets. This multi-site, qualitative study seeks to understand the challenges and opportunities that exist in containing avian influenza in epidemiologically at-risk environments.

In 2009 Scott co-designed and taught HIV/AIDS: Human Responses and the Politics of Aid at the University of Victoria. More recently, Scott worked with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in developing policy responses to the outbreak of avian influenza H7N9 in China.