Professor Sara Randall (Department of Anthropology)
Professor Sara Randall was trained in Demography at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where she first worked on demography of West African nomads. She has been a member of UCL Anthropology since 1991, and in this time she has developed anthropological demography research largely focused on understanding the interplay between mobility and demographic behaviour. Current research is orientated around unpacking the mismatch between the concepts used in survey data collection and respondents’ own ideas about what is important and their daily realities.
Where Have All the Nomads Gone?
It is assumed that the nomadic lifestyle long practised by many African pastoralists is disappearing following pressures to sedentarise in order to access services, livestock loss because of environmental crises and expansion of agricultural populations into former pasture lands. Few data are available on the actual evolution and dynamics of nomadic populations. Sara Randall examines various dimensions of the demographic invisibility of African nomadic populations, and highlights flaws in previous understandings of nomadic population dynamics, to show that understanding nomadic demography requires far more than demographic data.