MSc. S.L. (Sharlene) Gomes


Sharlene is a PhD researcher in the Policy Analysis section of the Faculty of Technology, Policy, and Management. She is currently working on groundwater management in the urbanising Ganges delta. Sharlene holds an MSc from the University of Oxford in ‘Water Science, Policy, and Management’. There, her thesis explored smart (water) meter technology applications in Mumbai (India) and its potential to improve urban water governance. She has worked internationally in several policy analyst roles. Most recently, she was based in Manila (Philippines), conducting policy research for a CIDA funded ‘Local Economic Development’ program. Sharlene is interested in water management issues in developing countries that result from urbanisation. She applies decision support methods and designs interventions to support local actors in this regard. 


Her PhD is part of the Shifting Grounds project. Project funding is obtained from NWO’s  ‘Urbanising Deltas of the World’ program. Sharlene’s research is on the institutions underlying groundwater management in peri-urban Kolkata (India) and Khulna (Bangladesh). Here, urbanisation creates competition for groundwater resources. Peri-urban institutions are ineffective in this dynamic system, marginalising communities from access to groundwater as a result. This trans-disciplinary research combines institutional analysis, game theory modelling, and simulation games to build problem solving capacity in peri-urban communities. Institutional analysis and game theory models are used to understand the effect of institutions on strategic behaviour and their outcomes in this context. These insights are then translated into a role-playing game. The game-based simulation serves as a virtual space for communities to explore solution strategies to address groundwater problems. 

Journal Papers

  • Gomes, S.L., Hermans, L.M., & Thissen, W.A.H. (2018). Extending community operational research to address institutional aspects of societal problems: Experiences from peri-urban Bangladesh. European Journal of Operational Research, 268(3), 904-917.    
  • Gomes, S.L., & Hermans, L.M. (2017). Institutional function and urbanization in Bangladesh: How peri-urban communities respond to changing environments. Land Use Policy. (in press, online first)
  • Gomes, S.L, Hermans, L.M. (2016). Institutional approaches to peri-urban research: Added value and conceptual approach. South Asian Water Studies (SAWAS) Journal 6(1): 103 – 108

Conference Papers

  • Gomes, S.L., & Hermans, L.M. (2016). Institutions in transitioning peri-urban communities: spatial differences in groundwater access. Proceedings of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences, 373, 125-129.

Co-authored Papers

  • Bontje, L. E., Gomes, S. L., Wang, Z., & Slinger, J. H. (2018). A narrative perspective on institutional work in environmental governance – insights from a beach nourishment case study in Sweden. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 1–21.
  • Levy, M. C., Harrell, M., Blair, P., Chen, X., Gomes, S. L., Gower, D. B., … Zeng, R. (2016). Wicked but worth it: student perspectives on socio-hydrology. Hydrological Processes, 30(9), 1467–1472.
  • Course instructor in Actor and Strategy Models (EPA1144)

Shifting Grounds: Institutional transformation, enhancing knowledge and capacity to manage groundwater security in peri-urban Ganges delta systems.

PhD candidate

Multi-Actor Systems

Policy Analysis

Research interests:
Water management
Urbanisation and Development

Additional information

S.L. Gomes MSc

Publications in Pure
ancillary activities
No secondary work -

2018-11-15 - 2020-11-15