Erika Miyuri Duncan-Horner


Erika Duncan-Horner is a doctoral candidate in the School of Social Sciences. She is one of 13 researchers engaged in interdisciplinary research for sustainable urban water management in developing Asia. Her doctoral dissertation focuses on urban water transitions through social entrepreneurships in developing Indonesian cities. Prior to beginning her PhD journey, Erika completed a Masters in Sustainability in the International Development and Corporate Sustainability Management streams at Monash University, where she received multiple Dean’s Recognition Awards. Following her interest in community development, she then travelled to India on a cultural anthropology and human development study tour and became resolved to find a solution to inadequate sanitation, one of developing Asia’s most complex social and environmental problem. Professionally, Erika has diverse experience working as marketing assistant for multi-national corporations and banks, in corporate and retail travel consultancy, and for the British Consulate in Japan. Born and brought up in Japan, Erika has taught English as a second language to young children and business professionals, and worked as translator, interpreter and copywriter in the private, public and community sectors.

Research Topic

Urban Water Transformations and Social Entrepreneurship: Understanding the role of value-based alternative innovations through social-value creation

Research Interests

Inequality, development, urbanisation, cultural ethnography, behaviour change, social psychology, social movements, water and sanitation, radical innovations, Asia

Project Summary

Social innovation and social entrepreneurship are widely recognised as society’s change agents capable of tackling complex social and environmental problems while contributing to socio-economic development and environmental sustainability. Yet, their unique transformative capacities are currently underconceptualised in sustainability transitions research due to a prioritisation of mainstream technological innovations over value-based alternatives, and a lack of empirical and theoretical evidence to identify the strategic approaches used by social entrepreneurs in catalysing change. Erika’s doctoral project seeks to understand the role that social entrepreneurship plays in bringing about sustainable change in urban water transitions. Through examining multiple case studies of social entrepreneurship in the Indonesian sanitation sector, Erika seeks to identify the strategies and processes used by social entrepreneurs in delivering transformative changes in infrastructure and technology design, service delivery, finance mechanisms, behaviour change and governance practices. Erika’s project aims to develop potential socio-technical pathways to enable Indonesian cities to directly leapfrog towards more sustainable forms of urban water management. However, the project is expected to benefit many other developing cities aspiring to leapfrog towards sustainable, resilient and equitable sanitation practices.


Dr Megan A. Farelly
Dr Briony C. Rogers

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