Educated as a sociologist in Japan and the Netherlands and trained as a fieldworker and development expert in Brazil, Kei’s research focuses on linking grassroots, social development to sustainable development and linking developed and developing regions. Her current research interests include capacity building in developing countries, especially in Latin America and Africa, impacts of intervention, collective action, and changing roles of state, market, and civil society.
She believes that in order to promote sustainable development globally, international cooperation needs to seriously support and strengthen the social capacity and ‘multi-level governance’ of developing societies to define their own terms for local engagement with global sustainability. To this end, she is elaborating research projects on: urban governance in Nairobi, Kenya; rural innovation opportunities in Ghana; and environmental change and social policies in Brazil (also a comparative analysis of Latin America and Africa).
She is also greatly interested in methodology, in particular the role of ethnographic field research, to clarify this changing process and how to convey findings from the micro-level research to larger policy forums.