Anne Bartlett has worked on Sudan, South Sudan and East Africa for over 18 years. Her research centers on a number of key areas: conflict, humanitarian crises, forced displacement and its impacts on land use, resource extraction and urbanization. Bartlett has conducted ethnographic research with the armed movements of Darfur to understand how human rights abuses, underdevelopment and lack of political recognition on the part of the government, impacted the uprising in the region. Other work in Nyala, Darfur, showed how war, the influx of IDPs and humanitarian aid impacted host communities in terms of the livelihoods, the morphology of the city and the landscape ecology of the surrounding area. Bartlett has also worked on cross-comparative projects between Nyala and El-Obeid, Kordofan, Sudan to understand the effects of conflict on labor markets
Recent research in conjunction with the UNHCR and World Bank aims to understand the impact of refugees on the host community in Kakuma camp, Kenya. As the site of one of the longest protracted displacement situations in the world, Kakuma camp has generated significant interaction effects between the refugees and their hosts, the Turkana people. The results of this project have recently been published in a World Bank/UNHCR report entitled “Yes in My BackYard: The Economics of Refugees and Their Social Dynamics in Kakuma, Kenya and in “Do refugee camps help or hurt hosts? The case of Kakuma, Kenya”, published in 2018 in the Journal of Development Economics. Additional work in this area looks at remittance sending to refugees and the effects this has on refugee/host populations. It concludes that remittances from refugees have beneficial effects not only for the refugees themselves but also for the host communities around camps.
Professor Bartlett is the lead of a joint UNSW/Gulu University project on conflict drivers within the northern Uganda region. As part of this partnership, she is working on a project to establish village cooperatives (SACCOS) which will leverage the capacity of communities to lessen the negative impact of the charcoal trade and deforestation. She is also a recent recipient of an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant in 2018 that establishes a ‘Payment for Ecosystem Services’ project in Northern Uganda with the aim of creating cost effective and scalable ways through which behavior around deforestation can be changed.
Other recent projects include the effect of road building on the diffusion of conflict in South Sudan, the decision-making processes and levels of autonomy among street children who act as casual laborers in Kakuma camp, Kenya.
Bartlett was the chair of the United Nations hearing on the Darfur crisis, UN commission on Human Rights, 60th Session, Geneva, Switzerland, April 2004.She was President of the Sudan Studies Association from 2015-2017 and is currently Vice-President of the African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP) and is co-editor of ARAS (The Australasian Review of African Studies).