Tieza Mica Santos

Master of Science in Environmental Sciences and Policy



DLGS, ABS Haus 116, August-Bebel-Str. 30, room 07-009

Email: t.santosioer@dlgs.ioer.de
Phone: +49 (0)351 463 42348
Fax: +49 (0)351 4679 212

DLGS 2020 (2020-2023)


Doctoral Thesis

Working title:
Navigating Southeast Asian urban water systems in transformation: A social-ecological-technological systems analysis of Klang Valley, Malaysia case study

Prof. Dr. Marc Wolfram, TU Dresden, Faculty of Environmental Science

Rapidly growing urban regions in the Global South are experiencing critical water uncertainty. Water plays a vital role in development but its provision constantly faces systemic risks and failures therefore challenging its availability and distribution across spatial and temporal scale. This scenario leads to a complex system of interactions and feedback mechanism in the hydrological, social, and technological patterns. This is further exacerbated by climate change, urban-rural migration patterns, including economic expansion in emerging economies centered in cities.

However, urban water system policies, research, and practice are primarily anchored and framed within disciplinary silos that shape the urban agenda, political changes, and techno-centric approaches. Prevailing technocratic and management solutions are insufficient and non-responsive to current and future realities due to the limited consideration of the social, ecological, and technological dimensions that are coupled within the system.

This research aims to address how water security and transformation in an urban region in Southeast Asia be examined at a conceptual level through a multidisciplinary, coherent, and holistic framework. It further aims to determine approaches in which security and transformation process can be shaped, influenced, and governed towards a particular development pathway and trajectory. 

The research intends to develop new concepts and orientations for urban water system transformations in highly dynamic urbanization contexts. It does so by first conceiving of a novel Social-Ecological-Technological Systems (SETS) framework for urban water by bringing together the Social-Ecological System (SES) and Socio-Technical System (STS) frameworks, usually employed separately. Second, it will apply the novel framework through an in-depth qualitative case study of the urban water systems in Klang Valley, Malaysia. By doing so, it will empirically examine the social, ecological, and technological components, their interconnections and relationships, and how this configuration drives the urban water system towards specific goals. Based on that, it will finally assess the benefits and disadvantages of using SETS as an analytical lens in order to offer future research and policy recommendations for water security and governance.




Since 03/2020
Doctoral Student at the TU Dresden, Faculty of Environmental Science, Dresden, Germany

Environmental Sciences and Policy, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
Academic Degree: Master of Science

Political Science Major in Global Politics, Ateneo de Manila University, Manila, Philippines
Academic Degree: Master of Arts

European Studies Major in International Relations with double
Minor Degrees in History and French Language and Studies,
Ateneo de Manila University, Manila, Philippines
Academic Degree: Bachelor of Arts


International Climate Protection Fellow of Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung / Guest Research Fellow at Fraunhofer ISI, Germany

Sustainable Finance Project Director, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Philippines

Sustainability Research Intern, Schneider Electric, Hungary

Research Intern, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), Hungary and Austria

Technical Specialist (Greenhouse Gas Management and Project Implementation Lead) for the Building Low Emission Alternatives to Develop Economic Resiliency and Sustainability Project, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Philippines

Project Consultant for the Climate Change and Clean Energy Project, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Philippines

Project Consultant for the Sustainable Energy Finance (SEF) Project, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Philippines

Assistant Director, Ateneo de Manila University – Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Philippines

Program Officer, Asia Society, Philippines and USA

Program Officer, Ashoka Innovators for the Public, Philippines and USA

Project Manager, Langogan Hydro Power Corporation, Philippines

Research Associate and Lecturer Faculty (Project-based, Part-time), Ateneo de Manila University – School of Government and Loyola Schools


Scholarship for a doctorate at the TU Dresden by the Dresden Leibniz Graduate School (DLGS), Germany

Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung Fellowship, Germany

UNU-MERIT Scholar for the International Conference of the Association for Public Policy and Management (APPAM) as presentor and participant, Belgium

(Full Scholarship) Master’s Excellence at Central European Univeristy, Hungary

Fellow and Philippine Representative, Australia-ASEAN Emerging Leadership Program awarded by the Asia Foundation and Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Malaysia

(Full Scholarship) Australia Leadership Awards Fellowship for training on Research Approaches and Methodology, Australia