Jonars is a doctoral candidate in International Development in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. His research examines how the state and its citizens work together to provide essential public services. Jonars’ current research investigates how interactions between bureaucrats and smallholder farmers shape irrigation management processes and outcomes, using Senegal’s northern agricultural zone as a case study. This research emphasizes the material consequences of everyday micro-level practices and offers insights into how joint water management can address pressing equity and sustainability challenges.
Prior to beginning his doctorate, Jonars worked as research staff with MIT’s Comprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluation (CITE). At CITE, he conducted research on the adoption of household products among poor people in East Africa and South Asia. Presently, Jonars also has affiliations with MIT’s J-WAFS and D-Lab. During the 2019-2020 academic year, he conducted fieldwork in Senegal as a Fulbright Student Fellow. Jonars holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts degree in International Environmental Policy from Boston University.