Mariana holds a PhD in Water Governance with a specialisation in Portuguese-speaking African countries, from the University of Nottingham. Her thesis focused on water service delivery processes within the peri-urban areas of Luanda (Angola) and Maputo (Mozambique), looking at how communities disconnected from the main network stepped in to fill the gap left by lack of state-led water services provision. Special focus was given to the role played by the small-scale private operators (Maputo) and community-based organisations (Luanda) in the process of designing alternative management models. Mariana also holds an MRes within the Human Right to Water from UoN and a BA(Hons) on International Relations and Political Science from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal).
Prior to working as a Research Officer with the Water Policy Programme at ODI, Mariana developed work as a Research Assistant for an Angolan NGO (Development Workshop) and led research projects for Reignite Action for Development in Cameroon (a charity she has founded in 2012).