Research

Research Forum

The Consortium for Street Children’s outstanding Research Forum consists of academics, independent researchers and representatives from civil society organisations. The Research Forum members bring academic and professional expertise to guide CSC’s collective research priorities and work. The Research Forum provides a platform for the experts to share existing research, resources and approaches as well as to create a link between academic research and network members’ work on the ground.

DR. RUTH EDMONDS | CO-CHAIR OF THE RESEARCH FORUM

KEEP YOUR SHOES DIRTY

Ruth is an Ethnographer and Social Development Consultant at Keep Your Shoes Dirty, an organization she founded. She is also an Honorary Associate at the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships at the University of Edinburgh. Ruth’s research focuses on the generation of ‘local knowledge’ about socio-cultural systems to inform programme and policy design with organisations across the globe including United Nations, governments, international charities and trusts and foundations. She has fifteen years experience in applied ethnographic research, especially in relation to programmes and policies concerning vulnerable children and families such as street-connected children, child-headed households, child ex-combatants, sexually exploited children, youth agency and empowerment, violence against women, family and relationship breakdown. Her work covers wide-ranging research contexts including Ghana, Zambia, Uganda, Rwanda, Nepal, Ecuador and the UK. Ruth also worked with the Consortium for Street Children to oversee the learning and innovation approach for Building with Bamboo to develop resilience-based approaches for working with street-connected children exposed to sexual abuse and exploitation. Ruth’s research has appeared in online client reports, academic journals and edited books.

LIZET VLAMINGS | CO-CHAIR OF THE RESEARCH FORUM

CONSORTIUM FOR STREET CHILDREN

Lizet Vlamings is CSC’s Advocacy and Research Manager, managing the organisation’s advocacy and research related activities, including research to make street-connected children more visible and measure progress towards the realization of their rights. Lizet has an academic background in both health sciences and human rights law, and has previously worked in Uganda where she documented human rights violations, conducted human rights research projects on topics such as access to justice, democracy and elections, and a rights-based approach to poverty alleviation. In addition, she has experience utilising research findings to conduct advocacy to promote the rights of vulnerable population groups with policy makers, practitioners and law enforcement agencies. Lizet’s research interests focus on making invisible populations visible, and giving them a voice, and aims to bring research and advocacy closer together to ensure strategies and policies for improving street children’s lives are grounded in the lived realities of street children.

DR. ANDY WEST

INDEPENDENT RESEARCHER AND CONSULTANT

For over 30 years Dr. Andy West has worked on children’s and young people’s rights, particularly in Asia and the UK, but also in the Middle East, Africa, and the Pacific. More recently, Andy worked on children’s rights and participation in Vietnam and Bangladesh, community health in rural remote China, and has published review on children’s perspectives and engagement in humanitarian emergencies – Putting children at the heart of the World Humanitarian Summit. Andy is mainly concerned with excluded and marginalised children and young people, especially in regard to protection and participation. His work on street-connected issues includes `street children’, migration, law, care systems, particularly in the UK, China (including Tibet and Xinjiang), Mongolia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka.

DR. ANITA SCHRADER MCMILLAN

UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK

Dr. Anita Schrader McMillan is Senior Research Fellow at the Department for Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford. She is a social psychologist with speciality in child mental health and is working in both the UK and low to middle income countries on the following areas: Promotion of child mental health within public health; Prevention of child abuse and neglect; and Children with limited or no parental care, with a focus on low income countries. Anita has a background in cultural anthropology and social psychology and has worked extensively in Central and South America, and more recently sub-Saharan Africa, on a series of research programmes. Her doctoral dissertation was on the impact of parent education on social capital in post-war Guatemala and involved in-depth work in communities with high levels of violence and poverty. Before coming into academic life she worked as Director of two NGOs and was the Director (Trustee) of the Consortium for Street Children for six years.

PROFESSOR DANIEL STOECKLIN

CENTRE FOR CHILDREN’S RIGHTS STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF GENEVA

Professor Daniel Stoecklin is Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Geneva. He works at the Centre for Children’s Rights Studies and areas of research and teaching are the sociology of childhood, children’s rights, street children, participation and the capability approach. He completed his Master degree with documentary research at Fudan University, Shanghai, on China’s population policy. This was followed by fieldwork for his PhD on street children in China. Daniel has been involved with several NGO projects in the field of children in difficult situations, and as an Independent Expert for the Council of Europe regarding children’s participation. His most recent publication in the field of street children: Aptekar, L., Stoecklin, D. (2014). Street Children and Homeless Youth: a cross-cultural perspective. Dordrecht: Springer Editions.

DAVID WALKER

ITAD

David Walker is a Senior Consultant for Itad in the Gender theme. David is a Social Development specialist, with over 13 years of research experience in aspects of gender equality, gender-based violence, child protection, and linking evidence to policy processes. Cross-cutting for this work is a focus on gender inequality and social norms as drivers of deprivations, and how such drivers are connected with or separate to economic drivers and poverty. David’s work has focused on violence, particularly relating to adolescent girls, as well as the related structural ramifications of service delivery and governance. In an extra-curricular capacity, he is a founding trustee in the organisation ‘Cities for Children’. David has a background in Human Geography and Development Studies, with methodological specialities in the areas of qualitative and participatory evaluative approaches. This includes a focus on gender-sensitive and child/youth friendly practices, as well as secondary techniques such as systematic reviews and evidence synthesis.

PROFESSOR GARETH JONES

LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE

Gareth Jones is Professor of Urban Geography at the London School of Economics, Director of the Latin America and Caribbean Centre and Associate Member of the International Inequalities Institute. His research interests are in urban geography, with a particular interest in how people make use of the city, and how cities are represented by policy and practice. He has conducted research in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, India, Ghana and South Africa. Gareth is currently a joint editor of the European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and coordinates the Europe-Latin America network on Violence, Security and Peace that brings together researchers at LSE, GIGA (Germany), Centre on Conflict, Development and Peace-Building (Switzerland), the Universidad de los Andes (Colombia) and the Universidade de Sao Paulo (Brazil). Find out more: http://www.lse.ac.uk/lacc/news/Europe-Latin-America-network-on-Violence-Security-and-Peace-network

DR. HARRIOT BEAZLEY

UNIVERSITY OF THE SUNSHINE COAST

Dr. Harriot Beazley is a children’s geographer and development practitioner with experience in participatory child-centered research with children and young people, in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. She is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography and the Program Coordinator for International Development at the University of the Sunshine Coast (Australia) and a Research Fellow with the Centre for Communication and Social Change at the University of Queensland (Australia). Since 1995, Harriot’s research has focused on rights-based and participatory research with street-connected young people in Indonesia and with other marginalised children in the region. Harriot is the Commissioning Editor (Australia & Pacific) for the journal Children’s Geographies: Advancing Interdisciplinary Understanding of Younger People’s Lives (Routledge, London).

HUGO RUKAVINA

STREETINVEST

Hugo Rukavina is leading StreetInvest’s research and data collection activities. StreetInvest is a leading organization in conducting research on street-connected children and partnering with the University of Dundee on the Growing Up On The Streets project, an award winning research project, conducting longitudinal research on street-connected children’s lives in Accra, Harare and Bukavu. StreetInvest is also a leading authority on observational headcount methodologies for street-connected children, and has developed a number of specialist data collection tools to support street work practice. Hugo has an MSc in Practicing Sustainable Development from Royal Holloway, University of London with a dissertation on the measurement of wellbeing of street children and how this can show evidence of impact of street work. Hugo is particularly interested in research into the impact of street work and how to demonstrate it, as well as headcounting and qualitative research into the lives of street connected children to know who they are, where they are and what they need.

PROFESSOR IRENE RIZZINI

INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR RESEARCH AND POLICY ON CHILDHOOD

Irene Rizzini is professor at the Pontiphical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (PUC-Rio) and the founding director of CIESPI – the International Center for Research and Policy on Childhood at PUC-Rio. Her main teaching and research interests are in the areas of Human Rights and Public Policy. Irene is frequently used as an expert on issues affecting children by state and federal government agencies in Brazil, as well as by non-profit research and policy centers in Brazil and abroad. Irene’s work includes analysing the condition of children and young people in contexts of vulnerability, such as children in street situations, children in care and those growing up in contexts of poverty and violence. Selected publications from Professor Rizzini can be found at the CIESPI website.

KHUSHBOO JAIN

UNIVERSITY OF DELHI

Khushboo Jain has worked extensively towards securing rights of children in contact with railways and street-connected children in India including through a petition in the Delhi High Court. She is one of the founding members of the ‘All India Working Group for Rights of Children in Contact with Railways’. As a PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology, University of Delhi, she is researching home-making practices on the streets of Delhi. Khushboo is working on a research study titled ‘Social and Geographic Marginality in Contemporary Urban Spaces’, a study on how marginalized groups, including refugees and Romani people, co-exist in marginal urban spaces in Europe. Moreover, she is associated with the Australasian Centre for Human Rights and Health for spreading awareness about the anti-dowry legislations in Australia and initiating conversations on the new contours of dowry abuse in India.

PROFESSOR LEWIS APTEKAR

SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY

Lewis Aptekar is retired Professor of Counsellor Education at San Jose State University and is past President of the Society of Cross-cultural Research. Professor Aptekar began his research with street children in Cali, Colombia in the 1980s. He has since conducted studies in several continents about street children, child victims of natural disasters and children displaced by war. He has focused on cross-cultural comparisons, the public’s response to street children, gender differences and the changing dynamics of adolescence. His work is directed toward practitioners, policy makers, and researchers. Lewis is an award winning researcher with book publications including Street Children in Cali; Environmental disasters in global perspective; In the Lion’s Mouth: Hope and Heartbreak in Humanitarian Assistance; and Street children and homeless youth: A cross-cultural perspective.

PROFESSOR LINDA THERON

UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA

Dr. Linda Theron is an educational psychologist and full professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria; an associate at the Centre for the Study of Resilience, University of Pretoria; and an extraordinary professor in Optentia Research Focus Area, North-West University, South Africa. Linda’s research and publications focus on the resilience processes of South African young people challenged by chronic adversity and account for how sociocultural contexts shape resilience. She is lead editor of Youth Resilience and Culture: Complexities and Commonalities (Springer, 2015) and an associate journal editor of Child Abuse & Neglect (Elsevier). Linda has purposefully transformed research findings into curricular content, as well as user- and/or community-friendly products and received various research rewards in this regard.

PROFESSOR LORRAINE VAN BLERK

UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE

Lorraine van Blerk is Professor in Human Geography at the University of Dundee. She has conducted research with street-connected children and youth in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past 18 years and has written more than 70 academic and policy-related publications in this area. Lorraine is one of the Research Directors for the Growing Up On The Streets longitudinal and qualitative research project. In particular, Lorraine has a keen interest in working for more effective participation of street children in both research and policy practices and this has featured widely in her writing. Lorraine held the position of chair of the research forum from 2012 to 2018.

MICHELE PORETTI

UNIVERSITY OF TEACHER EDUCATION, LAUSANNE and CENTRE FOR CHILDREN'S RIGHTS STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF GENEVA

Dr. Michele Poretti is Associate Professor at Lausanne University of Teacher Education and Research associate at the Centre for Children’s Rights Studies of the University of Geneva. He has a multidisciplinary academic training (sociology, economics, children’s rights, public policy evaluation) and a decade-long experience in the humanitarian field, namely within the International Committee of the Red Cross, including fieldwork, policy development and evaluation. His research and publications explore the political implications of different practices based on children’s rights, with special emphasis on inclusion, citizenship and inequalities. He has studied, in particular, the potentials and pitfalls of participatory spaces aimed at children and young people, as well as the evolution of international child rights agenda since the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, looking into the factors that have shaped the trajectories of categories such as ‘street children’, ‘violence against children’ or ‘missing children’. He also assessed the relevance of local childhood and youth policies in Switzerland through the perspectives of 8-10 year-old children with different socio-economic backgrounds, including children with strong connections to the street.

PAULA HEINONEN

INTERNATIONAL GENDER STUDIES CENTRE at LADY MARGARET HALL, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

Paula Heinonen is a Research Associate, International Gender Studies Centre (IGS) at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford. She was College Lecturer in Gender Studies, Politics and Anthropology of Development at Hertford College, University of Oxford (2004-2017). Prior to that she was Senior Lecturer in anthropology at the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology as well as being Head of Research at the Centre for Research and Training for Women (now renamed Gender Studies Centre), University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Paula has a D. Phil in Anthropology, Durham University, B.A. and M.A. Human Sciences, University of Oxford and a Diploma in Development form Ruskin College, Oxford. Her specific research interests are in the area of childhood studies, street children and youth gangs, as well as feminism and masculinities. Selected publications include: Youth Gangs and Street Children: Culture, Nurture and Masculinity in Ethiopia. 2011 and Berghan Books and Methodological Implication of Contextual Diversity in Research on Street Children, Youth & Environments, Vol.13, no.1 (Spring 2003)

PROFESSOR PHIL MIZEN

ASTON UNIVERSITY

Professor Phill Mizen is a sociologist of children and young people with a particular interest in work, labour and employment and for many years he has worked with Professor Yaw Ofosu-Kusi (University of Education, Winneba) researching and publishing extensively on children’s experiences and understandings of living and working both on the street and in informal settlements; and on the development of methodological approaches to research with and for children that are attentive to their voices. Phill is currently Associate Dean Research in the School of Languages and Social Studies, Aston University, and a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Work, Employment and Society. His research and writing has focused on children’s agency as they apply to the lives of children living in especially difficult circumstances, and he regularly receives invitations from renowned institutions such as the Max-Plank-Gesellschaft, the Institut Universitaire Kut Bösch and Harvard University to speak about this work.

PROFESSOR SARAH JOHNSEN

HERIOT-WATT UNIVERSITY

Professor Sarah Johnsen is a Professorial Fellow in the Institute for Social Policy, Housing and Equalities Research (I-SPHERE) at Heriot-Watt University. She has previously worked for Queen Mary University of London, the University of York, and The Salvation Army (UK & Ireland). Much of Sarah’s work focuses on homelessness, addiction and street culture in the UK. She has particular expertise in youth homelessness, and ongoing interest in the practice and ethics of research involving vulnerable people. Some of Sarah’s publications include: Watts, B., Johnsen, S. and Sosenko, F. (2015) Youth Homelessness in the UK: a review for the Ovo Foundation (Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University); and Johnsen, S. & Quilgars, D. (2009) Youth homelessness, in: Fitzpatrick, S., Quilgars, D. & Pleace, N. (Eds.) Homelessness in the UK: problems and solutions, 53-72 (Coventry, Chartered Institute of Housing).

DR. VICKY JOHNSON

UNIVERSITY OF BRIGHTON

Dr. Vicky Johnson is a Senior Research Fellow in the Anthropology Department at Goldsmiths University of London, and has for the past five years been a Principal Research Fellow in social sciences at the University of Brighton. She has over twenty years experience as a researcher and practitioner in social and community development and children and young people’s participation, and has led programmes and partnerships in Africa, Asia and Latin America for international non-governmental organisations including ChildHope, and provided expert advice for a range of UN and government departments including UNHCR, ILO and DFID on these topics. Vicky lectures on social research methodology, international childhoods, children’s geographies, child and human rights, international comparative education and leads international programmes of research with marginalised children and young people. Currently she is leading Youth Uncertainty Rights (YOUR) World Research in Ethiopia and Nepal to understand how to support youth creativity in the face of uncertainty.

PROFESSOR YAW OFOSU-KUSI

UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION IN WINNEBA

Yaw Ofosu-Kusi is a Professor of Social Studies and Dean of the School of Law and Management Sciences of the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani, Ghana. He is also a research fellow of the Department of African Studies of the University of the Free State, South Africa. Prior to his current appointment, he served in various capacities at the University of Education, Winneba, Ghana; was a visiting professor at the University of Friborg/Institut Kurt Bosch, Switzerland, and University of Flensburg, Germany; and the annual director of the Child and Youth Studies Institute of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), Dakar, Senegal in 2011. Yaw holds a PhD in Applied Social Studies from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom, and his research interest is primarily in urban childhood and the informal economy, with specific attention given to child labour, child migration, street life, and children’s agency. He recently edited the book, ‘Children’s Agency and Development in African Societies’, published by CODESRIA in 2017.