Staff Research News
In our first full year of operation PCRC has seen some remarkable achievements by staff members and a number of exciting events, including the Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) projects focusing on Nigeria and Palestinian territories, and new Crucible and GCRF Projects. We marked World Refugee Day with an international webinar in collaboration with the Global Refugee Health Research Network (GRHRN, University of Edinburgh) and the Higher Population Council (HPC, Jordan).
Our main success has been to establish PCRC as a multi-disciplinary and collaborative research centre, drawing together researchers and partner organisations with cognate research interests from across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Ongoing projects, funded via GCRF include:
Empowering Women in protracted displacement in Nigeria: entrepreneurship, livelihoods and communities of resistance
Dr Christian Harrison (School of Business and Creative Industries) and Dr Emilia Pietka-Nykaza (School of Education and Social Sciences)
Drawing on data obtained from interviews with women in protracted displacement in the (IDP) camp in Abuja namely, Sabon-Kuchingoro, Nigeria, this project aims to develop the training of women in protracted displacement to strengthen their leadership and entrepreneurship behaviours to access livelihoods and fulfil their social and economic needs.
The interviews conducted have been analysed thematically and we have discovered the key skills, attitudes, challenges, and primary assets of women in protracted displacement. The analysis has shown that the women are adaptable, keen to diversify and expand their business, take primary responsibility for their family wellbeing, and face environmental challenges. Findings from interviews will be used to develop training protocols for further capacity-building, to ensure that they can be self-sustaining and exploit opportunities.
Investigating natural assets degradation in the settler-colonial context: the case of the Occupied Palestinian territories (OPT)
Dr. Dalia Alazzeh (School of Business and Creative Industries)
Delivering a project in the Occupied Palestinian territories can be very challenging. An-Najah National University in Nablus, Palestine was delighted to collaborate with the project leader Dr. Dalia Alazzeh. The University is highly rated and is internationally recognised for excellence in teaching and shared insightful data which directed the research fieldwork in the West Bank to Palestinian villages near the separation wall and settler settlements where the degradation of natural assets is higher.
The project has been through a rigorous due diligence process and ethical approval for fieldwork in the West Bank and Gaza was attained in March 2021. As no UWS staff will travel to the designated area (West Bank and Gaza), the partner institution will undertake fieldwork and data collection in a short timescale. Fieldwork was delayed due to both COVID19 and the political unrest in the Palestinian territories in May. However, the Research team has agreed that field workers will conduct semi-structured interviews in July with Palestinian farmers in the villages near Nablus and near the separation wall villages, the Palestinian agriculture forum, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
New GCRF Funded Projects
Congratulations to the successful applicants of this year’s round of Global Challenges Research Fund internal seed funding:
- Dr Abeer Hassan “Exploring biodiversity reporting and extinction accounting in a developing economy” in South Africa
- Dr Stephen Collins “Developing strategies for arts-based engagement in combatting modern slavery” in Ghana
- Professor Katarzyna Kosmala “Resilience building through virtual cultural engagement” in Egypt
- Dr Kalyan Bhandari “Community level tourism resilience” in Nepal
Crucible Research Projects
Between December 2020 and July 2021, members of the Centre have been engaged in research funded by the University's annual Crucible leadership and development programme: https://www.uws.ac.uk/news/funding-awarded-to-early-career-researchers/
Dr Dina Sidhva and Dr Kalia Kaparounaki, in collaboration with Dr Robert Crammond (BCI, Management Organisations and People) are working on ‘Empowering Syrian Refugee Women in Protracted, Fragile Crisis Situations through Enterprise Education in Jordan’. The project takes inspiration from emerging critiques of refugee economic empowerment programmes by adopting a relational understanding of gender in humanitarian settings (Hilhorst, et al. 2018). Through enterprise and community-focused education, it employed an exploratory methodology to provide an opportunity for a safe but enlightening space to our participants to be trained in enterprise education that extends beyond the capitalistic connotations of (profitable) idea generation, venture creation and business prosperity. Over the last 6 months, a team of interdisciplinary academics from Social Work and Management and Enterprise Education worked with our Jordanian collaborators from the Higher Population Council (HPC) and Yarmouk University and developed a ‘Training Manual on the Empowerment of Refugee Women in Protracted Crisis situations through Conscientization and Enterprise Education’. The manual was used by our HPC and Yarmouk University colleagues as a training tool to implement a programme that used the twin chord of intervention enterprise education and awareness or conscientization about gender-based violence and how women can empower themselves to change their lives so that they can get out of the cycle of violence.
Dr Karen Cooper and Dr Shadi Whitburn, in collaboration with Dr Caroline Miller and Martin Murray (HLS, Adult Nursing and Healthcare) are exploring ‘Vulnerable groups, complex needs and temporary hotel housing during Covid-19’. The work provides a platform for practitioner insights into the challenges of supporting vulnerable groups during lockdown. It aims to raise awareness of policy and training development needs and to contribute to academic debates on the use of participatory, community support models to foster reintegration, social connections, and well-being.
2021 World Refugee Day
On the 10th June 2021, the PCRC hosted a second online seminar on ‘Endangered Lives’, in collaboration with the Global Refugee Health Research Network (GRHRN, University of Edinburgh) and the Higher Population Council (HPC, Jordan). The seminar marked 2021 World Refugee Day and was entitled: Endangered Lives: Examining the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the health and well-being of refugee women in the Global South.
The event provided a unique opportunity to examine the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the lives of refugee women living in protracted crisis in Jordan, Bangladesh and Uganda. Presentations focused on the issues of adolescent reproductive health needs; gender-based violence; serious illness; poverty and hunger and highlighted the urgent need for collective global action, co-produced with refugees, to address these issues.
Compound 13 Lab
On 25th June, PCRC Director Professor Graham Jeffery led an international seminar based on his ongoing AHRC/British Academy/GCRF funded work in Dharavi, Mumbai. A group of doctoral students, researchers, activists and NGO workers from Scotland, the USA and India convened in an online international workshop supported by the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities. It examined current working conditions in Dharavi under the circumstances of the pandemic and also marked the first public screenings of two participatory documentary films made by young women working with community journalist Amol Lalzare as part of his residency at Compound 13 Lab. These can be viewed, alongside other materials related to the Compound 13 Lab project at https://www.compound13.org/amol-lalzare.
Looking Forward 2021-22
PCRC will continue to prioritise increased internationalisation, building on strategic relationships with academic and public sectors research partners at a national and international level. As our work develops, we have continued to grow in number and we are delighted to welcome new research staff to PCRC:
Dr Kalyan Bhandari from the School of Business and Creative Industries has been awarded GCRF rapid-response funding this year, his project will be looking at the challenges posed by COVID-19 on community managed homestays in Nepal. The project intends to enhance the role of networking in tourism recovery, revival, and regeneration in the post COVID-19 scenario in the context of developing countries.
Dr Robert Crammond is a Lecturer in Management, and Programme Leader (BA (Hons) Business). Originally from an accountancy background, his academic interests now lie in enterprise and entrepreneurship education, and progressing contemporary, enterprise-centric stakeholder theory. Since 2018 he has been involved in a national, cross-university ‘scale up’ project, aiming to implement an educational and training programme for Scottish businesses.
Dr Jo Collinson Scott is a musicologist and multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter. She is currently Co-I on a major three-year research project funded jointly by the ESRC and the AHRC. 'Distant Voices - Coming Home’ a collaborative action research project with a large practice-led component that explores crime, punishment and reintegration through song writing and other creative methods.
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