I am an applied researcher in anthropology and political economy.
My work investigates resilience to all forms of violence, and how young people engage with conflict, adversity and peace. I have worked with a range of United Nations bodies, including UNICEF, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, and the UN Sanctions Committee-mandated Group of Experts on the DRC, as well as various protection-focused international NGOs.
While most of my experience pertains to sub-Saharan Africa, my research has also included young people in the Middle East. I now focus on the concerns of young migrants in Europe. My current research project, Balancing on the Margins, incorporates both my study of resilience and her practice of yoga and meditation. Through ‘observant participation’ and engaged ethnography, I am working with young people to promote well-being and acceptance of oneself and others.
Titles of recent trainings, lectures and speaking engagements
- Project Planning and Management in International Development (online). School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 23-25 June 2020
- Opportunities and challenges in 21st Century Africa: The youth dimension (online). Geneva Centre for Security Policy, 31 March 2020
- Action Learning for Conflict Analysis, Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (IHEID) with UN OCHA, 9-13 March 2020
- The Myth of International Protection. SOAS Migration and Mobilities Seminar Series (London), 23 October 2019
- On myths of protection and doing less harm. OCHA Civil-Military Coordination Workshop (Sigriswil, Switzerland), 7 October 2019
- Transitional Justice in Context: Conflict Analysis. Geneva Academy, 3 October 2019
- Security and Development: A panel discussion. IHEID Security and Insecurity Today, 28 June 2019
- The Myth of International Protection Book Launch. IHEID, Geneva, 3 June 2019
- Researching and Writing Situation Reports for Humanitarian Contexts. Norwegian Red Cross (Oslo, Norway), 24 April 2019
- Finding Courage: From eastern DRC to Annecy. Annecy Professional Women’s Network, 13 September 2018
- Operationalizing Youth Peace and Security. Geneva Centre for Security Policy, 9 April 2018
- ‘That’s just how it is’: survival despair in unending violence. IHEID African Studies Seminar, 7 November 2017
- Surplus: the uncounted. Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, Exploring the humanitarian, development and peacebuilding nexus in the city Working Group, 26 June 2017
- Researching in violent contexts: methods and ethics. University of York, 28 October 2016
- Coping with violence: Adolescents in eastern DRC and Burundi. Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, University of Oxford, 9 June 2016
Selected peer-reviewed publications
- 2019. The Myth of International Protection: War and Survival in Congo. Oakland: University of California Press.
- 2019. Young people, war, and interrogating ‘resilience’. In: Hopkins, B. et al (eds.), Cambridge Encyclopedia of Child Development, second edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Kids Coping in Congo. In: C. Harker and K. Hörschelmann (eds.), Geographies of Children and Young People, Volume 11: Conflict, Violence, and Peace. Heidelberg: Springer, 149-168.
- 2015. Unprotected: Young People in Post-conflict Burundi. Small Arms Survey 2015: Weapons and the World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 243- 267.
- Everyday violence and war. In: Wells, K. et al. (eds.), Childhood, youth and violence in global contexts: researchers and practitioners in dialogue. Hampshire: Palgrave, 153– 172.
- Zero in the court of nine to one: patronage and tactical weakness in coping with violence. Children’s Geographies: War, Conflict and Children’s Geographies special issue, 12 (3), 268- 280.
- 2013. Young people’s experiences of and means of coping with violence in North and South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. PhD Thesis. SOAS, University of London.
- 2009. Ambiguous Agencies: Coping and survival in eastern DRC. Children’s Geographies, 10 (4), 373-384.
- 2009. Selective Outrage: the dangers of children’s DDR in eastern DRC. Disarmament Forum, 3, 57- 66.
- Re-conceptualising child protection interventions in situations of chronic conflict: North Kivu, DRC. In: S. Evers, C. Notermans and E. van Ommering (eds.), Not Just a Victim: The Child as Catalyst and Witness of Contemporary Africa. Leiden: Brill, 223-246
- Book review of The UNHCR: The Politics and Practice of Refugee Protection into the Twenty-first Century. Journal of Refugee Studies, 22 (2), 242- 243.
- 2018. Cradled by Conflict: Implications for Programming Preventing and Responding To Child Recruitment and Use in Contemporary Conflicts, Technical Note. New York: United Nations University.
- 2016. Alternative Education in the DRC Final Research Report. Washington DC: USAID-ECCN.
- 2016, with Nicolas Florquin. Down, but not Out: The FDLR in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Small Arms Survey Research Note. Geneva: Small Arms Survey.
- 2014. Countering Improvised Explosive Devices. Small Arms Survey Research Note 46. Geneva: Small Arms Survey.
- 2013. Resilience Profiling and Capacities for Peace Among Adolescents in Burundi. Bujumbura: UNICEF.
- 2013. Assessment of Adolescent Development and Participation Priorities in Kenya. Nairobi: UNICEF.
- 2013. Engaging Adolescents in Conflict Analysis: A Guidance Note. New York: UNICEF.
- 2012. Leçons Apprises sur le Processus de Désarmement, Démobilisation et Réinsertion/ Réintégration des Enfants Sortis des Forces et Groups Armés au Burundi. Bujumbura: UNICEF.
- Gaps in accessing formal and non-formal education opportunities for adolescents in the DRC.Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa and Save the Children UK.
- 2011. Evaluation for Sida of the project ‘Protection, Health and Education: A holistic approach to addressing children’s rights.’ Save the Children.
- 2011. Evaluation for Comic Relief of the project ‘Protection and community reintegration of Girls Affected by Armed Conflict in the DRC.’ Save the Children UK.
- 2010. Strengthening Community-based Child Protection Mechanisms in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. War Child UK.
- 2008. State of Knowledge Study on the UN Security Council Resolution 1612 Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism for the Central African Republic. Bangui: UNICEF.