PhD in Law & Development
The European Doctorate in Law and Development (EDOLAD) is an EU funded project. It was a partnership between 6 universities:
Tilburg University, Netherlands University of Oslo, Norway Edinburgh University, UK
Duesto University, Spain
Tartu University, Estonia
North West University, South Africa.
My PhD will be a joint doctorate between the law schools in Tilburg University and University of Oslo.
Research Visit to
University of Oslo
2-week research visit to the University of Oslo Department of Law. Prepared for empirical research with the second supervisor. Used the opportunity to connect to COST Action New Speakers members in the Department of Linguistics.
1st December 2015 Presented ‘Malema; forced migration and a legacy of violence and development’ in a Rights, Individuals, Culture and Society (RIKS) seminar, Department of Law, University of Oslo, Norway
3rd Year Training
Communicating research is an essential skill. This module explored the issues and challenges academics face and the practical skills we require to work with actors from different sectors. We worked with policymakers from the Netherlands and connected with local Spanish NGOs.
Designing a dissemination strategy
How to influence policy-makers
How to talk to NGOs/ civil society/ grassroots communities
1st Year Training
Intensive 5-month training in the following modules:
History and Theory for Law and Development
Law and Globalisation
Law and Economics
Gender and Development
Law and Sociology and Anthropology
International Economic Governance
Actors in Development
Understanding the Local
Poverty, Human Security and Vulnerability
Final Week Presenting PhD Proposals
I was a student representative from 2015 -2016.
2nd Year Training
This training dealt with the topics:
Risk assessment and personal security
From research question to a
workable fieldwork plan
Surviving your fieldwork
Planning your field research
Situating yourself /your subject
Coping with uncertainty, Negotiation and conflict
Carrying out interviews: Practice interview with a local NGO in Tartu
Researcher positionality, research Ethics,
Fieldwork writing up
I also took part in Consortium meetings to plan next years core curriculum
Summer School, Potchefstroom, South Africa
This summer school was a mixture of conference panels and skills training. I presented on Methodology.
Opening keynote address: Did We Get the Land Question Wrong? speaker: Elmien du Plessis
Panel: Why Law & Development – South- North perspectives
Roundtable: Doing L&D differently: reflections on research methodologies
Panel: Technology, Data & Social Justice
Lecture: Sustainable Development in the Urban Age speaker: prof. Sabine Schlacke
Roundtable: Teaching Law & Development
Keynote address: Gender Unlimited speaker: Bonita Meyersfeld
Roundtable: the Future of Law & Development
Voices of Forced Migrants
as Development Actors
Forced migrants are not typically considered development actors, and I wished to investigate to what extent their agency is restricted or empowered by (global or national) legal normative orders. I'm interested in analyzing the impact of Malaysia being a non-signatory to the Geneva Refugee Convention on the ability of displaced persons to empower themselves and affect their resilience.
Forced migrants are living in protracted urban displacement, yet use new technologies and work towards social change. In my findings chapters, I draw on their experiences and voices to discuss the community-driven theories of change with potential policy outcomes.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I conducted an 11- Month Action Research Project. Data Collected: Training, Observations, Interviews and Photos.
Who can be a Forced Migrant?
Participants directed the data processes and focus groups. I conducted interviews with NGO leaders and stakeholders such as the Human Rights Commission, Malaysia.
Aimed to understand the lived experiences of forced migrants acting to create change in their communities. Worked with forced migrants as co-researchers.
Taught Research Skills and Community Development Principles to Forced Migrant Organisations:
Afghan, Somali, Syrian and Rohingya
The participants' community-driven initiatives included:
Theatre of the Oppressed
Gender & LGBTQI+
Blockchain for Digital Identity
Crowdfunding and Entrepreneurship
Held a final conference event at Brickfields Asia College with support from the Make it Right Movement. Organised by and with main speakers from forced migrant participants organisations.
Data Analysis: Atlas Ti. V 11 with transcripts and audio coding. In order to stay close to the participants' voices, I made a Voice-focused Coding Practice.
I coded according to key moments, which would answer my research questions.
I eventually settled on two centralising questions to help filter the data;
1. how do the participants experience their identity in relation to their efforts to create change and/or in the context of their legal status?
2. how do the participants experience valorisation and delegitimisation of their voices in relation to their efforts to create change and/or in the context of their legal status?
Working in praxis with forced migrants is a challenging process, but is one that has also yielded data that as I researcher I would have found it difficult to uncover using another method. By supporting them to increase their critical awareness of their own situations, we together embraced on a journey to learn aspects of their agency that they hadn’t previously articulated. Voice as a socio-linguistically grounded conceptual tool, highlights the issues of agency, power, subjectivity and lived experiences of forced migrants. From a methodological perspective, it leads to an active and participatory approach, with research engaged with the voices of forced migrants as they seek to create social change in line with their own perspectives of justice.
Research Dissemination and Communication
Take a look at the co-creative ways I have so far being communicating my Doctoral Fieldwork. I've recently co-written a Special Issue; In their own voices in the LRA's Displaced Voices Journal. I've also engaged in dialogues and photovoice with the refugee communities.