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Phd in Law and  Development

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Doctoral Training in Law and Development 

Fieldwork in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Research Dissemination 

Recent: Publications, Workshops, Events and more...

knowledge voice an dpower.jpg

Co-writing and Inclusive Publishing 

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Forced Migration Review lssue 70: Knowledge, Voice and Power

Here I wrote about the challenges of co-writing and publishing with refugee and asylum-seeking participants, and how the academic publication industry creates barriers for marginalised voices.

Doctoral Training 



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 ​

Image by Christoffer Engström

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
Bilbao, Spain

Image by Niclas Dehmel

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
Tilburg, Netherlands

Image by Iñaki del Olmo

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 

Research Skills

Sustainable 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
Tartu, Estonia

Image by Ilya Orehov

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

Data analysis


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

Meeting Lamosa  

Roundtable: the Future of Law & Development

Writing workshops

Training PhD

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? 

Asylum Seeker
Undocumented Migrant
Stateless Person
Trafficked Person



Participants directed the data processes and focus groups. I conducted interviews with NGO leaders and stakeholders such as the Human Rights Commission, Malaysia.


Action Research 

​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


Refugee Activism

The participants' community-driven initiatives included:

Theatre of the Oppressed
Gender & LGBTQI+
Blockchain for Digital Identity
Crowdfunding and Entrepreneurship
Community-Based Protection


Refugees as
Development Actors

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

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.


Presentations and Publications

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