Marjoke Oosterom - Post Doctoral Researcher
Participation Power and Social Change
Sub Saharan Africa; Mongolia; South Sudan; Uganda; Zimbabwe.
I am a postdoctoral research fellow in the Participation, Power, and Social Change (PPSC) Team with a background in political science and development studies. I am interested in how citizens can collaborate with, negotiate or challenge the political institutions in their lives, and hold them to account. Much of my work concentrates on democratic governance and citizen participation in (post)conflict settings, where the context is unfavourable to citizen action and the space for civil society is limited. I believe we can find pathways to peace and democracy if we are committed to understanding what institutions and forms of leadership are legitimate in the eyes of citizens.
My current research is on gender, agency and violence in fragile South Sudan, and the role of state and non-state authorities in security. This is carried out in partnership with Voice for Change to inform their work on the implementation of UN Resolution 1325 in South Sudan. I also carry out research on leadership among young women in Zimbabwe, in collaboration with Research and Advocacy Unit.
I use qualitative approaches and participatory research methods, and I have a particular interest in visual methods such as photo stories. I have developed collaborative research programmes with civil society organisations, designed to inform their programmes and strategies. Aware of their organisational realities and the political environment in which they operate I use applied research strategies, techniques for learning and reflection, and we co-produce multimedia outputs that can be used in their other programmes.
With PPSC Team colleagues I was involved in various studies and trainings for donors and civil society organisations, such as workshops in power analysis, studies on the political space for CSOs in conflict-affected and transition countries, and the monitoring and evaluation of programmes in support of democratic governance. This includes work for Oxfam GB, Trócaire, Christian Aid, the Swiss Development Cooperation, and Voice for Change.
I joined the Power, Participation, and Social Change Team in 2009 for my PhD research, working closely with Rosemary McGee and John Gaventa as my supervisors. My research focused on the effects of violent conflict and forced displacement on citizenship and citizen participation in the Acholi region of northern Uganda. This research was part of a project on citizen engagement in (post)conflict settings, funded by Hivos Knowledge Programmes and ICCO. For this project I produced the documentary film The Governance Gap, based on the research findings. Other outputs included working papers and blogs, and multimedia activities in response to the Kony2012 campaign film.
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