Photo of Lawrence Haddad, Director of IDS

Lawrence Haddad - Honorary Associate

Honorary Associates


Vanessa Borrino

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Marjoke Oosterom is a Research Fellow in the Power and Popular Research Cluster at IDS. She holds a PhD from IDS and has a background in comparative politics and development studies. Her research concentrates on how experiences of violence and conflict affect forms of agency, citizenship, and everyday politics and governance. Marjoke has developed specific expertise on how young people participate in politics through formal and informal channels and how they respond to insecurity and violence in non-violent ways. Apart from research, she has been involved in advisory services for policy makers and international NGOs working on democratic governance, citizen participation, and youth and peacebuilding.

After Marjoke finished her PhD on how citizenship and identity had evolved in post-conflict northern Uganda, she continued focusing her research on the effects of different forms of violence on citizenship and agency. Her research asks how experiences of violence shape people's agency to engage with the state and other political actors and in forms of collective action. She has also looked at citizenship and agency among internally displaced persons (IDPs) in conflict settings and their agency in relation to humanitarian actors. Violent settings are often unfavourable to citizen action and the political space for civil society is limited. This research will help to find pathways to peace and democracy by trying to understand what kind of institutions and forms of leadership are legitimate in the eyes of people and by learning from people's everyday negotiations with them.

As a member of the Youth Research group at IDS, Marjoke has developed research projects on youth, citizenship and politics, which contributes to debates on the role of young men and women in post-conflict environments. While popular assumptions hold that especially unemployed and 'idle' youth are at risk of participating in violence, the majority of young people develop non-violent strategies to cope with adversity and are active citizens. Her current research on youth extends to the politics of employment and informal labour and how youth navigate the formal and informal rules and intermediaries that govern local economies.

Marjoke uses qualitative approaches and likes to use participatory, visual methods like Photo Voice. She has facilitated youth-led research, and in her research with young people she often uses creative methods such as storytelling, arts and theatre. Previous research projects include studies on gender and masculinities in South Sudan, youth experiences of citizenship in Zimbabwe, and on everyday forms of peacebuilding and politics by youth in Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Myanmar.

Many of her research projects are conducted in collaboration with civil society actors, designed to inform their programmes and strategies. For instance, the project 'Power, Violence, Citizenship and Agency' in South Sudan was carried out in partnership with Voice for Change to inform their activities related to UN Security Council Resolution 1325 UNSCR 2250 on Women, Peace and Security; also a study for Plan International UK helped to inform advocacy regarding UNSCR 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security. Aware of their organisational realities and the political environment in which they operate she uses applied research strategies, techniques for learning and reflection and project outputs often include multimedia outputs that enhance research uptake and impact. See for instance the documentary 'The Governance Gap' on citizenship in the Acholi region, post-conflict northern Uganda.

With other colleagues she has been involved in various studies and training for donors and civil society organisations, such as workshops in power analysis, studies on the political space for CSOs in conflict-affected and transitional countries, and the monitoring and evaluation of programmes in support of democratic governance.

For PhD applicants

Marjoke welcomes PhD applications on the following topics:

Effects of violence and violent conflict on citizenship, agency, and governance (including in non-conventional conflict settings like informal urban settlements and in post-conflict settings).

Youth, peacebuilding, security, the role of young people in post-conflict settings, including their economic and political agency.

Gender and conflict.

This Collaboration with the Quality Assurance (QA) Programme of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is now in its second phase, running until December 2017. The aim of the program is to improve the quality and effectiveness of SDC processes and operations focused on poverty.

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This project aims to build an evidence base that maps the role young people – particularly young women – have played in contributing to processes that sought to or did address fragility as well as examine gaps and challenges with the ultimate aim of increasing the voice and participation of young people around the world.

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The aim of the Rapid Response Briefings (RRB) series is to support governments and development agencies in responding quickly to rapidly emerging phenomena and unexpected global events and understanding the impact they may have on development policy, practice and outcomes.

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The Power, Violence, Citizenship and Agency (PVCA) project is an action research project designed by researchers at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and carried out with a number of institutional partners.

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This collaboration between IDS and the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) aims to bring appropriate participatory methods into quality assurance within SDC. It will also bring new levels of rigour to the principles of participation, poverty orientation and empowerment in the work of SDC and its partners.

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Front cover of Bulletin 36.2, New Directions for African Agriculture

New Directions for African Agriculture

IDS Bulletin 36.2 (2005)

This IDS Bulletin draws together contributions from a diverse range of researchers and development practitioners working in Africa, with the common goal of exploring why agriculture is contributing to poverty reduction and livelihood improvement in some places More details

Front cover of Bulletin 38.2, Reinventing Development Research

Reinventing Development Research

IDS Bulletin 38.2 (2007)

Does development research need reinventing? If it does, why now and in what ways? These are the questions addressed by the papers in this issue of the IDS Bulletin, many of which were presented at IDS Fortieth Anniversary Conference in late 2006. They were also asked by the 46 Roundtables held throughout the world in 2006, organised by IDS partners and alumni, which preceded and helped frame the Conference agenda. More details

IDS Working Paper

Public Perceptions of International Development and Support for Aid in the UK: Results of a Qualitative Enquiry

IDS Working Paper 353 (2010)

Aid budgets face immense pressure - despite overseas aid being critical for poverty alleviation in developing countries and the explicit commitments of the world's industrialised countries to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). More details

This is the IDS Bulletin entitled, 'People-centred M&E: Aligning Incentives So Agriculture Does More to Reduce Hunger'

People-centred M&E: Aligning Incentives So Agriculture Does More to Reduce Hunger

IDS Bulletin 41.6 (2010)

This seminal IDS Bulletin provide systematic evidence to lay open the widely shared secret among development practitioners that the cupboard of agricultural monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is bare. More details

Thematic Expertise:
Children and Youth; Food Security; Gender; Nutrition; Poverty.

Related Programmes and Centres:
Reducing Hunger and Undernutrition; Transform Nutrition.

Geographic Expertise:
Central and South Asia; South Africa.