Photo of Pauline Oosterhoff, Research Fellow, Participation Power and Social Change

Pauline Oosterhoff - Research Fellow

Gender and Sexuality


Poppy Bardwell

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Pauline Oosterhoff has over 20 years of international experience in public health research and advisory services and media production. She has masters degrees in political science and international public health and a PhD in medical anthropology.

Ms Oosterhoff has developed and managed programs focusing on access to health, notably sexual and reproductive health and HIV, gender, and human rights, for UNDP, Medecins Sans Frontieres, the Medical Committee Netherlands Vietnam, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other local and international NGOs and media organisations.

She has worked with sexual minorities and key populations on HIV, human rights and representation in Europe, the US, Asia and Africa since 1992. She has led several large multi-country evaluations of research and operational programs on sexual and reproductive health rights, HIV, human rights and disability. She is an experienced trainer on social science methodology and action research for health professionals, researchers and grassroots activists.

She started working with urban and rural indigenous and minority groups on health and human rights in Asia and Africa in 1996. In central Vietnam and Laos she worked on community-managed health, disability and health system reform with various minority ethnic groups, including the Ede and Bru-Van Kieu. In Northern Vietnam she scaled up a comprehensive PMTCT pilot program to remote mountainous areas that are mostly populated by minority ethnic groups, such as the Black Thai and the Hmong. In Thailand she trained displaced Karen, Mon, and Shan activists in documentary film production. In Bangladesh she documented human rights violations against the Rohingya people from Myanmar. In India and Uganda she conducted action research with indigenous Khasi and the Benet on visualizing development with identity.

Ms Oosterhoff developed and wrote dozens of international peer reviewed articles, assessments, manuals and training curriculums. She relishes using mixed methods and work in multidisciplinary teams.

In addition to her research and advisory work, she produces documentary films, installations and performances combining participatory action research and professional art production. She joined IDS as a research fellow in 2014. She speaks six languages.

A participatory action-learning and knowledge sharing programme to improve WFPs gender-mainstreaming practices.

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Anthropologists from around the world providing advice on how to engage with crucial socio-cultural and political dimensions of the Ebola outbreak and build locally-appropriate interventions.

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Providing an in-depth understanding of determinants of domestic violence in Ghana, to strengthen advocacy and advance legal, policy and programmatic interventions aimed at countering domestic violence in Ghana.

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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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This is a mid-term evaluation of the Bridging the Gaps Programme a global program operating in 16 countries across all the main key populations at-risk for HIV.

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We are working on three projects in India and Nepal using participatory methods to better understand the complex dynamics of slavery and bonded labour and to generate and test community-led solutions.

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Participatory Statistics to Measure Prevalence in Bonded Labour Hotspots in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar: Report of Preliminary Findings of the Baseline Study

The Institute of Development Studies has been carrying out a programme of research, learning and evaluation in relation to the Freedom Fund ‘hotspot’ in northern India, a project that seeks to reduce bonded labour in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. More details


Reframing Gender Justice in an Unequal, Volatile World: IDS’ Directions for Future Research on Gender and Sexuality in Development

At a time of major changes in global politics and trends, and major shifts in international development following the establishment of the global Sustainable Development Goals in Agenda 2030, the Gender and Sexuality cluster at the Institute of Development Studies engaged in collaborative discussions and consultations over nine months with partner organisations, networks, external experts and policymakers. More details


Reframing Gender Justice in an Unequal, Volatile World: IDS’ Directions for Future Research on Gender and Sexuality in Development

We here aim to outline priority directions for future research on gender and sexuality in development, which are needed to advance our understanding of gender and sexuality in an increasingly unequal, polarised and volatile world. More details

This is the cover to IDS Bulletin 481, 'Sex Education in the Digital Era'.

Sex Education in the Digital Era

IDS Bulletin 48.1 (2017)

Exploring sex and sexual relationships is an important part of adolescence, and therefore sex education should have a central role in adolescent emotional development as well as dealing with crucial public-health issues. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Rapid Response Briefing 15, 'Is Porn the New Sex Education?'

Is Porn the New Sex Education?

IDS Rapid Response Briefing 15 (2016)

Over the past 15 years, internet pornography has become the predominant channel through which young people learn about sex, not just in the developed world, but increasingly in developing countries too. In many developing countries, traditional gatekeepers of sex education, such as governments, religious leaders and parents, still attempt to keep sexuality out of the public sphere. More details

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Running back to life – a story of modern slavery in the Netherlands

14 Dec 2017
By Sameena van der Mijden , Pauline Oosterhoff

Robots against Slavery?

18 Oct 2017
By Pauline Oosterhoff

Prohibition, Indian-style

29 Mar 2017
By Pauline Oosterhoff, Rituu B. Nanda

Can porn be a positive for sex education?

21 Dec 2016
By Pauline Oosterhoff

Tough Shit: What's the link between diarrhoea and bonded labour?

02 Dec 2016
By Danny Burns, Pauline Oosterhoff, Rituu B. Nanda

Banning alcohol to protect girls? India is missing the mark

12 May 2016
By Pauline Oosterhoff, Carol Smithyes
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Thematic Expertise:
Building Inclusive Secure Societies; Disability and Development; Gender; Gender Violence; Governance; Health; Ebola; HIV; Humanitarian Relief and Development; Politics and Power; Reducing Inequalities; Rights; Sexuality.

Related Programmes and Centres:
Empowerment of Women and Girls; Policy Anticipation Response and Evaluation; Sexuality Poverty and Law; Sexuality and Development Programme.

Geographic Expertise:
Central and South Asia; East Asia (excluding Japan and South Korea); South East Asia; Bangladesh; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Cambodia; China; Croatia; Côte d Ivoire; Ghana; Guinea; India; Indonesia; Kenya; Laos; Mozambique; Nepal; Nigeria; Pakistan; Philippines; Sierra Leone; South Africa; Thailand; Togo; Uganda; United States; Viet Nam; Zambia.