IGHD PhD Researchers

Our current PhD researchers and their work

Gillian Hughes

Email: ghughes1@qmu.ac.uk

Dissertation title: Creative use of the Tree of Life narrative methodology to develop the emotional resilience of refugee children, young people and their parents in the UK

My PhD is based on previously published papers about my practice as a clinical psychologist offering mental health interventions for refugee children and families within a specialist NHS service in London. I carried out practice based research into the narrative approach which I developed, using creative adaptations of the ‘Tree of Life’ collective methodology. I chart the development of this practice over time in 4 papers, drawing on qualitative research methodologies (critical grounded theory) and mixed-methods designs. I examine the impact of adapted ‘Tree of Life’ interventions with mothers and refugee children in a number of schools, and a ‘Team of Life’ project for refugee youth collaborating with Arsenal football club. Outcomes form this work are brought together in a final paper of practice guidelines for supporting the emotional resilience of refugee young people.


Duke Fan-Chiang

Email: dfanchiang@qmu.ac.uk 

Dissertation title: The impact of cross-sector intervention on conflict-affected children's mental health in protracted humanitarian setting.

This study is built on the current response work of World Vision Uganda for the refugees in the Bidiidi settlement. The aim of this study is to explore the impact of MHPSS intervention on the mental health well-being of conflict-affected children by integrating MHPSS into child protection activities in the protracted humanitarian setting. It employs the mixed-method approach from a Pragmatic world view to answer the research quesitons. In addition to learning the effectivness of integrated model, this study attempts to identify the factors the influence the outcomes during the process of implementation.


Funke Adetutu

Email: fadetutu@qmu.ac.uk 

Dissertation title: Japa Journeys: Exploring Integration of Nigerian Immigrants In Scotland Through Film

In my research, I am using film to explore the integration experiences of Nigerian migrants in Scotland. The aim of my research is to explore the experiences of integration of Nigerian migrants in Scotland through film, using film as a medium that allows narration and storytelling, which can then be used to share debates about integration with a wider audience.


Giulia Loffreda

Email: gloffreda@qmu.ac.uk 

Dissertation title: Navigating Challenges and Advancing Strategies for Non-Communicable Disease Policy Adoption and Implementation

This PhD study aims to address challenges in adopting and implementing non-communicable disease (NCD) policies and interventions. It examines the political economy factors and the complex dynamics involved, offering a global, regional, and country perspective, with focus on fragile and conflict-affected settings. The study reviews barriers and enablers to NCD policies globally and conducts empirical studies on policy processes for NCD adoption and interventions in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (special focus on diabetes) and in Sierra Leone. It recommends areas for global, regional and local action, including robust accountability, transparent engagement with the private sector, context-specific data collection, and managing commercial determinants of health. Emphasizing system thinking, the research enhances understanding and implementation of complex public health interventions. The study's insights can guide policymakers, healthcare professionals, and organizations toward more effective NCD policy strategies.


Carlson Nkwain

Email: calinedoh@qmu.ac.uk 

Dissertation title: Strengthening Community Health Worker Programmes in Urban Fragile and Conflict-Affected Contexts

This thesis investigates the resilience of Community Health Workers (CHWs) and their programmes in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Settings (FCAS). It seeks to understand how these essential healthcare providers and their initiatives navigate the inherent shocks, uncertainty, and fragility in conflict regions. The study combines insights from key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and work-life histories to glean a nuanced understanding of coping mechanisms and adaptive strategies. The data undergoes a robust analysis, using thematic, descriptive, ranking, cluster, narrative, and contextual techniques. The findings unveil the intricate experiences of CHWs within the FCAS context and propose pathways to enhance resilience among CHWs and their programmes. These insights can contribute significantly to optimising healthcare delivery in conflict-stricken regions.


Tarek Alkhalil

Email: talkhalil@qmu.ac.uk 

Dissertation title: The role of Information and Communication Technology – ICT in supporting the delivery of health services in conflict-affected areas during the Syrian conflict

The primary objective of the research is to investigate how ICT can support the continuity of health services in disaster and war-affected settings. The research endeavors to comprehensively survey the academic literature pertaining to ICT usage in healthcare provisioning across remote contexts worldwide. Additionally, the study will explore the specific ICT applications employed by health-focused Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in response to the Syrian conflict. Methodologically, the research adopts a pragmatist worldview, while Grounded Theory is chosen as the most suitable and pertinent qualitative approach. The study aims to yield a comprehensive understanding of ICT applications in healthcare provisioning amid the unstable and volatile context of conflict and disasters.


Joanna Kotcher

Email: jkotcher@qmu.ac.uk 

Dissertation title: National Medics as Survivor-Helpers on the Frontline of Armed Conflict: Remote Management in Coordination Communication and Decision Making

National medics working on the frontline of armed conflict face difficult and often dangerous challenges. Shortage of drugs, supplies and medical equipment is a constant denominator in most armed conflictsy target medical facilities and health care workers with impunity. Additionally, national medics must cope with the potential and real loss of family members, colleagues and friends in the conflict environment they all share. In fact, national medics have a much greater risk of injury and death during armed conflict than their international counterparts. International non-governmental organisations who employ national medics, have historically worked alongside them in the field. However, many international organisations have adopted remote management and coordination of their national staff in the field as a strategy to protect international staff. The purpose of this research is to understand the meaning and impact of these challenges on the work, relationships and morale of national medics on the frontline. These research objectives are explored through qualitative methods using a grounded theory approach.


Ifeyinwa Victor-Uadiale

Email: ivictoruadiale@qmu.ac.uk 

Dissertation title: Using a Realist Research Approach to Explore the Influences of Community-Based Interventions on the Behavioural Risks for Noncommunicable Diseases

This is a realist-informed study that seeks to understand the role of community-based (CBI) interventions in modifying the shared risk behaviours for cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes in adults. The primary objectives are: (1) To develop a realist program theory that explains the mechanism and associated context by which community-based interventions modify tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and harmful use of alcohol, and (2) To refine the program theory through realist qualitative interviewing of state-level CBI implementers and community members in Lagos Nigeria.


Angus Fayia Tengbeh

Email: atengbeh@qmu.ac.uk 

Dissertation title: The implementation of the Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health policy in Sierra Leone: Dynamics, challenges, and opportunities faced by policy implementers at the national and sub-national levels.

This research aims to understand the challenges in the implementation of the Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health (RMHCAH) Policy in Sierra Leone. It employs an ethnographic research methodology to understand the interactions, dynamics, challenges, and opportunities in RMNCAH policy implementation spaces at the national and sub-national levels. It combines participant observations, in-depth interviews, power mapping and document review to deepen the understanding of the everyday negotiations and contestations that underpin translation of policy objectives into practice in resource-poor countries like Sierra Leone. Given the accelerated efforts by the government of Sierra Leone to attain Universal Health coverage targets, findings from this research will provide a detailed account on how to improve the implementation of health policies in the global south.