IGHD promotes research embodying critical thinking, practice engagement and principles of social justice to address the health and development of vulnerable and marginalized populations globally. Our research is focused through interdisciplinary clusters that draw together academic staff , research students and external partners in addressing major issues on which we aspire towards global thought leadership.

The focus of work in the area of psychosocial wellbeing, protection and integration is marked by strong engagement with a broad range of governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental actors. Projects range from strengthening humanitarian response for children and youth in contexts of conflict to strategies for supporting local integration for displaced populations.

Cluster Members

Professor Alastair Ager is Director of IGHD and holds a continuing appointment with the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. He is the Principal Investigator of a major multi-agency evaluation of the impact of humanitarian programming targeting children in emergencies. Alastair is also currently researching the adjustment and well-being of displaced Syrian and Jordanian youth and the role of local faith communities in supporting humanitarian response.

Dr. Carola Eyber is a Senior Lecturer with IGHD with a specific interest in the assessment of child wellbeing across diverse cultural contexts. She has wide experience of engagement with the non-governmental sector– including ChildFund International and World Vision – and extensive field experience in Africa, including Angola, Malawi and Sierra Leone.

Dr. Alison Strang is a Senior Research Fellow with IGHD. She has contributed to the development of the field of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) through a series of field studies and practice development initiatives. She also works with the IASC MHPSS Reference Group. Her research on refugee integration has influenced national policy, and continues with strong linkage with governmental and non-governmental organizations in Scotland and beyond.

Dr. Rebecca Horn is a Research Fellow with IGHD, and works as an independent psychosocial specialist for a range of organisations. She is involved in research, capacity-building, and supporting organisations to integrate psychosocial approaches into their programmes. Her research is broadly related to psychosocial wellbeing in areas affected by conflict and displacement, and as a practitioner, she has focused on psychosocial programming in displacement settings.

Dr Kanykey Jailobaeva is a Research Fellow with IGHD. Her research expertise has focused on child protection, child rights, community development, civil society, social capital, social norms and psychosocial support in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). She has done feasibility studies, child rights situation analyses, and other types of research studies for different international development organisations (e.g. UNICEF) in Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Western and East Africa.

Doctoral Students

Elisa Calpona is studying for a professional doctorate and is focused on strengthening the existing child protection system in Egypt.

Lorian Viola’s work looks at the intrahousehold factors influencing the experiences of children living outside family care in Honduras.

Elle Bunyan is researching the narratives of former street children in Uganda.

Hannah Strohmeier is looking into the mental health and wellbeing of humanitarian staff in South Sudan.

Michael Blaney examines the lived experience of asylum seeking men who have been granted refugee status or leave to remain and are now living in the community in the Republic of Ireland.

Amanda Di Rosa’s work identifies patterns of connection, trust and resilience in FGM affected communities in Scotland to understand their influence on help-seeking strategies.

Kathleen Rutledge is exploring the role of religion in coping and recovery among displaced Muslim women affected by the ISIS conflict in Iraq and its implications for humanitarian response. 

Alison Strang

Psychosocial Wellbeing, Integration and Protection Cluster Contact
Tel: 0131 474 0000

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