Professor Lucie Cluver

Lucie Cluver is a Professor of Child and Family Social Work, in the Centre for Evidence-Based Social Intervention in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, and an Honorary Professor in Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town. She works closely with the South African government, USAID-PEPFAR, UNICEF, the World Health Organisation and with other international NGOs, to provide evidence that can improve the lives of children and adolescents affected by HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Lucie is lucky to work with an incredible and dedicated team of PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and colleagues. Together they lead large-scale longitudinal surveys and randomised controlled trials of interventions, combined with participatory qualitative research.

From January 2019, Lucie is the Principal Investigator for the new £20 million UKRI GCRF Accelerating Achievement for Africa's Adolescents Hub. Find out more here.

Lucie is a PI on several ongoing trials in Southern and Eastern Africa, all part of the Parenting for Lifelong Health Initiative – a collaboration between the World Health Organisation, UNICEF and academics to provide evidence-based non-commercialised child violence prevention programs for LMIC. These include the Sinovuyo Teen trial (with Dr Franziska Meinck and Dr Jenny Doubt) – a cluster randomised trial (n=1100, 40 sites) of a program for families with adolescents, the Sinovuyo Kids trial (with Prof Cathy Ward at University of Cape Town and Dr Jamie Lachman) for caregivers of 3-9 year olds, and the Mphatlalatsane trial (with Prof Mark Tomlinson and Prof Lorraine Sherr) for parents of toddlers in Lesotho. The PLH programmes are now being implemented in 16 countries in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.

Working with a dedicated team in close collaboration with policymakers, Lucie has pioneered research on ‘cash plus care’ – examining the impacts of social protection and psychosocial care on adolescent health.

Lucie leads the first community-based large panel of HIV-positive adolescents and community controls, including 1500 adolescents in South Africa (with Dr Elona Toska), which integrates qualitative research led by Dr Rebecca Hodes (University of Cape Town). Currently, she leads (with Dr Elona Toska) the first known longitudinal study in Africa to assess pathways to resilience amongst adolescent parent families living with and without HIV. This study will include 700 adolescent parents and child dyads.

Lucie has led three major longitudinal studies: the ‘Young Carers Study’ (2008-2012, with Dr Mark Boyes) was the world’s largest study of risk and resilience amongst AIDS-affected children, following 6000 children longitudinally in South Africa, the ‘Orphan Resilience Study’ (2005-2009 with Prof Frances Gardner) followed 1000 children over four years to identify impacts of orphanhood.
The team’s work has won a number of awards, including an ESRC Oxford University Excellence in Impact Award (2018), a University of Oxford Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation Award (2018), ESRC's Outstanding International Impact Prize (2017), the Philip Leverhulme Prize (2015), the International AIDS Society Young Investigator Award (2014), and the Discovery Clinical Excellence Award (2013). They have published over 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals including the Lancet Global Health, BMJ Global Health, AIDS, JAIDS, J Child Psychiatry and Psychology, Social Science and Medicine, AIDS Care and Prevention Science.

Funders: European Research Council Consolidator Grant, European Research Council 'Horizon 2020’, Medical Research Council, Research England, Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V., part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, The Nuffield Foundation, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust, the Evidence for HIV Prevention in Southern Africa (EHPSA), a UK aid programme managed by Mott MacDonald, the National Research Foundation (South Africa), UNICEF, USAID-PEPFAR, Ilifa Labantwana, the Claude Leon Foundation, the National Department of Social Development South Africa, the World Health Organisation, the John Fell Fund, the Oak Foundation, University of Oxford’s ESRC Impact Acceleration Account, RIATT-ESA, and the International AIDS Society through the CIPHER grant.

Cluver, L, Pantelic, M, Toska, E, Orkin, M, Casale, M, Sherr, L (in press). STACKing the odds for adolescent survival: Health service factors associated with retention in care and adherence amongst adolescents living with HIV in South Africa. Journal of the International AIDS Society. 

Rudgard, W, Carter, D, Scuffell, J, Cluver, L, Fraser-Hurt, N, Boccia, D (in press) Cash transfers to enhance TB control: Lessons from the global HIV response. BMC Public Health.

Hodes, R. Vale, B, Toska, E, Cluver, L, Dowse, R, Ashorn, M (in press). ‘Yummy or Crummy: The multisensory components of medicines-taking among HIV-positive youth. Global Public Health.

Steinert, J, Cluver, L, Meinck, F, Doubt, J, Vollmer, S (in press) Household Economic Strengthening through Saving and Budgeting: Evidence from a Field Experiment in South Africa. Journal of Development Economics.

Cluver, L. Meinck, F. Toska, E., Orkin, F. M. Hodes, R. Sherr, L. (2018). Violence exposure and adolescent antiretroviral non-adherence in South Africa. AIDS.

Cluver, L, Pantelic, M, Orkin, M, Toska, E, Medley, S, Sherr, L (2018) Sustainable Survival: Which SDGs protect against mortality risk for adolescents living with HIV? Journal of the International AIDS Society.

Cluver, L., Pantelic, M., Orkin, M., Toska, E., Medley, S., & Sherr, L. (2018). Sustainable Survival for adolescents living with HIV: do SDG-aligned provisions reduce potential mortality risk?. Journal of the International AIDS Society, 21 Suppl 1. doi:10.1002/jia2.25056

Cluver LD, Meinck F, Steinert JI, et al. Parenting for Lifelong Health: a pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial of a non-commercialised parenting programme for adolescents and their families in South Africa. BMJ Glob Heal 2018;3.

Cluver, L., Meinck, F., Steinert, J., Shenderovich, Y., Doubt, J., Herrero Romero, R., . . . Gardner, F. (n.d.). Parenting for Lifelong Health: A pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial of a non-commercialised parenting programme for adolescents and their families in South Africa. BMJ Global Health.

Cluver, L., & Sherr, L. (2017). Integrating disclosure support into family HIV care.. The Lancet. HIV, 4(12), e534-e535. doi:10.1016/s2352-3018(17)30153-4

Cluver, L. D., Lachman, J. M., Ward, C. L., Gardner, F., Peterson, T., Hutchings, J. M., . . . Redfern, A. A. (2017). Development of a Parenting Support Program to Prevent Abuse of Adolescents in South Africa: Findings From a Pilot Pre-Post Study. Research on Social Work Practice, 27(7), 758-766. doi:10.1177/1049731516628647

Cluver, L. D., Orkin, F. M., Yakubovich, A. R., & Sherr, L. (2016). Combination Social Protection for Reducing HIV-Risk Behavior Among Adolescents in South Africa.. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (1999), 72(1), 96-104. doi:10.1097/qai.0000000000000938

Cluver, L. D., Lachman, J. M., Ward, C. L., Gardner, F., Peterson, T., Hutchings, J. M., . . . Redfern, A. A. (2017). Development of a Parenting Support Program to Prevent Abuse of Adolescents in South Africa. Research on Social Work Practice, 27(7), 758-766. doi:10.1177/1049731516628647

Cluver, L, Orkin, M, Boyes, M, Yakubovich, A, Sherr, L (2016) Can Social Protection Improve Sustainable Development Goals for Adolescent Health?. PLOSOne. 11(10): e0164808 

Cluver, L, Meinck, F, Shenderovich, Y, Ward, C, Herrero Romero, R, Redfern, A, Lombard, C, Doubt, J, Steinert, J, Catanho, R, Wittesaele, C, De Stone, S, Salah, N, Mpimpilashe, P, Lachman, J, Loening, H, Gardner, F, Blanc, D, Nocuza, M, Lechowicz, M (2016). A parenting programme to prevent abuse of adolescents in South Africa: a study protocol for a pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial. Trials. 17. 328.

Cluver, L, Meinck, F, Yakubovich, A, Doubt, J, et al (2016). Reducing child abuse amongst adolescents in low- and middle-income countries: A pre-post trial in South Africa. BMC Public Health. 13;16(1):567 

Cluver, L, Orkin, M, Yakubovich, A, Sherr, L (2016). Combination social protection for reducing HIV-risk behaviour amongst adolescents in South Africa. JAIDS. 72: 96-104    

Cluver, L, Orkin, M, Meinck, F, Boyes, M and Sherr, L (2016). Structural drivers and social protection: Mechanisms of HIV-risk and HIV-prevention for South African adolescents. Journal of the International AIDS Society (JIAS). 19. 2064-6.    

Cluver, L, Toska, E, Orkin, M, Yakubovich, A, Hodes, R, Sherr, L (2016). Achieving equity in HIV-treatment outcomes: Can social protection improve adolescent ART-adherence in South Africa? AIDS Care Equity Special Issue. Suppl  2 73-82

Cluver, L, Hodes, R, Toska, E, Kidia, K, Orkin, M, Sherr, L, Meinck, F (2015). ‘HIV is like a tsotsi. ARVs are your guns’: Associations between HIV-disclosure and adherence to antiretroviral treatment among adolescents in South Africa. AIDS. 29. Suppl 1. S57-65. 

Cluver, L, Orkin, M, Boyes, Ma, Sherr, L (2014) Cash plus care: social protection cumulatively mitigates HIV-risk behaviour among adolescents in South Africa. AIDS. S389-97

Cluver, L, Boyes, Ma, Orkin, M, Pantelic, Mc, Molwena, T & Sherr, L (2013) Child-focused state cash transfers and adolescent HIV-infection risks: A prospective multi-site study in South Africa. The Lancet: Global Health. 1. E362-70

Cluver, L, Orkin, M, Boyes, Ma, Sherr, L, Nikelo, J & Makhasi, D (2013). Pathways from parental AIDS to child psychological, educational and sexual risk: Developing an empirically-based interactive theoretical model. Social Science and Medicine, 87. 185-193

Cluver, L, Orkin, M, Boyes, Ma & Gardner, F (2012) ‘AIDS-orphanhood and caregiver HIV/AIDS sickness status: effects on psychological symptoms in South African youth’ Journal of Pediatric Psychology

Cluver, L, Orkin, M, Boyes,a M & Gardner, F (2012) Persisting mental health problems among AIDS-orphaned children in South Africa. Journal of Child Psychiatry & Psychology. 53 (4) 363-370.

Cluver, L, Orkin, M, Boyes, Ma, Gardner, F, & Meinck, Fc (2011) ‘Transactional Sex amongst AIDS-orphaned and AIDS-Affected Adolescents Predicted by Abuse and Extreme Poverty’. JAIDS 58 (3) 336-43   

Cluver, L, Bowes, L & Gardner, F (2010) Risk & protective factors for bullying victimisation amongst AIDS-affected & vulnerable children in S.Africa. Child Abuse & Neglect, 34 793-803 

Cluver, L, Gardner, F & Operario, D (2007). Psychological distress amongst AIDS-orphaned children in urban South Africa Journal of Child Psychiatry & Psychology & Allied Disciplines 48(8) 755-763

  • Early intervention: A foundation for lifelong violence prevention

  • Process evaluation of a parenting program for low-income families in south africa

  • Development of a Parenting Support Program to Prevent Abuse of Adolescents in South Africa

  • Development of a Parenting Support Program to Prevent Abuse of Adolescents in South Africa: Findings From a Pilot Pre-Post Study

  • Longitudinal Predictors of Child Sexual Abuse in a Large Community-Based Sample of South African Youth.

  • Relationships between poverty and AIDS Illness in South Africa: an investigation of urban and rural households in KwaZulu-Natal.

  • School, Supervision and Adolescent-Sensitive Clinic Care: Combination Social Protection and Reduced Unprotected Sex Among HIV-Positive Adolescents in South Africa.

  • Disclosure of physical, emotional and sexual child abuse, help-seeking and access to abuse response services in two South African Provinces.

  • Pathways From Family Disadvantage via Abusive Parenting and Caregiver Mental Health to Adolescent Health Risks in South Africa.

  • Cash transfers-magic bullet or fundamental ingredient?

  • More

Lucie Cluver - CV (March 2019)

Lucie's previous DPhil students have gone on to be successful in academia, policy and practice:

  • Caroline Kuo (2010) - is an Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences in the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University
  • Lena Saleh (2012) - is the Director of Program Planning in HIV Prevention in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Tyler Lane (2013) - is a research fellow in the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research at Monash University
  • Franziska Meinck (2014) - is a postdoctoral researcher in the Centre for Evidence-Based Interventions at Oxford
  • Beth Vale (2015) - is a researcher in humanities at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA)
  • Jamie Lachman (2016) - is a postdoctoral researcher in the Centre for Evidence-Based Interventions at Oxford
  • Elona Toska (2017) -  is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cape Town

Lucie would welcome applications for D.Phils from students who are committed to policy and programming-relevant research and to helping mitigate the impacts of HIV/AIDS and family distress on children in sub-Saharan Africa.

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