2016-ongoing: Working pro-bono (through Consultancy Leave granted by the Careers Service) to guide, analyse and disseminate research to identify and define dimensions of poverty.
This initiative sits within a partnership between Oxford researchers (Prof Robert Walker and myself primarily, plus involvement from Fran Bennett, Elaine Chase, Kathryn Oliver and several DPhil students) and the social movement ATD Fourth World, a non-profit organisation and social movement in which people living in poverty are active leaders and shapers of their work.
I am one of five ‘international research coordinators’ and have had particular input in the choice and design of methods for engaging people with direct experience of poverty, service providers and other practitioners, and academics, in a collaborative analytical process tailored to the cultural and physical contexts within each country (Bangladesh, Bolivia, Tanzania, France, UK and USA). I also led the team’s thinking and preparation for piloting the means for children to engage in a similar process to define poverty in childhood.
The main 3-year study was completed in May 2019, launched at a major conference hosted by the OECD and further disseminated in three events, plus follow-up meetings, at the UN High Level Political Forum during July in New York. I worked with colleagues across the project, including researchers with direct experience of poverty, to prepare, facilitate and contribute to these events. In the UK, similar sharing of process, results and discussion about the implications for research, policy and practice have taken place in University seminars (LSE, Oxford, plus others run by colleagues) and cross-sectoral events (Conference hosted by Amnesty UK, JustFair in London, and by ATD Fourth World Ireland in Dublin).
Our current focus is on learning from the six country teams’ experiences in applying the methodology in order to understand its potential for future research (including paper in process as below). I am supporting country teams in documenting their key decisions and outcomes, ready for a 3-day seminar with the team who led the RE-InVEST studies across Europe in Feb 2021 at the University of Leuven.