2016 – Another Year in Review

I think, given the extreme lows that we have experienced globally, and the almost backwards step that the media would have us believe that the human race appears to be taking in terms of tolerance and basic human decency, it is important to step back and focus on the good things that 2016 has brought. Continue reading 2016 – Another Year in Review


Reading University’s Institute of Education ATP Conference

This week was a first for me – I delivered my first keynote. It was so much more nerve racking than my usual conference presentations as it was aimed at everyone at the conference, and I needed to use my experience of education and research to inspire the soon to be teachers listening to me. Continue reading Reading University’s Institute of Education ATP Conference

Being ‘on the Margins’ – the book!

Today I am a little excited as I took delivery of my new book 🙂

It’s an edited volume of papers presented at, or developed as a result of, the #SymposiumoftheStreet that I convened in 2014. I wrote about the day here, and my opening statement of the day is here.

The book,or proceedings, is available from Cambridge Scholars.

To give you a sneak peek at what is inside, here is an extract, which includes the introduction in full.

For those of you who with limited connectivity, here is the overview of the structure: Continue reading Being ‘on the Margins’ – the book!

Using Child Well-Being Assessments to Track Progress in Family-Based Reintegration


Retrak, an international non-governmental organization operating in Africa and Latin America, prioritizes family-based reintegration for children living and working on the streets. Retrak has adopted the use of well-being assessments to monitor the progress of each child through their reintegration journey. This paper reflects upon lessons learned by Retrak and explores the challenges and the benefits of developing a body of evidence on reintegration good practice. Children’s well-being assessments have revealed overall improvements during reintegration with some areas such as education and psychosocial well-being being slower to improve. Understanding how well-being changes during reintegration has provided insights to inform program planning and a platform from which to build support for reintegration with donors and policy makers. Recommendations include the need for more organizations to monitor reintegration programs and share results so that methods can be revised and improved. Information gathered through case management systems should be used to ease the monitoring of both changes in children’s lives and the quality and effectiveness of reintegration processes. Weaknesses in gathering data through case management systems can be reduced by clear guidelines and triangulation with different methods. Continue reading Using Child Well-Being Assessments to Track Progress in Family-Based Reintegration

When you can’t stop the tears: Sensitive topics in interview situations

She was explaining the situation in the refugee camps in what was then Northern Sudan, and as she described the effect of the rains on the shallow graves in which the mothers had laid the children they had buried, I was lost. Seeing the pain in her eyes led to the tears flowing from mine. It was one of my first experiences of an interview situation, when I was researching protracted refugee situations for my Masters’ thesis, and I was unprepared for how the interview itself would affect me. Continue reading When you can’t stop the tears: Sensitive topics in interview situations

Revitalising the connection to the thesis

I arrived in the town where my research began four years ago and, after catching up with friends over breakfast, took a walk around to seek out the familiar faces of young men I had worked with in the past and/or who had been some of my participants. When you have worked for the gatekeeper organisation that facilitates your research,the relationship you have with those you interview is very different from the connections you develop as researcher only. After a number of years on the journey with them I know it is important to allow them the time to reconnect. To share the stories of their lives since we last met, who is married, who has children, who managed to buy a motorbike to set up his piki piki business etc. If I don’t do this ritual on my return to town my phone rings incessantly over the next few days, or at least that of my social worker friends do, as they ask to meet or talk to me. When you are only in town for a short number of days it is important to manage expectations and let it be known just how long you are there. Continue reading Revitalising the connection to the thesis

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pearl to be found

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