My research uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to understand contexts affecting the health and well-being of children, adolescents, youth, and women in settings of adversity. Prior to joining a donor organization (where my responsibilities included funding research, rather than leading my own), I conducted mixed methods research and served as Principal Investigator on multiple studies that explored associations between girl child marriage, defined as union of a female before age 18, and women and children’s health and development in sub-Saharan Africa.
Past projects include:
- “The Effects of Girl Child Marriage on Women and Children’s Health and Well-Being in Sub-Saharan Africa”
- Funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
- “Mariage et Bien-être en Guinée: Une Etude Qualitative” / “Marriage and Well-Being in Guinea: A Qualitative Study”
- Funded by the Harvard Kennedy School Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard University Center for African Studies, and various funders from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health
Sample research I have conceptualized and been a part of funding include:
- Child Marriage Learning Partners Consortium – partnership of researchers, programme implementers, and advocates who have worked to fill gaps in knowledge of child marriage and its drivers and solutions in specific contexts. More than 30 learning products available at: https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/learning-resources/child-marriage-learning-partners-consortium/
- Shared Roots, Different Branches: Expanding Understanding of Child Marriage in Diverse Settings. Journal of Adolescent Health Supplement – Issue 3, Mar. 2022, S1-S96. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/journal-of-adolescent-health/vol/70/issue/3/suppl/S
- The Diversity and Complexity of Child Marriage. Journal of Adolescent Health Supplement – Issue 6, Dec. 2021, S1-S80. Available at: https://www.jahonline.org/issue/S1054-139X(21)X0013-4
Consulting and other short-term projects:
I have consulted and led research activities on maternal, child, and adolescent health; child development; and diversity, equity, and inclusion for numerous organizations. For example:
- “Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health: Adolescent Childbearing in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Sahel”
- Commissioned by the World Bank Group
- As a sub-contractor for Population Economics Research LLC, I conducted a literature review of proximate determinants of fertility for adolescent women (aged 15 to 19) across sub-Saharan Africa and the Sahel region and identified and summarized 80 academic articles describing fertility, marriage, contraception use, abortion, and post-partum infecundity for adolescent girls, and co-authored final report
- “Qualitative Study on Women’s Attitudes Towards the Relationship Between Children and Work in Bujumbura, Burundi”
- Commissioned by the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies; funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
- As the qualitative field research assistant, I implemented qualitative research study to understand women’s experiences with childbearing and work, to design Hewlett Foundation-funded family planning intervention (PIs: Dr. Jocelyn Finlay and Dr. David Canning). I was responsible for designing and training a qualitative research assistant, in French, and supervising on-ground technical logistics over four weeks in Burundi including recruitment of 40 participants and 10 focus groups/interviews. I also supported development of a published scholarly article and a successful US$500,000 grant for creating a local family planning intervention.
- “Integrating Early Childhood Development and Violence Prevention to Improve Child Well-Being”
- Commissioned by the UBS Optimus Foundation
- I led a team of 4 to implement a landscape analysis on state of evidence for programs integrating early childhood development and violence prevention (ECD+) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) for the World Health Organization Integrating Violence Prevention into Early Child Development meeting, Mexico City. I led team in developing protocol for a qualitative stakeholder analysis and systematic review of 5500 articles, conducted and analyzed 17 interviews, and served as primary author for 3 reports and scholarly articles.
- “A Qualitative Study of Challenges Facing War-Affected Youth in Sierra Leone”
- Commissioned by the Research Program on Children and Global Adversity at the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights
- To expand on work from the Longitudinal Study for War-Affected Youth in Sierra Leone (LSWAY), I analyzed 2 waves of qualitative data to understand youth and caregiver perspectives on consequences of long-term civil war on young people. Results, which identified concerns of basic needs in addition to mental and physical health, were published in first-authored manuscript in scholarly journal.