Part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2016
How should we be doing research with people living in poverty, who are hard to reach, vulnerable, disadvantaged and social excluded? People living in deprived conditions have crucial perspectives on health and social inequalities, and through authentic engagement can provide important evidence for public policy. This seminar brings together researchers working in different world regions to explore how we can do ‘people-centred’ and ‘action-oriented’ research on social and health inequalities. By people-centred research, we mean working with and for people who are directly affected by the issues being investigated. By action-oriented, we mean research that is embedded in contexts where knowledge outputs can be acted on for positive change. At the seminar, we will also launch the Centre for Global Development at the University of Aberdeen, a centre of excellence committed to equity, social justice and sustainable futures.
1200 Centre for Global Development: Welcome and opening remarks | Professor P Abbott, Director Centre for Global Development (CGD), Professor J Paterson, Vice Principal for Internationalisation, Professor W Cairns Smith Emeritus Professor of Public Health (chair), University of Aberdeen
1220 Making people count: the unequal world of global health data | Prof P Byass, Director Umea Centre for Global Health Research, Umea University, Sweden
1400 Working with people: a people-centred, action-oriented research project in South Africa | Dr L D’Ambruoso, Lecturer CGD, University of Aberdeen
1500 What do ‘the people’ want? Arab voices in a troubled world, the Arab TRANS project | Dr A Teti, Director, Centre for Global Security & Governance, University of Aberdeen
1540 Closing remarks and next steps: implications in the context of global development | Professor W Cairns S Smith (chair), Prof P Abbott, CGD, Dr L D’Ambruoso, CGD, Dr N Dower, CGD, Dr P Mtika, CGD, University of Aberdeen
Professor W Cairns Smith, OBE, Emeritus Professor of Public Health at the Institute of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen and Adjunct Professor at Faculty of Medicine, National University of Malaysia.
Professor Smith qualified in medicine at the University of Aberdeen and holds a MPH and a PhD from the University of Dundee. He worked in hospital posts in Scotland before spending 3 years in a leprosy centre in India. After training in public health, he worked in the national Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit in Scotland for 8 years before taking up the post of Director for South East Asia for Leprosy Mission and an adjunct position at the National University in Singapore. In 1994 he moved to the University of Aberdeen and became Professor and head of the Department of Public Health, and a consultant in public health at NHS Grampian. Professor Smith has extensive experience and knowledge on leprosy and has played a significant role in the global elimination of leprosy working with the World Health Organisation and Non-Government Organisations such as the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations and the Leprosy Mission. He was a member of the 7th WHO Expert Committee on leprosy in 1998 and was chair of the 8th Committee in 2012. He is also a member of the WHO Technical Advisory Committee on leprosy, is chair of the ILEP Technical Commission, and was chair of the Scientific Committee for the International Leprosy Congress in Brussels, 2013. Through his work in research and policy development, over 14 million patients have been treated resulting in a 90% reduction in case-load. In 2006 Prof Smith was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in recognition of services to public health. Professor Smith now works to sustain and enhance leprosy control activities to reduce the burden of disease through research and policy as chair of the ILEP Technical Committee and as a member of the WHO Technical Advisory Group on leprosy. Professor Smith also continues to teach, supervise, advise and mentor students at the University of Aberdeen and in many other institutions internationally.
Professor John Paterson, Vice Principal for Internationalisation, University of Aberdeen
Professor Paterson trained as a solicitor in the Office of the Solicitor to the Secretary of State for Scotland before pursuing an academic career. After studying at the EUI, Florence, Italy, he was a Research Assistant at the Centre de Philosophie du Droit, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium, where he worked principally on the Governance Project with the Forward Studies Unit of the European Commission. He was Senior Lecturer and then Reader at the University of Westminster between 1998 and 2004 when he joined the University of Aberdeen as a Reader. He was appointed Professor of Law in August 2011 and was Acting Head of School 2011-12. He co-directed the Centre for Energy Law as well as Aberdeen's involvement in the North Sea Energy Law Programme with Greg Gordon. His research has covered systems theory, the regulation of risk, governance in the EU, corporate governance and energy law. He has been involved in a number of international projects in both research and teaching. He has provided specialist training in oil and gas law and corporate governance for the corporate sector, expert advice in international arbitration, and consultancy to international organisations. He is series editor (together with Professor Julian Webb, University of Melbourne) of the Law, Science and Society series published by Routledge-Cavendish.
Professor Pamlea Abbott, Director, Centre for Global Development, University of Aberdeen
Pamela has worked on issues related to quality of life and wellbeing, and gender for more than 30 years. She has carried out research in the UK, the EU, the former Soviet Union, East Africa and the MENA region. Her current research is on the social, political and economic transformations taking place in the MENA Region focusing on quality of life, and gender equality and the empowerment of women. Her most recent book, the Decent Society (with Claire Wallace and Roger Sapsford), was published in June 2016.
Professor Peter Byass, Director, Umeå Centre for Global Health Research, Umeå University
Peter has worked in Global Health for 30 years, particularly around Africa. He likes to measure health in meaningful ways and expose some of the massive global inequities in health and disease.
Dr Lucia D’Ambruoso, Lecturer in Global Health, Centre for Global Development and Institute of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen
Lucia is a social scientist working in Global Health for over 15 years. She is interested in health inequalities and the role of research to foster partnerships for empowerment and inclusion.
Dr Nigel Dower, Honorary Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Centre for Global Development, University of Aberdeen
Nigel joined the University of Aberdeen in 1967 where he has taught until 2004, except for three years teaching Philosophy in Zimbabwe (1983-86). He was Head of Department from 1996-1999 and 2000-2001. In June 2004 he took early retirement in order to pursue his interests in ‘exploring ethics in a globalised world’ through teaching, lectures, writing and consultancy. His main research interests are in the field of the ethics/philosophy of development, environment and international relations.
Dr Peter Mtika, Lecturer, Centre for Global Development and School of Education, University of Aberdeen
Peter is a lecturer and researcher in education. His main research interest is broadly within international and comparative education. Peter is particularly interested in education for equity, social justice and sustainability. Peter is also coordinator for an interdisciplinary course, ‘Africa: Sustainable Development for All?
Dr Andrea Teti, Senior Lecturer, University of Aberdeen, Co-Director Centre for Global Security and Governance and Centre for Modern Thought
Andrea’s primary area of research is the politics of democracy-promotion in the Middle East, specifically the relationship between how knowledge is produced, translated into policy, applied, and how resulting political dynamics affect knowledge production in turn. He has particular interests in labour movements and civil society groups in the Middle East, political parties and elections. Andrea also looks at the authoritarian practices of the Egyptian regime, in particular the range of techniques being used to empty democratic commitments of any substance.
Keynote | Making people count: the unequal world of global health data | Prof P Byass
An individual’s likelihood of having their birth and death officially registered still varies enormously around the world. What does this imply for health planning and policy making – to say nothing of that individual’s health?
Working with people: a people-centred, action-oriented research project in South Africa | Dr L D'Ambruoso
Recent estimates suggest that two-thirds of the world's deaths pass unrecorded. This situation seriously limits the ability of health systems to respond to the needs of vulnerable and excluded populations. In settings where health systems are fragile and under-resourced, where new burdens of disease are rapidly emerging, and where large and diverse populations are excluded from access to health care, innovative approaches that connect the registration of vital events to health care systems in a people-centred approach are needed. The talk reports on a recent project that employs a bottom up philosophy connecting with population data at source.
What do ‘the people’ want? Democracy in EU Policy and MENA Perceptions After the Arab Uprisings | Dr A Teti
The reaction of the Western media, governments and international organisations to the Uprisings in the Arab World in 2010/11 was to see them as an expression of popular demand for liberal democracy. However, analysis of the Arab Transformations Public Opinion Survey suggests that people were motivated by much more than demands for political rights and that what they want are the social and economic rights without which it is not possible, in any case, to enjoy the benefits of political rights. What people want is to live in a decent society that enables them to led productive and fulfilling lives.