Specific issues or sectors examined for the knowledge helpdesk


I combine being a skilled generalist researcher with having specialised areas of work.

Over the years, this has led me to write successfully about a range of topics. Some topics have been within my core area of work, where I have been able to draw on my pre-existing knowledge in addition to calling on my broader research capacities. Others have been within the larger social sciences, where my strong academic skills have let me come to terms with new topics quickly and rigorously. In all cases, my syntheses have received consistent praise for rigour, relevance, and clarity from the commissioning agencies.

For examples of my reports and publications, please visit my academia.edu page, where I have made available all the consultancy reports that commissioning agencies allowed me to publish:


For a full list of the titles of my publications, please email me (I will of course not communicate confidential reports, nor any details about the query and commissioning agency for these, but can provide the full list of titles).


Main areas of specialisation

My main areas of specialised work include:

  • Human rights (including women's rights)
    • Causes, actors, dynamics, and effects of human rights violations
    • Human rights practices (e.g. mobilisations, litigation), including dilemmas, effects, and effectiveness
    • Politics of human rights
    • Sociology and political economy of human rights
    • Law and norms - especially international human rights and humanitarian laws

  • Violence, from micro- to macro-level dimensions, and from small to large scale (e.g. from isolated to mass violence)
    • With particular knowledge on the issue of torture, and torture prevention

  • Collective action for human rights

  • International organisations - their politics, sociology, and economy

I have written a number of reports in these areas, as well as conducting my own independent research into these. You are most welcome to contact me about these issues, whether to ask for details or to discuss a collaboration.


Further areas examined for consultancy work

I have also written about further issues and sectors, quickly grasping topics that were new to me and writing rigourously about them. I received very positive feedback for such syntheses from users who were specialists in these areas.

I provide examples of such work below. This being said, I am always interested in working on new topics in the realm of social sciences. So if you would like a knowledge synthesis on a topic that is not listed on this page, please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss it.


Examples of thematic issues I have worked on include:

  • Effectiveness and impact of a variety of aid policies, programmes, and activities (e.g. comparisons between the effects of different aid modalities)

  • Power - political analyses, political economy, conflict analysis (e.g. structural causes, intermediate or proximate drivers, triggers; actors and their relations; issues; dynamics; scenarios; recommendations)
  • Empowerment and voice (particularly for discriminated groups) - political and economic
  • Accountability by local, national, and international actors
  • Socio-economic inclusion and exclusion, including multiple intersectional forms
  • Equality in the face of structural inequalities (e.g. class, caste, gender, ethnicity, nationality, disability): issues, dynamics, actions to advance it
  • Rule of law

  • Disaster risk management, at regional, national, and subnational levels

  • Humanitarian issues: 
    • Law 
    • Aid - issues (e.g. neutrality), politics, effects

  • Environment, including climate, water, biodiversity, forests, and energy, as well as conservation issues

  • Resilience of people, infrastructures, services, and environment - in the face of disasters caused by natural hazards or human-made problems: concepts, critiques, theories, evidence on effects (positive, neutral, or negative) of resilience programming, practical guidance

  • Peace, including critical analyses and recommendations on:
    • Peacebuilding
    • Peace settlements
    • Conflict resolution
    • Peacekeeping
    • Stabilisation and security
  • Political violence, including State and non-State violence, war, ideologies and actions in support of violence by individuals and collective actors (including critical analyses of radicalisation and extremism)

  • Child protection

  • Urban settings and their specificities

  • Employment, including: employment policies and practices by public, private, and non-profit actors; skills development

Examples of sectors I have worked on include:

  • Aid as a sector (development and humanitarianism)
  • Social protection
  • Social services
  • Government, including:
    • Public finances and budgets, including:
      • Gender-responsive public finances, budgeting, and procurement
      • Integrated financial management and information systems
    • Laws and the judiciary
      (e.g. strategic litigation for poor people's rights)

  • Employment policies and practices (e.g. public works)
  • Agriculture
  • Disaster risk management, from risk reduction to response to reconstruction (in relation to disasters that are human-made or due to natural hazards)
  • Environmental sectors, including climate, water, and energy
  • Security

(This page is under construction. I may add contents and adjust the formatting over the coming months, but the information here offers key examples for a start.)