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Dr Elsbeth Robson

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography

Faculty and Department

  • Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • Department of Geography, Geology and Environment

Summary

Elsbeth is a human and development geographer with research and teaching interests in social inequality, ethics and social justice, particularly with respect to women and children/youth. Her research embraces qualitative, participatory and quantitative research methods. Geographically her research concentrates on sub-Saharan Africa. In the UK Dr Elsbeth Robson has been employed by/affiliated with the Universities of Keele, Durham, Liverpool and Brunel and in Africa the University of Malawi and Ahmadhu Bello Unversity, Nigeria. She has been a visiting scholar at the University of Zimbabwe, Gothenborg University (Sweden), University of Oulu (Finland) and Leiden University (Netherlands).

Invited contributor to UNICEF Expert round table on children's Care Work, Florence, Dec 2016.

Consultant for and contributor to UNICEF Ethical Research Involving Children: International Charter and Guidelines www.childethics.com

FRGS (Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers, since 1990)

Member of the Association of American Geographers

SFHEA (Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, since 2015)

Undergraduate

400145 Exploring Worlds Around Us

600254 Global South (module leader)

600256 Conservation in a Changing World

400150 Development and Change (module leader)

500182 UK Fieldtrip

700208 Contemporary Research in Human Geography (module leader)

701285 DTP Doctoral Training Year 1 (module leader)

Journal Article

Mobile phones, gender, and female empowerment in sub-Saharan Africa: studies with African youth

Porter, G., Hampshire, K., Abane, A., Munthali, A., Robson, E., De Lannoy, A., …Owusu, S. (2019). Mobile phones, gender, and female empowerment in sub-Saharan Africa: studies with African youth. Information Technology for Development, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1080/02681102.2019.1622500

Connecting with home, keeping in touch: Physical and virtual mobility across stretched families in sub-Saharan Africa

Porter, G., Hampshire, K., Abane, A., Munthali, A., Robson, E., Tanle, A., …Bango, A. (2018). Connecting with home, keeping in touch: Physical and virtual mobility across stretched families in sub-Saharan Africa. Africa, 88(2), 404-424. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0001972017000973

“My happiest time” or “my saddest time”" The spatial and generational construction of marriage among youth in rural Malawi and Lesotho

Ansell, N., Hajdu, F., van Blerk, L., & Robson, E. (2018). “My happiest time” or “my saddest time”? The spatial and generational construction of marriage among youth in rural Malawi and Lesotho. Transactions - Institute of British Geographers, 43(2), 184-199. https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12211

Youth livelihoods in the cellphone era: Perspectives from urban Africa

Porter, G., Hampshire, K., de Lannoy, A., Bango, A., Munthali, A., Robson, E., …Owusu, S. (2018). Youth livelihoods in the cellphone era: Perspectives from urban Africa. Journal of international development, 30(4), 539-558. https://doi.org/10.1002/jid.3340

Ethics committees, journal publication and research with children

Robson, E. (2018). Ethics committees, journal publication and research with children. Children's Geographies, 16(5), 473-480. https://doi.org/10.1080/14733285.2017.1392481

Research interests

Engagement with policy and practice underlies my research / consultancy and I have considerable experience of knowledge exchange ensuring policy relevance and maximum impact.

My recent research and consultancy in Malawi (since 2004) involves collaborating internationally with universities, government and non-governmental organizations; while being informed by political economy and feminist theoretical approaches (with a concern for ethics).

Knowledges, Cultures & Space research group

Institute of Applied Ethics

Centre for Spirituality Studies

Major research projects:

Building an Evidence Base to Support and Enhance Community Health Workers' (informal) use of Mobile Phones in Ghana, Malawi and Ethiopia

MRC-Wellcome Trust-DFID-ESRC 2018-2019 £197,472 PI Prof Kate Hampshire (Durham)

Social Cash Transfers, generational relations and youth poverty trajectories in rural Lesotho and Malawi

ESRC-DFID PI Prof Nicola Ansell (Brunel), CoIs Robson, van Blerk, Hajdu, Mwathunga, Hlabana 2015-2019, £338,000

https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Projects/cash-transfers-youth#

Mobile Phones and Youth in Africa

ESRC-DFID PI Prof Gina Porter (Durham) co-I Kate Hampshire (Durham) et al 2012-2015, £460,000

https://www.dur.ac.uk/child.phones/

Children, Transport and Mobility in Sub-Saharan Africa

Developing a Child-Centred Evidence Base to Improve Policy and Change Thinking Across Africa

ESRC-DFID PI Prof Gina Porter (Durham), co-I Kate Hampshire (Durham) et al 2006-2009, £353,932.

https://www.dur.ac.uk/child.mobility/

Averting 'New Variant Famine' in Southern Africa: building food-secure livelihoods with AIDS-affected young people

DFID-ESRC £201,757 2007-8 PI Prof Nicola Ansell (Durham), Co-Is Lorraine van Blerk (Dundee) & Elsbeth Robson

Project

Funder

Grant

Started

Status

Project

Building an evidence base to support and enhance community health workers' (informal) use of mobile phones in Ghana, Malawi and Ethiopia

Funder

MRC Medical Research Council

Grant

£4,531.00

Started

1 January 2018

Status

Complete

Project

Social cash transfers, generational relations and youth poverty trajectories in rural Lesotho and Malawi

Funder

ESRC Economic & Social Research Council

Grant

Started

1 October 2015

Status

Complete

Postgraduate supervision

Areas of research interest:

Sub-Saharan Africa

Development

Children and youth

Gender and feminism

COMPLETED PhD (1ST SUPERVISOR)

Ansell, Nicola 1999 ‘Southern African secondary schools: places of empowerment for rural girls? Cases from Lesotho and Zimbabwe', Department of Environmental Social Sciences: Keele University.

Mayeso Lazaro 2018 (University of Hull studentship 2015 -2018) ‘Grandfathers caring for orphaned grandchildren in rural Southern Malawi: Invisible in plain sight?'

Bronia Cross 2019 (University of Hull studentship 2014 - 2017) ‘The historical geographies of European Childhood in Colonial Africa: Children's lives in Nyasaland 1889-1964'

Kalliopi Kaparounaki (University of Hull studentship 2014 - 2017) ‘Caregiving children in Malawi: Children's work within families affected by illness and disability'

Current PhD supervisions:

Mbali Pewa (Commonwealth Scholarship 2015 - 2019) ‘Household Waste Management in a South African Township'

Jenna Treen (ESRC DTP 1+3 studentship 2017 - 2021) 'The Prevention of Child Trafficking in Nigeria'