Energy Environment and Society, School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law
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Recent and ongoing projects
Co-Investigator and Researcher for 2REST: Responsibilities for Resilience Embedded in Street Temporalities. 2REST is a two-year project (from 1-Oct-23), funded by the ESRC, that analyses secondary data from Growing up on the Streets using a multisystemic resilience approach and involving international partners – including academics and early career researchers in Uganda and South Africa, with an International Academic and Policy Advisory Board, including and street youth, from around the world. 2REST will build capacity through training and analysis, and create impactful, practical outcomes that can be used in policy development and implementation and street youth engagement. My key responsibilities are to co-lead on our unique analysis framework, develop a collaborative coding strategy, lead NVivo training for analysis with international partners, lead on data management and ethical review processes, undertake coding and analysis, the creation of policy tools and other outputs in 2REST’s global engagement strategy
Research Assistant, International and Canadian Child Rights Partnership: Intergenerational Partnerships While Growing up on the Streets. This case study for the ICCRP will explore intergenerational trust relationships among street children and youth and adults, using secondary data analysis and novel participatory involvement in our Youth Engagement in Analysis Programme taking place in Scotland and South Africa. (Sep 2022–Aug 2023).
Growing up on the Streets (legacy). Story map developed with street youth and street workers in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Street Life in the City on the Edge: Street youth recount their daily lives in Bukavu, DRC and a version of the story map in French: Vie de rue dans la ville à la frontière: Des jeunes de la rue racontent leurs vies quotidiennes à Bukavu, RDC (Jan–Mar 2022).
Researcher and Co-Investigator, Growing up on the Streets Fellowship Programme: Building Capacity and Creating Influence. Three ECR academic Fellows from Ghana, Lesotho and Zimbabwe engaged in capacity building, data analysis and co-production of academic articles at University of Dundee Jan-Mar 2020; led on NVivo qualitative analysis training and ongoing role in developing papers (Jan–May 2020). Project Extension for continuing collaboration on publications (Aug 2020–Jul 2021).
Research Assistant, Displaced Communities, Environmental Degradation and Sustainable Livelihoods in Uganda. This project employed an innovative methodology combining qualitative and participatory methods with natural science remote sensing techniques to examine the relationships between forced migration and environmental change. (Aug 2020–Jul 2021).
Research Assistant, Antislavery using Satellite Technology for Uganda’s Sustainability, an exploratory project into the use of new satellite image technology and how it may be used to aid efforts in anti-trafficking of people in Uganda. (Aug 2020–Mar 2021)
Growing up on the Streets (legacy) – Story map developed with street youth and street workers in Harare, Zimbabwe: In the Shadow of a Pandemic: Harare's Street Youth Experience COVID-19 (https://arcg.is/1q4WvH) (Jun–Jul 2020).
Researcher for Growing up on the Streets. Growing up on the Streets was a longitudinal, ethnographic participatory research project taking place in three African cities, co-produced with street children/youth, the research design employed a capability (rather than vulnerability) approach to their lives. (Jan 2013 – Dec 2020).
Project roles and activities
- Contributing to development and management of projects from grant applications to outputs.
- Developing NVivo training and coding frameworks.
- Creating story maps with street youth in diverse African contexts: See above for story maps in DRC and Zimbabwe, plus: Growing up on the Streets: A Story Map by Accra’s Street Youth
- Managing data sets and undertaking first level descriptive analysis of the data and coding in NVivo.
- Quantitative analysis in SPSS and Excel.
- Collaborating with UK and international colleagues on writing and production of policy outputs, including briefing papers, training materials including award-winning Knowledge Exchange Training Pack, used globally in development of national and UN policies.
- Writing and contributing to journal articles and book chapters.
Chikoko, W., van Blerk, L., Hunter J. & Shand, W. (2023). Realising capabilities for street young people in Harare, Zimbabwe: A new approach to social protection. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities. DOI: 10.1080/19452829.2023.2261868 (OPEN ACCESS)
van Blerk, L., Hunter, J. & Shand, W. (2023). Crisis temporalities and ongoing capabilities in the lives of young people growing up on the streets of African cities: An ethnographic longitudinal perspective. Area, 00, 1–9. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12892 (OPEN ACCESS)
Dankyi, E.K., van Blerk, L., Hunter, J., McFadden, A. (2022) Considering an agency–vulnerability nexus in the lives of street children and youth, Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal, 7:1-3, 75-91, DOI: 10.1080/23802014.2022.2059100
van Blerk, L., Hunter, J., Shand, W., and Prazeres, L. (2022). Creating stories for impact: co-producing knowledge with young people through story mapping. Area, 55, 99–107. https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12816 (OPEN ACCESS)
van Blerk, L., Shand, W., Prazeres, L., Bukenya, B., Essaid, A. A., Hunter, J., Ibrahim, R. W. & Kasirye, R. (2022). Youth transitions in protracted crises: conceptualising the ‘rupture’ of refugees’ pathways to adulthood in Uganda and Jordan. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 47, 315–330. https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12500
Hlabana, T., van Blerk, L., Hunter, J. (2021). Making masculinities on the street: exploring street boys’ everyday relationships on the streets of Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. Boyhood Studies, 14(2): 1-19. https://doi.org/10.3167/bhs.2021.140202
Hunter, J., van Blerk, L. Shand, W. (2021). The influence of peer relationships on young people’s sexual health in Sub-Saharan African street contexts. Social Science & Medicine. 288: 113285. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.113285 and https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32829967/ (OPEN ACCESS)
Hunter, J., Chitsiku, S., Shand, W., van Blerk, L. (2020). Open Access: Learning on Harare’s streets under Covid-19 lockdown: making a story map with street youth. Environment & Urbanization, 33(1): 31–42. DOI: 10.1177/0956247820979440. (OPEN ACCESS)
van Blerk, L. Shand, W., Hunter, J. (2020). ‘Street citizenship’: informal processes of engaging youth as citizens through research and knowledge exchange in three African cities. Space and Polity. 24(3): 330-345. https://doi.org/10.1080/13562576.2020.1747937
Shand, W., et al. (2020). The effects of limited work opportunities on transitions to adulthood among young refugees in Uganda and Jordan. Journal of Refugee Studies. https://doi.org/10.1093/jrs/feaa042
van Blerk, L., Shand, W. & Hunter, J. (2020). ‘Street citizenship’: informal processes of engaging youth as citizens through research and knowledge exchange in three African cities. Space and Polity, 24:3, 330-345. https://doi.org/10.1080/13562576.2020.1747937
- January 2017 – Growing up on the Streets won the University’s Stephen Fry Public Engagement Project of the Year Award.
- December 2015 – Growing up on the Streets was awarded the 2016 Market Research Society’s President’s Medal in recognition of its extraordinary contribution to impact.
- October 2014 – my Masters dissertation, ‘The Implementation of a Single Scottish Police Force: The View from the Beats’ was Highly Commended by the Howard League for Penal Reform’s John Sunley Prize.
- March 2014 – Distinction, Masters in Research (Applied Social Research, University of Stirling).
Past University of Dundee research projects
2013 – 2020: Growing up in the Streets.
2016 – 2017: Youth Transitions in Protracted Crises: Refugee Youth Experiences of Transitions to Adulthood in Uganda & Jordan.
2013: ‘Review of Trafficking of Human Beings (THB) Literature and Key Themes’ (literature review) as research assistant on the ‘Stop Traffic: Unweaving the Web of Online Human Trafficking’ project, funded by Scottish Crucible and led by Dr Jonathan Mendel at the University of Dundee.
2010 – 2012: Completed three projects with Professor Nicholas Fyfe at the Scottish Institute for Policing Research, including two evaluations into the community policing model in Fife, see: ‘Police and Community Perceptions of the Operation and Impact of the Community Engagement Model in Fife’ (March 2012).
In 2010, ‘An Analysis of Independent Custody Visiting in Scotland’, commissioned by the Independent Custody Visiting Association, included semi-structured interviews with volunteer custody visitors and assessed and compared visit numbers to those detained in police cells across Scotland. Independent custody visiting then became a statutory requirement under the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill 2012.
|Engagement Project of the Year||2017|