Global Development for Equity

Completed Projects

This is a list of projects that have been completed at GDE (formerly Multicultural venues in health and education, MC-venues).

Main content

Competing discourses impacting girls' and women's rights: Fertility control and safe abortion in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia (Norwegian Research Council, NORGLOBAL 2016-2019).

The project is hosted by the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the Medical Faculty, and is headed by Prof Astrid Blystad at this faculty. Participant members from the MC-venues-group: Prof. Haldis Haukanes (researcher, steering committee member) and Prof. emerita Gro Th. Lie (advisory board).

The project examines global and national policy discourses surrounding fertility control and abortion, and local practices and moralities related to these issues among adolescents in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia. Fertility control and safe abortion demonstrate the controversies over sexual and reproductive health policies and the gendered socio-cultural and religious norms impeding progress on girls and womens rights. Unsafe abortion,which is tightly linked to restrictive abortion laws and lack of access to contraception and safe abortion services, is a problem of enormous scale.

With 20 million cases yearly it caters for a high proportion of the continued high maternal death- and morbidity rates globally.The project consists of three interlinked components; Component A explores the main normative messages underpinning global policies and the campaigns of global civil society actors in the field of fertility control and safe abortion, and how these global normative messages are reflected innational policies. Component B investigates how national public discourse surrounding fertility control and abortion in media, religious organizations and court rooms intersect with national policy and with grassroots discourse on sexuality, motherhood and the status of the foetus. Component C explores how adolescent girls manoeuvre between moral obligations embedded in socio-cultural and religious norms, restrictions/liberalisation in their country’s abortion law, and their own needs for fertility control. It also identifies how masculinities play out in the reproductive arena in general and on abortion inparticular.

Malaria Chemoprvention for the post-discharge management of severe anaemia in children in Malawi, Uganda and Kenya (IPTpd): Moving towards policy. (Funded by the Research Council of Norway, 2014-2019).

Children hospitalised with severe anaemia in Africa are at high risk of readmission or death within 6 months after discharge. No strategy specifically addresses this post-discharge period. We recently showed that 3 months malaria chemoprevention with monthly Intermittent Preventive Therapy post-discharge (IPTpd) in Malawian children with severe anaemia prevented 31% of deaths and readmissions. The effect was in addition to the effect by bednets. These promising findings now need to be confirmed in other settings and the delivery mechanisms evaluated. The main objectives of the projects was to generate the evidence needed by WHO to consider IPTpd as a strategy to reduce post-discharge morbidity and mortality in malaria endemic areas in Africa.

Project members from HEMIL: Prof. Siri Lange

Bridging Health Promotion and Sustainability Science: Transition to the Green Economy. A Worldwide Universities Network research project directed by Professor Maurice B. Mittelmark.

This WUN project is a collaboration to bridge two research arenas; human development and sustainability science. The question driving this project is: How can we better connect social and environmental sciences to enhance the well-being of people and their environments, especially in the context of poverty?

Sustainable development of people and their environments are so inextricably intertwined that it is almost meaningless to work for improvement of the one without working to improve the other. Yet society is poorly organised for the challenge. Those who are working for development are trapped in ‘compartments’: government ministries and Directorates with narrow portfolios, specialized NGO’s and interest groups that compete for scarce resources rather than collaborate, and academic disciplines and institutes that are so specialised that their ‘cultures’ barely interact, even if they share the same campus.

That is the problem in academia that we address: how can diverse academic specialities learn to cross their cultural bounds sufficiently to work together -- synergistically -- for development? This is a hard nut to crack. There are good reasons why academic specialities develop their own ‘languages’, models and theories and concepts, and specialised research methods. Such specialisation is the key to scientific progress. An unfortunate consequence is that academic specialities often find it difficult to simply communicate with another, let alone collaborate to take aim at complex social challenges.

A promising approach to overcome the problems just mentioned is transdisciplinary research (TDR), and the TDR strategy is the model for this WUN project. The project has three parts:

(1) a workshop in May 2013, from which a book will be developed,

(2) an analysis of our institutions’ experience with transdisciplinary research (TDR), and

(3) a revitalisation of the WUN Critical Global Poverty Network.

We plan that this WUN project will be the basis for a long term research collaboration connecting social and environmental sciences in the way described above.

Addressing the social determinants of health. Multilevel governance of policies aimed at families with children (SODEMIFA). This NFR-funded project addresses the implementation of the Norwegian policy to level the social gradient in health. This will demand multisectoral action and a focus on the social determinants of health. Based on a life course perspective, the target group is families and children. Local governments have the main responsibility for services aimed at families and children, and in a system of multilevel governance, actors at different levels will be able to influence the implementation process. The project aims at studying local implementation processes, focusing on institutions at different levels. The overall research question is: How can social inequalities and levelling the gradient for socioeconomic disadvantaged groups be addressed at the local level? The project leader is Prof. Elisabeth Fosse at the Department of Health Promotion and Development, and the project period is July 2012 through June 2015. Project partners are Norwegian Institute for Urban and Rural Research (NIBR), University College of Vestfold, Mälardalen University, Sweden and University of Brighton, UK.

Growing up global - a comparative study of belonging, gendered identities and imagined futures in the Czech Republic, Norway and Tunisia. Marit Tjomsland, Gry Heggli and Haldis Haukanes have developed this project jointly. The project has been granted pilot research money from the Meltzer Fund, and funds from Friforsk.

Gender, generation and social mobilisation: Challenges of reproductive health and rights among vulnerable groups in Ethiopia, Sudan and Tanzania. NUFU Project, 2007-2012. Co-ordinator Astrid Blystad, Center for International Health, UoB. Other MC Venues partners: Haldis Haukanes and Gro Th. Lie, Department of Education and Health Promotion, UoB.

Promoting sexual and reproductive health among adolescents in southern and eastern Africa – mobilising schools, parents and communities (PREPARE). This EU-funded project is coordinated by Professor Leif Edvard Aarø and assisted by researcher Annegreet Wubs, both from Department for Health Promotion and Development, Faculty of Psychology, UoB. The project is a collaboration between universities in Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Norway. The duration of the project is February 2010 - July 2014.

Health promotion, dignity and human rights: improving maternal health. This project, funded by the Norwegian Research Council, is exploring how formal commitments to international human rights translate into actual, locally-relevant applications to improve maternal health and benefit women in Tanzania. In addition the project will examine how the promotion of community participation can enhance maternal health. Prof Henriette Aasen, Faculty of Law, University of Bergen is the co-ordinator in Norway and Dr Deo Kakoko of Muhumbili University is the Tanzanian co-ordinator. Deo is a former member of MC Venues and several current members are involved in this project.

Gender in poverty reduction: Critical Explorations of Norwegian Aid Policy on Gender Equality and Women's Rights. (2009-2013) The research initiative explores issues of gender equality and women's rights through a particular scrutiny of the gender paradigms that has characterized Norwegian development aid since the mid 1990s. From historical and ethnographical perspectives the project aims at generating empirical and theoretical knowledge that can feed into international discourses on poverty, gender and human rights in general and Norwegian development policy in particular. The project is developed by a cross disciplinary group of scholars based at the University of Bergen (CIH and GAD), Christian Michelsen Institute and Haraldsplass Deaconess University College, Norway. PhD candidate Marit T. Østebø (adviser Astrid Blystad) and Post-doc Hilde Selbervik will do research in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Norway. Haldis Haukanes at Section for Gender and Development is coordinating the project.

Changing lifeworlds and contested space: An Anthropology of democracy, corporate capitalism, and development in India and beyond. This postdoctoral project by Tone K. Sissener is a study of corporate and state powers, and opposition/resistance to those powers, in the specific context of land acquisition disputes in West Bengal. The project is associated with a large comparative EU-funded study on democratic cultures in South Asia located at the University College London, UK. (2013-2017)

Processes of change in women’s status in a rural area with a patriarchal culture in Northern Ghana.  This project by Torill Bull explores (i) local perceptions of women’s and mens’ roles in spousal relationships, (ii) awareness of change in these perceptions over the last generation, and (iii) perceived reasons for such change if identified.  One of the intentions is to explore the impact of locally initiated interventions aimed at empowering women within spousal relationships and in communities, and to consider potential transferability of learning.

Informal trade in Peru: the moralization and gendering of markets. This project by Cecilie Ødegaard explores discourses about markets, gender and moralities through a focus on the market activities and entrepeneurship of Andean women in |the informal economic sector in Peru. The intention is to explore the way in which petty trade activity can be seen as gendered, and the negotiation of different notions of morality specifically connected to questions of formality/informality. Section for Gender and Development, UoB (2007-2013).

Transforming gender relations? Male involvement in maternal and infant health care in Ghana. A qualitative study (2016-2020). Doctoral project by Gloria Abena Ampim with Prof Haldis Haukanes as the principal advisor. This explorative qualitative study seeks to understand how men and women’s conceptualization of male involvement in maternal and infant health care speak to notions of masculinities and practices of fatherhood and the extent to which male involvement initiatives address gendered social structures. The overall purpose is to provide insights into strategies adopted in involving men in pregnancy and childbirth, a domain previously preserved for women to identify ways in which these strategies could also influence gendered social relations. The methods used include observation, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with fathers and mothers, health service providers and key stakeholders from the Ghana Health Services.

Caring for ‘parentless’ children: A salutogenic exploration of the experiences of workers in Children’s Homes in Ghana. Doctoral project by Ernest Darkwah with supervisor Associate professor Marguerite Daniel. Adopting a salutogenetic theoretical standpoint, this project explores the experiences of people who work as caregivers in Children’s Homes (institutions that provide care for children without parental care) in Ghana. The project’s overall aim is to use qualitative explorative techniques to develop insights into the lived experiences of these caregivers, zeroing in on the stressors and resources inherent in the institutional caregiving environment for these workers. The purpose is to use the insights gained as a means to providing snapshots of the services rendered and possible implications for both workers and children in this context. The project’s objectives are therefore to: 1. Explore the possible organizational and social stressors and generalized resistance resources (GRRs) associated with caregiving work in children’s homes in Ghana; 2. Explore the possible influences that differences in beliefs and practices regarding child upbringing in different parts of Ghana have on the work roles of caregivers in children’s homes in these areas; and 3. Find out how the different organizational forms and funding sources of children’s homes in Ghana produce different stressors and resources for caregivers in Ghana’s children’s homes. The project’s field location is Ghana, West Africa with participants recruited from Children’s Homes in southern and northern Ghana. Methods used include participant observation, focus group discussions and in-depth interviews.

The power of cultural relevance in AIDS Programming: Exploring synergy and antagony between external and internal ideologies in implementing Safe Male Circumcision (SMC) for HIV Prevention in Botswana. (2012-2016) Doctoral project by Masego Katisi with Marguerite Daniel as principal advisor. This ethnographic study explores the nature of power relations in aid partnerships. It also explores the gaps between globally determined targets for HIV programming and local realities. It investigates people’s perceptions of SMC and SMC programming recommendations. External organisations like the USA’s Center for Disease Control/PEPFAR and ACHAP (African Comprehensive AIDS Partnership funded by the Gates foundation) partner with the government of Botswana’s Ministry of Health to get HIV negative men to circumcise. The methods used include observation, in-depth interviews, focus group discussion with key stakeholders (donors, implementers and Ministry officials), community leaders, and men in the community. Preliminary results reveal that challenges emerge at all levels: firstly, key stakeholders do not see the set target for Botswana as realistic; secondly, while there is lack of local ownership of the program at different levels donors are making all efforts to implement the program themselves, with their own externally sourced workers; thirdly, implementers note that local chiefs may dissuade communities from participating, yet community leaders are not invited to participate in the design of demand creation strategies; finally, the male penis is viewed as an individual’s private space. In conclusion, local realities prove to be powerful in preventing men from coming for circumcision.

Gender, Poverty and Power: Exploring the Interface between Domestic Workers and NGOs in India’s Informal Economy. (2012-2016) This doctoral project by Padmaja Barua is with Assoc. Prof. Haldis Haukanes as the principal advisor. By examining the relationship between subaltern women among the urban poor in India and NGOs that work to advance the empowerment of these women, the aim of the project is two-fold: 1) To develop an understanding of how women working in the informal sector – in particular, women employed as domestic workers – in urban India perceive and respond to the cultural belief systems and ideologies that seek to justify their gendered subordination and poverty, and 2) to investigate the role of NGOs in terms of the work that they do with women domestic workers interrogating the following two main aspects: a) the NGOs’ understanding of the gendered dynamics of poverty as well as empowerment and how this understanding has originated and developed, and b) the strategies through which these NGOs seek to advance empowerment among the women and how these strategies interact with the life-worlds of the domestic workers.

In search of working practices in health systems: The use of results-based financing to improve health worker motivation, performance and service utilisation in mother, newborn and child health (MNCH) in Tanzania. This is a doctoral project of Victor Chimhutu with Marit Tjomsland as the principal advisor and Karen Marie Moland as co-advisor. Health systems in low-income countries are under serious stress and hence unable to provide good quality health services. In addition to the acute shortages of health workers, there is growing evidence that health workers are performing below the optimum levels due to poor motivation. As a remedy, many low-income countries including Tanzania have adopted a results-based financing strategy called payment for performance (P4P) aiming to improve the motivation and performance of health workers. The project’s main aim is to analyse the contributions and consequences of using P4P in health care through a qualitative methodological approach.

Relationship between child feeding practices and child malnutrition in Kenya: a longitudinal analysis (1993 to 2008-9). This is a doctoral project of Dennis Juma Matanda with Maurice B. Mittelmark as advisor and Dorcus Mbithe David-Kigaru as co-advisor. The project intends to carry out a longitudinal analysis spanning 15 years using the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) data to find out the association between child malnutrition and child feeding practices in Kenya.

Social Correlates of Child Malnutrition: A longitudinal analysis, 1993 to 2008, Ghana. This PhD project is by Dickson A. Amugsi, with Professor Maurice B. Mittelmark as the principal supervisor, and Professor Anna Lartey of the University of Ghana as the co-supervisor. The aim(s) of the project is to perform longitudinal data analysis on the 1993-2008 Ghana Demographic and Health Surveys (GDHS) datasets, to study long-term trends in child malnutrition in Ghana over the 15 years span covered by the data, and to relate those trends to trends in socio-economic status and changes over time in the distribution of resources in society.

Values, Resources and Goods applied in the Socialisation of Popular Class Children in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Early Intervention Programmes: The Interaction of Caregivers and Implementers. This project by Andrea Margarita Baldomir will examine the cultural capital concerning the socialisation of popular class children by exploring the views and interactions of caregivers and implementers of two institutional early intervention programmes in the province of Buenos Aires. Supervisors are Haldis Haukanes, David Lackland Sam, Ove Skarpenes.

At the frontiers of change? Women and girls' pursuit of education in north-western Tigray, Ethiopia.This is the doctoral project of Thera Mjaaland, social anthropologist/photographer, investigating links between women and girls' education and processes of social reproduction and change in Tigray, Ethiopia. The focus is on the strategic and symbolic aspects of education for the women themselves, and on how agency interconnect with gendered self-identity. Gender and Development, UoB (2008-2012). Advicer: Assoc. prof. Haldis Haukanes (GAD), with co-advisers: Professor Peter Larsen (Media/UiB) and Dr. Mulumebet Zenebe (Institute of Gender Studies, Addis Ababa University).

Thriving despite adversity: Ugandan nurses’ experiences. This is a doctoral project for Pauline Bakibinga, Research Centre for Health Promotion, Department of Education and Health Promotion, UoB. Maurice B. Mittelmark is the advisor and Hege F. Vinje, Høgskolen i Vestfold as co-advisor. The project, taking a Salutogenic stance, explores the experiences of community nurses who succeed despite adversity in Uganda. How and why do community health nurses in Uganda experience job engagement? What coping strategies do thriving community health nurses in Uganda use in order to stay healthy? How and where did thriving community health nurses in Uganda learn to cope with work-related adversities? These are the questions the project seeks to understand.

Use or Abuse of Power? An exploration of attitudes towards violence against women and corruption in peri-urban Tanzanian.This is the doctoral project of Hilde Jakobsen, Section for Gender and Development, UoB. How do people decide what is abuse of power and what is the legitimate use of it? Which norms and values do they refer to in choosing to call something one or the other? These are the underlying questions of this research project. The aim of the study is to provide an understanding of values, ideas and attitudes surrounding power use/abuse in select Tanzanian communities, as exemplified by violence against women in the private sphere, and acts of corruption and autocracy by holders of public office in the political sphere.

Gender-based violence: prevalence, prediction and impact on safe sexual practices among adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa. This a doctoral project for Annegreet Wubs, Research Centre for Health Promotion, Department of Education and Health Promotion, UoB. Supervisor is Prof. Leif Edvard Aarø, Department for Health Promotion and Development, Psychology Faculty, UoB. The project utilises data from the South Africa and Tanzania (SATZ) project on Promoting Sexual- and Reproductive Health: School-based HIV/AIDS Intervention in Sub-Saharan Africa, coordinated by Professor Leif Aarø.

North-South Partnerships for Health in Tanzania: Key Factors for Partnership Success from the Perspective of KIWAKKUKI. This is the doctoral project of Hope J. Corbin, with Maurice B. Mittelmark as Advisor and Gro Th. Lie as Co-Advisor. This project will attempt to illuminate key factors for success (and failure) in North-South partnerships for health, as seen from the Southern perspective. The project will obtain data (documents and interviews) from a women’s AIDS prevention and women’s empowerment organisation in Tanzania.

Interpersonal communication on sexuality and risk related to HIV/AIDS: A study among adolescents in Tanzania and South Africa.This is a PhD project for Francis Sande Namisi (Master of Philosophy in Health Promotion, UoB). The project is supervised by Professor Leif Edvard Aarø, Department of Education and Health Promotion, UoB. The project is  funded by the Norwegian Research Council of Norway through the Global Health project co-ordinated by  Professor Knut Fylkesnes at the Centre for International Health (CIH), University of Bergen. The project utilises data from South Africa and Tanzania (SATZ) project on promoting sexual- and reproductive health: school-based HIV/AIDS intervention in Sub-Saharan Africa, coordinated by Professor Leif Aarø.

MA projects- completed

Funded by the Norwegian Quota Programme:

Social Determinants of Health in Very Poor Places Project. This International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) project commenced in September 2008, and was completed in June 2010. The aim of the project was to make recommendations for the monitoring and surveillance of social determinants of health (SDH) that are relevant in the many regions of the world where individuals' and households' livelihoods are based on diverse substances activities undertaken by many members of a household. The project was funded by the University of Bergen and by the Departments of Health of England, and was undertaken on behalf of the IUHPE by researchers in the MC Venues Research Section, Research Centre for Health Promotion, Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen. Maurice B. Mittelmark was the project director.

Mother and Child Health in Savelugu-Nanton, Ghana. Five master's theses utilised data from this project, collected in 2001 in almost all households in the region with a child under three years of age. The main outcomes under study were breastfeeding practices, immunization practices, infant feeding knowledge, diarrhoea prevention knowledge and nutrition knowledge. Maurice B. Mittelmark was advisor for all five projects. 

Master’s project funded by the Norwegian Quota Programme and Department of Health, UK

Creating and Analysing a Database of sub-Saharan African Health Promotion Infrastructure, Policy and Key Programmes at the National Level.This Master’s project by Pius K. Attandoh established a pan-African database over health promotion policy, infrastructure and key programmes at the national level, and a comparative analysis was undertaken of four countries. Elisabeth Fosse was the project Advisor.

The impact on social cohesion of humanitarian support to children in Tanzania. This study by Marguerite Daniel was a response to the urgent need to document what works and what doesn’t work in child-focused psychosocial care programmes in the context of HIV/AIDS, by exploring the impact of the psychosocial work of NGOs in a Sub-Saharan setting (2006-2009).

Community and caregivers – responses and strategies to meet the psychosocial and developmental needs of children aged 3-15 orphaned by AIDS in selected arease of Tanzania. This project was headed by the late PhD-student Mai Bente Snipstad, Department of Education and Health Promotion, UoB, and supervised by Professor Gro Th. Lie, Department of Education and Health Promotion, UoB. The project was  funded by the Norwegian Research Council of Norway through the Global Health project co-ordinated by  Professor Knut Fylkesnes at the Centre for International Health (CIH), University of Bergen.The project activities were under the umbrella of the NUFU-funded project “Counselling, Education and Health Promotion – A Research and Competence Building Programme in Tanzania” co-ordinated by Gro Th. Lie.

Globalization and the Changes in the Cultures of Survival and Care: The Case of Ghana. (Phase I, 2003 -2007). This project was first co-ordinated by The Center for Women & Gender Research, UoB, and then co-ordinated by Department of Sociology by Professor Kari Wærness. It included a psychology component for which Professor Gro Therese Lie, Department of Education and Health Promotion, UoB, was responsible. The project was a collaboration with Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon. It was funded by NUFU.

Globalization and the Changes in the Cultures of Survival and Care in Ghana: from capacity building to policy dialogue. (Phase II, 2007-2011). This project was co-ordinated by Asun St. Clair, UoB, Department of Education and Health Promotion, but included a Psychology component for which Professor Gro Therese Lie, Department of Education and Health Promotion, UoB, is responsible. The project is a collaboration with Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon. It was funded by NUFU.

Counselling, Education and Health Promotion – A Research and Competence Building Programme in Tanzania (CEHP). The project was co-ordinated by Professor Gro Therese Lie, Department of Education and Health Promotion, UoB. The collaboration involved the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. The project was longterm funded by NUFU (1996-2001 and 2002-2007) and supported with some UoB-funds for the Makerere part.

Applied Social Psychology and HIV/AIDS: Strengthening dissemination and Sustaining Capacity. The project was co-ordinated by Professor Gro Theresa Lie, HEMIL, UoB and Dr Wycliffe Lugoe. Faculty of Education, University of Dar es Salaam. The project was funded by NUFU (2008-2009).

Promoting sexual- and reproductive health: school-based HIV/AIDS intervention in Sub-Saharan Africa (SATZ). This project, which was funded by the European Union (Project number ICA4-CT-2002-10038) was coordinated by Professor Leif Edvard Aarø, Research Centre for Health Promotion, Department of Education and Health Promotion, UoB. The cooperation involved universities in Tanzania, South-Africa, The Netherlands, Sweden and Norway. Although the project itself ended (February, 2006), a five-year agreement for the period 2006 - 2011 on continued collaboration among the partners was signed. During this period, the partners collaborated on further analyses and publications based on the data that had been collected.

Searching for effective HIV prevention and care in Sub-Saharan Africa: focussing on local contexts (2006 -2011). This project was co-ordinated by Knut Fylkesnes at the Centre for International Health, UoB. It was funded by Norwegian Research Council (NRC), the Global Health Programme. The project had a component headed by Professors Leif Edvard Aarø and Gro Th. Lie. Two of the MC Venues PhD students were funded by this component.