Genealogy of empowerment in development
I’m conducting a scoping review exploring how empowerment is theorized, defined, and measured in global development programs in South Asia. Since the Millennium Development Goals were implemented, empowerment and gender equity/equality measures have gained popularity. This scoping review aims to identify the evidence, examine research methods and protocols, analyze knowledge gaps, and identify key characteristics of gendered empowerment programs.
Social networks & social norms
Social networks and norms influence health, educational, and economic outcomes. Social network analysis is an increasingly popular method to understanding how behaviors and outcomes travel in a group. I approach social networks in two ways: first, I’m interested in how social norms and social networks intersect on an individual and community level related to family planning practices. Second, I’m interested in organizational networks to assess what are the social norms and networks that dominate global health funding and programs.
Feminist epistemology in development
By merging feminist knowledge production and gender in global development, I’m critically examining how empowerment metrics are being produced. International agencies, institutions, and funders emphasize the need for quantitative data and measurable evidence when distributing resources. This focus on data is an attempt to close the gender data gap and is facilitated by sex-disaggregating data and measuring “hidden” or “unquantified” issues affecting girls and women, such as sex trafficking, household labor, or domestic violence. While these strategies are essential to detecting patterns, these data are often used to simply lives into data bites to facilitate quick and responsive decision-making. As a result, the process of empowerment may become diluted.
Critical global health pedagogy
The history of global health is fueled by technological and medical innovations which have saved millions of lives and improved the well-being of countless others. As a graduate student in global health, this was narrative dominates global health pedagogy centered around Western academic and medical institutions. The complete picture of global health, however, is murkier and the same medical innovations took place under dire colonial conditions. I’m interested in expanding global health pedagogy to examine the coloniality of global health research and to rethink the strategics and tactics of how we teach global heath.