Guest Blog: Jo Hill, visiting scholar with CERG

I am Jo Hill and I have recently reconnected with CERG. I am a gender and child rights researcher and practitioner, with a background in social anthropology and international development.

bringing up children in a changing worldI’ve just moved to New York with my family and it has been great to get back in touch with CERG again. I first worked with Roger and Sherry from CERG in Nepal on a research project with Save the Children and UNICEF on child rearing in Nepal: Bringing up children in a changing world: Who’s right? Whose rights? and Conversations with families to prepare for early childhood programming: participatory research handbook.

Steps to Engaging Young Children in Research

Whilst I am based in New York, Roger invited me to take part in CERG’s regular meetings, following a CERG meeting with Vicky Johnson from Brighton University on the new Bernard van Leer resource Steps for Engaging Young Children in Research. You can read about the above Nepal child rearing research in the example I wrote up for the resource (see Household Mapping Exercise in Nepal p78-82.)

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The resource also refers to a participatory research project, Listening to Smaller Voices: Children in an Environment of Change, which I carried out in Nepal with Vicky and ActionAid Nepal. (See specific examples of methods used in the research on pages 67-69, 83-85 of Steps to Engaging Young Children)

My most recent work with a local community development not-for-profit in the UK has included a focus on social inclusion, working with people in deprived neighbourhoods. I carried out participatory research with black and minority ethnic communities on health and wellbeing, and with older people (at the other end of the age spectrum!) in partnership with Brighton University and the Community University Partnership Project.

Our projects also included working with local communities around community spaces, including parks and children’s play spaces, and participatory budgeting with young people.

I am really looking forward to being part of the CERG research community and furthering my research, focusing on participatory research with children and young people. I also hope to contribute to CERG’s website, assist with research proposals and take part in their visioning process.

Jo Hill is a gender and child rights researcher and practitioner. She has a Masters in Social Anthropology of Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, UK. She has worked with international ngos including ActionAid, Save the Children and Plan International, in Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Zambia and Pakistan, primarily on participatory research and policy analysis focusing on gender and child rights. More recently, Jo has worked in project management, for a UK bilateral fund on Climate Change and with a community development not-for-profit in the UK, working with people in deprived local neighbourhoods. This work has involved staff management, bid coordination and proposal writing, as well as monitoring and reporting to funders. It has included a continuing commitment to participatory action research, for example with Brighton University, social inclusion, and strengthening governance of local community groups, including young people.