Research Spotlight

Introducing the GIRL Center External Research Collaborators

The Girl Innovation, Research, and Learning (GIRL) Center at the Population Council is thrilled to welcome our inaugural cohort of External Research Collaborators—a network of global researchers to deepen and drive research on adolescent health and development in low- and middle-income countries.  

Together with the GIRL Center, Collaborators will develop research projects, co-author papers, participate in research agenda setting, and mentor young researchers focused on adolescents. In addition, as the first cohort, these 12 researchers will play a key role in establishing the program from its inception.  


Meet our External Research Collaborators: 

Dr. Aditya Singh is a geographer and demographer from India, currently working as an assistant professor at Banaras Hindu University. He is currently working on intimate partner violence, unintended pregnancy, and the use of sanitary absorbents during menstruation. His research interests lie at the intersection of public health, demography, and social sciences, including geography.  


Dr. Blessings N. Kaunda-Khangamwa is a social scientist from Malawi working on research, capacity building, leadership and mentorship in Africa as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Pretoria. Her research interests include "re-imagining reproduction," technologies, pandemics, and operation and implementation science. 


Dr. Caroline Kabiru leads the Sexual, Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (SRMNCAH) Unit at the African Population and Health Research Center in Kenya. Her research focuses on young people’s health and well-being in low-resource and marginalized urban settings and covers topics ranging from sexual and reproductive health to mental health. 


Dr. Emma Chikovore is a population and health social scientist from Zimbabwe and is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Built Environment and Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Her research interests include adolescent sexual and reproductive health, migration and gender studies, HIV and AIDS, and family well-being.    


Dr. Fatima Mustafa, from Pakistan, is a Research and Data Scientist at Girl Rising where her work focuses on data collection and data analysis for Girl Rising’s programs with adolescent girls in countries across the world. Her research interests center on understanding and evaluating the impact of life skills and social and emotional education on learning outcomes for adolescent girls. 


Dr. Jeremiah Chikovore is a health sociologist from Zimbabwe based at the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa, with a focus on sexual and reproductive health, tuberculosis and HIV and AIDS, and social dynamics of health in the Southern African region. He has a specific interest in the social construction of health as pivoted around gender and masculinity. 


Dr. Justin Dansou is a demography lecturer at the University of Parakou in Benin. Justin’s research interest includes sexual and reproductive health (maternal health and child survival in particular), education, nutrition, youth inclusion and family transformation. 


Dr. Kelly Hallman is an enrolled tribal member of the Cherokee Nation and the Founder and Executive Director of the Indigenous Adolescent Girls' Empowerment Network (IMAGEN), a Native American initiative to renew and strengthen Indigenous matrilineal power structures. Kelly has designed, evaluated, and strengthened girls' empowerment and health initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa and Central America.


Dr. Oluwaseyi Somefun (Seyi), from Nigeria, is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of the Western Cape, with a focus on the holistic well-being of youth. She considers how youth, especially prior to intervention, maneuver risk in everyday life. Her research targets the identification of risk and promotion of healthy development among marginalized youth.


Dr. Simona Simona is a lecturer in the Department of Social Work and Sociology and Assistant Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zambia. His work uses advanced quantitative techniques to examine the influence of individual and structural factors on social and health outcomes. He has expertise in data management, visualization, and statistical modelling.


Dr. Tia Palermo is an Associate Professor at the University at Buffalo in the United States and President of Policy Research Solutions (PRESTO) LLC. Her research examines impacts of social protection and economic empowerment programming on health, gender-based violence, and other dimensions of well-being. She has experience providing technical assistance to UN agencies, governments, and bilateral donors.


Dr. Zewdneh Sabe is a Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine based in Ethiopia. His main area of research includes migration and health, health education, treatment adherence, and implementation research. He has been working in diverse settings including research institutions, international NGOs, and Health Ministry—both at local and international levels.

 

Learn more about our Collaborators through our mini profiles!