HomeThe CentreResearch Affiliates

Dr Marian Abouzeid
Senior Research Fellow, Alfred Deakin Institute, Deakin University

Marian Abouzeid.Dr Marian Abouzeid is based at the Alfred Deakin Institute, and was previously a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership. She is also an Adjunct Research Assistant Professor with the American University of Beirut (AUB). She serves as the Executive Director of the forthcoming Global Alliance on War, Conflict and Health. She is the outgoing Associate Project Lead of The Lancet – AUB Commission on Syria and remains engaged with the Commission as a Research Affiliate. Her research focuses on humanitarian issues in armed conflict and fragile settings, localisation and Global South leadership, with a particular focus on the Middle East.

Available for: consultancies and partnerships

Dr William Abur
Lecturer in Social Work, NIKERI Institute, Deakin University

William Abur.Dr William Abur is a lecturer in social work and conducts research focusing on refugee settlement and social work. Dr William has published two books and numerous peer reviewed articles exploring refugee settlement and migration. He has a great interest in humanitarian work and leadership, with planned research projects focusing on the wellbeing and leadership of refugees and humanitarian community groups.

Available for: consultancies, industry partnerships and HDR supervisions

Mr Khyber Alam
PhD Candidate, School of Medicine, Deakin University

Khyber Alam.

Mr Khyber Alam is a qualified optometrist with experience as an educator, researcher, clinician, founder and humanitarian project manager. His research interests include neurodegenerative retinal diseases, public health, vision impairment and the evaluation of eye care services. He holds a Bachelor of Vision Science and Master of Optometry and is in the final stages of his PhD. Mr Alam is extremely passionate about serving the global community through economic development, education, sustainable healthcare, social justice international relations and effective and sustainable governance systems.

Mr Alam has volunteered for numerous eye clinics both in Australia and overseas, and also runs an orphanage in Khost, Afghanistan, that provides access to quality education and healthcare, and teaches life and leadership skills.

Available for: consultancies and industry partnerships 

Alfred Deakin Professor Matthew Clarke
Pro-Vice Chancellor Researcher Development, Deakin University

Matthew Clarke.

Prof Matthew Clarke has previously held formal roles with the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership, including as Chair and Deputy Chair, and separately as Head of Centre and Interim Centre Director. In 2010, he co-edited a volume on the Reconstruction of Aceh following the Indian Ocean Tsunami and a review of humanitarian workers’ experience during this response (published in 2008). Since the Centre’s establishment, he has continued undertaking research in this field as well as supervising a number of the Centre’s PhD students.

Prof Clarke has attended the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and Save the Children US office as part of a Fulbright Fellowship in Non-Profit Leadership which was awarded due to his leadership of the Centre. His current research considers the nexus between religion and development/humanitarian work, and he maintains an interest in humanitarian education.

Available for: consultancies, industry partnerships and HDR supervisions

Dr Zouhir Gabsi
Senior Lecturer, Arabic and Islamic Studies

Zouhir Gabsi.Dr Zouhir Gabsi is passionate about making a positive change to society. His current research focuses on Tunisian youth’s marginalisation and minority communities in the Arab world. He is also engaged in research on xenophobia and Islamophobia, which is the subject of his forthcoming book. Dr Gabsi is multilingual with an intimate understanding of global societies. His interest in youth studies emanates from marginalisation – in North Africa, particularly, there is an unfolding humanitarian crisis due to clandestine migration and suicide. Dr Gabsi’s research attempts to understand the psychology of these youth, their concerns, and culture.

Available for: consultancies, industry partnerships and HDR supervisions

Ms. Hedyeh Gamini Esfahani
PhD Candidate, School of Architecture and Built Environment, Deakin University

Hedyeh Gamini Esfahani.Ms. Hedyeh Gamini Esfahani was awarded a PhD scholarship with Deakin University’s HOME Research Hub to work on the Young Maggie Centre Project. Her thesis is titled “Young Maggie Centre: Investigating an appropriate design model for caring for children and their families living with life-limiting conditions”. The aim of this thesis is to present an appropriate design model for terminally ill children and their parents that adapts the Maggie’s Centre model.

Ms. Gamini has researched and studied disaster response in Iran, particularly as it relates to design and spaces for children. Her master’s thesis “The Role of Child-Friendly Spaces after the Bam Earthquake of 2003 in Iran” was selected as the best thesis in the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning.  She has published more than 10 papers related to children, architecture, disaster, and design.

Available for: consultancies, industry partnerships and HDR supervisions

A/Prof Max Kelly
Associate Professor, International and Community Development, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University

Max Kelly.

A/Prof Max Kelly is strongly committed to critical reflection on the theory and practice of development and humanitarian field of research. She has a strong background in analysing the political and economic structures that contribute to ongoing marginalisation and the many diverse voices that make up the development and humanitarian sector.  Her focus has been primarily international and community development, mostly in Africa with some focus on post-conflict contexts (Timor Leste and Northern Uganda).

A/Prof Kelly’s recent research focuses on the localisation debate, as a way of trying to centre critical theorising of humanitarian discourse. This nascent research, in partnership with A/Prof Mary Ana McGlasson and Dr Maree Pardy, is designed to focus discourse towards the complex engagement (or lack thereof) between international and local stakeholders, with a focus on power, and the amplification of diverse voices.

Available for: consultancies, industry partnerships and HDR supervisions

EmPr Sue Kenny
Emeritus Professor, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University

EmPr Sue Kenny has been involved as an activist, teacher and researcher in a number of areas concerned with humanitarianism, including work in Kyrgyzstan, Vladivostok, Albania and Indonesia. Her work is grounded in a community development approach, which takes as its starting points the wisdom, understandings and actions of ordinary people. EmPr Kenny believes community development involves disruption, promoting a world constructed on the principles of social justice, inclusivity, equality and sustainability. These aims inevitably involve critique of the ways in which societies are currently organised, which in turn requires deep analysis of the current forms of hegemony. EmPr Kenny is currently involved in research on community responses in COVID-19 in Aceh, as well as with a group working with Afghan women.

Available for: consultancies, industry partnerships and HDR supervisions

Ms Kirstin Kreyscher
PhD Candidate, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University

Kristin Kreyscher.Ms Kirstin Kreyscher is a current HDR candidate and holds a Master in Globalisation and Development Studies. Her research explores the barriers and enablers to the livelihoods of youth living in disaster and conflict-prone regions of the Philippines. This includes the critical analysis of underlying causes of vulnerability in the daily life of youth, and the identification of risks and challenges to all forms of hazards that from a fragile lifestyle for them. The research seeks to support affected minority groups by highlighting practical examples of meaningful agency of youth upholding their rights to be heard. Ms Kreyscher employs methodologies in digital and visual ethnography to create new ways of working with local knowledge. Previous research includes youth’s knowledge and agency in participatory settings on disaster risk in the Philippines.

Available for: consultancies and industry partnerships

Mr Prahlad Lamichhane
PhD Candidate, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University

Prahlad Lamichhane.Mr Prahlad Lamichhane is a risk, resilience, and development management expert with a more than 10 year’s experience in humanitarian support programs in developing country contexts. His work has mainly concentrated on food security, climate and disaster risk management, and emergency response in Nepal. He holds interdisciplinary university degrees in resources engineering, environmental management, and health education and his PhD project, ‘Enhancing resilience of smallholder agriculture’, aims to explore adaptive capacities, barriers to adaptation, and identifying the alternative policy pathways to contribute to enhanced food security and livelihood support. Additionally, Mr Lamichhane is highly skilled in humanitarian project development, management, and evaluation. He has facilitated numerous training and workshops and delivered independent consulting services.

Available for: consultancies and industry partnerships

Prof Mark McGillivray
Professor of International Development, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University

Mark McGillivray.

Prof Mark McGillivray is a Research Professor of International Development. For more than 30 years, he has conducted research focused on aid effectiveness and allocation, and the conceptualisation and measurement of poverty, inequality and disparity. His work seeks to evaluate the impact of official aid on poverty reduction and related indicators, and whether the allocation of this aid is consistent with recipient country need for aid. He has collaborated with Prof Matthew Clarke to build a ‘fair share’ index to measure deviations across donor countries.

Prof McGillivray’s previous positions include Chief Economist of the Australian Agency for International Development and Deputy Director of the United Nations World Institute for Development Economics Research. He has authored or co-authored 90 journal articles and 62 book chapters, co-authored 12 books and edited or co-edited 14 books. He is co-author of International Development: Issues and Challenges (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).

Available for: consultancies, industry partnerships and HDR supervisions

Dr Fiona McKay
Senior Lecturer, School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University

Dr Fiona McKayDr Fiona McKay is a qualitative researcher working with human rights and populations who are vulnerable to a range of human rights abuses. She has several years’ experience exploring inequities experienced by groups whose lives are impacted by social and institutional policies and negative community perceptions.

Dr McKay’s current work is related to the right to food beyond calories, with an exploration of who is responsible for ensuring this right. Her recent two areas of research are focused on the provision of emergency and community food assistance in Australia, and on the lived experience of food insecurity and scarcity alongside a range of non-communicable diseases experienced by women in Punjab, India. Dr McKay has also been commissioned to conduct research on the impact of COVID-19 on food relief in Geelong, Australia.

Available for: consultancies, industry partnerships and HDR supervisions

Dr Tebeje Molla
DECRA Fellow, School of Education, Deakin University

Tebeje Molla.Dr Tebeje Molla’s research focuses on educational inequality and policy responses. Theoretically, his work is informed by critical sociology and the capability approach to social justice and human development. Currently, Dr Molla is leading an Australian Research Council project that explores higher education participation among African refugee youth. The study also analyses the relationship between educational attainment and refugee integration. Preliminary findings of the project have been published in academic journals and on The Conversation.

Available for: consultancies, industry partnerships and HDR supervisions

Prof Yin Paradies
Alfred Deakin Professor and Chair in Race Relations, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University

Prof Yin Paradies’ work connects to the CHL through its focus on decolonisation, a key consideration in his scholarship. His research interests include health, social and economic effects of racism; anti-racism theory, policy, and practice; race and intercultural relations; and Indigenous knowledges and decoloniality.

Available for: consultancies, industry partnerships and HDR supervisions

Ms Emma Pearce
PhD Candidate, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University

Emma Pearce.Ms Emma Pearce is undertaking a PhD by Folio on the role of women and girls with disabilities in humanitarian action, drawing on her previous research with populations affected by crisis and conflict, undertaken while working with the Women’s Refugee Commission. Her work reflects participatory feminist research approaches which places the lived experiences of women and girls with intersecting identities and from diverse backgrounds at the centre of knowledge production.

Ms Pearce has conducted research in collaboration with UN agencies, NGOs and local civil society organisations in a range of humanitarian contexts. In her PhD, Ms Pearce critically analyses existing knowledge across multiple disciplines, including disability, gender and humanitarian disciplines, as well as her own field research to expand understanding of diversity and inclusion, and draw implications for the changing humanitarian landscape.

Available for: consultancies and industry partnerships 

Dr Alfred Presbitero
Senior Lecturer, Management, Deakin Business School

Alfred Presbesito.Dr Alfred Presbitero works in the field of cross-cultural management and leadership focusing mainly on cultural intelligence (CQ). He believes in the critical role of CQ as an enabler for managers and leaders, particularly those engaging and leading international humanitarian work. He brings to the CHL his knowledge and skills of CQ – mainly assisting the centre on how to achieve greater humanitarian leadership effectiveness through CQ.

Dr Presbitero has been recognised by the European Journal of International Management as an influential academic in the field of cultural intelligence and cultural competence. He is also serving in the Academy of Management International Management Division Committee. He is originally from the Philippines where he has witnessed many humanitarian crises that require strong leadership, and believes that humanitarian leadership can be made more effective by leveraging CQ.

Available for: consultancies, industry partnerships and HDR supervisions

Mr Safiullah Taye
PhD Candidate, Alfred Deakin Institute, Deakin University

Mr Safiullah Taye’s research focuses on aid securitisation in Afghanistan, while underscoring how delivery of aid through a highly securitised approaches decreases donor-recipient engagements. As a result of limited negotiations (in the case of German and Australian aid in Afghanistan), subnational aid allocation weas used as an instrument for pursing security objectives through winning hearts and mind. More importantly, his research finds that whilst donors prioritised their security objectives, the Afghan government had also little incentives to focus on sound economic policies, or combat corruption. For millions of Afghans whole live in worst living conditions and caught up between their government’s fragility and donors’ politicisation, securitisation and commercialisation. Mr Taye is working on converting his PhD thesis into a book whilst working as a sessional lecturer at Deakin and Australian Catholic University.

Available for: consultancies and industry partnerships

Dr David Tittensor
Lecturer in Studies of Religion, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University

Dr David TittensorDr David Tittensor’s research explores the nexus between religion and development/humanitarian assistance, with a particular focus on Islam. He has written on the role that religion can play in the development arena in relation to the issue of cultural proximity and the allocation of aid based on religion.

Dr Tittensor is currently working on a book with Prof Matthew Clarke and Prof Mark McGillivray titled Understanding Islamic Aid to Better Facilitate Global Integration. Based on semi-structured interviews and empirical analysis of aid flows, the book will highlight overlap and gaps in aid allocation. Dr Tittensor’s works speaks to ideas of system transformation, including more equitable and just humanitarian response.

Available for: consultancies, industry partnerships and HDR supervisions

A/Prof Anthony Ware
Associate Professor of International and Community Development, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University

Matthew Ware.

A/Prof Anthony Ware’s research focusses on humanitarian-development approaches in conflict-affected situations. He is particularly interested in conflict-sensitivity/do no harm, everyday peace, the incorporation of peacebuilding into bottom-up community-led approaches, and countering violent/hateful extremism via programme design and implementation, especially by NGOs. His fieldwork is in Myanmar, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Philippines.

A/Prof Ware is Convenor of Deakin’s Development-Humanitarian Research Group, Secretary of the Development Studies Association of Australia, and a former director of the Australia Myanmar Institute. A/Prof Ware has published four books including Myanmar’s ‘Rohingya’ Conflict (Oxford Uni Press, 2018, with Dr Costas Laoutides), and more than 40 peer reviewed academic papers/chapters.

Available for: consultancies, industry partnerships and HDR supervisions

Dr Vicki-Ann Ware
Senior Lecturer, International and Community Development, Deakin University

Vicki Ann Ware.Dr Vicki-Ann Ware’s work is strongly influenced by Sen’s notion of development as removing unfreedoms that prevent people’s ability to live the valued lives. She teaches students about respectful, collaborative work with local communities, which enables their empowerment and, where possible, designs programmes around their expressed needs and desires. Her practice-focussed research seeks to build capacity among local people, ultimately working herself out of a role.

Dr Ware’s current research is focussed on arts-based approaches to conflict transformation – an area that bridges the ‘nexus’ between humanitarian and development practice. Over the past five years, she has worked collaboratively with local colleagues in Myanmar to design and implement a programme of arts-based workshops, aimed at shifting conflict narratives, attitudes and behaviours, and has conducted training for a consortium of organisations focused on building social cohesion via the arts.

Available for: consultancies, industry partnerships and HDR supervisions