I am a Senior Research Fellow at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge and a Research Associate in the Department of Sociology.
My research examines how non-health sector social policies affect health and wellbeing. I am particularly focused on how Active Labour Market Programmes impact the mental health and wellbeing of unemployed job seekers and how these interventions can be used to protect the health of the unemployed as well as return people to work. I am currently undertaking a secondment with the newly established Work and Health Joint Unit at the Department for Work and Pensions, UK Government in order to conduct a large scale Randomised Control Trial evaluation of these types of interventions. My current project is supported by a grant from the Health Foundation.
My research on ALMPs, health and wellbeing has formed the evidence base for a series of publications most notably the Economics Task group for the Marmot Review, the Fair Society Healthy Lives review, the EU Working for Equity in Health projects in 2012 and the Social determinants of health and the health divide.
I also work extensively and conduct research in the Middle East and North Africa on public health and social welfare issues examining the social and and political determinants of health across the region. I work with a number of local universities, academics, United Nations agencies, International NGOs, Local NGOs and government departments in Lebanon and Jordan. Over the past seven years I have collaborated with researchers from Syria, Lebanon and Jordan to examine the growing Syrian refugee health crisis. This has involved establishing health surveys, investigating the causes and consequences of tensions between Syrian refugees and their host communities, and assessing the quality of the humanitarian health response effort and how it can be improved. Highlights of this work has appeared in the Lancet Medical Journal, New York Times, National Public Radio, Al-Jazeera and the Financial Times. In 2015 we established the Syria Public Health Network in order to address policy challenges arising in the humanitarian health response. We provide advocacy, policy briefs and evidence reviews to donors, NGOs and UN agencies.
Interested students (Masters/PhD/Postdoctoral) can contact me directly to discuss their research plans. I also offer advice and guidance to NGOs, academics and journalists looking to set up research in the Middle East and North Africa.
I hold a PhD from the University of Cambridge and have held post doctoral research positions at Cambridge and the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford. Whilst at Nuffield College, Oxford I co-authored a series of publications: Options for a New Britain and Options for Britain II.
I am an Honorary Fellow at ECOHOST at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.