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Building capacities & disrupting mainstream narratives

Workshop for Early Career Researchers on ‘Engendering research and reframing policy debate on Migration & Health and intersectional rights’



Download the call for applications

The Centre for Global Public Health and the Global Policy Institute at Queen Mary University (London), University of Edinburgh and Delhi University in collaboration with the International Organisation on Migration (IOM), UN UniversityInstitute of Global Health (UNU-IIGH), Nepal Institute for Development Studies (NIDS) & Migration Health and Development Research Network (MHADRI) invite abstracts from early career researchers to participate in a SouthSouth research collaboration & skill development workshop, to be held in Kathmandu from 25-28 April 2019.

The workshop is part of Strengthening Policy And Research Capacities (SPARC) on migration, rights and global health initiative funded by the British Council aimed at strengthening research capacities and skills and facilitating crosscultural mentorship of early career researchers (ECRs) from both the UK and South/ South East Asia to advance collaborative research agenda on Migration, Health & Intersectional rights. The overall objective of this initiative is to develop a South-South knowledge exchange and learning platform on Migration & Health rights to strengthen community of research & practice and engender new collaborations to address evidence gaps for responsive and coherent migration & health policies.

A total of 18 ECRs from the Southern region and 6 from the UK will be selected to participate in a three-day workshop that will focus on:

1. Reviewing theoretical concepts and methods for migration research, and how these can incorporate gender and intersectionality lens and equity focus

2. Exploring regional and domestic perspectives on migration, and introducing current gaps in scholarship and policy discussions on migration health

3. Facilitating development of research clusters on cross-cutting areas of Migration and Health Rights, and pairing Southern and Northern researchers to develop collaborating research and writing on following indicative thematic areas: a. Gender in migration and health research b. Access to healthcare c. Social care, livelihoods and occupational health d. Mental health & well-being e. Violence and social justice

4. Mentoring projects and supporting structured writing and learning

Eligibility: Applications are invited from Migration and/or Health inequalities scholars from (and residing in) countries in South & South East Asia region (especially Bangladesh, Burma, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia) and the UK.

We use the term ECR to include researchers at both academic institutions as well as other policy and voluntary sector organisations that have research as part of their mandate. If affiliated to an academic higher education institution, applicants should have either completed their PhD or be near submission (in their final year).

Applicants do not have to be established independent researchers but should demonstrate a research trajectory and some experience of conducting research on any aspects of migration and health (from policy, experiential or other perspective). Successful applicants will be offered full support for participation i.e. costs of accommodation, visa and travel (economy return ticket to Kathmandu) will be fully covered.

How to apply: The deadline for submission of application is 5pm (GMT) on Friday, 25 January 2019.

As part of your application, please submit the following to

i) A personal statement of 300 words that outlines your current research in migration, and what research problem you are interested in developing in future – with some consideration of why this knowledge is useful and for what purposes will it be utilised.

ii) Indicate what, according to you, are the top 2 issues in migration and health field in your country.

iii) 250 word proposal for an academic paper/policy brief/commentary/op-ed/blog or other creative output(s) that you would like to produce through the workshop and subsequent collaboration.

You can direct your queries to Dr. Anuj Kapilashrami or Dr Jeevan Sharma on



Migration is a global phenomenon. Alongside significant benefits it offers to individuals, states and economy, it presents significant public policy, humanitarian and human rights challenges. Yet, implications of mobility for migrants’ health is a neglected field; and the policy field of migration and health continues to be fragmented, and mired with conceptual and methodological gaps. First, academic scholarship on migration & health is fragmented; with disproportionate attention on specific categories / population groups of migrants (such as refugees/ asylum seekers, internally displaced and labour migrants etc.) and their vulnerabilities. Moreover, while there is growing recognition that migration is a gendered process, migration studies continue to be devoid of an explicit gendered analysis (Nawyn 2010) and have developed only cursory approaches to diversity and intersectionality (Bürkner 2012; Kapilashrami & Hankivsky 2018). These omissions limit analysis of how migration processes create differential risks for migrants at different stage of their mobility and settlement, and intersecting inequalities (Alsaba and Kapilashrami 2016), resulting in exclusionary policies and institutional responses.

Ongoing consultations as part of an ESRC-ICSSR funded research project examining what India’s urban transformation means for low-income migrants, their inclusion and social justice and British council funded consultations in the wider region have highlighted critical gaps in our knowledge of gendered experiences, as well as status of entitlements and provisions for migrant communities. These consultations also underscored the argument that policy and research outputs on forced migration and displacement has been dominated by scholars in North-based institutions and represents perspectives of high-income countries and not countries of origin (Landau 2012); while the debate in Global South has rarely made into global migration debates.

Acknowledging this as a major lacuna, this initiative attempts to create a platform to truly globalise scholarship and policy response by generating and sharing insights from both global north/south. Second, the policy sphere on migration is fragmented as policies are developed in silos (of policy sectors such as immigration, humanitarian aid, security, labor, public health among others) with distinct and often conflicting goals (Zimmerman et. al. 2011). Attention to health and social care of migrants is particularly deficient in policy dialogues on migration; devoid of rights language and southern perspectives (for e.g., the Global Compact for Migration). However, as debates on ‘global health governance’ and ‘global migration’ expand and begin to converge in different policy spheres, there is a growing imperative for policy makers to engage in cross-sector dialogue to align priorities and coordinate responses to migration across regions. Such responses must go beyond narrow public health interventions and protectionist policies(ibid), and embrace rights based approaches to address complexities of circular migration and migrants’ vulnerabilities and agency. The above scholarship and policy gaps form the basis of this UK-South (East) Asia collaboration. This collaborative initiative is developed as a timely response to the recent call for a global research agenda on migration, mobility and health.

The 2nd Global Consultation on Health of Migrants (GCMH) held in Sri Lanka in February 2017, called for:

the development of a research infrastructure on migrant health by securing support for research programs and institutions and building needed capacity, especially for researchers in the global South

Report from the Global Consultation on Migration and Health 2018:pg 48

The report further underscored the importance of “migrant health research network, communities of practice, and international partnerships with those working on other global health priorities” as key to enhance the quality and breadth of research evidence and evidence-informed policy. The workshop will draw on collective experience of prior and ongoing research projects, networks and collaborations to examine what is known and migrant’s differential social position (of class, gender, race/ethnicity, livelihood etc.) shape risks to their health and violence, and regional level policy discussions on health and social protections. These offer exciting opportunity to develop research capacities and amplify methodological and empirical learnings to engender migration scholarship and policy.

Tentative Agenda

Day 1 Probing understandings & Knowledge on Migration & Health – Identifying research gaps in global/regional/national migration and health research – Challenges in defining and finding migrants Methodological insights from ESRC-ICSSR research – How can research link with policy makers/policy community and communities of practice ..etc. Sharing research interests and initiating collaborations

Day 2 Interdisciplinary Research Skills – Approaches for researching vulnerable populations – Using bibliometric approaches to take stock of research output – Critical appraisal of research reports on Migration and health – Policy perspectives on Migration & Health Group work: Developing a collaborative project

Day 3 Amplifying learnings for transformative agenda in migration, health & intersectional rights – ‘So what?’ – Political and Ethical questions in researching migrants – Evidence and policy links – Charting policyscapes for migration and health Group work: Peer review of project proposals and firming up mentorship arrangements


[1] Alsaba, K., & Kapilashrami, A. (2016). Understanding women’s experience of violence and the political economy of gender in conflict: the case of Syria. Reproductive health matters, 24(47), 5-17. [2] Bürkner, H. J. (2012). Intersectionality: How gender studies might inspire the analysis of social inequality among migrants. Population, space and place, 18(2), 181-195. [3] Kapilashrami, A. & Hankivsky, O. (2018) Intersectionality and why it matters to global health. The Lancet. 391(10140): 2589-91 [4] Langer A, Meleis A, Knaul FM, et al. (2015) Women and Health: the key for sustainable development. The Lancet; 386: 1165– 210. [5] Nawyn, S. J. (2010). Gender and migration: Integrating feminist theory into migration studies. Sociology Compass, 4(9), 749- 765. [6] Zimmerman, C., Kiss, L., & Hossain, M. (2011). Migration and health: a framework for 21st century policy-making. PLOS medicine, 8(5), e1001034.

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