Catherine Jere


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Personal profile

Research Group or Lab Membership

Key Research Interests

Catherine's research interests centre on exploring how institutional and social barriers to education in developing country contexts are challenged and disrupted.  Key research areas include gender equality and education, non-formal approaches to youth  and adult literacy and learning, and the social drivers and mitigation of the impact of HIV/AIDS on education. Her geographical focus is East Africa, with particular expertise in Malawi.

She specialises in mixed-methods research designs, with a focus on participatory and transformative approaches to research and evaluation. 

A key area of research and action is that of School-Related Gender-Based Violence (SRGBV), from early research into the prevalence, support and reporting mechanisms under the USAID-funded Safe Schools Program, to policy-related research and advocacy, including policy briefs, blogs and membership of the Global Working Group to End SRGBV




Catherine's background is in education and international development, working across research, evaluation, training and practice. Before joining the School of International  Development in 2015, Catherine was a member of the Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report team at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. Prior to this,  she spent almost a decade working with the Centre for Educational Research and Training (CERT) at the University of Malawi, as Research Fellow and Deputy Director. During that time Catherine led several research projects and consultancies within Malawi and the wider Eastern and Southern Africa region, providing policy-related and action research, needs assessment, and monitoring and evaluation of educational interventions for government, development agencies and INGOs (including UNICEF, USAID, FCDO, GIZ and Plan Malawi). She led the Malawi component of the multi-country ESRC-DFID Joint Scheme project 'Strengthening Open and Flexible Learning for increased Education Access in high HIV prevalence SADC countries' and coordinated research for the USAID-funded 'Safe Schools Program' and the GIZ-funded pilot of the successful Complementary Basic Education programme in Malawi.

She also developed, and taught, core courses and distance learning modules for an upgrading Diploma programme for secondary science teachers in Malawi, and led research methods training for postgraduate students, university staff and government extension officers.

More recently, Catherine has been co-researcher on the ESRC Learning Outcomes project 'Accountablity for Gender Equality in Education' and the GCRF-funded Family Literacy sub-project under UEA's GS-DEV programme of research. She also regularly provides expertise for research and policy-related consultancies at the nexus of education and gender, violence and community participation. 

She is an Academic Associate with the National Foundation for Educational Research in the UK and a founding member of the UNESCO-led consortium on boys' disengagement from education.


Academic Background

Catherine has a PhD in Education and International Development awarded by the Institute of Education, University of London. Her PhD thesis explored the factors that challenge and support educational access and attainment of children of HIV/AIDS-affected households, using this information to design, pilot and evaluate a school-based flexible learning intervention to support orphaned and vulnerable children.


Administrative Posts

Deputy Chair, University of East Anglia Research Ethics Committee

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Executive Committee, The Education and Development Forum

2017 → …

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or