Catherine Jere


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Personal profile

Research Group or Lab Membership

Research Group or Lab Membership

Global Working Group to End School-related Gender-based Violence (SRGBV)


I joined DEV as a Lecturer in Education and Development in August 2015. My 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 – including school-related gender-based violence – non-formal approaches to youth literacy and skills development, and working with children, schools and communities to understand the impact, social drivers and mitigation of HIV/AIDS. 

I specialise in mixed-methods research designs, with a focus on participatory and transformative approaches to research and evaluation. I deliver training for the ESRC Advanced PGR Training workshop on Participatory Global Research Approaches in Global Contexts.

Within DEV I teach on issues of education, literacy, gender and health at both postgraduate and undergraduate levels.


My background is in education and international development, working across research, evaluation, training and practice. Before joining DEV, I was a researcher with the Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report team at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. Prior to this I spent almost a decade with the Centre for Educational Research and Training (CERT) at the University of Malawi, as Research Fellow and Deputy Director.

During that time I led several research projects and consultancies within Malawi and the wider Eastern and Southern Africa region, providing policy-related and action research, needs assessments and monitoring and evaluation of educational interventions for government and development agencies (including DFID, UNICEF, USAID, Plan Malawi and GIZ). I 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.'

I 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 education students, staff and district extension officers.

Academic Background

I have a MEd in Education and Development from the University of Bristol and a PhD in Education and International Development awarded by the Institute of Education, University of London. My 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.

My undergraduate degree is a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences (Hons) from the University of Edinburgh.

Administrative Posts

Key Research Interests and Expertise

Researching issues of educational access, learning and exclusion amongst HIV-affected children and youth in rural Malawi. Including DFID-ESRC Joint Scheme multi-country research Strengthening Open, Distance and Flexible Learning for improved Access to Education in high HIV prevalence SADC countries (SOFIE) (RES-167-25-0217), Partnership between UCL Institute of Education, University of Malawi, National University of Lesotho, South African Institute for Distance Education (2007-2010). Details and publications available on the SOFIE project and The Impact Initiative websites.

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. 



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 → …


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