- Lena Morgon Banks+−
- Samantha Willan+−
- Gakeemah Inglis-Jassiem+−
- Kristin Dunkle+−
- John Ganle+−
- Tom Shakespeare+−
- Rifat Shahpar Khan+−
- Shaffa Hameed+−
- Mercilene Machisa+−
- Nicholas Watson+−
- Bradley Carpenter+−
- Tracey Smythe+−
- Nomfundo Mthethwa+−
- Queen Seketi+−
- Jane Wilbur+−
- Ayanda Nzuza+−
- Zeynep İlkkurşun+−
- Shailaja Tetali+−
- Lopita Huq+−
- Amanda Clyde+−
- Jill Hanass-Hancock+−
Lena Morgon Banks
Lena Morgon Banks is an Assistant Professor with the International Centre for Evidence in Disability (ICED) at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Her primary research focus is on disability, poverty, and social protection. She is a mixed methods researcher who has worked on a number of projects on disability, including the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)-funded Programme for Evidence to Inform Disability Action (PENDA), which is evaluating several interventions that aim to improve the wellbeing of people with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries.
Samantha Willan is a gender-based violence (GBV) researcher and Capacity Development Specialist at the Gender and Health Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council. Her research focuses on understanding the experiences of young women in contexts of heightened poverty, patriarchy, and violence, including the role of agency in informing and shifting women’s experiences, exploring rape survivors’ notions of shame, self-blame, and self-stigma, femininities, GBV, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and adolescents and young women, improving post-rape care as well as pathway to change. She has a PhD in Public Health from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Gakeemah Inglis-Jassiem is a physiotherapist with a keen interest and experience in the rehabilitation of neurological dysfunction. She is enrolled as a PhD candidate and has received funding from the South African National Research Foundation and the South African Medical Research Council (Bongani Mayosi National Health Scholars Programme). Her PhD project investigates technology to enhance contextually relevant stroke care in South Africa. She is a part-time researcher in the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Stellenbosch University, which investigates rehabilitation in Africa. She is one of the contributors to the book entitled, Collaborative Capacity Development to Complement Stroke Rehabilitation in Africa (2020, AOSIS).
Kristin Dunkle is a Chief Specialist Scientist in the Gender and Health Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council. She is a social epidemiologist who has been working on gender-based violence and health for over 20 years, and has published widely on connections between intimate partner violence and HIV among both women and men; links between gender-based violence, transactional sex, and poverty; intimate partner violence; sexual violence and health among men who have sex with men (MSM), and others in LGBTQIA communities.
John Ganle is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana. His research combines social science and public health theories and methods to examine topics including disability, sexuality, and reproductive health.
Tom Shakespeare is Professor of Disability Research at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and co-director of the International Centre for Evidence in Disability (ICED). He was formerly in the Disability and Rehabilitation team at the World Health Organization where he contributed to the World Report on Disability (2011, WHO), and, among other publications, is author of Disability Rights and Wrongs (2006, Routledge).
Rifat Shahpar Khan
Rifat Shahpar Khan studied literature at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. She is a Research Coordinator at BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University. Her areas of interest include disability and rights, child safeguarding, social inclusion, inclusive education, gender transformative programming, public health, child labour, and policy advocacy. She has experience in both qualitative and quantitative research. Previously, she worked at Sightsavers, AusAID (Dhaka), Humanity & Inclusion, and ActionAid. She co-authored Defining Disability: A Guideline for Medical Doctors and Primary Health Care Workforce (2019), Non-Communicable Disease Control Programme, Directorate General of Health Services, Bangladesh).
Shaffa Hameed is an Assistant Professor at the International Centre for Evidence in Disability (ICED) at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She is a qualitative researcher who has worked on capturing the in-depth experiences of people with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries including Maldives and Turkey. Her interests also include the sexual and reproductive health and rights of people with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries.
Mercilene Machisa focuses on gender-based violence (GBV) in Southern Africa. She has led GBV surveys and qualitative sub-studies in six countries; evaluated the health sector and criminal justice response to sexual violence in South Africa; elucidated the complex structural pathways and intersections between mental ill-health and GBV in Gauteng, South Africa; and conducted formative research, developed, and piloted the Ntombi Vimbela!, a sexual violence risk reduction intervention in South African Higher Education settings. As an honorary lecturer at the University of Witwatersrand’s School of Public Health, she supports postgraduate students in conducting GBV and sexual and reproductive health and rights research.
Nicholas Watson is Chair of Disability Studies and Director of the Centre for Disability Research in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Glasgow, UK. His recent work includes research on disability hate crime, the experiences of disabled people in the criminal justice system, transition for young disabled people, and welfare reform. He is co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Disability Research (2019) and is an active member of the disabled people’s movement.
Bradley Carpenter is a scientist working in the Gender and Health Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council. He has an MA in Research Psychology from the University of the Western Cape and is currently completing his PhD. His interests include research design, analysis techniques, disability, mental health, and individualised treatment.
Tracey Smythe is a physiotherapist and epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Her mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) research portfolio advances knowledge on developing and testing interventions to improve the health and wellbeing of people with disabilities. She has a particular interest in providing evidence to inform interventions for children with disabilities and their families in resource-constrained settings.
Nomfundo Mthethwa is a Research Technologist at the South African Medical Research Council and has an MA in Medical Science. Her work focuses on disability, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and gender-based violence. Nomfundo is a project coordinator of the Breaking the Silence Intervention, a project which focuses on access to SRHR for people with disabilities, and includes an evidence-informed curriculum innovation approach to enable educators to provide comprehensive sexuality education in accessible formats. She is also involved the Forgotten Agenda study focusing on young women with disabilities under Covid-19.
Queen Seketi is a PhD student at the University of Zambia. She has a BA in Development Studies and an MA in Public Health (MPH) in Population Studies from the University of Zambia. A former National United Nations Volunteer, now working under the Local Government Service Commission, she has more than 15 years’ experience in the HIV and AIDS sector, to plan, build capacity, and facilitate multisectoral responses to HIV and AIDS at district level. Her PhD research will focus on the Covid-19 and disability nexus.
Jane Wilbur (PhD) is a Research Fellow at the International Centre for Evidence in Disability (ICED) at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, focusing on disability, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). Jane’s doctoral research aimed to investigate the barriers to menstrual hygiene management (MHM) that people with disabilities face, to develop an MHM behaviour change intervention for young people with intellectual disabilities in Nepal, and assess its feasibility. Jane has worked in East and Southern Africa, South Asia, and the Pacific Islands. She has extensive experience in research, designing, implementing, and evaluating inclusive WASH programmes, as well as disseminating research to influence policy and practice.
Ayanda Nzuza is a Research Technologist at the Gender and Health Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council. She is Project Coordinator for the Forgotten Agenda study which focuses on sexual and reproductive health and rights for young women with and without disabilities under the Covid-19 pandemic. She has an honours degree in Public Policy and a junior degree in Industrial Psychology and Sociology. Previously, Ayanda coordinated the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) Initiatives Programme which focused on understanding social and motivational factors of participating in HIV vaccine and monoclonal antibody trials in KwaZulu-Natal. She is a co-author of several publications.
Zeynep İlkkurşun is a psychologist and sociologist, and currently an MA student in Koç University’s Clinical Psychology Programme, Istanbul. She is particularly interested in psychological trauma and the mental health of vulnerable populations. She was involved in two Horizon 2020-funded projects which are the RE-DEFINE project and the STRENGTHS project as a research assistant. She is currently working as a researcher in the Turkey
site of the Covid Collective Covid-19 & Disability study.
Shailaja Tetali has been an Associate Professor with the Public Health Foundation of India, Indian Institute of Public Health-Hyderabad (PHFI-IIPH) since 2009. She has a PhD (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) and is a physician, with an MA in Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention (Karolinska Institute, Sweden) and an MA in Public Health (Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Kerala). Her interests encompass injury and disability prevention in adults and children. She has been the principal investigator (PI) and co-PI of numerous research projects, with national and international collaborators, and enjoys teaching, training, and mentoring in public health
Lopita Huq studied cultural anthropology at the New School for Social Research, New York and political studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. She is a Research Fellow at BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University. She conducts qualitative research on norms and practices related to women’s work, marriage, education, adolescence, sexual harassment, and disabilities. Her interests include digitalisation, grass-roots mobilisation, citizenship, and rights. She also engages with the audiovisual medium. Her recent publications include Material Barriers, Cultural Boundaries: A Mixed-Methods Analysis of Gender and Labour Market Segmentation in Bangladesh (UNU-WIDER Working Paper 2021-69, co-authored with Naila Kabeer and M.M. Rahaman).
Amanda Clyde is a Research Technologist at the Gender and Health Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council. She is a Research Assistant for the Forgotten Agenda study which focuses on sexual and reproductive health and rights for young women with disabilities under the Covid-19 pandemic. She particularly focused on the participants who were deaf and conducted interviews using sign language. Previously Amanda studied sign language and later worked for the iCAN Corporate Disability Solutions institution in Durban where she taught deaf students. Her focus was teaching business practice which was taught in full sign language.
Jill Hanass-Hancock is a Senior Specialist Scientist at the South African Medical Research Council. Her work is focused on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of vulnerable populations in Southern Africa including women, youth and adolescents, and people with disabilities. Jill is best known for her contributions to the understanding of the sexual and reproductive health needs of people with disabilities using a variety of research approaches including ethnography, epidemiology, situation and policy analysis techniques, and the development, piloting, and evaluation of several tailored interventions in the health and education sector.
People with disabilities are often excluded from research, which may be exacerbated during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This article provides an overview of key challenges, opportunities, and strategies for conducting disability-inclusive research during the pandemic, drawing on the experience of research teams working across ten countries on disability-focused studies. It covers adaptations that are relevant across the project lifecycle, including maintaining ethical standards and safeguarding; enabling active participation of people with disabilities; adapting remote research data collection tools and methods to meet accessibility, feasibility, and acceptability requirements; and promoting inclusive and effective analysis and dissemination. While this article is focused on adaptations during the pandemic, it is highly likely that the issues and strategies highlighted here will be relevant going forward, either in similar crises or as the world continues to move towards greater digital communication and connectedness.