I have worked in a variety of different roles within International Development and Humanitarian Aid, in various countries across the Middle East and the wider Arab world, as well as Southeast Asia, Haiti and West Africa. In these roles, I have worked to help empower local civil society through institutional strengthening for local NGOs, and have also worked in complex emergency responses to develop systems for monitoring, evaluation and accountability. I also have engaged in peacebuilding and conflict sensitivity work at the grassroots level, and am most interested in the role that local civil society, especially faith-based organisations, can play in community healing and grassroots advocacy for conflict resolution. As a qualitative researcher, I work with local NGOs in the Arab world to improve their monitoring and impact evaluation through storytelling as a data collection technique, and have explored methods by which their use of storytelling can also be a tool for peace and community reconciliation.
My teaching and research focuses on the role of local faith-based members of civil society in humanitarian response and social change. I teach in the areas of NGO management, faith and religious identity, and principles of humanitarianism.
I am also currently serving as Senior Research Advisor for Faith and Development at World Vision International, the world's largest child-focused charity. A Christian NGO, World Vision operates in more than 100 countries. In this role I am coordinating World Vision's strategic aim of building an evidence about the intersection between faith and development, including advising on research about the role of faith actors and faith leaders in social change, spiritual development as a part of child well-being, and the intersection between faith, values and ending violence against children. In this role I have built partnerships with universities in the UK, USA, Canada, Lebanon, Uganda, Iraq and am continually expanding our academic connections.
Much of my research and work with World Vision is in collaboration with the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI-FLC), a network of academics and practitioners committed to building best practices and evidence on the role of faith in development and humanitarian work.