Reducing HIV in Africa with ‘cash plus care’

by Lucie Cluver

Our work often feels like a series of battles against an enemy that outwits us.

Despite real global progress in preventing and treating HIV/AIDS (PDF, UNICEF website), children and adolescents remain left behind. Every hour, 30 adolescents are infected with HIV.  The situation is most severe in Southern and Eastern Africa, which accounts for nine in 10 of adolescent AIDS deaths. AIDS is the leading cause of death amongst adolescents in the region.

We have realised that if we are to have any chance of winning the battle, academics need to work in close partnership with governments, UN agencies and policymakers – and with teenagers themselves. Our research studies are developed together with these groups, which often leads us to unexpected questions and findings. Continue reading

Lessons from Europe on fuel poverty: sharing knowledge globally

by Harriet Thomson

Fuel poverty, which is more commonly referred to as energy poverty outside the UK, occurs when a household experiences inadequate levels of essential energy services (such as heating, cooling, and lighting). Fuel poverty is a distinct form of poverty associated with a range of adverse consequences for people’s health and wellbeing – with respiratory and cardiac illnesses, and mental health, exacerbated due to low temperatures and stress associated with unaffordable energy bills. It is estimated that almost 60 million households in the EU are experiencing fuel poverty.

Whilst fuel poverty is gaining increasing recognition across Europe, and has been identified as a policy priority by several key institutions – including the European Commission and European Parliament – just a few years ago there were substantial gaps in knowledge about the issue. Continue reading

Untapped potential: The challenge and opportunity of migrant entrepreneurship

by Monder Ram

Migrant entrepreneurship is a notable feature of economies across Europe. Self-employment often provides migrants – and established ethnic minority communities – with a job, a mechanism for survival in a context of racial inequality, and for some, a path to social mobility. There are some spectacular successes: a recent study by the Centre of Entrepreneurs (PDF) looked at immigrant entrepreneurs in the ‘heartland SME segment of the economy’ (companies with a turnover between £1 million and £200 million) and found that foreign-born owners were: responsible for one in seven businesses in the UK; almost twice as entrepreneurial as UK-born individuals; and on average, eight years younger than the typical UK-born entrepreneur.

But my colleagues and I at the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) usually focus on the smaller, more mundane – and perhaps more representative – entrepreneurial activities of migrants.

Continue reading

How social scientists can get involved in the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

by Charlie Dormer

A new set of research and innovation challenges has recently been announced through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), providing major opportunities for the social sciences to collaborate with other academic disciplines and businesses to solve specific economic and societal challenges.

ISCF is made up of major industrial and societal challenges in different areas of research, where academics work with businesses and other partners to find innovative solutions.

The challenges are being announced in batches each year known as ‘waves’. The latest batch – wave 2 – was announced in November 2017, and the first competitions for each challenge are now being launched. Continue reading

Win or lose, watching a World Cup together can be a uniquely positive experience

by Fergus Neville

When the 2018 World Cup kicks off in Russia it promises to captivate not only the globe’s football fans, but social psychologists too (although these two categories are not mutually exclusive: our laboratory with a large projector screen will be suspiciously booked during match times).

One of the issues most commonly associated with international football crowds is that of ‘hooliganism’. This could be particularly true for the forthcoming tournament given the conflict between Russian and English fans during Euro 2016 in France, exposés of Russian ‘hooligans’ preparing for the World Cup and the deteriorating political relationship between the UK and Russia which has included the expulsion of the British diplomat responsible for football fans. Moreover, Russian police reportedly witnessed the unruly behaviour of a section of English fans in March’s friendly match in Amsterdam.

This last observation is important because perception of the ‘other’ in intergroup contexts shapes the ways that groups treat each other and can create self-fulfilling prophecies. Continue reading