Background and activities
I am a social geographer interested in and teaching and researching children, youth, and the structural transformation of their local environments in Africa. I am Programme Leader of MPhil in Childhood Studies, teaching courses on Children and Development in the Global South (BARN 3300), Participatory Methods and Ethics (BARN 3201).
My research focuses on the generational implications of development with a particular emphasis on young people’s lives, i.e. labor, rights, entitlements, learning, and social transitions to adulthood. My current work intersects youth studies and development studies looking at how political-economic processes transform and are transformed by the material social practices of young people. Recently I undertook fieldwork on mobility and livelihood pathways of post-socialist youth, as well as on questions of youth activism for social and spatial justice; complementing my decade long participatory research with children and families found on the margins of society and political economy in Ethiopia.
I was Director of Council for Development of Social Science Research in Africa’s (CODESRIA) 2017 Child and Youth Institute that explored African Futures and Futures of Childhood in Africa. My ongoing project (2017-2019), financed by Nordic Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences, involves a series of international seminars to theorize Children’s Migration in Historical and Cross-cultural Perspectives. I also lead a NORPART project funded by Diku (2019-2023) focusing on postgraduate student mobility (MA and Ph.D.) between Addis Ababa University and NTNU to promote collaborative, critical research and teaching on childhood, culture and sustainable development.
I serve as an editorial board member of Children’s Geographies, Childhood, Fennia: International Journal of Geography, and The Sage Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies.
Scientific, academic and artistic work
Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database
- (2019) Reconceptualising Children's Agency as Continuum and Interdependence. SI on Childhood and Society. Social Sciences. vol. 8 (3).
- (2018) 'Global/Local' Research on Children and Childhood in a 'Global' Society. Childhood. vol. 25 (3).
- (2018) Tensions and controversies regarding child labor in small-scale gold mining in Ghana. African Geographical Review.
- (2016) Beyond pluralizing African childhoods: Introduction. Childhood. vol. 23 (3).
- (2016) Qenja: child fostering and relocation practices in Amhara region, Ethiopia. Children's Geographies. vol. 14 (1).
- (2016) Suffering and thriving: Children’s perspectives and interpretations of poverty and well-being in rural Zambia. Childhood. vol. 23 (3).
- (2014) Advancing ethical research with children: Critical reflections on ethical guidelines. Children's Geographies. vol. 12 (1).
- (2012) AIDS-affected children, family collectives and the social dynamics of care in Ethiopia. Geoforum. vol. 43 (3).
- (2012) Reflexivity and dialogue: methodological and socio-ethical dilemmas in research with HIV-affected children in East Africa. Ethics, Policy & Environment. vol. 15 (1).
- (2011) Dominant Discourses, Debates and Silences on Child Labour in Africa and Asia. Third World Quarterly. vol. 32 (4).
- (2010) Beyond the ‘orphan burden’: understanding care for and by AIDS-affected children in Africa. Geography Compass.
- (2010) Livelihoods, care and the familial relations of orphans in Eastern Afr. AIDS Care. vol. 22 (5).
- (2010) Livelihoods, care and the familial relations of orphans in eastern Africa. AIDS Care. vol. 22 (5).
- (2009) Begging as a livelihood pathway of street children in Addis Ababa. Forum for Development Studies. vol. 36 (2).
- (2009) Child labour in the global South: A review and critical commentary. Barn. vol. 27 (3 - 4).
- (2009) Multiple methods, complex dilemmas: negotiating socio-ethical spaces in participatory research with disadvantaged children. Children's Geographies. vol. 7 (4).
- (2009) Orphanhood, Poverty and the Care Dilemma: Review of Global Policy Trends. Social Work & Society. vol. 7 (1).
- (2009) Social Actors and Victims of Exploitation. Working children in the cash economy of Ethiopia's South. Childhood. vol. 16 (2).
- (2008) Earning a living on the margins: Begging, street work and the socio-spatial experiences of children in Addis Ababa. Geografiska Annaler. Series B. Human Geography. vol. 90 (3).
- (2008) The Ethiopian "Family Collective" and Child Agency. Barn.
- (2008) Trapped between disparate worlds: the livelihoods, socialisation and schooling contexts of children in rural Ethiopia. Childhoods Today. vol. 2 (1).
- (2007) Changing Livelihoods, Changing Childhoods: Patterns of Children's Work in Rural Southern Ethiopia. Children's Geographies. vol. 5 (1-2).
- (2007) Children, AIDS and the politics of orphan care in Ethiopia: The extended family revisited. Social Science and Medicine. vol. 64 (10).
- (2005) Geographical dimensions of AIDS orphanhood in sub-Saharan Africa. Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift.
- (2017) Laboring and Learning. Springer. 2017. ISBN 978-981-287-031-5. Geographies of Children and Young People (.).
- (2013) Childhood and Local Knowledge in Ethiopia: Livelihoods, Rights and Intergenerational Relationships. Akademika forlag. 2013. ISBN 9788251928533.
Part of book/report
- (2017) Geographies of Laboring and Learning: Introduction. Laboring and Learning..
- (2017) Young People’s Marginal Livelihoods and Social Transitions in Urban Brazil: Tale of Four Lives. Laboring and Learning..
- (2016) Political economy of children’s work: economic restructuring, the coffee trade and social reproduction in post-Socialist Ethiopia. Geographies of Global Issues: Change and Threat.
- (2015) Reframing children's contributions to household livelihoods in Ethiopia through a political-economy perspective. Children's Work and Labour in East Africa. Social Context and Implications for Policy.
- (2014) Earning Rights - Discourses on Childrens Rights and Proper Childhood in Ethiopia. Childrens Lives in an Era of Childrens Rights The Progress of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Africa.
- (2013) Interdependent Rights and Agency: Children's Role in Collective Livelihood Strategies in Rural Ethiopia. Reconceptualizing Children's Rights in International Development: Living Rights, Social Justice and Translations.
- (2013) Migrant children’s portfolio of street-based livelihoods in urban Ethiopia. Childhood and Local Knowledge in Ethiopia: Livelihoods, Rights and Intergenerational Relationships.
- (2013) Children, Intergenerational Relationships and Local Knowledge in Ethiopia. Childhood and Local Knowledge in Ethiopia: Livelihoods, Rights and Intergenerational Relationships.
- (2013) The Socio-economic Roles of Children in Ethiopian Periodic Markets. Childhood and Local Knowledge in Ethiopia: Livelihoods, Rights and Intergenerational Relationships.
- (2012) Orphanhood, Poverty and the Channenges of Care - Review of Global Policy Trends. Orphan Care: A Comparative View.
- (2011) Gendered work and schooling in rural Ethiopia: Exploring working children's perspectives. Not Just a Victim: The Child as Catalyst and Witness of Contemporary Africa.
- (2010) Sik'älla as a Way of Life: Begging, Poverty and the Livelihood Paths of Child Beggars in Addis Ababa. Research in Ethiopian Studies: Selected papers of the 16th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, Trondheim July 2007, Aethiopistische Forschungen Vol. 72.
- (2011) Young people, participation, and sustainable development in an urbanizing world. 2011.
- (2008) Ethiopian Childhoods: A Case Study of the Lives of Orphans and Working Children. 2008. ISBN 978-82-471-6731-1.
- (2018) A Plea for Participatory Ethics and Knowledge Production with Children in Africa.
- (2018) Youth Precarity and Protest in Ethiopia's Developmental State. Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies Annual Lecture . Bayreuth University; Germany. 2018-01-08 - 2018-01-08.
- (2018) Youth, Waithood and the Future in Post-socialist Ethiopia. Young People, Society and Space Seminar Series . San Diego State University; USA. 2018-04-04 - 2018-04-04.
- (2018) Childhood Studies - the next 25 years. Seminar for the 25th Anniversary of Childhood . Department of Education and Lifelong Learning, NTNU; Trondheim. 2018-11-05 - 2018-11-06.
- (2017) African Futures and Futures of Childhood in Africa. CODESRIA Child and Youth Institute . Council for Development of Social Science Research in Africa; Dakar. 2017-08-25 - 2017-09-08.
- (2017) Childhood Studies in Africa. AllAfrica.com [TV]. 2017-10-11.