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Dr Simone Datzberger
Room 829b
Bedford Way 20
Dr Simone Datzberger profile picture
  • Lecturer
  • IOE - Education, Practice & Society
  • UCL Institute of Education

I am a Lecturer in Education and International Development and act as the senior (qualitative) lead researcher for CoVAC (Contexts of Violence in Adolescence Cohort Study) led by LSHTM (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), UCL Institute of Education, Raising Voices and in partnership with Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), funded by the UK Medical Research Council. CoVAC is a longitudinal (2018-2022) mixed methodology cohort study that aims to build understanding on how family, peer, school and community contexts affect young people's experiences of violence in adolescence and early adulthood in Luwero, Uganda.

I am also the Deputy Programme Leader for the MA (Education and International Development).

Before I joined the UCL-IoE, I was a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow (individual fellowship) at the University of Amsterdam (2016-2018), Department of Human Geography, Planning and International Development. My project (Democratization through Education), funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 programme, focuses on the role of education in increasing civil agency and voice in the Sub-Saharan African context.

From 2014-2016, I worked as a post-doctoral researcher (research associate) at the UNESCO-Centre (Ulster University), where I was part of a research consortium in partnership with UNICEF on Education and Peacebuilding. During that time, I acted as the lead researcher for the country case study on Uganda.

I obtained my PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science (2010-2014) in International Relations, where I also taught the courses 'Democracy and Democratization' and 'International Organizations'. My PhD thesis focused on the depoliticization of civil society during the peacebuilding and development process of Sierra Leone from 2007-13.

Prior to my doctoral studies I worked for the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in New York (2007-2010), for which I conducted, among others, research and in-depth analysis on several countries in transition from conflict to peace. Over the past decade, I have gained extensive field research experience in Sierra Leone, Uganda and Mexico.

Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

My research revolves around the following themes:

  • The politics of education in developing and conflict-affected contexts
  • The implications of education-sector governance & norms for peacebuilding and development processes
  • The interplay of education, gender and political agency
  • Gender, violence and education
  • Violence against children and youth
  • Civil society & political and social agency in peacebuilding and development processes

Across these themes I have a strong focus on sub-Saharan Africa (predominately Uganda and Sierra Leone). Occasionally, I also conduct research on countries outside that region.

Teaching Summary

I am the MA Module-Coordinator for:

  • African Studies and Education

I also teach in the MA Modules:

  • Education and International Development: Concepts, Theories and Issues
  • Gender, Education and Development
  • Education, Conflict and Fragility
  • Education during Emergency Situations

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