Irene Among

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Research Fellow + PhD Student (ADAPTED)

Institute of Development Research and Development Policy
Ruhr-University Bochum
Universitätsstr. 105, Room 2.16
44789 Bochum

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Phone: +49 (0)234 / 32-24857

Fax: +49-(0)234 / 32-14-294

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PhD Project

Building coherent social protection systems

(The research project is part of ADAPTED, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network project funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme which is coordinated by the IEE.)

Numerous studies of the social systems of low- and middle-income countries have described that the fragmentation of social policy, particularly the lack of coordination and coherence between the individual subsystems, has led to significant implementation problems. Frequently, different institutions supervise the various social programmes and the requirements for social benefits are formulated or interpreted differently. This makes it difficult for the beneficiaries, who are often addressees of several programmes, to find the right contacts and understand the structures of the support they receive. These problems are even further intensified if neighbouring policy areas (e.g. labour market policy, child protection, public health) are not adequately coordinated with social policy. In some countries, the coordination of the different social protection areas is carried out by a so-called framework law, setting out general rules that apply uniformly to all social protection areas or containing provisions on institutions that are interdepartmentally involved in the coordination, implementation or control of the various social policy programmes. The project will investigate these and other examples of frameworks, which facilitate coordination and coherence in social protection systems.

Prof. Dr. Markus Kaltenborn (RUB) and Prof. Dr. Andrew Fischer (Erasmus University Rotterdam - Netherlands)

Research Interests

  • Social protection
  • Gender and development
  • Disability and social inclusion
  • Political economy

Previous Education

2016:   MSc. (International Development) – University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
2005:   MA (Public Administration and Management) – Makerere University Kampala, Uganda
2001:   BA (Social Sciences) – Makerere University Kampala, Uganda

Previous Work Experience

Before joining the PhD programme, Irene worked as a Social Development Consultant. She led on gender and social impact assessments, evaluation of women’s economic empowerment, youth employment, disability inclusion, and various aspects of social protection. The projects were funded by USAID, the World Bank, WFP, ILO, UNICEF, and the Government of Uganda, among others.

Prior to this, Irene was the Social Development Adviser for the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) (currently named the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office) in Uganda. She led on social protection and gender equality programming and mainstreaming gender and social inclusion in DFID Uganda’s development and humanitarian portfolio. She also represented DFID in social policy and strategy design at the national level.

Her countries of experience include Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Ghana and Zambia.