DESK & FIELD RESEARCHERS
RRDP’s pool of researchers supports the work of the organisation on an ad hoc basis. Our researchers are deployed to the field, conduct desk research for reports and advocacy activities, and/or support the successful coordination of research studies on the ground.
Miriam holds a degree in Development Studies from the University of Vienna. She is currently working as a TV-journalist in Austria covering issues of international conflict, migration and asylum in different contexts. Both as a researcher and journalist, Miriam has been dealing with refugee issues over the past few years. She is specialized in the Afghan diaspora and, in this context, especially interested in questions of identity and gender. Miriam is fluent in German, English and Dari.
Christy's background lies primarily in public health research and social inclusion in a non-profit context. As a PhD candidate at University of Sheffield working on access to health services for migrant and minority ethnic populations in Europe, she is trained in both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Having previously contributed towards research on the practice of female genital mutilation amongst African migrants in Belgium, she has also volunteered and worked in frontline health services and served vulnerable patients such as refugees, the homeless and those in poor mental health. She holds a master’s degree in Public Health from Imperial College London and an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science from King’s College London.
Cristina Cardarelli has a strong background in International Relations, with a focus on human rights, an MSc in International Relations Theory from LSE and a MA in Human rights and Democracy in the MENA region from EIUC. In the past years, she has collaborated with different NGOs in South Asia and worked as trainee at the European Parliament, DG EPRS. She has also worked as Assistant Campaigns Coordinator in a NGO based in Paris, helping the coordination of international human rights campaigns. As human right researcher, she has worked in Palestine, in collaboration with Birzeit University, and in Jordan, where she focused on the refugee crisis. She has been with RRDP since the early days of the organisation, working as field researcher in France and Greece. She is currently working as Project and Communication Officer at the Italian Cooperation Office in Burkina Faso, as part of the UN Fellowship Program.
Karen Diop is a French researcher currently based in Dakar, Senegal and working within World Food Programme (WFP). She holds a Bachelor degree in Economics and Political Science, a postgraduate diploma in Management and recently graduated with an MSc in Leadership and Development from King's College London. Her interest in gender and migration issues led her to work with RRDP in 2016 during its pilot phase, in the Calais refugee camp. As part of her work with WFP, Karen is now developing her expertise and understanding of food security, nutrition and challenges faced by displaced people.
Sandra El Gemayel
Sandra is a PhD Candidate at UCL, Institute of Education in London. Her research focuses on the impact of armed conflict and displacement on the childhood and play of young Iraqi and Syrian child refugees in Lebanon. With an MA in Early Years Education and experience volunteering with refugees and internally displaced persons, Sandra is interested in work and research related to children’s rights, constructions of childhood, and the understanding of play in the early years, specifically in refugee populations, helping to make young refugee children’s voices heard.
Giulia Fagotto is junior programme office for the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) in Brussels. She holds a master in International Relations and Democratic Governance with a major in Human Rights in the MENA region. Her passion for travelling took her around the Mediterranean where she worked in governmental, nongovernmental and consultancy organisations engaged in human rights protection and migration issues. As a result, rather than a migration expert she turned into an expert migrant!
Musashi is originally from Japan but currently based in Jordan where he's supporting an NGO project providing safe play and learning spaces for children in a refugee camp. He has a solid background working with children, both as a practitioner and a researcher - he completed several research projects focusing on the meaning of play in childhood in Japan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and France. He has worked with RRDP as a volunteer coordinator and a field researcher in France and Greece. He holds an MA in Education and International Development from UCL, Institute of Education.
Candace is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology and Development Studies at SOAS in London. She has been a key member of the RRDP team since 2016, being involved in crucial work such as interpretation, translation and field research.
Gemma is a current research intern at both the British Red Cross and the Institute for Research into Superdiversity, based at the University of Birmingham. She holds an LLB from the University of Edinburgh, and an MSc from UCL’s School of Public Policy, during which she conducted research on the experiences of resettled Syrian refugees in the UK. Gemma previously worked at the Refugee Council as a project worker for the Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme.
Lizzie is about to begin an MA at King’s College London in Conflict, Security and Development. She has just finished her degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Exeter where she wrote her dissertation exploring how the militarisation of aid in Afghanistan impacted communication between humanitarian actors and non-state armed groups. She has worked in the development sector in Thailand and has worked across India as a Field Evaluator for GlobalGiving.
Until 2003, Luke was working as a mathematician, teaching subject matters such as statistics for business and history of mathematics, mainly at King's College London. He published a textbook for Oxford University Press in 2005, and subsequently completed an LLM in Human Rights at Birkbeck in 2010-2012. In 2015 and 2016, Luke was part of a group that travelled to Calais, bringing supplies, raising money and holding the conferences in solidarity with the camp residents. Luke continues to write and advocate in support of refugee rights, and does voluntary work for the Islington Law Centre and for Safe Passage. He enjoys reading, music, conversation, and cooking.
Cassidy has a strong background in field-based projects. In 2016-2017 she spent eight months in Athens, Greece, working on a rage of initiatives that provide aid to, and advocate for the rights of, refugees and displaced people. More recently she worked as a Programme Officer for Refugee Rights Data Project. She has a BA from University College London, and is particularly interested in the ways in which grassroots bodies can help strengthen pre-existing community support systems, whilst also creating new, multinational and multilingual ones to respond to the unpredictable migration experience.
Isra was born in the North of England and has lived there her whole life, while her family is from Pakistan/Afghanistan. She studied at the University of Birmingham for three years and then trained to become a chartered accountant and chartered tax adviser with a professional services firm. Isra spent three weeks in Athens in January 2017 volunteering at a shelter for women and children, and then returned for two weeks in April. She's planning to go again within the next few months.
Salma gained ample experience volunteering in refugee contexts in Greece in 2016, where she provided communication services in Arabic to help disseminate information and provide advice. She communicated effectively with women who had been widowed, who were survivors of shipwrecks or explosions, and with unaccompanied minors. She has moreover supported RRDP with translation work since March 2016, and was a researcher during the RRDP study relating to women in displacement in November 2017.
Samer Saifeddin Abdulkarim Mustafa
Samer founded the refugee support group Hopetowns only a few weeks after arriving in the UK in 2016. Prior to this, he was a Calais camp resident, a community leader and a volunteer. He is currently a field research coordinator for RRDP whilst also studying at college in London.