Violet Barasa


About Violet: I am very grateful to the BBSRC-funded Zoonoses and Emerging Livestock Systems (ZELS) Programme and the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex for offering me a scholarship to pursue a PhD in zoonoses and gender in Tanzania. IDS is renowned for producing excellent researchers with great analytical depth, and anyone who has been through the Institute stands out in any crowd. My application was motivated by this prospect and I look forward to being a part of the institute’s proud history. I hope to work with my supervisors and fellow ZELS PhD researchers towards attaining my study objective that is, to assess the gendered vulnerability to Brucellosis in small-holder goat, sheep and cattle farmers in Northern Tanzania.

I have been working on gender issues and the intersection with human health and nutrition in smallholder livestock farmers in Tanzania thus, this study is a great opportunity for me to advance my research skills in an area that I really love and I have passion for. I hope that my research will contribute to a better understanding of gendered vulnerabilities to zoonoses , and inform interventions aimed at reducing the vulnerabilities. I cannot wait to start this exciting journey at IDS!

Project Title: A gendered assessment of vulnerability to brucellosis in cattle, goat and sheep small-holder farmers in northern Tanzania

Project Outline: This PhD studentship is linked with the project investigating Social, Economic and Environmental Drivers of Zoonoses in Tanzania (SEEDZ). The interdisciplinary supervisory team will be drawn from researchers with expertise in social sciences, development studies, and health, agricultural and wildlife policy based at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), University of Glasgow, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Tanzania, and other partner institutions in the Zoonoses and Emerging Livestock Systems (ZELS) programme. The PhD will align with others in the ZELS Associated Studentships (ZELS-AS) programme through common interests in developing interdisciplinary approaches to tackle zoonotic disease problems, with relevance for the range of disease problems addressed by the ZELS programme.

This particular PhD studentship will be linked to the Health and Nutrition Cluster at IDS. Focusing on zoonotic disease, the studentship invites attention to its social dimensions – in relation, for instance, to risk and knowledge; transmission processes; ecological and environmental drivers; social and political change; development and poverty; public health and diagnoses challenges; and policy and politics. In the context of growing research and policy interest in One Health approaches that consider human, animal and environmental health together, this studentship offers a unique opportunity to bring new interdisciplinary insights and critical perspectives to bear.

In conceptual and methodological terms, the research will be able to employ, adapt and further develop a range of ethnographic and narrative approaches to the understanding of epidemics and disease dynamics, and the politics of policy processes, already pioneered by IDS researchers. The work will be situated within a strong social science research trajectory exploring the social, economic and political dimensions of zoonotic disease.

It will complement and add value to the established and ongoing work of IDS, which emphasises the social-ecological dynamics of disease. For example, IDS has been at the forefront of work looking at the social-ecological dimensions of the 2014/5 Ebola epidemic. The IDS-based Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS) Centre also leads the Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium, which is exploring a range of disease case studies and settings, including Rift Valley fever in Kenya, Lassa fever in Sierra Leone, trypanosomiasis in southern Africa and henipa viruses in Ghana.

Other STEPS projects explore livestock-transmitted zoonoses in Asia and examine the complex interplays between science and policy on zoonotic disease while also looking at how these play out amongst poor and affected communities (on topics such as avian flu, Rift Valley fever, epidemics, bats and disease policy).

Supervisor: Dr Linda Waldman (Main supervisor, Institute of Development Studies)

Contact Violet:

Read a blog about her journey to IDS and ZELS-AS: