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Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Global Development

Northumbria University, UK

Bianca Fadel

Profile picture of Bianca Fadel

About me

I am a results-oriented academic and practitioner navigating humanitarian and development spaces for the past ten years. I believe in building bridges across sectors, languages, and geographies; and using my interpersonal skills to facilitate convivial learning. 


Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, I am currently based in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Centre for Global Development (CGD) at Northumbria University. My research focuses on humanitarian and development systems and livelihood strategies, particularly in relation to the experiences of local volunteers. I have worked in different contexts in the global South, notably Brazil; Tanzania; Uganda; and Burundi, where I conducted my PhD. I strongly believe in collaborative research, and my experience of teamworking includes the Refugee Youth Volunteering Uganda (RYVU), funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC-GCRF); as well as policy-focused initiatives with volunteer-involving organisations, including the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO).


As a practitioner, I have worked as advisor for humanitarian diplomacy at the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and previously implemented local youth engagement volunteering projects in Brazil. I am also currently volunteering with Macmillan Cancer Support in the UK.

Selected publications

KEY AREAS OF INTEREST: Community Development; Humanitarian Action; Volunteering; Resilience; Livelihoods; Creative and Participatory Methodologies; Global South; Decolonising Research

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Publication Cover Page

Journal Article on Youth Volunteering Geographies

Uneven geographies of youth volunteering in Uganda: Multi-scalar discourses and practices (2022), Geoforum (with Matt Baillie Smith, Sarah Mills & Moses Okech)

[Open access article here]

Journal Article on Volunteering, Remuneration and Livelihoods

Volunteering hierarchies in the global South: remuneration and livelihoods (2022), Voluntas (with Matt Baillie Smith, Aisling O’Loghlen & Shaun Hazeldine) [Open access article here]

Publication Cover Page
Publication Cover Page

Journal Article on Ethnographic Approaches to Research on Volunteering and Development 

Ethnographies of Volunteering:

Providing Nuance to the Links Between Volunteering and Development (2021), Voluntas (with Alice Chadwick & Chris Millora) [Open access article here]

Policy Paper on Resilience and Volunteering

Volunteerism and Community Resilience: Locally Owned Solutions Delivering Impact (2020), IAVE Conference Paper (with Alice Chadwick) 

[Paper and webinar recording here]

Conferences & Engagement Activities

Photo of Bianca during conference presentation

Active participation in academic and policy-related fora in different contexts to share research findings and keep up to date on current debates in the humanitarian and development sectors

Working Languages

Photo of Bianca talking to group in engagement activity





Feel free to get in touch to exchange ideas or explore collaborations. Thank you! :)

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