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Bianca Fadel, PhD

Bianca Fadel_SquareUpdated profile pictu

Dr Bianca Fadel is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Centre for Global Development (CGD) at Northumbria University. Bianca's current research focuses on humanitarian and development systems and livelihood strategies in the global South, particularly in relation to the experiences of local volunteers.  She has worked in close collaboration with humanitarian and development organisations in funded research activities, including the Refugee Youth Volunteering Uganda (RYVU) project, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO). As a practitioner, she has previously worked as advisor for humanitarian diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Brazil; and her experience also comprises the implementation of local youth engagement volunteering projects with the Brazilian Red Cross.

Bianca has extensive academic experience in engaging with stakeholders and volunteers through qualitative and participatory methodologies, notably in Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda and Nepal. Her PhD research in Burundi analysed local volunteering during protracted crises and its implications for humanitarian and development discourses and practicesIn Uganda, her collaborative work as part of the RYVU research team explores volunteering experiences among youth refugees in Uganda and the relationships between volunteering, employability, skills development and livelihoods. In Tanzania, Nepal and also Uganda she has worked in collaboration with local teams to understand the particular experiences of VSO blended volunteer teams and its impacts to development outcomes and livelihoods.

She is a member of the Volunteering in Conflicts and Emergencies Initiative (ViCE) research team, and part of the Volunteering in Dangerous Situations Working Group of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Volunteering Alliance. Bianca is also Global Fellow in the Centre for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies (CHRHS) at Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. This is part of the International Advanced Research Institutes (BIARI) research network in Humanitarian Response and Post-Conflict Reconstruction. 


Overall, her scholarly experience encompasses the different areas of the academic research cycle. It includes (1) grants writing and research planning & management; (2) undertaking in-depth literature reviews; (3) preparing risk assessments and understanding ethical implications of any research activity; (4) conducting remote and face-to-face data collection through different methods (e.g., interviews, focus group discussions, mapping exercises, participant observation, quantitative questionnaires, etc.); (5) critically analysing and writing-up academic and policy outputs [see full list of publications here]; and (6) disseminating knowledge through active engagement with academics and practitioners, notably in the humanitarian and development sectors. Importantly, she follows high ethical standards in all stages of her academic work, in accordance with key ethical principles of accountability; transparency; and respect to human dignity, privacy, and autonomy, including special precautions when working with vulnerable populations. 

As an Associate Lecturer at Northumbria University, she has previous teaching experience with MSc students on the International Development degree and BA (Hons) students on the International Relations and Politics degree, particularly focused on participatory learning approaches.

As a practitioner, her professional experience comprises project management, planning and follow-up in the areas of emergency aid, food security and nutrition, poverty eradication and rural inclusion, including the development of the international framework of the Brazilian National Plan of Food Security and Nutrition. She has previously worked in the General Coordination of Humanitarian Cooperation and Actions Against Hunger at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, as well as the Permanent Mission of Brazil to the United Nations in Geneva.

Last but definitely not least, she strongly believes in the power of smiles. :)

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

*Full CV is available upon request in English, French, Portuguese or Spanish. Feel free to get in touch.









Travel lover

Sunshine seeker

Bossa Nova & MPB listener

Addicted to chocolate & DIY stuff

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