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Biography

Dr Clare Coultas is a Research Associate in the School of Population Health and Environmental Sciences, working with Professor Peter Littlejohns in the Public Health theme of the NIHR-funded Applied Research Collaboration (ARC – formally the CLAHRC) South London. Grounded in her experiences of working as a third-sector research, evaluation, and development practitioner in the UK and East and Central Africa, Clare’s work focusses on developing practice-based evidence on the change potentials of people, organisations, and institutions. Central to this is the view that commonly used theorising and methods for evaluating change rely on a privileged understanding of the world – carrying presumptions of stability, predictability, and control – that is at odds with the precarity that increasingly typifies majority peoples’ social worlds and life experiences, and also many organisational settings. Using ethnographic and creative qualitative and participatory methods, Clare’s work takes a transdisciplinary approach towards generating knowledge on [non-]change in precarity. Such insight is viewed as important for both highlighting the challenges of doing change work in such contexts, and so instigating discussions about the support needs of implementors. But also as a matter of social justice, developing understandings of [non-]change-in-precarity works to ensure that peoples’ diverse experiences of, and relations with, insecurity, are recognised, and not dismissed, downplayed, or pathologized. Clare’s PhD thesis focussed on these issues in the context of youth sexual behaviour change and empowerment interventions in Tanzania, and in her current role at KCL, is looking at patient and public participations in NHS priority-setting decisions, and the implementation of public health policy in the context of England’s ‘integrating’ care systems. Clare holds a PhD in Social Psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an MSc in International Primary Health Care, and [interdisciplinary] BSc in Human Sciences, both from University College London, UK. She speaks Swahili fluently and has good conversational French.