The MIGCHOICE team

Partner institutions





Team members

Guinea team

Dr Abdoulaye Wotem Sompare (Co-Lead)

Université Julius Nyerere de Kankan, Guinea
Contact: awsompare@gmail.com

Learn more about Abdoulaye

Abdoulaye is a Guinean sociologist, trained in France. He obtained his PhD in 2006 at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales de Paris. After coming back to Guinea, in 2007, Abdoulaye founded with other colleagues the Faculty of Social Science at the University of Kofi Annan, that he directed until 2017. He is currently the Vice Rector of the University Julius Nyerere de Kankan and also worked as a consultant for WHO during the recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. Abdoulaye is basically a sociologist of work, with a thesis on social mobility in Guinean mining towns. However, his research interests and publications in the last years encompass topics related to health, education and mobility. 

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Abdoulaye Sompare

Dr Ester Botta Somparé (Co-Lead)

Université Kofi Annan de Guinée et Université Julius Nyerere de Kankan, Guinea
Contact: Ester.botta@yahoo.it

Learn more about Ester

Ester is an Italian anthropologist, trained in France, where she obtained her PhD in 2011 at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales de Paris. Since 2007, she has been living and working in Guinea, where she took part in the opening of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Université Kofi Annan. Ester is currently directing the Master in Social Science and Development at the University Kofi Annan, but is also a lecturer at the University Julius Nyerere de Kankan. Ester's research interests and publications concern sociology and ethnology of education, internal and international mobility. 

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Ester Botta

Dr Michelle Engeler (Co-Lead)

Universite de Basel, Switzerland
Contact: michelle.engeler@unibas.ch

Learn more about Michelle

Michelle Engeler is a postdoctoral researcher, lecturer and project coordinator at the Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Basel, and an affiliated postdoc at the Center for African Studies Basel.

Both her research and teaching activities are concerned with West Africa, where she has done extended fieldwork in both urban and rural settings. Key questions addressed young people’s life trajectories, the migration-mobility nexus, and socio-political change.

Her most recently published books focus on the youth-state nexus in Guinea (Engeler 2019) and on African graduates dealing with elusive futures (Steuer, Engeler & Macamo 2017). 

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Michelle Engeler

Senegal team

Professor Papa Sakho (Co-Lead)

Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal
Contact: papa.sakho@ucad.edu.sn

Learn more about Papa

Mr. Papa Sakho is Professor of Geography at the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences of the Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar for more than 20 years. He is currently director of the Laboratory of Human Geography. At the same time, he carries out research, teaching activities on migration and mobility and transport issues. He was the leader of the Senegal research team of the research project on migration between Africa and Europe (MAFE). He coordinates the Master in International Migration, Development and Intercultural Relations (MIRI). In terms of expertise, he has conducted studies on migration and environment in Senegal and the Sahel. He is a resource person for national structures and international organizations on migration policy development in West Africa.

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Papa Sakho

Professor Bruno Riccio (Co-Lead)

Universita di Bologna, Italy 
Contact: bruno.riccio@unibo.it

Learn more about Bruno

Bruno Riccio (Laurea Politics Bologna; MA DPhil Social Anthropology Sussex) is full Professor of Cultural Anthropology and the director of the recearch center MODI (Mobility Diversity social Inclusion) at the Department of Education of the University of Bologna where he teaches Cultural Anthropology and Anthropology of Migration. He has undertaken ethnographic research in Senegal in 1996-1997 and, in a minor extent, in 2006 and 2018. Since 2014 he belongs to the teaching board of the doctoral programme in Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of Milan "Bicocca". Since 2018-2019 he is the director of the MA Educatore nell'accoglienza di migranti, richiedenti asilo e rifugiati. His research interests include West African transnational migration, co-development, citizenship, mobilities, diversity, migration policies, Italian multiculturalism and racism. He belongs to the advisory board of African Diaspora and the editorial board of the Anthropogical Journal of European Cultures, Etnografia e Ricerca Qualitativa, Mondi Migranti and afriche e orienti. He has published numerous articles in italian and international journals and edited books. Among his recent publications one counts the following edited volumes: Antropologia e migrazioni (2014), From internal to Transnational Mobilities (2016); Mobilità. Incursioni etnografiche (2019).

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Bruno Riccio

Dr Dramane Cissokho (Postdoctoral Researcher)

Université Assane Seck de Ziguinchor

Contact: cissokhodramane@yahoo.fr

Learn more about Dramane

Dramane Cissokho is a doctor of geography. His thesis dealt with internal and international migration to and from the Soninké zone (South-East Senegal). Since 2012, he has been a lecturer at the Assane Seck University in Ziguinchor where he teaches international migration in the Department of History and Civilisations. In addition, he looked into the migration of ECOWAS member country nationals to the city of Lomé.  He has also carried out consultations on migration and food security in some West African countries. Issues related to development interventions have a place in his research work. 

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Dramane Cissokho

Guido Nicolas Zingari (Postdoctoral Researcher)

University of Bologna; University of Turin; State University of Milan, Italy

Contact: guidonicolas.zingari@unito.itgnzingari@gmail.com

Learn more about Guido

Guido Nicolas Zingari (Laurea Anthropology, University of Rome “La Sapienza”; MA and PhD in Cultural Anthropology, University of Turin) is a Post-Doctoral Researcher in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Bologna and Lecturer of Visual Anthropology at the University of Turin and Visual Geography at the State University of Milan. He was a Post-Doctoral Researcher and a Lecturer at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis (2018/2019). Since 2018 he is a visiting lecturer of Qualitative Research and Visual Anthropology at Makerere University in Uganda. He has undertaken ethnographic and qualitative research in Senegal (2012-2015 and 2019), Togo (2013), Burkina Faso (2014), Tanzania (2019). His research interests include Islam in Senegal, Political Anthropology and Anthropology of Youth, Development Processes and Natural Resources in Africa. He has conducted research within development projects funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS). He has made several documentary films, web documentaries and a Virtual Reality documentary as an author, assistant director and director. 

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Guido Nicolas Zingari

Gambia team

Professor Alice Bellagamba (Co-Lead)

University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy
Contact: alice.bellagamba@unimib.it

Learn more about Alice

AREA OF EXPERTISE

Political and Historical Anthropology, African Studies, Senegambian Cultures and Societies, Slavery and Post-Slavery, Migrations, Socio-economic Change.

SCHOLARLY ACTIVITY

Alice has long studied the Gambia River and the Southern Part of Senegal historically and ethnographically with a focus on the legacies of internal slavery and slave trade, memories of colonialism, the struggles for national independence, local power dynamics, migration and socio-economic change. She has worked comparatively of African slaveries and their aftermaths (www.shadowsofslavery.org), and carried out several research projects with African migrants in Italy. The latest is TAAD – The Aging African Diaspora (https://taad.it/research-unit/).

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Alice Bellagama

Dr Ebrima Ceesay (Co-Lead)

University of Birmingham

Contact: E.Ceesay@bham.ac.ukEbrimaceesay66@gmail.com

Learn more about Ebrima

AREA OF EXPERTISE 

Political History of Gambia, African politics, democratic transitions and consolidation, party systems in Africa, African Militaries, Migration and development, Media Management in West Africa

SCHOLARLY ACTIVITY

Ebrima's research interests are in the areas of governance, democracy, migration and development. He is particularly interested in democracy and freedom, electoral reforms, popular participation and political institutions, people’s perspectives on democratization, and trends towards authoritarianism in West Africa. Ebrima writes on a variety of topics and has written extensively on issues surrounding the military, democratization, and migration and development in Africa. He has also served as a reviewer for academic journals, including the Journal of Modern African Studies (JMAS), globally, the premier Africanist journal devoted to the study of Africa. He is sole author of the book, The Military and ‘Democratisation’ in The Gambia: 1994-2003 and also the co-editor (with Professor Abdoulaye Saine and Dr Ebrima Sall) of the book, State and Society in The Gambia Since Independence, 1965-2012 (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press 2013).

CONSULTANCY

Consultant (2017 – 2018) Project title: The Migration and Sustainable Development in the Gambia (MSDG) - Ebrima served as research manager for Migration and Sustainable Development in The Gambia (MSDG) Project. The project produced the Gambia Government Diaspora Strategy, as incorporated in the Gambia National Development Plan (2018-21), and launched by President Adama Barrow of the Gambia on 13 January 2018. The MSDG Project was implemented by GKP, in partnership with the Government of The Gambia (GOTG). It was financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Consultant: (2017 – 2018) Project title: THE GAMBIA: AN ECONOMIC VISION FOR THE ‘NEW GAMBIA’: Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), Washington DC

This project sought to strengthen the Gambian private sector’s capacity to formulate and advocate a vision for national economic reform. The CIPE assisted local partners in the Gambia in establishing a high-level public-private coordination council, facilitated the democratic identification of private-sector reform priorities, and provided local Gambian partners with the necessary resources – particularly research support and legal expertise – to pursue key reform initiatives within the council.

Ebrima Ceesay

Dr Elia Vitturini (Postdoctural Researcher)

University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy
Contact: eliavitturini@hotmail.it

Learn more about Elia

Elia Vitturini received his PhD in social anthropology at the University of Milan-Bicocca (Italy). Since 2011, he has carried out fieldwork research in the Somali territories focusing on youth political participation, state-building process and the marginalisation of minority groups of occupational specialists. He has also conducted research on the local impact of transnational mobility, decision-making and practices of social networking among migrants in Italy.

Elia Vitturini

Historical and contextual team

Dr. Christina Oelgemoller (Project Co-Investigator and Co-Lead)

Loughborough University, UK
Contact: e.c.oelgemoller@lboro.ac.uk

Learn more about Christina

Christina Oelgemoller is currently a Lecturer in International Relations at Loughborough University. 

Prior to this she was in the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex, during which time Christina was awarded her DPhil. Her doctoral work is an interdisciplinary study in Geography and International Relations entitled ‘Migration management: the radical violence of the international politics of migration’. In this work, questions are asked about the construction of the ‘illegal migrant’ as a particular political subject, framed in the context of changes in the doctrine formation of international migration since the 1980s on the back of – among other factors – the Indochina refugee crisis. ‘Migration management’ raises important questions about normative violence, governance and ethics. Christina has a multidisciplinary background, with degrees in Social Policy, Politics and Law; Intercultural Work, Human Rights and Conflict Management; and Research Methods awarded by Universities in both Germany and the UK. Outside of academia she has worked for several years in organisations including the UNHCR Branch Office in Berlin and an International NGO in Geneva.

Christina’s research is driven by questions about statecraft, democracy and ethics, around two specific areas of research interest: constructions of political subjectivity and equality (with a focus on international migrants/forced migration), and doctrine formation in international multilateralism and diplomacy (with a focus on post-conflict reconstruction and missing persons).

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Christina Oelgemoller

Dr Audrey Lenoël (Co-Lead)

Collège de France, France
Contact: Audrey.lenoel@college-de-france.fr

Learn more about Audrey

Audrey Lenoël is currently a researcher on the MIGCHOICE project at Collège de France (Chair “Migrations and Societies”) in Paris.

Previously, she has worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the French Institute for Demographic Studies (Ined) on the EU FP7-funded TEMPER (Temporary vs Permanent Migration) project, for which she coordinated a survey on return migration in Senegal (completed in 2017) and conducted qualitative interviews with return migrants.

She holds a PhD in Social Policy from the University of Bristol (UK). Her doctoral research investigated the effects of migration and remittances on women left behind in Morocco. She used a mixed-methods approach combining quantitative and qualitative data, and has undertaken extensive fieldwork in this country. Prior to that, she worked on research projects on vulnerable migrant and ethnic minority populations in the UK as a researcher at the University of Bristol, the University of Warwick and the Home Office.

Her areas of expertise include migration, gender and migratory movements in North and West Africa.

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Audrey Lenoel

Gafou Diop (Research Assistant)

ED-ETHOS / Cheikh Anta Diop University, Senegal
Contact: gafoudiop@hotmail.com

Learn more about Gafou

Gafou Diop is a doctoral student at ED-ETHOS / Cheikh Anta Diop University.

She holds a Masters in Social Sciences (specializing in modern and contemporary history), obtained at UCAD. As part of her thesis, she analyzed the management of slavery and the care of fugitive children in Senegal by the French colonial administration in 1848.

As part of this thesis project, she did a research internship at the Interfaculty Center for Children's Rights (CIDE) at the University of Geneva. The thesis focuses on child abuse in Senegal and in particular on prevention and care.

As part of training in child protection and rights, she carried out a research dissertation on the link between birth registration and education and health rights.  In addition, she was a research assistant at the Research Institute for Development (IRD) in Senegal within the Population Environment Development Laboratory (LPED).

Research fields: Child abuse-protection, child mobility, civil status, Children's rights-Education-Health, Gender-based violence (GBV)

Research areas: Senegal

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Gafou Diop

Sait Matty Jaw (Research Assistant)

The University of The Gambia 
Contact: Sait.jaw@utg.edu.gm

Learn more about Sait

Sait Matty Jaw is a lecturer in the Political Science Department at the University of The Gambia where he has been a faculty member since 2014.

Over the past fifteen years, Sait as a social justice activist has worked widely in children and youth related policies, Harmful traditional practices such as Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage. He has also extensively worked on security and governance issues at one time serving as the National Early Warning System (NEWS) Manager for West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP-The Gambia. He has also participated in various regional meetings on democracy and governance in Africa. Among other things, he is a blogger and political commentator. His articles have appeared in The Guardian, African Governance Newsletter under the African Union Department of Political Affairs, and WATHI Think Tank.

Sait holds an MPA (Public Administration) degree from the University of Bergen, Norway and MA African History and BSc Political Science from the University of the Gambia. 

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sait-matty-jaw

Mohamed Sacko (Research Assistant)

Université Juluis Nyerere de Kankan, Guinea 
Contact: mohamed74sacko@gmail.com

Learn more about Mohamed

Mohamed Sacko is a doctoral candidate the Université Juluis Nyerere de Kankan.  He has undertaken field research on the outskirts of the Foloningbè Wildlife Reserve for his doctoral thesis on land migration and conflicts. 

Previously, he has done research in Balandou for his masters dissertation on land conflict in rural Guinea.  He has also been involved in studies on higher education in Guinea and the impact of motor cycle taxis in the urban district of Kankan. 

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Mohamed Sacko

Mory Touré (Research Assistant)

ONG Partir ou Rester/ Groupe Evasion Guinée
Contact: morytoure26@gmail.com

Learn more about Mory

  • Host at Groupe Evasion Guinée of the show 'Leave or Stay' since 2012, a show that deals with migration issues.
  • Communication manager of the Yaguine and Fodé foundation.
  • Research and production of documentary on migration to Foutah (Middle Guinea: TOUGUE)
  • Participation in the production of a documentary on the migration of Guineans in Belgium.
  • Conference debate and awareness-raising in youth centers in Ratoma on the dangers of irregular migration.
  • Participation in the PANE MIGRANTE project.
  • Training with PANOS Institute in Dakar and CECIDE on migration in West Africa.
Mory Touré

ABM Modelling team

Professor David Hudson (Co-Lead)

University of Birmingham, UK
Contact: d.e.hudson@bham.ac.uk

Learn more about David

David Hudson is Professor of Politics and Development in the University of Birmingham’s International Development Department. He is the Director of the Developmental Leadership Program and the Co-Director of the Development Engagement Lab. His research focuses on the politics of development, in particular on (1) the role of leadership in reform processes and (2) citizen engagement with global development. Recent projects include fieldwork or data collection in Fiji, France, Germany, Indonesia, Jamaica, Myanmar, Rwanda, UK, and the US, involving survey data, network analysis, experiments, text analysis, interviews and focus groups. He has held grants from the ESRC, British Academy, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Leverhulme Trust. 

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David Hudson

Dr Miranda Simon (Co-Lead)

University of Essex, UK
Contact: Miranda.simon@essex.ac.uk

Learn more about Miranda

Miranda Simon is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the Department of Government at the University of Essex. She was awarded a PhD from University College London (UCL) in March 2019. Her research and teaching interests are international relations and comparative politics with a focus on migration, refugee movement, immigration policy and international development. Methodologically, she specializes in computational methods, field and survey experiments and focus group design.

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Miranda Simon

Dr Cassilde Schwartz (Co-Lead)

Royal Holloway University of London, UK
Contact: Cassilde.Schwartz@rhul.ac.uk

Learn more about Cassilde

Cassilde is an Assistant Professor of Quantitative Methods at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she is co-director of the Global Politics and Development Centre. Cassilde earned her PhD in Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh in 2016, and she was a post-doctoral researcher at University College London. Her research has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the British Journal of Political Science, and Comparative Political Studies, among others.

Cassilde specialises in comparative politics of developing countries (especially Latin America and the Caribbean), political behavior, and political economy. Her long-term research agenda attempts to understand the political psychology of noncompliance, or the reasons why citizens in developing countries take political and economic decisions into their own hands and circumvent formal institutions. Her substantive interests span a wide range of topics in comparative political behavior -- including migration, tax compliance, and non-electoral political behavior -- with much of this work challenging the notion that individuals obey the rules and expectations that political actors put in place for them. 

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Cassilde Schwartz

Core team

Professor Richard Black (Project Principal Investigator)

University of Birmingham, UK
Contact: r.black@bham.ac.uk

Learn more about Richard

Professor Richard Black is Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Sciences.  He joined the University of Birmingham in April 2018.

Richard’s research focuses on the relationship between migration, poverty, and climate change.  He is currently leading a major project on the impact of development interventions on migration decision-making in West Africa funded by DFID and IOM, and was part of the Royal Geographical Society’s recently-completed “Migrants on the Margins” field research project which has explored the vulnerability of migrants to four cities in the Global South – Colombo, Dhaka, Hargeisa and Harare. 

Richard has worked across West Africa for over 20 years, having first worked on forced migration and environmental change in Senegal and Guinea in the mid-1990s.  In the early 2000s, he was part of the ‘Migration from Africa to Europe’ (MAFE) research programme funded by the European Commission, and working in partnership with UCAD and with the University of Ghana, Legon.  He has published widely on migration and return in West Africa.

Over the past 30 years, Richard has published over fifty journal articles and nine books and edited collections on a wide range of topics relating to migration, refugees and development, based on field research across various sites in Africa, Asia and Europe.  In 2011, he was lead author of a “Foresight” report for the Government Office.

Professor Richard Black is Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Sciences.  He joined the University of Birmingham in April 2018.

Richard’s research focuses on the relationship between migration, poverty, and climate change.  He is currently leading a major project on the impact of development interventions on migration decision-making in West Africa funded by DFID and IOM, and was part of the Royal Geographical Society’s recently-completed “Migrants on the Margins” field research project which has explored the vulnerability of migrants to four cities in the Global South – Colombo, Dhaka, Hargeisa and Harare. 

Richard has worked across West Africa for over 20 years, having first worked on forced migration and environmental change in Senegal and Guinea in the mid-1990s.  In the early 2000s, he was part of the ‘Migration from Africa to Europe’ (MAFE) research programme funded by the European Commission, and working in partnership with UCAD and with the University of Ghana, Legon.  He has published widely on migration and return in West Africa.

Over the past 30 years, Richard has published over fifty journal articles and nine books and edited collections on a wide range of topics relating to migration, refugees and development, based on field research across various sites in Africa, Asia and Europe.  In 2011, he was lead author of a “Foresight” report for the Government Office.

View Richard's full profile 

richardblack-230

Dr Zenobia Ismail (Acting GSDRC Manager)

University of Birmingham, UK
Contact: z.ismail@bham.ac.uk

Learn more about Zenobia

Zenobia Ismail has several years of experience managing large research projects in Africa.  She was the operations manager for fieldwork and surveys for the Afrobarometer research network and was responsible for coordinating survey data collection across 23 African countries.  Before this she was Afrobarometer programme manager for southern Africa.  Zenobia worked as development and social researcher in South Africa for 14 years.  She worked on research projects relating to disability, cash transfers, public works programmes and citizen satisfaction surveys for local government.  Zenobia holds a PhD in Politics and International Studies from the University of Cambridge and a M.Sc. in African Studies from the University of Oxford.  She is responsible for project management of the MIGCHOICE research project and work package 7 which focuses on learning and dissemination of the research findings.  

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Zenobia Ismail

Ruby Ettle (Project Manager)

University of Birmingham, UK
Contact: R.A.Ettle@bham.ac.uk

Learn more about Ruby

Ruby joined the University of Birmingham in 2019 working on the development of the India Institute for Birmingham Global. Ruby has worked on international funding grants and extensively on international stakeholder management. Previous to this she has over 5 years experience working in the international HE sector across England and Wales; as well as large business accounts management in the private sector. 

Academically, Ruby is a masters student graduate from the School of Government where her studies focused on gender and violence in International Relations.