Visiting scholars

Silvia Exenberger-Vanham, External Lecturer at the Department of Psychology, University of Innsbruck, and Post-Doc Researcher at Medical University Innsbruck/Austria, Clinic for Medical Psychology. Between 2011 and 2013 she was research and development advisor at SOS Children’s Villages International, Head-office, Innsbruck/Austria, Department of Research and Development. Her research interests are: psychotraumatology, (subjective) well-being, resilience, friendship, cross-cultural research.


Siyka Kovacheva, Ass. Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, is a researcher and teaching professor with significant experience in youth studies. She also acts as the Head of New Europe Centre for Regional Studies in Plovdiv. She has been the national coordinator of more than 10 international comparative studies under the 5th and 6th FP of EC and other international foundations. She is a member of the International Sociological Association, RC34: Sociology of Youth and the European Sociological Association. She has taught courses in youth research and youth policies to students in sociology, social pedagogy and political science. Her interests lie in the field of youth transitions to parenthood and intergenerational relations, policy programmes and measures in support of the young unemployed, and social inclusion more broadly. Invited to teach and give contributions at the Social Policy module teaching on younger generations policies and social inclusion.


Margaret McKenzie, Senior lecturer, Otago Polytechnic, Social Services, Dunedin, New Zealand. Professor at University of New Zeland (OTAGO). McKenzie is a qualified and registered social worker with more than 30 years experience as a social work academic in Aotearoa New Zealand. She has extensive experience as a social worker in specialist child and family mental health services and has been involved in many aspects of the development of the social work profession in New Zealand, including roles in the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Work. Her teaching and research interests focus on the family and family social work practice intersections with child welfare policy and provision. Her publications include family group conferencing, research with vulnerable groups, supervised contact and community approaches to child protection. She is currently working on a project on strengths approaches in child welfare services. She also has interests in qualitative research methodology and the theory and practice of social work. Invited to give a comparative perspective on protective partnership-based and human rights practices in social work, focusing on first-nation children and families.


Denis Muhangi, Lecturer at Makerere University, Department of Social Work and Social Administration. He has interest and expertise in the fields of social services design and delivery, social policy, governance, and institutional development. He is particularly interested in public-private partnerships, decentralisation of governance, and the role of private and civil society actors in the development process. He has led several research projects on interventions on HIV & AIDS, orphans and vulnerable children, water and sanitation, income generation and poverty alleviation. He has worked for government ministries and departments, local and international NGOs, UN agencies and donor agencies.


Alessandro Sicora, Associate Professor, University of Calabria, Italia. Will give contributions teaching social policy and self evaluation of social work professional mistakes.


Edward Walakira, Senior Lecturer and Acting Chair of the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at Makerere University and is the Co-Director of the Center for the Study of the African Child. His areas of research include child protection, child labor, social protection, and HIV and AIDS. He holds a PhD from the University of Vienna in Social and Cultural Anthropology. He is a researcher on issues of children and youth. He has offered advisory services to several international organisations and local NGOs in East Africa (Uganda, Ethiopia and Rwanda) working with children. He holds a Masters in Development Studies (Human resources and Employment) from Erasmus Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Netherlands, a post graduate Diploma in Children and Youth (ISS) and a Bachelors Degree in Social Work and Social Administration, Makerere University.


Susan Young, Professor, Disciplin Chair, University of Western Australia, Australia. Invited to add advantage of comparative perspectives in social intervention practice and indigenous child protection from Australia focusing on community development strategies and children rights practice in social work.

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