Durban grad student brings research grant to Ontario
Wilfred Masebo will study this summer many miles from the southern African country he is researching. He is travelling for the opportunity to work with Jonathan Crush (Global Development Studies), an international expert on southern African development.
“I wanted to work with Dr. Crush because he can help me study these two demographics -- working men and families -- at once,” says Mr. Masebo. “Dr. Crush is an authority on migration and development in southern Africa, with an excellent understanding of methodology and an active contributor to public policy in this area.”
Mr. Masebo is researching labour migration and HIV prevention in Malawi, looking at workers as well as their families. The arrival of democracy in 1994 brought new internal migration within the country, and families now follow workers making HIV prevention strategies in the country much more complex.
Mr. Masebo is a doctoral candidate in Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. He recently received an Africa Initiative Graduate Research Grant to support his research in Malawi. He hopes to propose policy recommendations regarding HIV prevention in migrant labour communities.
Much money has been spent in HIV research and programs, but Mr. Masebo believes there is little change. Many Malawians still believe they are vulnerable to the disease – 70 per cent in some population groups, according to recent figures.
Mr. Masebo has conducted in-depth interviews and focus groups over the last year with migrant workers and their families. He now hopes Dr. Crush will provide some methodological insights as he tries to formulate policy conclusions to address what Malawians think should be done to improve HIV programs.
“I wanted to come to Queen’s but it turned into even more of a step forward than I imagined. I’ve had the opportunity of working and building contacts at the International Centre for Migration Research and at the Centre for International Governance Innovation where Dr. Crush has a chair and spends some of his summer researching,” says Mr. Masebo.
The Africa Initiative (AI) is a collaborative, donor-funded program between the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Makerere University, and the South African Institute for International Affairs (SAIIA).