This week we will introduce you to one of our board members and our current lead Co-chair of NFU: Arnhild Leer-Helgesen.
Arnhild has been involved with NFU for 4 years and has taken the challenge of heading our board in the beggining of 2022.
She joined because NFU is a network of Norwegian scholars working with global development issues, but NFU also works closely with the other Nordic associations for development research and the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI). Conferences and different activities help her keep track of ongoing debates, conferences, and publications. There is also a need for an association like NFU to unite researchers in the broader field to be able to advocate for knowledge-based policies and practices.
Her PhD was on religion and development and the role of faith-based institutions in Latin America. And she is currently working in a project on different understandings of gender across contexts, together with colleagues from Makerere University and University of Dar es Salaam.
She chose her research field because she have had an interest in international development, Latin America and religion since the start of her studies. Before her PhD she worked in international development cooperation, and her research interests are results of questions raised during these experiences.
Arnhild believes that development studies is an important field because it is a field where you get to and need to work with colleagues and other people from different contexts and you continuously reflect on power relations and situated knowledge. You meet researchers with an engagement that goes beyond the academic environment.
She currently works at the Department of Global Development and Planning at University of Agder (UiA).
Her current work involves being the project leader of the project “Gender and digitalization across contexts”, where she focus on different ways of understanding and teaching gender. She is also initiating research much closer to home, looking into how perspectives of global inequality are communicated in kindergartens.
To access some of her recent work, please follow the link below: