Postdoc in Sociology with background in Medical Anthropology, Epidemiology & Global Health. Interested in social network research and the construction of vulnerabilities across the adult life course.
My academic training is interdisciplinary in Medical Anthropology (M.A.), Epidemiology and Public Health (M.Med.Sc.) and I hold a PhD in the areas of Social Network Epidemiology and Aging Research. I’m currently employed as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Sociology and affiliated to the Centre for Demographic and Aging Research (CEDAR) and the Department of Epidemiology and Global Health, Umeå University. My main research interests include the application of social network theory and analysis for the study of social and health vulnerabilities across the adult life course in both Sweden/Europe and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) with ongoing work in India, Indonesia, Nepal, and Somalia. In my research, I apply quantitative, qualitative and research synthesis methodologies.
In the Swedish context, I’m involved in three projects investigating (i) health spillovers within family networks with particular focus on network size and geographic proximity between older parent - adult child dyads; (ii) social networks and adult health outcomes using Sen’s capability approach; and (iii) the emergence of loneliness in elderly care settings prior and during the Covid-19 pandemic. In LMIC settings, I’m interested in the role that formal and informal social networks play for various health and healthcare system challenges. Most of my research in LMIC settings focuses on Indonesia, the largest country in Southeast Asia. Using national representative survey data (IFLS), I have studied the health effects of social network diversity among older adults and examined network dynamics pre and post the implementation of Universal Health Coverage. I also conducted qualitative field work in Central Java to study old-age care networks and the emergence of network deficits and loneliness among so-called 'older adult children'. I’m currently PI of two projects. In Indonesia and Nepal, I'm aiming to develop social network interventions targeting food and healthcare insecurities with special focus on the interplay of social networks and poverty, i.e., how networks pave ways in/out of poverty and the crucial role of tie activation in times of need. In India, we are exploring the cognitive consequences of social fraility. In Somalia, a country with one of the most fragile health systems, I’m currently evaluating a health research capacity building project by mapping the social networks of Somali academics using collaboration and co-authorship network analysis.
I concluded my PhD project titled Diversity, Dynamics, and Deficits: The Role of Social Networks for the Health of Aging Populations in Indonesia in 2021. The aim was to better understand the role of social networks for the health of aging populations in Indonesia by exploring how network diversity and dynamics shape health and health behavioral outcomes among Indonesian older adults and how social, demographic, and epidemiological transitions in the country affect old-age care networks and the emergence of network deficits and loneliness among so-called ‘older adult children’.
I’m currently working as a postdoctoral researcher in the project HEALFAM - The effects of unemployment on the health of family members, in which I’m studying dyads of adult children and their parents with the aim to better understand intergenerational transmission of social inequalities in health, particularly via the study of upward spillovers and diffusion effects of filial unemployment on older adults’ health. These studies take an international comparative approach utilizing the longitudinal Västerbotten Intervention Programme (VIP), Swedish population registers, and SHARE – Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe.
Since 2021, I’m involved in two projects addressing health and well-being of Swedish older adult populations. The first one focuses on the development of a capability adjusted life years (CALYs) measure as a novel way to evaluate welfare interventions. I’m involved in sub-studies seeking to determine the levels and variabilities of CALYs among select worst-off groups facing multiple systematic disadvantages from e.g., homelessness or disability. The second project addresses the impact of national Covid-19-related policies on loneliness among elderly receiving elderly care.
I’m the PI for the research network Linking Swedish, Nepalese, and Indonesian capacities to inform the design of effective, efficient, and equitable Social Network Interventions for health and poverty reduction: The ‘SNI-LINKS’ Network funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR) during 2022-2024. SNI-Link partners are Herd International and the Ministry of Health and Population, Kathmandu, Nepal; and the Department of Public Health at Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
In India and Sweden, I'm leading a FORTE-funded project on the cognitive consequences of social fraility. Using a cross-national comparative approach, and applying mixed methods using data that enables distinct pre-, during-, and post-pandemic perspectives, we are interested in shedding light on precarity and resilience processes among aging populations. This is a collaboration with the Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies, Trivandrum, Kerala and the International Institute for Population Studies in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
I’m part of the Somali Swedish Research Collaboration for Health (SSRCH) and working in The SomSwe network - using social network theory and analysis to develop research capacity among young Somali academics to support evidence-based public health in the fragile state of Somalia.
Since 2021, I’m an academic editor for the international open-access peer-reviewed journal Global Health Action (IF 2020: 2.662) holding previous positions of editorial assistant (2013-15) and managing editor (2015-17).
I’m facilitating the research space ‘Emerging Global Health Challenges’ at the Department of Epidemiology and Global Health.
My teaching focuses on basic and advanced principles and methods in epidemiology, and social theories for global health. I’m involved in the courses Epidemiology (10 credits), Social epidemiology – theory and methods (7.5 credits) and Theory and Management in Health Promotion (5 credits).
I’m involved in a “’Training-of-Trainers’ (ToT) Course in Health Research Methodology” for young academics in Somalia as part of the Somali-Swedish Research Collaboration for Health with support from the Public Health Agency of Sweden (FHM) and the Swedish Research Council (VR).
I have course responsibility for the ‘From a Thesis to a Paper’ summer course (5 ECTS), an advanced level (master, PhD) course on academic writing. Since 2019, the Taylor & Francis Company (T&F) provides financial support through a Scholarship Fund covering the tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students to enroll in this course.
Each year, I supervise a number of theses by students taking the Master’s Programme in Public Health and the medical programme at Umeå University.