Meet the Team

photo JoJo Crichton began working with Realising Rights when she was an intern with the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) in Kenya in 2005. She initially worked with the Women’s Rights Awareness Programme (WRAP) an organisation that offers shelter and other services to women and children affected by violence. This action research included an analysis of their record managements systems and client records with a view to improving their programmes. Since 2006 she has been a full time employee of APHRC.

For Jo one of the most exciting things about Realising Rights is its focus on neglected, contested or poorly understood issues in sexual and reproductive health. This helps to make sure that the Consortium focuses on areas of research that are not already being well addressed by others. She also appreciates the fact that the Consortium is trying to create a progressive climate for change – and doing so by contextualising its message and working with local organisations and processes rather than telling people what to think. Jo finds the process of change in and of itself fascinating.

At the present time Jo is focussing on a study on the acceptability of menstrual cups in Kenya. It is a new area of research with very few precedents and so the project design has been a creative process. The work will tackle issues related to culture, access to resources and services and women’s preferences in terms of products. The lack of precedents makes the study particularly interesting as we have no idea what the outcomes will be.

 

Jas VaghadiaJas Vaghadia has been the Project Coordinator of Realising Rights, based at IDS, since its inception in 2005. Her role, together with the Director, is to manage the programme work plans and budgets as well as overseeing the coordination of the Consortium.

One of the highlights of the Realising Rights work for Jas was the Women's Rights Awareness project (WRAP). WRAP is a Nairobi-based NGO that provides rehabilitation services to women and children survivors of gender-based violence. It is one of the only organisations providing shelters for survivors of violence in Kenya. It also provides other services including legal advice, counselling, mediation, and child welfare services. Realising Rights supported WRAP to help them analyze their client records, and to set up a new information management system. WRAP’s everyday work generates valuable information about their clients, the abuse they have experienced, the problems they face, and the services WRAP provides in response. Before the project, WRAP were not collecting systematic information on their clients and had no way to manage or analyse their client data. The new information management system has advantages for everyday service provision, monitoring, evaluation, planning, reporting to donors, research and advocacy.  To Jas it showed how a little bit of money – well invested – could have a big impact. In the future Jas is looking forward to a potential project on menstrual cups. As she says, “I am interested in women’s issues. Women have a right to ‘function’ 365 days a year. Without access to menstrual protection, a basic need that we take for granted, your life can be completely inhibited. You can be prevented from moving around freely and attending school, for example.”

Jas particularly enjoys the opportunity to interact with, and learn from, the Realising Rights partners. It is sometimes a challenge to bring colleagues from different working disciplines together – from academics to those implementing projects on the ground – but the collision of different styles makes the work richer. Personally she finds it satisfying when the work comes together. In the future she would like to learn more about the organisational systems and structures of the various partners to share and learn about how to survive in an increasingly bureaucratic world.

Other Team members are coming soon...