Dr Beniamino Cislaghi
in Social Norms
Before joining the academia Ben worked for various NGOs and International Organisations, including UNICEF, WHO, and ILO. After his PhD, on human rights and social change, he worked for three years in Senegal as the Director of Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation of the NGO Tostan - an NGO internationally recognised for their work on social norms in West Africa. During this time, he also worked as a qualitative researcher with Stanford and Columbia Universities.
At the LSHTM he is gathering a community of experts on social norms, advancing existing understanding of how norms change and how that change can be measured. He is also contributing to the LINEA project.
Ben is interested in how we can achieve greater social justice globally, while respecting existing cultural values. His research combines social norms, non-social beliefs, indirect development practices, and progressive education.
His recent research has explored how development interventions can empower people for community-based responses to local and global challenges, a topic he wrote on with Diane Gillespie and Gerry Mackie in Values Deliberation and Collective Action: Community Empowerment in Rural Senegal (2016, Palgrave Macmillan). He has further researched this topic with Solava Ibrahim (Manchester and Cambridge). His second book, Human Rights and Community-led Development (forthcoming, EUP) is a qualitative study of how the members of a rural Senegalese community responded to the human rights education classes of the NGO Tostan, and looks in particular at the dynamics of social change that sparked from those classes.