Andrea is a co-investigator on Project COBRA, a €1.9 million research project funded by the European Union. COBRA is researching ways to integrate community solutions within policies addressing escalating social, economic and environmental crises, through accessible information and communication technologies.
The aim of Project COBRA is to empower communities by building their own capacity so that they can:
Andrea is a member of the following module teams at the OU:
Andrea has also taught as a visiting lecturer at a number of institutions around the theme of holistic thinking and sustainability.
Andrea was The Open University's academic adviser for BBC2's 'I Bought a Rainforest' documentary series first broadcast in June 2014.
Andrea is external examiner for Schumacher College's MSc in Holistic Science.
|Open Systems Research Group||Group||Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology|
|Role||Start date||End date||Funding source|
|Co-investigator||01 Feb 2019||31 Aug 2020||BRITAC British Academy|
In August 2018 a week long scoping exercise assessed the mental health training needs of multi-disciplinary health practitioners in Guyana. From this, we developed an innovative research strategy and commitment to develop a community-based mental health improvement programme capable of being adopted by Guyana and other Low- and Middle-Income Countries with similar socio-economic conditions. Our approach focuses on promoting community mental health resilience through participatory digital technologies that build on The Open University’s global leadership role in distance learning. The research and development phases will address embedded cultural attitudes and norms that frequently prevent healthcare practitioners implementing successful and sustainable interventions in such environments, while promoting existing positive practices. Our research will: 1. Establish a baseline of social, environmental and mental health status within three case study communities; 2. Co-design with community members, practitioners and agencies a capacity building programme for community-based mental health improvement in readiness for a period of engagement within the three case study communities focusing on improving mental health resilience through our ‘community owned solutions’ approach. 3. Support, through a process of action research, the practitioners as they apply and evaluate the resilience/‘community owned solutions’ approach within the case study communities, and monitor intervention impact with respect to baseline state. 4. Apply lessons learnt to strengthen the practitioner capacity building programme for major out scaling within Guyana (through the University of Guyana's BSc in Mental Health Nursing) and in other LMICs. By aiming to establish a BSc honours degree in Mental Health Nursing as an outcome the project, we have a clear exit strategy for our research which will enthuse and motivate engagement across Government, Public Health and Education sectors. It will build on and develop existing practices to create a pathway towards the aspiration that will excite both innovation and education amongst practitioners and policy formers.