Dr. Keetie Roelen is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Global Development (CSGD) in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) at the Open University, UK. Her research focuses on areas of (child) poverty, social protection and anti-poverty interventions in relation to children, women and psychosocial wellbeing. She is a mixed methods reseacher, holding both quantitative and qualitative research skills.
Keetie previously held positions at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), UK and Maastricht University, Netherlands. She is an Honorary Associate of IDS, Affiliated Researcher of the Global Research Programme on Inequality (GRIP) at University of Bergen, Norway and Advisory Council member of the Partnership of Economic Inclusion (PEI) at the World Bank. She is also founder of Poverty Unpacked - a platform for discussing the hidden dimensions of poverty.
Keetie has worked with many international organisations such as UNICEF, Save the Children and Concern Worldwide, performing research and policy advice work in Southern and Eastern Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe and Haiti. She has secured £2+ million of external funding and has successfully led a range of large-scale multi-partner projects, including the prestigious ESRC Future Leaders grant and a GCRF ECD project funded through the British Academy. She is an experienced teacher and trainer, having developed and led courses for postgraduate students, professionals, and policy makers.
Keetie currently leads the following research projects:
Keetie currently collaborates on two research projects led by colleagues at the Open University:
Notable previous projects for which Keetie was PI include ‘Pathways to Stronger Futures in Haiti: how can economic strengthening through social protection improve early childhood development?’, funded by DFID GCRF ECD programme through British Academy, 2017-2019; ‘Assessing the perceptions and feedback from beneficiaries and service providers of the interventions carried out under the Integrated Nutrition and Social Cash Transfer (IN-SCT) Pilot in SNNP region’ for UNICEF Ethiopia, 2016-2017; ‘Researching the linkages between social protection and children’s care’ in Ghana, Rwanda and South Africa, funded by Family for Every Child, 2013-2016; and ‘Reducing poverty in the first 18 years of life: the importance of measurement for getting it right’ in Burundi, Ethiopia and Vietnam, funded through ESRC Future Leaders Grant, 2012-2015.
Teaching and professional development
Keetie is active in postgraduate research supervision. She currently co-supervises two postgraduate researchers:
2023 – present Martha Nicholson – ‘How do nurses and midwives learn about abortion in Northern Ireland?’
Start date: September 2021. Third supervisor, co-supervision with Lesley Hoggart and Peter Keogh (The Open University)
2020 – present Rosalind Willi – ‘Preventing child-family separation through family support: role of social support and networks’ Start date: September 2020; estimated date of submission: September 2023. First supervisor, co-supervision with Dorte Thorsen (IDS)
Keetie has supervised four PhD theses through to completion:
2017 – 2023 Marie Claire Burt Wolf – ‘Mentorship in Poverty Alleviation Programs: Evidence from Paraguay’
Start date: September 2017; degree awarded May 2023 (unconditional pass). Equal co-supervision with Janet Boddy (Department of Education and Social Work, University of Sussex).
2019 – 2022 Juan Carlos Pane Solis – ‘The Process of Empowerment in Hybrid Poverty Interventions: Evidence from Urban Paraguay’
Start date: September 2017; degree awarded June 2022 (corrections). Second supervisor, co-supervision with Marina Apgar (IDS).
2018 – 2022 Khaufelo Raymond Lekobane – ‘Multidimensional Poverty in Botswana: Leaving No One Behind’
Start date: February 2018; degree awarded April 2022 (corrections). First supervisor, co-supervision with Giel Ton (IDS) and Stephen Devereux (IDS).
2016 – 2020 Annalena Oppel – ‘Social identity, redistribution and inequality. A case study on interpersonal redistribution through social networks in Namibia’
Start date: September 2016; degree awarded December 2020 (minor corrections). First supervisor, co-supervision with Stephen Devereux (IDS) and Dominik Froehlich (University of Vienna).
Keetie has acted as internal and external examiner on ten occasions.
Keetie also holds extensive experience as lecturer, supervisor, and convenor in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. At Maastricht University, Keetie was lecturer and convenor in undergraduate and postgraduate modules on international economics and administered a new MSc programme in Public Policy and Human Development, supporting its establishment and leading its development into a fully-fledged programme with multiple specialisations. At IDS, she was convenor of the MA module ‘Poverty and Inequality’, a core module of the MA Poverty and Development, for more than a decade, leading on curriculum development, delivery of lectures and small-scale seminars, student supervision, assessment, and quality control. In addition, Keetie has acted as lecturer, supervisor and marker in other modules of IDS’ MA programmes and has supervised more than 65 Master dissertations. She is currently HEA Fellow.
Further, Keetie has led on the development of large face-to-face, blended and online courses for professional development. At Maastricht University, she was jointly responsible for developing and teaching a large-scale blended learning professional training for 300+ senior staff from UNICEF, including supervision of small-group tutors. At IDS, she led a highly successful face-to-face short course on social protection for mid-career professionals. She also led the creation of an innovative open access online course on social protection in 2020, offering a self-directed learning experience for 2500+ adult learners around the world.
2018 – present Editor for European Journal of Development Research (Impact factor: 1.931)
2019 – present Member of editorial board of Children & Society (Impact factor: 0.826)
2011 – present Co-convenor of DSA and EADI Study Group on Multidimensional Poverty and Poverty Dynamics
Keetie regularly reviews journal articles for a wide range of journals on development studies, social policy, poverty, childhood studies, economics and public health, such as World Development, Development and Change, Children and Youth Services Review, Journal of Social Policy, Social Science & Medicine, Review of Development Economics, The Lancet Public Health.
2022 - present Advisory Council Partnership for Economic Inclusion (PEI) at the World Bank
2021 - present Advisory Group Ideas42 and World Bank on cash transfers and behavioural interventions
2015 - present Global Coalition to End Child Poverty (led by UNICEF and Save the Children)
In addition to acting as member of various policy groups, Keetie has strong policy networks in the fields of (child) poverty and social protection. She has received numerous invitations to speak at high-level events, such as the opening of the 3rd National Social Protection Forum in Kenya in 2023 (with the President of Kenya), the roundtable event ‘Just Give Money to the Poor’ at the European Parliament in 2020, oral evidence session for the Work and Pensions Commons Select Committee inquiry on poverty measurement in 2021, and the high-level forum Social Protection Dialogue in Ghana in 2017 (with the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection).
In 2019, Keetie acted as external expert on the development of UNICEF’s Global Social Protection Programme Framework. In 2017, Keetie initiated and directed an international research conference entitled Putting Children First: Identifying Solutions and Taking Action to Tackle Child Poverty and Inequality in Africa’ at UNECA in Addis Ababa, co-organised with multiple partners including UNICEF, ACPF and the University of Addis Ababa.
Keetie is actively engaged in moving from research findings to policy impact. She does so through publication of policy-oriented outputs; communication via opinion pieces such as The Conversation, The Guardian and Project Syndicate; engagement on social media; and participation in media outlets including BBC World Service. In 2020, she founded the podcast and blog ‘Poverty Unpacked’, reaching thousands of readers and listeners across the world.
|Role||Start date||End date||Funding source|
|Lead||01 May 2023||28 Feb 2024||Embassy of Switzerland in Haiti|
The OU, led by PI Dr Keetie Roelen, will conduct a piece of research and evaluation of Fonkoze NGO Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLM) or "The Pathway to a Better Life" program. This empowers Haiti's poorest women to lift themselves out of ultra-poverty, with hope and vision for their futures. Fonkoze has been implementing its CLM anti-poverty programme since the early 2000s. This OU piece of research and evalution focuses on evaluating of the livelihood and empowerment impacts of the PROMES cohort of the CLM programme. It builds on a baseline completed in 2021 and serves to promote input into and analysis of endline data. It also entails the development of an overall report and two policy briefs, and dissemination of those outputs.
Behaviour change communication for child feeding in social assistance: A scoping review and expert consultation (2022-07)
Barnett, Inka; Meeker, Jessica; Roelen, Keetie and Nisbett, Nick
Maternal & Child Nutrition, 18(3)
Chicken or Egg? A Bi-directional Analysis of Social Protection and Social Cohesion in Burundi and Haiti (2022)
Roelen, Keetie; Leon-Himmelstine, Carmen and Kim, Sung Kyu
The European Journal of Development Research, 34(3) (pp. 1216-1239)
Pathways to stronger futures? The role of social protection in reducing psychological risk factors for child development in Haiti (2021-06)
Roelen, Keetie and Saha, Amrita
World Development, 142, Article 105423
Urban social assistance: Evidence, challenges and the way forward, with application to Ghana (2021-05)
Cuesta, Jose; Devereux, Stephen; Abdulai, Abdul‐Gafaru; Gupte, Jaideep; Ragno, Luigi Peter; Roelen, Keetie; Sabates‐Wheeler, Rachel and Spadafora, Tayllor
Development Policy Review, 39(3) (pp. 360-380)
Effectiveness of cash-plus programmes on early childhood outcomes compared to cash transfers alone: A systematic review and meta-analysis in low- and middle-income countries (2021)
Little, Madison T.; Roelen, Keetie; Lange, Brittany C. L.; Steinert, Janina I.; Yakubovich, Alexa R.; Cluver, Lucie and Humphreys, David K.
PLOS Medicine, 18, Article e1003698(9)
Social Protection, Covid-19, and Building Back Better (2021)
Lind, Jeremy; Roelen, Keetie and Sabates-Wheeler, Rachel
IDS Bulletin, 52(1) (pp. 45-64)
Leaving No One Behind: Multidimensional Child Poverty in Botswana (2020-12)
Lekobane, Khaufelo Raymond and Roelen, Keetie
Child Indicators Research, 13(6) (pp. 2003-2030)
Assessing mental health in a context of extreme poverty: Validation of the rosenberg self-esteem scale in rural Haiti (2020)
Roelen, Keetie and Taylor, Emily
PLOS ONE, 15, Article e0243457(12)
COVID-19 in LMICs: The Need to Place Stigma Front and Centre to Its Response (2020)
Roelen, Keetie; Ackley, Caroline; Boyce, Paul; Farina, Nicolas and Ripoll, Santiago
The European Journal of Development Research, 32(5) (pp. 1592-1612)
Blurred Definitions and Imprecise Indicators: Rethinking Social Assistance for Children’s Work (2023-04-28)
Sabates-Wheeler, Rachel; Roelen, Keetie; Mitchell, Rebecca and Warmington, Amy
In: Sumberg, James and Sabates-Wheeler, Rachel eds. Children’s Work in African Agriculture: The Harmful and the Harmless (pp. 174-203)
Publisher : Policy Press | Published : Bristol
Understanding Children’s Harmful Work: The Methodological Landscape (2023-04-28)
Roelen, Keetie; Barnett, Inka; Johnson, Vicky; Lewin, Tessa; Thorsen, Dorte and Ton, Giel
In: Sumberg, James and Sabates-Wheeler, Rachel eds. Children’s Work in African Agriculture: The Harmful and the Harmless (pp. 52-80)
Publisher : Policy Press | Published : Bristol
Social protection (2023)
In: Clarke, Matthew and Zhao, Xinyu (Andy) eds. Elgar Encyclopedia of Development
ISBN : 978 1 80037 211 5 | Publisher : Edward Elgar
Child-sensitive social protection (2021)
In: Schuering, Esther and Loewe, Markus eds. Handbook on Social Protection Systems (pp. 368-377)
ISBN : 9781839109102 | Publisher : Edward Elgar Publishing | Published : Cheltenham
Social Protection Pathways to Nutrition: Rapid evidence review (2023-08)
Nisbett, Nicholas; Salm, Leah; Roelen, Keetie; Baldi, Giulia; Mejia, Carla; Juan, Gonzalo Jaramillo Mejia; Fiorella, Paredes Cauna; Gelli, Aulo; Olney, Deanna; Vooris, Emily; Casu, Laura and Ruel, Marie
IDS, WFP & IFPRI, Brighton.
Social Assistance in Response to Covid-19: Reaching the Furthest Behind First? (2022-03-30)
Roelen, Keetie and Carter, Becky
Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Brighton.