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Dr Michael Boampong

Profile summary

Professional biography

Dr. Michael Boampong is a Lecturer in Childhood and Youth Studies at The Open University.  He holds a PhD in Human Geography from the University of London (Birkbeck College), an MA in Development Studies from Uppsala University and a BA (Social Sciences) in Economics and Geography from the University of Cape Coast. Prior to his appointment at The Open University, Michael was a lecturer in Childhood, Youth and International Development and Development Management at Birkbeck, University of London. He was awarded Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support funding to support his research and public engagement on the impact of social inequality and parental migration on children’s health and childhood practices. Previously, he served as a migration and youth policy specialist to multiple United Nations (UN) agencies and the Commonwealth Secretariat. Michael also served as lead consultant to the Government of Ghana in the review of Ghana’s 2010 National Youth Policy, and authored the UN flagship World Youth Report: Youth and Migration (2013).

Research interests

Michael’s broad research interests concern the intersection of globalisation and local practices and their impact on transnational childhoods and youth transitions. He has cross-cutting interests in gender and social class, as well as in creative and participatory research methods.

His most recent work, Growing up in times of crisis: negotiating economic constraints and opportunities in transnational families, explored the impact of the 2008 financial crisis and austerity on the everyday lives of young people in transnational Ghanaian households through a multi-sited ethnographic study of 95 children, youth and their social relations in Ghana, USA and the UK (available at Birkbeck College or British Library).

Michael is currently using a life course perspective to examine the ways in which embodied geographies and the temporalities of work and care practices impact the health of migrant workers and their children. By focusing on British-Ghanaian transnational families, he seeks to contribute to academic and policy debates on race and the impact of precarious labour conditions on childhood practices, childcare and health.

Teaching interests

Michael brings both his interdisciplinary academic background in childhood/youth studies and his experience as a youth and international development practitioner into the classroom. In previous academic roles, he designed curriculum and delivered lectures for masters modules, including International Political Economy of Childhoods, Development Management, Research Methods and Social Studies of Childhood. He has supervised student dissertations focused on childhood and youth, climate change, diaspora engagement and refugee integration. At The Open University, his teaching involves module curriculum presentation and production for EK313, E102 and E104.

Michael is currently open to supervising PhD and EdD research focusing on globalisation and childhood, child and youth migration, families and social kinship, social reproduction and youthful futures (aspirations, education and employment).

He is committed to inclusive learning, teaching excellence and innovative teaching methods. He holds a Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher Education and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Impact and engagement

Michael is passionate about fostering child participation and amplifying youth voices and perspectives on issues affecting them at the local and global levels.

He has been an invited contributor to The Guardian’s Global Development feature (2013-2016), World Bank Blogs (2008 – 2014) and UNICEF Voices of Youth (2005-2011). In 2017, he served as a member of the Stakeholder Steering Committee for the UN Global Compact on migration, where he consulted the UN in preparation for the Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration, A/71/728. In 2019, the Commonwealth Secretariat and Ghana’s Ministry of Youth and Sports commissioned Michael to serve as principal investigator for a review of the 2010 Ghana National Youth Policy. His research engaged young people and other policy stakeholders, culminating in a situational analysis of youth development policies and programme outcomes in Ghana.

External collaborations

Michael is a member of the London Childhood and Youth Studies Group, and collaborates with external academics, including Professor Karen Wells (Birkbeck, University of London).

He is a long-time consultant for multiple UN agencies and the Commonwealth Secretariat, sharing technical expertise on childhood, youth and migration issues. In his role as guest lecturer at the ILO International Training Centre in Turin, Italy, he has produced distance-learning materials on youth employment and migration and trains international development practitioners and government workers on child and youth engagement in mainstreaming migration into national development strategies.

Michael has also served in various capacities for international programmes and organisations, including as advisor for IREX and the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (2016-2019), mentor for the MasterCard Foundation scholars community (2016-2018), Senior Judge for the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition (2015). Strategic Advisor for the Ghana-based NGO Young People We Care (ongoing), and Project Lead Consultant for Restless Development, Youth Voices on a Post-2015 World (2013).


Inclusive Learning for Children in Northeast Nigeria: Radio School Response During a Global Pandemic (2022-05)
Ebubedike, Margaret; Boampong, Michael; James, Kiki; Shuaibu, Hassana and Monyeh, Temitope Yetu
Social Inclusion, 10(2) (pp. 206-216)

[Book review] Marie Louise Seeberg and Elżbieta M Goździak, Contested Childhoods: Growing Up in Migrancy, Migration, Governance, Identities (2021-03-01)
Boampong, Michael
Global Studies of Childhood, 11(1) (pp. 115-117)

[Book review] Child and youth migration: mobility-in-migration in an era of globalization (2018)
Boampong, Michael
Children's Geographies, 16(2) (pp. 214-216)

‘Everywhere feels like home’: transnational neoliberal subjects negotiating the future (2021-04-28)
Boampong, Michael
In: Horton, John; Pimlott-Wilson, Helena and Hall, Sarah Marie eds. Growing Up and Getting By: International Perspectives on Childhood and Youth in Hard Times (pp. 115-135)
ISBN : 9781447352891 | Publisher : Policy Press | Published : Bristol

Ghana (2019-11-08)
Boampong, Michael
In: Wells, Karen ed. Teen Lives around the World: A Global Encyclopedia (pp. 163-173)
ISBN : 978-1-4408-5246-6 | Publisher : ABC-CLIO | Published : Santa Barbara, CA

Transnational practices and children’s local lives in times of economic crisis (2019-05-08)
Boampong, Michael
In: Von Benzon, Nadia and Wilkinson, Catherine eds. Intersectionality and Difference in Childhood and Youth : Global Perspectives (pp. 198-212)
ISBN : 9780429466588 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London

Growing Up In Times Of Crisis: Negotiating Economic Constraints And Opportunities In Transnational Families (2020-01-14)
Boampong, Michael
PhD thesis Birkbeck, University of London

Overview of Youth Development in Ghana (2021-04-14)
Boampong, Michael
Commonwealth Secretariat, London, UK.

Stocktake Report of Human Mobility and Migration-Related Initiatives by UNDP (2015)
Boampong, Michael
United Nations Development Programme, New York.

Want job, will travel: five ways to help young immigrants find work (2014-08-12)
Boampong, Michael
The Guardian, London.

World Youth Report: Youth and Migration (2013)
Boampong, Michael
United Nations, New York.