School of Social and Political Science

Jean-Benoit Falisse

Job Title

Lecturer in African Studies and International Development

Photo
JB Falisse

Room number

4.01

Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

15a George Square

City (Address)

Edinburgh

Country (Address)

UK

Post code (Address)

EH8 9LD

Background

I am a lecturer at the Centre of African Studies and a fellow of the Edinburgh Future Institute (EFI), where I am co-leading the development of the MSc Data, Inequality and Society.

At the School of Social and Political Science, I used to convene the courses Displacement and Development, Politics and Theories of International Development, and Analysing Development and I was the inaugural director of the MSc International Development (online). I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and completed PG certificates in Academic Practice and Digital Education (both at Edinburgh).

My background is in development studies and economics (DPhil, Oxford and MA, Sciences Po), history (MA, Louvain), politics (undergraduate, St Louis - Brussels), and philosophy (undergraduate, Louvain). Prior to joining the university, I was working for the United Nations and international NGOs in the African Great Lakes region. I have continued advising international and local organisations since.

Research interests

Research interests

My research revolves around three areas:

- Community participation social accountability in so-called 'fragile' environments. A substantial part of my research has focussed on health facility committees in Eastern DR Congo and Burundi (with, among others, Léonard Ntakarutimana, Hugues Nkengurutse, and Patrick Mirindi). I have also been involved in projects looking at primary school education in Eastern DR Congo (with Anders Olofsgård, Marieke Huysentruyt, and Kamala Kaghoma, and, more recently, the BRICE Project: Strengthening Quality Learning Environments and Education Systems in DRC and Niger). My interests in this fields have gradually shifted to 'grassroots' data production and use in the context of social accountability mechanisms.

- The livelihoods of displaced people, and their interactions with mobility, health, and education. This includes past field research with returnees in Burundi (with René Claude Niyonkuru) and refugees in Tanzania (with Clayton Boeyink) and work as a co-I in the UKRI GCRF Development-Based Approaches to Protracted Displacement project (2020–23) on improving healthcare at the intersection of gender and protracted displacement amongst Somali and Congolese internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees in eight field sites in Somalia, Eastern DRC, Kenya, and South Africa. I am also the academic lead of Foundations for All, an action research project on widening participation in higher education via blended learning (together with the Refugee Law project at Makerere University and the Centre for Civic Engagement and Community Action at the American University of Beirut).

- The political economy of health reform and health governance. My past fieldwork has looked at the implementation of performance-based financing schemes as well as the control of the African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) in DR Congo (with Alain Mpanya). More recently, I have been leading the Covid-19 response governance mapping initiative (funded by CovidAction and SFC-GCRF - see website the many brilliant colleagues involved in this work), and I have been a co-investigator on the African Elections during the Covid-19 pandemic project led by Thomas Molony.

I am interested in the development of social science research methods, and my research has used interviews, survey data, archival research, and experiments (and often a mix thereof). At the EFI, I am a co-convener of the Galvanized seminar series, connecting researchers in the sciences, engineering and the arts.

My current PhD students work on youth in refugees camps in Malawi (Joshua Anderson-Rose, International Development), teachers in refugee camps in Ethiopia (Sarah Austin, Education), the identity of Congolese displaced people in Nairobi (Megan Douglas, International Development),  the political economy of biofuels in Uganda (Annet Nakyeyune, African Studies),  girls education in Rwanda (Sangwon Park, International Development), person living with disabilities in Ghana (Francisca Adom-Opare, African Studies), and the politics of conditional cash transfers in Mexico (Kevin Zapata, Social Policy).

Past PhD students: Clayton Boeyink (2020: The politics and practices of refugee self-reliance in trifurcated states of north-western Tanzania) and Boel McAteer Türkmenogülu (2020: Gendering self-reliance: Constructing the ideal refugee wo/man within livelihoods support for displaced Syrians in Turkey).

Staff Hours and Guidance

I am on a combination of research leave and secondment to the Edinburgh Futures Institute. I will not be able to supervise new students before September 2021.

Publications by user content

Publication Research Explorer link
Falisse J-B, Leszczynska N. Do anti-corruption messages improve public service delivery? Insights from a lab-in-the-field experiment in Burundi. Journal of Development Studies. 2021 Sep 7. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220388.2021.1969010
Falisse J-B, Nkengurutse H. Citizens committees and local elites: Elite capture, captured elites, and absent elites in health facility committees. European Journal of Development Research. 2021 Aug 23. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41287-021-00443-8
Chaara I, Falisse J-B, Moriceau J. Does legal aid improve access to justice in ‘fragile’ settings? Evidence from Burundi. Journal of Peace Research. 2021 Jul 23.
Al Dahdah M, Falisse J-B, Lurton G. Ignorance et santé globale: Stratégies et acteurs de la réponse à la Covid-19 dans des pays dits des Suds . Revue d’anthropologie des connaissances . 2021 Jun 17.
Falisse J-B, Macdonald R, Molony T, Nugent P. Why have so many African leaders died of COVID-19? BMJ Global Health. 2021 May 17;6(5):1-6. e005587. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2021-005587
Panman A, Madison I, Kimacha N, Falisse J-B. Saving up for a rainy day? Savings groups and resilience to flooding in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Urban Forum. 2021 Apr 29. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12132-021-09424-w
Wood AK, Symons K, Falisse JB, Gray H, Mkony A. Can lecture capture contribute to the development of a community of inquiry in online learning? Distance Education. 2021 Feb 1;42(1):126-144. https://doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2020.1869521
Reinders S, Dekker M, Falisse J-B. Inequalities in higher education in low‐ and middle‐income countries: A scoping review of the literature. Development Policy Review. 2020 Nov 25. https://doi.org/10.1111/dpr.12535
Falisse J-B, Ntakarutimana L. When information is not power: Community-elected health facility committees and health facility performance indicators. Social Science & Medicine. 2020 Aug 28. 113331. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.113331
Falisse J-B. Beyond the travelling model? Strategic usage and hybridisation of performance-based financing (PBF) in health in Burundi. Politique Africaine. 2020 May 14;156(4):83-100. https://doi.org/10.3917/polaf.156.0083
Falisse J-B. Au-delà du modèle voyageur ? Usage stratégique et hybridation du financement basé sur la performance (FBP) dans la santé au Burundi. Politique Africaine. 2020 Apr 20;156(4):83-100. https://doi.org/10.3917/polaf.156.0083
Falisse J-B, Mwamba-Miaka E, Mpanya A. Whose elimination? Frontline workers' perspectives on the elimination of the Human African Trypanosomiasis and its anticipated consequences. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease. 2020 Jan 1;5(1). https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5010006
Falisse J-B, Nkengurutse H. From FM radio stations to Internet 2.0 overnight: information, participation and social media in post-failed coup Burundi. In Dwyer M, Molony T, editors, Social Media and Politics in Africa: Democracy, Censorship and Security. 1 ed. London: Zed Books. 2019
Falisse J-B. “Playing for Change, Singing for Peace”?: Music, Dance, and Peace in the African Great Lakes Region. Arts and International Affairs. 2019 Feb 28;3.3-4.1. https://doi.org/10.18278/aia.3.3.4.1.5
Falisse J-B, Masino S, Ngenzebuhoro R. Indigenous Medicine and Biomedical Health Care in Fragile Settings: Insights from Burundi. Health Policy and Planning. 2018 May;33(4):483–493. czy002. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapol/czy002
Bertone MP, Falisse J-B, Russo G, Witter S. Context matters (but how and why?) A hypothesis-led literature review of performance based financing in fragile and conflict-affected health systems. PLoS ONE. 2018 Apr 3;1-27. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0195301
Falisse J-B, Ndayishimiye J, Kamenyero V, Bossuyt M. Performance-based financing in the context of selective free health-care: an evaluation of its effects on the use of primary health-care services in Burundi using routine data. Health Policy and Planning. 2015 Dec;30(10):1251-60. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapol/czu132
Falisse J-B, Niyonkuru RC. Social engineering for reintegration: Peace villages for the ‘uprooted’ returnees in Burundi. Journal of Refugee Studies. 2015 Sep 30;28(3):388-411. https://doi.org/10.1093/jrs/fev002
Witter S, Falisse J-B, Bertone MP, Alonso-Garbayo A, Martins JS, Salehi AS et al. State-building and human resources for health in fragile and conflict-affected states: exploring the linkages. Human Resources for Health. 2015 May 15;13:33. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12960-015-0023-5
Falisse J-B, Leszczynska N. Professional Identity, Bribery and Public Service Delivery: Evidence from a lab-in-the-field Experiment in Burundi. Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB): The European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES). 2015 Mar 25, p. 30. (ECARES working paper; 2015-07).
Falisse J-B, Niyonkuru RC. Peace villages for repatriates to Burundi. Forced Migration Review. 2013 May;43:14-17.
Falisse J-B, Meessen B, Ndayishimiye J, Bossuyt M. Community participation and voice mechanisms under performance-based financing schemes in Burundi. Tropical Medicine and International Health. 2012 Apr 19;17(5):674-682. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3156.2012.02973.x
Falisse J-B. Artsen Zonder Grenzen België als apolitieke organisatie: MSF Belgium as apolitical organization (1985-1988). Brood Rozen: Tijdschrift voor de geschiedenis van sociale Bewegingen. 2011;16(4):26-53.
De Cannière E, Falisse J-B, Gillet C, Vermeyen D. Camilo Torres Restrepo (1929-1966), le 'curé-guérillero'. Essai sur la construction des figures de héros et de martyrs’. In Sappia C, editor, A l’Image d’Oscar Romero. Héros, Prophètes et Martyrs d’Amérique Latine. Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium: Academia Press. 2009. p. 195-220
Falisse J-B. Entrepreneurs humanitaires: Médecins sans frontières Belgique, genèse d’une ONG atypique, 1980-1987. Cahiers d'Histoire du Temps Présent (now Journal of Belgian History). 2009;2009(21):11-54.