Congratulations to PhD student Abier Hamidi on winning two scholarships within weeks. Earlier this month Abier was awarded a scholarship from the BHIVA (British HIV Association) to pay the registration fee for BHIVA Autumn Conference. This week she was also successful in getting a scholarship covering registration for the ‘Arab Health Summit: Advancing Health Equity for Women’ to be held on October 19-21. The Arab Health Summit serves as a platform for researchers in the USA to connect with their global counterparts, including in the MENA (Middle Eastern and North African) region. This summit offers a unique opportunity for Abier to exchange ideas and develop research relationships that may support her PhD study.
Abier is conducting a PhD on: ‘Perceptions of the Effectiveness of Health Education Strategies in Reducing Harm from HIV in Libyan Married Women’. Recently, she had her first PhD paper “HIV epidemic in Libya: Identifying gaps” accepted for publication by the Journal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (JIAPAC) published by SAGE . Abier’s PhD project is supervised by Dr. Pramod Regmi (Senior Lecturer in International Health) and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH).
Hamidi, A., Regmi, P., van Teijlingen, E. HIV epidemic in Libya: Identifying gaps, Journal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (JIAPAC) (forthcoming)
The Allied Health Professions (AHPs) are the third largest clinical workforce in the NHS and represent a total of 14 professions which are regulated by the Health Care Professions Council and the individual profession specific regulatory bodies. Research is supported nationally and regionally through the Council for Allied Health Professions Research and at BU through our partnership collaboration with the Applied Research Collaboration NIHR Wessex.
To celebrate the 4th Annual AHP day at BU we are showcasing some of the research that is being carried out by the AHP academic community in Dorset.
Dr Katie Collins – Research focuses on the hidden impairments following a stroke and how they impact on individuals participating in active life. I am involved in exploring health equity and the impacts of health inequality and supervising a Dorset Health Care University Foundation Trust (DHCFUT): BU match funded PhD studentship exploring interventions for successful contracture management.’
Dr Vikram Mohan – Current project which has QR funding is aimed at exploring the reliability and validity of the Total Faulty Breathing Scale (TFBS). In clinical practice abnormal breathing patterns are recognised, but there are no scales to quantify the severity of abnormal breathing patterns. These findings will be applied to conditions like Covid-19, COPD etc.
Peter Philips – PhD – “What factors affect resilience in newly qualified paramedics in the UK ambulance service?” Aims to explore stressors that newly qualified paramedics face in their first year of registration, how they seek to cope with those stressors, and what effect these have. This research will have an impact on workforce planning, recruitment, and retention of staff in the NHS.
Helen Ribchester – PhD- Exploring sense making derived from the clinical practice experiences of student Occupational Therapists in India. An This is an IPA study including elements of poetic inquiry, with participants drawn from the students of an occupational therapy programme in an Indian university (SRIHER)
Sara Sayer and Prof Carol Clark – ‘Heading for Trouble’ project, with pump prime funding, involving external stakeholders and an interdisciplinary team from the Faculty of SciTec (Prof Hamid Bouchachia, Prof Hana Burianova, Dr Ala Yankouskaya, Dr Shanti Shankar) aiming to explore brain scans and questions relating to attention and memory in professional footballers. Supporting health in football.
Dr Theo Akudjedu and Dr John Totman – working within the Institute for Medical Imaging and Visualisation (IMIV) a multidisciplinary collaboration of clinicians and scientists using a Siemens 3T MRI scanner for research projects to image liver, pancreatic and biliary disease and the brain.
Dr Ursula Rolfe – co-published with David Partlow a paramedic colleague from practice – Mental Health Care in Paramedic Practice The book provides paramedics with key information on a range of mental health conditions and their management. The roles of paramedics have changed in the last decade with increases in the number of 999 calls associated with the increasing mental health needs of people.
Dr Louise Fazakarley, Dr Katie Collins and Dr Caroline Ellis-Hill – supervising a funded MRes Carrie Tbaily ((DHCFUT) – Exploring caregiver perspectives of adults with severe and profound and multiple Learning disabilities accessing sedentary hydrotherapy.
Dr Louise Fazakarley – Pump prime funding to; examine the effectiveness of Physiotherapy in the early stage of Parkinson’s disease (PD): a review of the literature and Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) consultation to identify research priorities for patients with early-stage PD
Sam Page (Dorset County Hospital (DCH)), Dr Louise Fazakarley and Dr Zoe Sheppard (DCH) -ARC Wessex NIHR funding to undertake a service evaluation relating to patients who sustain pubic rami fracture and their management at home supporting better care for patients.
Dr Caroline Ellis-Hill – research focus is on humanising practice, based on existential understandings from lifeworld approaches and focuses on what make us feel human. Humanising practices are those that incorporate fully human knowing and support a sense of connection and wellbeing. Caroline has funding from the Welcome Trust – Exploring performance arts education for the stroke rehabilitation pathway, is supervising PhD students as part of the INNOVATEDIGNITY project funded by the European Commission and NIHR funding for a multicentre RCT of community-based arts and health intervention to increase psychological wellbeing in people following stroke.
Prof Carol Clark – supervising Rosie Harper (University Hospitals Dorset (UHD) with Dr Carly Stewart (BUBS) and Sally Sheppard (UHD) on a UHD; ARC Wessex NIHR; BU match funded studentship ‘Nudging: a theoretical concept for a very practical approach to pelvic floor muscle training’ Aimed at improving adherence to exercises aimed at reducing incontinence and improving health and well-being of women. Carol is currently Co-PI with Stefi Andrew (Portsmouth Hospitals University Trust) and Dr Zoe Sheppard (DCH)on NIHR ARC Wessex Exploring digital technologies for hand rehabilitation and Danni Swaithe (UHD), Dr Louise Johnson (UHD) Dr Shanti Shankar (SciTech) NIHR ARC Wessex, exploring the role of attentional focus on learning for physical recovery in acute stroke, research initiation award.
Prof Jane Murphy Co-Lead of the Aging and Dementia Research Centre current project includes NIHR ARC Wessex funded, DONOR project (Digital cOachiNg fOr fRailty) to investigate whether a digital approach could be used alongside support from health coaches to help the lifestyle management of older people with frailty in its early stages. The DONOR project will look at whether these technologies can reduce the burden on health and care services by offering person-centred care and advice. The multidisciplinary research team will work together with stakeholders (people with frailty, carers, health coaches and AHPs) to develop and test a new digital approach, implemented across Dorset and West Hampshire. Jane provides consultancy services, works with the Wessex Academic Health Science Network and International partners and also has funding as part of the ASPIRE project with European funding.
Dr Jonathan Williams – is currently involved in projects broadly investigating clinical and sports biomechanics, including wobble board rehabilitation for diabetic neuropathy; learning and retention of infant CPR skills, quantifying spinal stiffness and movement through body worn sensors; facilitating physical activity through wearables; measurement of player load in Badminton and shoulder sensory-motor control. He is currently supervising MRes and PhDs projects with AHPs including Andy Watt and Debora Almeida.
Debora Almeida PhD – A novel output-based approach to infant CPR training to maximise skill retention and improve patient outcome after cardiac arrest. Paediatric cardiac arrest is a worldwide health problem with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Positive outcomes depend on high quality CPR. However, infant CPR skills decay within weeks or months after training. This project aims to create a tailored retraining schedule based on the performance and retention of iCPR skills.
‘Staying Home Connecting Care’ is a British Academy funded research project exploring care provided to people at home during the Covid-19 pandemic. As society locked down, people with age-related frailties, disabilities, and certain health conditions needed to shield at home. Many relied on the support of family carers, home care workers and volunteer-run schemes to supply them with the care, companionship and essential supplies of food and medicines to stay safe and well at home.
Over the past year we have been interviewing care workers, volunteers and carers from across Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole (BCP) and Dorset, about their experiences of providing such care and support to people in their homes during the pandemic.
We recently organised an online workshop, ‘Care and Support at home in the time of Covid’. The aim of this free event was to share the interim findings of the study with a public audience, and invite feedback, reflection and discussion.
The highlight of the event was the roundtable discussion in which six speakers took part, each with extensive experience of home care work, voluntary and community pandemic activities and/or care of vulnerable adults. The round table speakers were:
Each round table participant spoke in fascinating and poignant detail about their activities during the pandemic. They reflected on how the ‘Staying Home’ research findings resonated with their own insights and experiences, and shared their perspectives on the priorities for future research and policy.
Several themes recurred throughout the course of the round table discussion. The dynamism and resourcefulness of the voluntary and community sector response to the pandemic was evident from many of the talks, which detailed how people in communities across BCP and Dorset rapidly and creatively devised practical schemes for getting help and support to people at home. The innovative use of telephone and web-based technologies to build new infrastructures to connect people was also a key area of discussion.
Speakers highlighted important shifts over the course of the pandemic. As one remarked, it is easy to forget the public uncertainty about how coronavirus was transmitted in the early days, when an effective vaccine seemed a distant prospect. This made close-contact caring for adults vulnerable to Covid-19 acutely stressful and challenging for carers and care workers.
Over time, as needs of people at home for basic supplies of food and medicines eased from summer 2020, other needs became apparent, not least many people’s poor mental health and loneliness. The isolation and loss of services had a profound impact on (family) carers. The pandemic has stretched to breaking point the fragile support networks on which many carers continue to depend. The phase of clapping for care workers and carers is over, but for some, the challenges to daily existence posed by the pandemic are more acute than ever.
Speakers highlighted several important questions for future research and policy. How can the hugely positive innovations within the voluntary organisations and communities be best supported and transformed as society reopens? How can that project be harnessed to the transformation of the social care system to make it fairer and fit for purpose, with appropriate levels of public investment? How can the rights and needs of people who still need to shield, and their carers, be protected, as wider society reopens?
20-25 people attended the event, and, 15 of them anonymously completed the evaluation survey at the end of the workshop. All agreed that the presentation of interim findings was clear, accessible, interesting and informative, and that the roundtable furthered their understanding of care during Covid-19. All except one agreed that research on social care needs to take account of unwaged forms of support, such as that provided by carers and volunteers, as well as that provided by workers within social care services. One commented “This is a really important need as I don’t think people realise the scope of unpaid care that is happening”, whilst another remarked, “I feel the total focus is always around residential care, and other areas…including homecare and voluntary, get forgotten”.
Survey respondents highlighted several areas for further research.
The event was recorded and a link to it can be found here.
Dr Rosie Read, Principal Investigator
Erica Ferris, Research Assistant
Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
BU academic, Dr. Alina Dolea, gave an extensive interview on her research on Romanian Diaspora, the emotional costs of migration, the constant identity struggles, as well as the role of diaspora in public diplomacy. She was interviewed by Elena Stancu, Pulitzer Center’s Persephone Miel Fellows 2021, and photographed by Cosmin Bumbuț; since 2019, the two journalists have been living in a caravan and travelling throughout Europe to document the 5 million Romanian migrants within their project titled “Plecat” (Away/ On the road). They are currently in the UK, gathering stories of migration and giving a voice to the over 1 million Romanians who are currently living here.
As an interesting fact, the editor-in-chief of Libertatea newspaper is Catalin Tolontan, who lead the team of investigative journalists featured in the Academy Awards and BAFTA nominee documentary “Collective” – About the film — Collective (collectivefilm.co.uk).
A multidisciplinary team at BU are currently undertaking a pilot study to find out what happens in our minds and bodies when we learn to communicate with horses. This data has never been captured before and this pilot has been funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and TheHorseCourse charity who offer an equine assisted intervention helping those with mental health and behavioural issues. The intention is to study what happens in our brains and bodies and then aim to recreate those responses through VR. The team are Professor Ann Hemingway, Dr Xun He, Dr Fred Charles and Dr Roya Haratian, we are collecting EEG and psychophysiological data from the humans and heart rate data from the horses in partnership with TheHorseCourse (http://www.thehorsecourse.org/). Have a look at our video to get more insights into what the team are up to in their pilot study….with Flower!!
Digital and visual communications are crucial methods for disseminating information during the COVID-19 pandemic. From slice-of-life diary pieces to public health guidance on prevention and symptoms, visual storytellers are using online platforms to share their experiences and disseminate information. While digital platforms have the capacity to facilitate misinformation, they have also been utilised to ensure the spread of important, and potentially life-saving messages. To learn more about how AHRC-funded projects are researching media communications and health messaging during the pandemic, Shannon McDavitt, a Research Assistant on our BU-Based Comics in the time of COVID-19 project, took part in a Pandemic and Beyond Knowledge Exchange Workshop on 7 June 2021.
research illustration by Dr. Alexandra Alberda
As a response to the pandemic, the AHRC launched a scheme to fund projects dedicated to understanding the impact of COVID-19. The Public Health, Communication and Healthcare Knowledge Exchange Workshop run by the Pandemic and Beyond Project allowed researchers working on similar research questions to come together to share their projects and exchange ideas and network with like-minded people. This workshop also gave the project teams a greater understanding of the role they are playing in the wider response to COVID-19, and of the issues being tackled. A key area of focus among these projects was health communication and public health messaging, and within those projects, there was a mutual understanding of the necessity of not only verbal or linguistic messaging, but of visual communication during the pandemic.
instagram post by monachalabi
The dissemination of COVID-19 guidance is a key element to managing the pandemic. Due to social distancing and lockdown regulations, the pandemic has made social media and digital communication essential for public health communications. Social media has been a major outlet for this. As scrolling and sharing are daily routines for a large part of the population, these platforms become an indispensable method of giving and receiving information. Although social media has been criticised as a platform for misinformation and fake news, when used to convey evidenced-based information, the government and public health authorities can benefit from a large platform that is accessible to many. This is why designers and graphic storytellers are working to enhance how visual data and social media can be used more effectively together.
research illustration by Dr. Alexandra Alberda
The power of images in communications is stronger than ever. According to market research, online visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared and articles that include images every 75-100 words receive double the shares than those without (PWC 2017). During the pandemic, visual information has become more important for a wide range of reasons, including ensuring those who have difficulty reading, and interpreting a high amount of information have a means to understand what is being communicated. For example, the AHRC-funded project ‘Information Design for Diagnostics: Ensuring Confidence and Accuracy for Home Sampling and Home Testing’ led by Professor Sue Walker, investigates how user-friendly instructions, print and video are key to accurate use of tests, demonstrating how good visual communication is essential in managing the pandemic effectively.
Getting artists involved with our Covid Comics AHRC research
Green and Myers (2010) argue that combining pictures and text enhances understanding and can help increase recall of health information. This is a major aspect of ensuring guidance is met in, for example, washing hands or how to correctly wear a mask and test from home. This is why our AHRC-funded project ‘Comics in the time of COVID-19: Tracking data on web-based comics and evaluating their potential for communicating public health messages’ led by Dr Anna Feigenbaum develops the idea that comics can be an effective method of sharing public health messaging. As suggested, information that includes images are more likely to receive shares which is an important aspect of digital communication in the time of COVID-19. Visually, comics and imagery are easy to engage with compared to long pieces of text. This helps make them effective for a wide range of the population. As the written aspects are minimal and simplistic, they are accessible to a broad range of audiences, including the young and old. Since public health messages can be complex, these kinds of visuals can be especially useful where English is not a person’s first language, or for those who have a difficulty reading written information. In addition, research suggests that we are better at learning and remembering content that we’ve seen in pictures than just in text, a phenomenon known as Picture Superiority Effect (Nelson et al 1976) This makes comics a perfect candidate for the dissemination of important public health information to maintain and manage the pandemic.
instagram post from _coronadiary
Comics and visuals can communicate both risk factors and social issues surrounding an illness. Readers can relate to events and experiences, creating empathy (McAllister 1992). Although visual storytelling and public health messaging through social media may not be the only method needed to effectively spread information and manage the pandemic, these on-going projects funded by the AHRC show the power that visual storytelling online can have. By including visual elements such as video, photographs and sketches in future public health guidance, governments, health professionals and organisations can reach wider audiences, help increase comprehension, create more accessibility and better encourage behavioural change. .
PWC, 2017. [online]. Available from: https://www.pwc.com.au/the-difference/the-power-of-visual-communication-apr17.pdf [Accessed 10 Jun 2021].
The ReSpace Symposium will take place this week at the InsideOut & OutsideIn – international AHRC-GCRF festival on arts-based, participatory learning. The international festival focuses on arts-based, participatory pedagogies aimed at dealing with difficult, silenced or contested pasts and presents; and for imagining new futures. It is co-organized by Nita Luci and Linda Gusia, University of Prishtina, and Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers, Bournemouth University, PIs on the the four-year multi-disciplinary AHRC-GCRF project ‘Changing the Story’. Registration is free; the full programme and registration link available here: https://changingthestory.leeds.ac.uk/.
The ReSpace Symposium sets out to present a discussion on how art and architecture engages with place and history and how we can use these methods to encourage young people to explore cultural heritage.
Chaired by Dr. Oliver Gingrich, post-doctoral researcher at the National Centre for Computer Animation, this symposium offers a chance to hear from a range of different stakeholders across Rwanda, Kosovo and the UK involved in the ReSpace project about their work.
This panel is structured into two parts and features artists and researchers who recontextualize space, place and memory in their practice: Bekim Raku recently featured his project Prishtina Public Archipelago at the Venice Biennale and will present this project at the ReSpace symposium here. Ayọ̀ Akínwándé is an artist, activist, researcher, curator and writer who will be presenting his projects Face-Me-I-Face-You, Ogoni Cleanup and Sacred Grove; Dr. Paula Callus, the ReSpace project lead, will provide an introduction of the ReSpace project, followed by Ntigulirwa Marie Amelie and the esteemed sociologist Assumpta Mugiraneza, who will discuss aspects of the ReSpace project in the context of architecture. The artists Susan Sloan and Alfred Muchilwa will discuss their creative practice working with students across three countries.
The international festival focuses on arts-based, participatory pedagogies aimed at dealing with difficult, silenced or contested pasts and presents; and for imagining new futures. Registration is free; the full programme and registration link available here: https://changingthestory.leeds.ac.uk/.
Students and project leaders at University of Prishtina, together with their global colleagues in Bournemouth, Rwanda and elsewhere, co-created, and experimented with innovative, arts- and research-based methods of learning, including animation, architecture, music, video, and poetry. The festival brings together project participants to explore some of the mutual learning and reflect on questions such as, why, and how, arts-based methods can enhance civic education and critical thinking.
Changing-the-Story is a four-year international, multi-disciplinary project which supports the building of inclusive civil societies with, and for, young people in post-conflict settings, now coming to its completion. It was a collaborative project between universities, INGOs, artists, grassroots civil society organisations and young people across the world. It asked ‘how the arts, heritage, and human rights education can support youth-centred approaches to civil society building in post-conflict settings across the world.’
The DRIVE project (Digital Reading for Inclusivity, Versatility and Engagement) was funded by the UKRI under its Digital Innovation for Development in Africa (DIDA) strand. Full details of the project can be found here. The second phase of this funding has been withdrawn following the UK Government’s revision of its ODA budget.
The project was led by BU Professor Bronwen Thomas, and Jess Ruddock (a PGR from FMC) was appointed as a Research Assistant from January onwards.
The project had to be substantially revised due to the COVID crisis. This meant all project meetings had to be held online but perhaps the biggest impact was on the digital storytelling part of the project. Initially, the plan was for DigiTales, a participatory media company based in the UK and Portugal to deliver a workshop in Nairobi, with 10-12 participants. Instead, we redesigned this part of the project, providing training for three Kenyan based facilitators to deliver the workshops in three different regions of Kenya – Nairobi, Chavakali (close to the Ugandan border) and Loita (home to Maasai tribespeople). Jess Ruddock also took part in the training. Following this we held three workshops in the different locations, producing 13 stories in total. The stories can be viewed on the project website. They represent a wide range of experiences, from Alan’s account of the stigma he suffered as a child in literature classrooms because of his visual impairment, to Faith’s account of the impact that the book Blossoms of the Savannah had on her as a young Maasai girl facing the prospect of female circumcision. In addition to learning how to create and produce digital stories, the participants were also given training on accessibility tools for the iPads that they received
Nalotwesha and Faith on a zoom call in Loita
Blog posts from one of the Nairobi participants, Alan Hebert, and from the Chavakali facilitator can also be found on the website, along with Jess Ruddock’s account of the training.
The Chavakali team
In addition to the digital stories, the project team produced a Toolkit for remote delivery of digital storytelling, co-authored by Kelvin Gwuma, Joseph Odhiambo and Scola Leuka, the three newly-trained facilitators. The Toolkit is available to view or download from the project website here along with video case studies produced by the facilitators. The website also features a preliminary project evaluation reflecting on the main findings and impact of the project so far, and how we managed to meet our objectives despite all the obstacles we faced.
Following the discovery of the unmarked graves of 215 children in Kamloops (British Columbia, Canada) sees BU expertise on mass grave policies published:Overarching principles ought to be applied in Kamloops for a careful, considerate, culturally appropriate investigation into the unmarked graves of 215 children
Mass graves are a worldwide phenomenon that exists on a shocking scale, but they are usually identified with conflict and gross human rights violations, typically in countries ravaged by poverty and inequality. Yet the discovery of the unmarked graves of 215 children in Kamloops, British Columbia has made global headlines, triggering a variety of emotions, reactions and questions.
Overarching principles for protection and investigation efforts
Although mass graves vary enormously, the consequences of not protecting and investigating mass graves are significant. Relatives continue to suffer because they do not know what happened to their loved ones (in itself a form of inhumane and degrading treatment), and evidence essential to identification, documentation and, where relevant, prosecution efforts may be contaminated, disturbed or lost. The careful, considerate, culturally appropriate yet legally compliant and scientifically robust protection and investigation of mass graves is therefore paramount, and has been the subject of significant research and deliberation, as evidenced by the 2020 publication of the Bournemouth Protocol on Mass Grave Protection and Investigation (also available in French).
As further details and information emerge on the discovery in Kamloops, it seems apt to reflect on the overarching principles that ought to apply during grave protection and investigation efforts in this particular context.
From the outset, the complexity of mass grave investigations should not be underestimated. Such investigations are lengthy and expensive processes, requiring significant planning, co-ordination, resources, official authorization and, at times, political will. All this means that there will be a wide range of individual, collective and societal interests and needs that must be considered but may not all be compatible or readily reconcilable. In addition – and this may sound distressing – in situations of significant scale or absence of the relevant data from relatives, it may not be possible to identify and return all victims from a mass grave. It is therefore vital that, despite the inevitable pressure of a highly charged emotional context, expectations are carefully managed.
A do no harm approach in these circumstances will actively seek to avoid undermining existing structures and relationships that are essential for community cohesion. It is important to avoid creating inequalities or perceptions of bias or to entrench existing inequalities. It will include a clear respect for and, where possible, adherence to cultural sensitivities, beliefs and norms of victims and/or their families to the extent they do not adversely affect the achievement of an effective investigation.
The physical and emotional safety of all involved, the relatives and the investigation team alike, are paramount. In the context of mass graves, safety, dignity, privacy and well-being of victims and their families should be a key concern for all actors without distinction. While the actual grave may have been created decades ago when the Kamloops Indian Residential School was in operation, initiatives to support physical and psychological safety should be in place.
Investigations must be independent and impartial
That an investigation should be independent and impartial is a rather obvious point to make. And yet, since the investigation will relate to an era of systematic state-instigated discrimination, it is poignant and relevant: without a non-discriminatory and impartial approach to the grave protection and investigation process, the legitimacy of the work may be questioned by the affected community. To enhance public trust, investigations must be independent and impartial and must be seen to be so.
For mass grave investigations to result in identification, it will be critical to acquire personal details and other identifying data, and confidentiality, consistent with national legislation, has to be assured. Investigative processes often entail the need for data sharing but any data sharing should be limited only to those individuals and bodies necessary to ensure the achievement of the objectives of the exhumation process and to the extent agreed by the individuals concerned. Similarly, at all stages of the process (the preliminary investigation, the actual excavation, identification and return of human remains) transparency of processes is key.
Clear and ongoing communication will help provide the platform for transparency. Communication strategies should ideally envisage and accommodate a two-way flow of information between the investigative team and the families, and incorporate regular updates.
Commitments to families must be kept
Finally, all parties involved in the protection and investigation of the mass grave should avoid making commitments to families that they may be unable to keep.
In addition to these overarching principles that ought to apply to all phases of mass grave protection and investigation, careful planning for the actual physical investigation is essential. Meticulous planning, particularly in relation to the actual excavation is critical for all subsequent phases of the process, including identification efforts, return of human remains and continued community liaison.
But in the long term beyond the investigative phase, there are also justice and commemorative aspects to consider from a policy perspective. Alongside potential accountability processes and claims for remedies, a further question arises: What will happen to the original site at the school? An excavated mass grave may become a memorial site in its own right, deserving of that recognition and potentially long-term legal protection. Conversely, a newly created burial site or place for commemoration will hold great significance for individual and/or collective commemoration and may also constitute a form of reparation.
Mass graves are a stark reminder of recent history and memory; they may form part of educational materials and national discourse on the past; they may also become a site for community support. These graves in particular may symbolize the start of more searches into unknown graves and resting places. As reported in the media, many more children died in residential schools with few bodies returned home.
Co-ordination and collaboration required
Since it is predicted that more such graves are to be found, their resolution and investigation will require the co-ordination and collaboration of a multitude of experts to implement early protection measures, facilitate, where possible, the investigation and exhumation of the grave for identification purposes and the return of human remains to family members. All this, in turn, must be overseen by relevant authorities, with due regard for the applicable law.
If there is suspicion of more such graves, the establishment of a mass grave management role or office that assumes overall responsibility for the operational management of mass graves including adherence to standard operating procedures; maintenance of community liaison, health, safety and well-being on-site; implementation of reporting structures and communication strategy; and co-ordination of the identification and return of human remains process might be beneficial.
In short, mass graves are incredibly complex features placing investigative duties on the state. This in turn requires extensive practitioner engagement, resources and careful consideration of individual and societal needs to ultimately advance their rights to truth and justice.
The national health ethics organisation in Nepal, the Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC), invited Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen to be part of its week long training programme next week. Edwin will be running a session on Focus Groups as qualitative on Bank Holiday Monday (31 May) and a session on Publishing Qualitative Research on Friday 4th June. As part of BU’s International Partnerships our staff help build research capacity in a number of low- and middle-income countries, such as Nepal.
The invitation came through Prof Madhusudan Subedi, one of his Nepali collaborators on a research project on ‘The impact of federalisation on Nepal’s health system: a longitudinal analysis’. The project, funded under the DFID/ESRC/MRC/Wellcome Health Systems Research Initiative, examines the consequences for the health system of Nepal’s move to a federal government structure. The PIs for the project, Dr. Simon Rushton and Dr. Julie Balan , are based at the University of Sheffield, further collaborators include: Prof. Padam Simkhada (BU Visiting Faculty) who is based at the University of Huddersfield, Dr. Pratik Adhikary (BU Visiting Faculty & BU PhD graduate) who is based at PHASE Nepal and Prof. Sujan Marahatta, who is based at Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences in Kathmandu (MMIHS). BU has a further collaboration with MMIHS as we currently have an Erasmus+ student & staff exchange.
The extension to this DCMS-backed project takes its funding to £8 million and sees the British Geological Survey (BGS) join the project to work on this research area.
Coastal landslides and cliff failures represent a significant hazard to local residents, workers and the 12 million people who visit Dorset’s coast each year. Cliff falls are a hazard worthy of research and development trials, as they can be expensive and time consuming to monitor using traditional methods.
This highly interdisciplinary work brings together key 5G industry players Vodafone and Neutral Networks, experts in computer science from Bournemouth University and geological expertise from the British Geological Survey and Dorset Council.
It is hoped that the research can prove that by using 5G connected sensors, the process of data collection can be made safer, more cost effective, responsive, and efficient and contribute to coastal resilience in the face of climate change and sea level rise.
The sensors will collect data such as ground movement, temperature and rainfall, which will then be processed using Big Data Analytics and Machine Learning. The system will be trialled at Lyme Regis and Burton Bradstock; coastal sites with active landslides posing public safety risks for the local community and especially visitors using the beach. The current management and monitoring systems at Lyme Regis represent a significant cost to Dorset Council.
This work complements the studies already being trialled by the project into coastal public safety and agritech which also use connected sensors and Edge computing for processing.
It also demonstrates how 5G connectivity can benefit rural communities in a wide variety of use cases including coastal safety and for local councils in reducing costs for managing the natural environment.
Dr. Marios Angelopoulos, Principal Academic at Bournemouth University, commented: “We are excited to work on this collaborative and multidisciplinary project as it gives us the opportunity to apply our 5G and IoT research to the benefit of our region with clear social and economic impact. Also, this is a fine example of how universities synergise with Industry to develop and trial new technologies in innovative use cases, thus helping to further expand the UK’s world-leading R&D infrastructure. 5G networks are usually perceived to refer only to urban environments. With this work, we will demonstrate the great added value that 5G networks can bring in a variety of use cases also to rural areas.”
Dorset Council Deputy Leader Peter Wharf said: “Cliff failures present a very dangerous problem not only in Dorset but other coastal regions which see huge numbers of visitors every year. This research, along with the coastal public safety trials, is critical to people’s safety and the long-term prosperity of the area. Current monitoring methodologies are also very costly for the council and this new technology will hopefully provide significant savings in future.”
Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said: “5G is about more than just having a faster mobile phone and this project in Dorset is one of the innovative trials the government is funding to find new ways it can improve people’s lives. I look forward to seeing how it can boost public safety in our coastal communities and position the UK as a true world leader in 5G.”
Original announcement was edited by James Pryce and can be found here.
Helen Allen and Louise Ward from BUCRU and the NIHR Research Design Service South West (RDS SW)
Colleagues from the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences based research centres e.g. ADRC
Colleagues from BU Research Development & Support (RDS) Team (for coordinating public engagement)
On 11th and 18th May we ran two information events to explain VOICE@BU in more detail and provided a demonstration. One event for researchers, you can view the recording here and one event for members of the public and community organisations. Both events were well attended and both researchers and public contributors were keen to be involved.
Evidence shows that involving the public in the development of research at all stages of the research cycle ensures that research is relevant, participant friendly, ethically sound and improves outcomes for patients and service users. We are committed to increasing the range of voices that help shape and inform health and social care research at BU.
Submit an opportunity request to involve members of the public in their research
Use the digital tools the platform offers to involve members of the public in research
Promote workshops/focus groups
Facilitate online discussions
Promote opportunities for the public to join steering groups
Online surveys & polls
Set timed challenges and encourage ideas from the community
Set up a closed group to communicate, share documents and support an established public involvement group
Communicate with VOICE members regarding specific opportunities
Access and share support and learning resources (From June) to help patient and public involvement and engagement activities
Please do register with VOICE and explore what is available and email us: firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can help get the public involved in your research and/or promote an event/opportunity to VOICE members.
As part of a 4-year Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF, Bournemouth University & Research England ) Project Output (supporting mental health and wellbeing in India) Edwin van Teijlingen and Dr Shanti Shanker have supported the creation of an Indian Charity (also known as a Non-Govt. Organisation (NGO) in India) called Sheetal Astitva
On Sunday 22nd May 2021, we hosted the first Circle of Emotions or Well-being which we refer to as Spandan. This was hosted by Dr Gayatri Kotbagi (the PDRA on this project), Dr Sandip Ravindra &
This circle of emotions offers a safe non-judgemental space for people to be in. How does it work? We host a free call (frequency dependent on the people interested to participate). Individuals are invited to walk in share some of your stories – some share their difficulties around the uncertainty, feelings of guilt, and hopelessness associated with the Covid-19, while some resonated with others’ experience and also shared some stories of resilience. As part of the first group, we had 10 participants who joined the circle and at the end did mention that it was useful.
Spandan (in Devanagari: स्पन्दन) is a word with Sanskrit origin, which literally means pulsation, or a quick movement and motion.
If you are interested in learning more please email email@example.com or find us at Sheetal Asitiva Website (which is being developed and updated regularly).
“Mass graves are not lone incidents in human history; they exist across the globe and as a journalist I have witnessed and reported on them. But despite their diverse nature, mass graves are likely to have something in common: a family anxious to know what happened, next of kin needing to offer a dignified burial to their loved one, survivors longing to mourn the dead and a community wishing to pay respect.”
The Chancellor recognises the importance of meeting those needs and with it the aim of the Bournemouth Protocol.
“Mass graves from their discovery through to commemoration efforts deserve protection and investigation. Such efforts involve extensive engagement: From the legal, investigative and scientific disciplines to community liaison and family support, each with their own rules and standards of professional practice, they all have to come together for respectful, indiscriminate and dignified handling of mass graves and human remains.”
Bournemouth University has been instrumental in collaborative research to shape mass grave investigative practice and has been training the next generation of Forensic Archaeologists and Anthropologists, through simulation exercises at Trigon Estate, Wareham for many years. The Bournemouth Protocol, led by Dr Melanie Klinkner, are another important milestone through providing clarity on international norms and standards.
It is a great honour and privilege to have Kate Adie voice the introduction of the audio version of the Bournemouth Protocol. Special thanks go to Alastair Danson, radio and screen actor, for voicing the remainig text of the Protocol; Alex Wegman, demonstrator in film and television at Bournemouth University for his expert recording; and Rudy Noriega, freelance radio producer and Lecturer in Journalism at Bournemouth University for producing the audio version of the Bournemouth Protocol. The Audio and Protocol can be found here.
To commemorate Mass Graves Day in Iraq, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) presented the recently published Bournemouth Protocol on Mass Grave Investigation and Protection to Iraqi authorities involved in efforts to account for missing persons.
In 2007, the Iraqi Council of Ministers designated 16 May as the National Day of Mass Graves to draw attention to the fate of individuals who were killed and disappeared during decades of conflict and human rights abuse and buried in mass graves. Iraqi authorities estimate that between 250.000 and 1 million persons have gone missing in the country.
To commemorate Mass Graves Day, ICMP presented to Iraqi stakeholders Arabic- and Kurdish-language copies of The Bournemouth Protocol on Mass Grave Protection and Investigation, a joint product of Bournemotuh University research led by Dr Klinkner and the ICMP that defines legal and practical standards of the protection and investigation of mass graves. Recipients include the Mass Graves Directorate, the Ministry of Health’s Medico-Legal Directorate and the National Coordination Committee in Federal Iraq as well as the Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs in the Kurdistan Region.
“Properly protecting and investigating mass graves are key steps in Iraq’s work to find the high number of missing persons and secure the rights of their families,” said Alexander Hug, head of ICMP’s Iraq Program. “The Bournemouth Protocol is an important tool that benefits the various Iraqi institutions involved in the missing persons process.”
Dr Huseyin Dogan (Principal Investigator) and Co-Investigators: Dr Paul Whittington, Professor Keith Phalp,Dr Nan Jiang and Dr Benjamin Gorman from the Faculty of Science & Technology have recently completed a 9 month, £90,000 externally funded project to develop the Authentibility Pass Proof of Concept. Authentibility Pass (www.authentibility.com) is an Android application for people with disabilities to communicate their authentication and accessibility requirements to organisations, including higher education institutions, non-profit organisations and financial institutions. On 18th February, the team had the opportunity to demonstrate the solution to potential investors. Our team was one of the four teams to be selected for a 20 minutes discussion with Matt Warmen MP, Minister of Digital Infrastructure.
The funding was awarded through the Cyber Academic Startup Accelerator Programme (CyberASAP) from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, in collaboration with Innovate UK and the Knowledge Transfer Network. The programme assists academics in UK Universities to commercialise cyber security ideas, by providing expertise knowledge and support. Lesley Hutchins (Research Commercialisation Manager, RDS) has provided us with valuable commercialisation support throughout the project.
During the initial 4 months, we developed our value proposition and conducted market validation. We identified that people with disabilities can encounter barriers due to web security and privacy technologies, preventing them from registering for services and leading to frustration. We also found that they often need to repeatedly inform organisations of their authentication and accessibility requirements.
Requirements only need to be entered once into the application, which can then be sent securely to multiple organisations via token-based authentication to an organisation’s database. Authentibility Pass also comprises a database system, web interface and an Application Programming Interface for organisations with existing databases. We believe that Authentibility Pass will assist organisations to comply with accessibility and equality regulations, whilst increasing the awareness of customer requirements.
Accessibility requirements can be entered and authentication methods selected using Authentibility Pass Application
Authentibility Pass builds on the knowledge obtained during Dr Paul Whittington’s PhD and Postdoctoral Research (supervised by Dr Huseyin Dogan and Professor Keith Phalp) and the development of the SmartAbility Framework. This CyberASAP project supports the BU2025 Assistive Technology Strategic Investment Area. The CyberASAP events are usually held in London, but due to COVID-19 we have participated in Zoom bootcamps and workshops during the past 9 months, organised by the Knowledge Transfer Network.
We are planning to develop the Proof of Concept into a commercial product, customised to suit specific organisations. It will be a ‘Software as a Service’ with annual subscriptions for the application and API. In the future, we anticipate adopting volume licensing for financial institutions and forming a spin-out company from BU to disseminate Authentibility Pass.
The dissemination of Authentibility Pass and potential adoption by higher education institutions, schools, non-profit organisations, SMEs and financial institutions, will generate impact for our assistive technology research.
Staying Active and Independent for Longer (SAIL) is an EU funded project which began in 2017. The project aimed to use the concept of social innovation to develop 10 pilots across 4 countries (France, Belgium, The Netherlands and the UK) that would enable older people to be more active. The members of the research team from Bournemouth University (Prof. Ann Hemingway Prof. Adele ladkin and Dr. Holly Crossen-White) have just published a paper in Quality in Ageing and Older Adults on how social innovation can be applied to develop services that support the needs of older people. The paper entitled, The application of social innovation as it relates to older people and the implications for future policymaking: a scoping review presents research evidence into the use of soical innovation in relation to services for older people and identifies exisitng knowledge gaps. A key point to emerge from the scoping review was that although social innovation has the potential to act as a policy driver, to be effective, it is necessary to devise robust strategies to ensure full user-engagement and active involvement of communities. Furthermore, any future research into social innovation needs to focus upon the process of delivery as this is an aspect of social innovation that has to date received little attention.
Sketchnote illustration of Dr. Feigenbaum’s keynote address.
illustration by Alexandra Alberda (comic script by Anna Feigenbaum, Alexandra Alberda and Yazan Abbas)
On The 27th of November 2020, Dr. Anna Feigenbaum presented a keynote presentation at the Data Storytelling Symposium hosted by the Data Stories project at Kings College London. She delivered her keynote address on Humanising Data Stories to a webinar audience of over 400 registered participants. Arising from work co-created with colleagues and PhD candidate Alexandra Alberda, the presentation explored techniques for telling more empathetic and effective stories both with and about data. Highlighting the ‘statistical chaos’ of COVID-19, Dr. Feigenbaum’s presentation showcased both her own comics collaborations with research illustrator Alexandra Alberda, as well as work of other comics artists and illustrators, both amateur and professional. This keynote was part of a series of talks and workshop Dr. Feigenbaum and Alberda have given over the past few months, including participation in the ESRC Festival of Social Science and a keynote at BU’s EdD conference, as well as international conferences IGNCC and ISPIM and most recently the Coronavirus, statistical chaos and the news event co-hosted by Bournemouth University, the Royal Statistical Society and the Association of British Science Writers on December 4, 2020.
Part of the _coronadiary project on instagram. Illustrations of composite characters drawn from participant experiences.
Dr. Feigenbaum joined a prestigious line-up of science journalists and academic experts, sharing pilot research that forms part of her upcoming UKRI/AHRC COVID-19 Rapid Response grant project on ‘COVID-19 Comics’. This project aims to enhance the role that comics can play in public health messaging through an analysis of the content, circulation patterns and social media engagement of webcomics about COVID-19. Dr. Feigenbaum leads a team of BU colleagues and partners as PI, alongside Alexandra Alberda, Professor Julian McDougall, Dr. William Proctor and Dr. Sam Goodman. Project partners are Public Health Dorset, the Information Literacy Network and the Graphic Medicine Collective. To find out more about this work or about hosting a data storytelling workshop for your project team, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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