Dr Winnie Bedigen


I am interested in international development, justice, gender, education, youth, peace, conflict resolution and African cultures (South Sudan and the Horn of Africa). My research focusses on how these issues can be understood in the context of African cultures.

Before joining University of Leeds in September 2017, I held a part-time Lecturer post at Leeds Beckett University, where I taught Peace and Conflict Resolution modules. I obtained my PhD in May 2017 from the same university.

Research interests

My PhD research identifies and explores traditional methods of conflict resolution that can and should be utilised in resolving the South Sudan civil war. By investigating the Nilotic Lwo peace cultures utilised in family, community and inter-ethnic conflicts, the research shows how these traditional methods could also be utilised for national-level conflict resolution. This research narrates the course of South Sudan civil war intra and inter-ethnic conflicts and the failed conventional conflict resolution attempts from 1983 to 2015. It analyses peace and conflict resolution theories commonly utilised in these conventional conflict resolution approaches by using cultural, hegemony and Afrocentric theories as lenses to develop a deeper new understanding of the South Sudan civil war crimes and to propose a potential resolution. Through some ethnographic and anthropological aspects, stories were collected from the Nilotic Lwo, Nilotics and other non-Nilotic people with knowledge and experiences in traditional approaches to conflict resolution and civil war.

My current research on Prison-Community Reintegration project in Teso, Soroti District, Uganda, started in February 2017. Issues of concern for Global Development at the core of this project include justice, rights, poverty, health and community engagement. This participatory research focuses on advocacy and mobilising local resources in the reintegration process. The project is designed to support the participants for a further 12-24 months to enable them resettle socially and economically. Still in its initial stages, and seeking funding opportunities, this project relies on Bids Foundation, a local community based organisation volunteering efforts in implementation.

Since 2005, I have worked with communities in Teso on poverty reduction projects and facilitated women empowerment initiatives by supporting their businesses as well as taking advocacy roles. Through these experience I have witnessed Global Development opportunities (cultural values) and challenges, the major one being negative cultural perceptions and practices in relation to development. Hence, my intended research focus on cultures and development.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Student education

At masters level I teach:

  • Research Methods for Development
  • Global Inequalities and Development

At undergraduate level I teach:

  • Global Development Challenges
  • Development Approaches