Alumni Profiles

Jocelyn Kelly helps women in war-torn regions

Jocelyn Kelly, director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative's Women in War Program

Image credit: Jocelyn Kelly

During a stint as a medical volunteer in Mexico, Jocelyn Kelly, A&S '02, saw how public health interventions can change vulnerable communities. Now, as director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative's Women in War program, Kelly, a former reporter, interviews women in war-torn regions of Africa, and the international community uses her research to develop more effective programs. Most recently, Kelly's work revealed that African women with limited economic opportunities seek employment in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's eastern mining towns despite the likelihood they will be abused and exploited by their bosses. Her research informed the World Bank's decision to sponsor the country's first national women's mining cooperative. In September, more than 150 women in mining attended the group's inaugural conference to share their personal experiences with violence—as well as their successes in the sector—and develop a plan for improving their well-being. "It's one of those defining moments that shows how research that truly draws on local voices can be delivered into this really concrete and exciting program," Kelly says.

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Posted in Politics+Society