Assistant Professor of Social Welfare
Ph.D., Columbia University
Areas of Interest:Capability Approach, Children and Families, Global Social Welfare, Human Development, Intervention Development, Poverty, Quantitative Analysis
Office Location:5325, Public Affairs
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A new assistant professor of social welfare, Leyla Karimli’s research interests focus on a multidimensional and systems-oriented analysis of poverty and social exclusion in a global context. Situated within Amartya Sen’s capability approach, Professor Karimli’s research is based on the proposition that poverty needs to be treated as a complex phenomenon experienced not only in terms of material deprivation but also as powerlessness, limited human agency, exposure to vulnerability and risk, and social exclusion.
Professor Karimli’s research agenda employs multidisciplinary research that addresses the varied dimensions of poverty, inequality and social exclusion globally and seeks remedies at not only the micro- but also the mezzo- and macro- levels. Her research aims to understand to what extent do the various forms of economic empowerment policies and programs improve individuals’ self-efficacy and future orientation, and whether this effect manifests itself in actual choices and life decisions that, in the long run, help people cope with poverty and social exclusion. Her research also tries to explore how family- and community-level social capital shapes the programs and policies targeting poverty and social exclusion among low-income families. She specifically focuses on understanding the role of social capital and informal safety nets in improving people’s wellbeing in developing countries, where almost the entirety of the safety net is provided not by governments but by communities and families.
Professor Karimli has 13 years of international research and practice experience focusing on poverty and social exclusion, including working with international development agencies in the former Soviet Union and Sub-Saharan Africa. Most recently, she was involved in research in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya, Colombia, Philippines, and Tajikistan.
Professor Karimli received her PhD from Columbia University’s School of Social Work with a concentration in social policy and social welfare. She completed her postdoctoral trainings at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration and New York University’s Silver School of Social Work’s McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research.
Professor Karimli is a faculty affiliate at Luskin’s Global Public Affairs, UCLA’s California Center for Population Research (CCPR), and Columbia University’s International Center on Child Health and Asset Development (ICHAD).
PUBLICATIONS IN PEER-REVIEWED JOURNALS
Ssewamala, F. M., Karimli, L., Neilands, T. B., Wang, J. S. H., Han, C. K., Ilic, V., & Nabunya, P. (2016) Applying a family-level economic strengthening intervention to improve education and health-related outcomes of school-going AID-orphaned children: Lessons from a randomized experiment in Southern Uganda. Prevention Science, 17 (1), 134-143
Karimli, L. & Ssewamala, F.M. (2015) Do savings mediate changes in adolescents’ future orientation and health-related outcomes? Findings from randomized experiment in Uganda. Journal of Adolescent Health, 57 (4), 425-432
Karimli, L., Ssewamala, F. M., Neilands, T. B., & McKay, M. MK. (2015) Matched children savings accounts in low resource communities: Who saves? Global Social Welfare, 2 (2), 53-64
Karimli, L., Ssewamala, F. M., & Neilands, T. B. (2014) Poor families striving to save in matched children’s savings accounts: Findings from a randomized experimental design in Uganda. Social Service Review, 88 (4), 658-694
Karimli, L., Ssewamala, F. M., & Ismayilova, L. (2012) Extended families and perceived caregiver support to AIDS orphans in Rakai district of Uganda. Children and Youth Services Review, 345 (7), 1351-1358
Ismayilova, L., Ssewamala, F. M., & Karimli, L. (2012) Family support as a mediator of change in sexual risk-taking attitudes among orphaned adolescents in rural Uganda. Journal of Adolescent Health, 50 (3), 228-235
Ssewamala, F. M., Wang, J. S. H., Karimli, L., & Nabunya, P. (2011) Strengthening universal primary education in Uganda: The potential role of a family asset-based development program. International Journal of Educational Development, 31 (5), 472-477
Ssewamala, F. M., Karimli, L., Han, CK, & Ismayilova, L. (2010). Social capital, savings, and educational outcomes of orphaned adolescents in Sub-Saharan Africa. Children and Youth Services Review, 32(12), 1704-1710
Ssewamala, F. M., Sperber, E., Zimmerman, J., & Karimli, L. (2010). The potential of asset-based development strategies for poverty alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa. International Journal of Social Welfare,19 (4), 433-443
For full list of publications please visit her page at ResearchGate