GEMMS inception workshop and launch

The week of 21 November was a busy week in the GEMMS calendar: team members from Cambodia, India, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and other parts of the UK converged on the University of Essex for our inception workshop; we had our first public event; and we hosted the first meeting of our international advisory group (IAG).

Inception workshop

The inception workshop was the first time many of us were able to meet in person and get to know the fantastic people we will be working with over the next four years. We had interesting conversations about how to define key concepts central to the project for example, who a migrant is; how we are going to engage with the communities with whom we want to work; and how we can ensure that our research is ethical, and our ways of working are equitable.

Public Event

On Wednesday 23 November, we had our first public event. The event, which was hosted by the Institute for Public Health and Wellbeing at the University of Essex, included two great panels and a recorded input by David Miliband, who reminded everyone that “to be a successful humanitarian organisation, you need to be a feminist organisation.”

The first panel was on Decolonizing global health research and praxis and included input from team members Amita Bhide and Pedzisayi Mangezvo, and IAG member Delan Devakumar. The second panel was a high-level policy dialogue on Disrupting the cycle of gendered violence and mental health in migrants in precarious contexts. On this panel we heard from IAG members Santino Severoni (WHO), Kol Wickramage (IOM), Avni Amin (WHO), and B Camminga (Wits), and Carla Ferstman from the University of Essex.

IAG meeting

With some of our IAG able to join us in person, we had our first hybrid IAG meeting on Thursday 24 November. Our IAG have a diverse range of skills and expertise and will be providing input as GEMMS develops and research is undertaken.

The next time we’ll get to all meet in person will be our 2023 meeting in Mumbai! Until then we’ll be starting to undertake our planned research (you can read more about what we’re planning to do under Workstream 1 and Workstream 2) and starting to update this space more regularly with developments.