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Dr. E.A.J. (Esther) Miedema

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
GPIO : Docenten GPIO

Visiting address
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
  • Room number: B4.00
Postal address
  • Postbus 15629
    1001 NC Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Research and Teaching

    Lecturer in the Governance and Inclusive Development research programme (GID) of the AISSR.

    My teaching and research are in the field of education, gender, sexuality and international development. My research examines on a range of topics linked to young people, health and gender-based violence. I am interested a) in the genealogy of, and interactions between, global, national and local narratives about education, young people and health within SRHR-related education, and b) the ways in which young women and men contest and subvert gendered norms and violence, and inequalities more broadly.

    I joined the UvA in May 2014, having received my doctorate from the Institute of Education, University College London in October 2013. Prior to this, I worked for the United Nations and in the NGO sector for almost 18 years. I worked for UNESCO in Indonesia, the Philippines and Mozambique, the International Bureau of Education (UNESCO/IBE) in Geneva and the International Institute for Educational Planning (UNESCO-IIEP) in Paris. In addition, I worked for various non-governmental organisations both within and outside the Netherlands with a focus on young people, human rights and health promotion.

    My doctoral research engages with approaches to HIV- and AIDS-related education in Mozambique, addressing fundamental gaps in existing literature. The dissertation interrogates dominant concepts underpinning HIV-related education to more clearly articulate the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of this form of education, and support efforts to evaluate different initiatives. To ensure coherence of the curriculum, the dissertation engages with questions about what and how schools should teach about the epidemic within a broader philosophical discussion regarding the aims of education as a whole. Finally, the dissertation details rich narrative data gathered in Maputo, Mozambique to examine areas of tension and agreement between approaches to HIV- and AIDS-related education adopted by various actors involved in the design, delivery and uptake of such education in secondary schools.

    At present, I am working on the following research projects:

    • Co-principal investigator on the ‘HER CHOICE’ child marriage programme (2016-2020). HER CHOICE is an alliance of four Netherlands-based organisations: Stichting Kinderpostzegels Nederland, The Hunger Project (THP), International Child Development Initiatives (ICDI) and the AISSR/UvA funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The AISSR is tasked with conducting the impact evaluation of the 11-country programme and carrying out additional qualitative research, including 2 PhDs.
    • Principal investigator on 12-month ‘Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)’ research project. The research includes a review of the academic and programmatic literatures, and a case study of teachers’ provision of CSE in Ethiopia. Funding (2016-2017) is provided by Share-net, the Netherlands SRHR-related knowledge platform.
    • Co-investigator on the South Sudan Health Action and Research Project (SHARP) in collaboration with the Netherlands Royal Tropical Institute (2015-2017). The research is geared to developing greater understanding of young women and men’s sexual and reproductive health-related decisions in a fragile post-conflict context.
    • ‘Opportunities and challenges for health promotion: a critical frame analysis of the Sustainable Development Goals’ in collaboration with the University of Sydney and Western Washington University.



  • Publications


    • Gupta, J., Bavinck, M., Ros-Tonen, M., Asubonteng, K., Bosch, H., van Ewijk, E., Hordijk, M., Van Leynseele, Y., Lopes Cardozo, M., Miedema, E., Pouw, N., Rammelt, C., Scholtens, J., Vegelin, C., & Verrest, H. (2021). COVID-19, poverty and inclusive development. World Development, 145, [105527]. [details]


    • Miedema, E., Koster, W., & Pouw, N. (2020). Taking choice seriously: Emic understandings of decision-making about child marriage. Progress in Development Studies, 20(4), 261-269 .
    • Miedema, E., Koster, W., Pouw, N., Meyer, P., & Sotirova, A. (2020). The Struggle for Public Recognition: Understanding Early Marriage through the Lens of Honour and Shame in Six Countries in South Asia and West Africa. Progress in Development Studies, 20(4), 328-346 .
    • Miedema, E., Le Mat, M. L. J., & Hague, F. (2020). But is it Comprehensive? Unpacking the ‘comprehensive’ in comprehensive sexuality education. Health Education Journal, 79(7), 747-762. [details]
    • Oduro, G. Y., & Miedema, E. (2020). "We have sex, but we don't talk about it": Examining silences in teaching and learning about Sex and Sexuality in Ghana and Ethiopia. In S. N. Nyeck (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of Queer African Studies (pp. 236-253). (Routledge handbooks). London: Routledge.



    • Adjogatse, K., & Miedema, E. A. J. (2018). ‘What to do with ‘white working-class’ underachievement? Framing ‘white working-class’ underachievement in post-Brexit England’. Manuscript submitted for publication.


    • Miedema, E., & Oduro, G. Y. (2017). Sexuality education in Ghana and Mozambique: An examination of colonising assemblages informing school-based sexuality education initiatives. In M. L. Rasmussen, & L. Allen (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook of sexuality education (pp. 69-93). London: Palgrave Macmillan. [details]


    • Miedema, E. (2016). 'Let's move, let's not remain stagnant': nationalism, masculinism and school-based education in Mozambique. In Z. Millei, & R. Imre (Eds.), Childhood and nation: interdisciplinary engagements (pp. 183-206). (Critical cultural studies of childhood). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. [details]


    • Miedema, E., & Millei, Z. (2015). "We reaffirm our Mozambican identity in the fight against HIV and AIDS": Examining educational perspectives on women’s ‘proper’ place in the nation of Mozambique. Global Studies of Childhood, 5(1), 7-18. [details]
    • Miedema, E., Maxwell, C., & Aggleton, P. (2015). The unfinished nature of rights-informed HIV- and AIDS-related education: an analysis of three school-based initiatives. Sex Education, 15(1), 78-92. [details]


    • Miedema, E. A. J., Maxwell, C., & Aggleton, P. (2011). Education about HIV/AIDS—theoretical underpinnings for a practical response. Health Education Research, 26(3), 516-525. [details]


    • Hague, F., Miedema, E. A. J., & Le Mat, M. L. J. (2017). Understanding the ‘Comprehensive’ in Comprehensive Sexuality Education: A Literature Review. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam. [details]
    • Koster, W., Miedema, E., Hodgkinson, K., Pouw, N., & Meyer, P. (2017). Her Choice Baseline Study: Synthesis Report. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam. [details]
    • Miedema, E. A. J., le Mat, M. L. J., & Amentie, S. A. (2017). Moulding the sexuality education teacher: An analysis of comprehensive sexuality education in Ethiopia. Amsterdam: Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam. [details]


    • Hodgkinson, K., Koster, W., & Miedema, E. (2016). Understanding and addressing child marriage: A scoping study of available academic and programmatic literature for the HER CHOICE Alliance. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam. [details]

    Talk / presentation

    • Miedema, E. (speaker) (9-2017). Moulding the sex ed teacher: An analysis of comprehensive sexuality education in Ethiopia, UKFIET - The Education and Development Forum, Oxford.
    • Miedema, E. (speaker) (6-2017). 'Culturespeak’ is everywhere: an analysis of culturalist narratives in approaches to HIV- and AIDS-related education in Mozambique, Gender and Education Association Conference 2017, London.
    • Miedema, E. (speaker) & Hodgkinson, K. A. (speaker) (2017). Will the real expert please stand up? Examining the utility and ethics of universalist frames in child marriage research, policy and programmes, Girls not Brides Expert Meeting.
    • Koster, W. (speaker) & Miedema, E. (speaker) (2017). Contextualizing young women’s choice and agency related to child marriage. Her Choice baseline study findings in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali and Ghana, Girls not Brides Expert Meeting.
    • Miedema, E. (speaker) (2016). Culturespeak is everywhere: an analysis of culturalist narratives in approaches to HIV- and AIDS-related education in Mozambique, Share-net International Youth Week.
    • Miedema, E. A. J. (speaker) (10-11-2015). Emancipating women? The role of school-based HIV- and AIDS-related education improving gender equality in Mozambique., AISSR Harvest Day 2015, Amsterdam.


    • Miedema, E. A. J. (2013). Re-thinking education in a world with HIV and AIDS : a qualitative inquiry into HIV- and AIDS-related education in Mozambique.
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    • ICDI
      Senior Programma manager