Children's Lived Experience of Poverty and Vulnerability in Siaya, Kenya

PhD student

Elizabeth Ngutuku

Wednesday 4 Mar 2020, 16:00 - 17:00
PhD defence
Spoken Language
Aula B
International Institute of Social Studies
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Elizabeth Mulewa Ngutuku

Watch live via ISS Livestream

On 4 March 2020, Elizabeth Mulewa Ngutuku will defend her PhD thesis on 'Rhizomatic Cartographies of Children’s Lived Experience of Poverty and Vulnerability in Siaya, Kenya'

This research looks into children’s complex lived experience in Kenya. It is based on a one-year ethnographic research in Siaya, a county characterized by some of the lowest indicators of child well-being in Kenya.

Elizabeth Ngutuku explored the children’s experience as ‘cartography’, or a rhizomatic map, from three interlinked every-day and symbolic spaces of children: the household/home, and non-state and state programmes of support and schooling.

She finds that children’s lived experience is not linear. It is formed at sometimes enduring and/or shifting interstices of material lack and historically/politically located factors. It also forms at complex social relations, including community-individual and state-citizen relations and obligations. This experience coalesces at the context of representations and understanding of children’s needs, rights and identity in programmes and the emergent agency of children.

Doctoral board


Professor Inge Hutter

Doctoral dissertation supervisor

Professor Karin Arts


Dr Auma Okwany


Members of the Full Doctoral Committee

Professor Elizabeth Swadener, Arizona State University

Professor Simiyu Wandibba, University of Nairobi

Professor Karl Hanson, University of Geneva

Dr Amrita Chhachhi

Dr Naomi van Stapele


More information

The ceremony will begin promptly at 16.00 hrs in the Auditorium of the ISS, Kortenaerkade 12, The Hague. The doors will be closed after the start of the Public Defence, but will be briefly opened after the candidate’s introduction to allow latecomers to enter.

Children under 7 years old are not allowed in the Aula during the first part of the ceremony. The ceremony will be followed by a reception in the Atrium of the ISS. Professors are invited to join the academic procession. 

This Public Defence may broadcast on ISS livestream. If so, you will be able to watch the Public Defence live at

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