Dr Laura Claus has been awarded a UKRI ‘grand challenges’ research grant for her work on examining the strategies that organisations may use to tackle the widely accepted practise of child marriage in Indonesia. In a recent joint paper titled ‘Making Change from Behind a Mask: How Organizations Challenge Guarded Institutions by Sparking Grassroots Activism’ Laura and her co-author Paul Tracey examine how organisations can challenge institutions that are coercively protected by powerful elites—guarded institutions—when they are unable or unwilling to advocate publicly against them.
Laura said: “Typically, change is perceived to happen either from the top-down—organisations that decide on the agenda, define the issues, and then make their program so they can address these challenges—or from the grassroots…there is something that is in between. It doesn’t have to be top-down or grassroots. You can do both at the same time to drive social change”.
The UKRI grant will enable Laura to continue her research on the island of Lombok where child marriage rates are estimated to be around 30-35%. On Lombok, she works with a local organisation that has found a very unique approach to reducing child marriage rates, namely, the mobilisation of children and former child marriage husbands and their conversion into anti-child marriage activists. The project is co-authored with Jan Lodge, PhD Candidate at the University of Cambridge and Aulia Syakhroza, Assistant Professor at Cass Business School.
Learn more about Laura’s research through this short video