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About me

Serena is Assistant Professor in International Development and Economics at the University of Westminster's School of Organisations, Economy and Society. Before joining the University of Westminster, she held a post-doctoral position at the University of Oxford's Department for International Development and obtained her PhD from the University of Manchester. She has also held research consultancy roles with Oxford Policy Management and a number of United Nations' organisations, including UNU-WIDER and the World Food Programme. 

Her current field of research is in the political economy of development, and her research agenda is divided into two  strands: one looks at issues of global health policy, while another focuses on globalisation and labour in transnational production settings. 

Serena is co-convener of the Westminster Development Policy Network.

PhD Supervision

Serena welcomes PhD proposals in the following research areas:

i) Globalisation, transnational investment, informallity, employment conditions, knowledge transfer

ii) The political Economy of Covid-19

iii) Health systems integration and health policy reform in the Global South

PhD Students

Sabine Franklin (completed): The 2014 Ebola Epidemic in West Africa and The Role of Traditional Institutions in Managing the Crisis

Jiandan Li (2nd year): Chinese FDI in Europe, Impacts on Trade and Labour Markets, A case study of the Piraeus Port acquisition in Greece

Olga Artsiuk (1st year):  International Trade in Services and Sustainable Development.

Lady Asafu-Adjaye (1st year): Informality and Adverse Incorporation, Evidence from Ghana


'Development Economics and Policy' (MSc and MA in International Development Management) 

Other teaching duties on a number of economics and development modules, at both postgraduate and undergraduate level.

Since 2018, I am Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


(I) Work in Progress

  •  Global Health Policy

‘Beyond Transmission: Social Experiences and Implications of the first wave of the COVID-19 Emergency in Italy' - with L. Enria.

'Epistemological Tensions between Indigenous Medicine and Biomedical Health Care in Africa: A Scoping Review of the Evidence' - with S. Franklin and J.-B. Falisse

  • Globalisation, adverse incorporation, and labour informality

"Governance Outsourcing and Workers' Adverse Incorporation: A Multi-scalar Analysis of the Ghanaian Construction Sector" with N. von Jacobi and M. Akuffobea-Essilfie.

(II) Policy Reports

‘Social Considerations in the COVID19 Emergency in Italy’ [download] - with L. Enria.

'MNEs, Local Capability Building, and Development: Chinese and European MNEs in Ghana' (2016) - with Fu, X., Essegbey, G., Frempong, G., Hou, J., and Akuffobea, M., University of Oxford, TMCD Working Paper TMD-WP-74 

(III) Media

What can the UK learn from Italy’s Experience?’ On The iPaper (2 April 2020)

Latest on Coronavirus’ live interview on BBC World News TV (20 March 2020)

Italy’s fight against Covid-19 depends on continued solidarity’ in Open Democracy with L. Enria (20 March 2020)

Southern Italy braces for 'tsunami' of coronavirus cases’ interview in The Guardian (19 March 2020)

Why indigenous medicine could play a role in rebuilding health systems’ with J.-B. Falisse in The Conversation (19 June 2018)

(IV) Selected Publications

Indigenous Medicine and Biomedical Health Care in Fragile Settings: Insights from Burundi’ (2018), with J.-B. Falisse and R. Ngenzebuhoro. Health Policy and Planning 2018: 1-11.

Improving Financial Inclusion through the delivery of cash transfer programmes: The Case of Mexico’s Progresa-Oportunidades-Prospera Programme (2018)with M. Niño-Zarazúa. Journal of Development Studies, 56(1): 151-68.

What works to improve the quality of student learning in developing countries? (2016), with M. Niño-Zarazúa, International Journal of Educational Development, 48:53-65.


For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.