Dr Fanny Froehlich

Post-doctoral Research Fellow / Youth Co-researcher, School of Education and Social Care

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Social science and humanities , Gender

Research Supervision:Yes

Fanny Froehlich is a feminist qualitative social researcher whose work foregrounds working together with people who live in deprived communities as well as practitioners in the Global South, with the intention of informing international development policy and practice with lived gendered experiences and norms in reciprocal ways.


Connect with Fanny on LinkedIn


Fanny joined ARU in May 2021 and, in line with her interdisciplinary research outlook, has worked in several research and teaching roles across faculties. At HEMS, she holds a post-doc position on the British Academy funded Youth Futures project focusing on Promoting Sustainable Livelihoods: Unpacking Possibilities for Empowerment with Young Migrants in Ghana (PI: Ass Prof Dr Grace Spencer). In her own research and teaching, Fanny is particularly interested in the role of gender norms and values and their impact on social transformation in the context of cross-cultural international development programmes and policy.

Spoken Languages

  • German (mother tongue)
  • English (fluent)
  • French (intermediary)
  • Swedish (intermediary)
  • Twi (basic)

Research interests

  • Feminist research on social inequalities considering an intersectional lens
  • Gender and international development
  • Social transformation linked to gendered social norms and values
  • Co-production of knowledge
  • Participatory and collaborative feminist research methods

Fanny is an early-career researcher in the field of gender and international development, working with community members and development practitioners in the Global South, particularly Ghana, West Africa. Fanny’s research centres on exploring potentials and risks of international development programmes and policy that set out to be gender-transformative and are implemented cross-culturally. Doing so, she draws on an eloquent African feminist critique of global development standards and foregrounds potential spaces for co-production of knowledge informed by collaborative feminist research methods. Such an approach could support meaningful ethics of engagement. Fanny works on social empowerment linked to gendered social norms and values, an area that is recently receiving more attention within her field.

Areas of research supervision

Supervision of MA and BA dissertations in Sociology with a gender focus.


Fanny taught the following modules during the academic year 2021/22

  • MA/MSc modules: Contemporary Debates in Sociology; Globalisation, Social Welfare and Social Policy
  • BA modules: Contemporary Inequalities, Feminist Debates and Activism, Sexuality and Social Control


  • PhD in Development Planning ‘Transnational and Local Concepts of Gender and Social Transformation in International Development Work: Understanding Normative Frameworks through Foregrounding Lived Realities in Ghana’ (2021), University College London, UK
  • Master of Arts (MA) in International Studies, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in History, Vienna University, Austria (Diploma Programme: BA and MPhil combined)

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member of Gender and Development Network (GADN)
  • Member of Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)
  • Member of Participatory Research Group at ARU
  • Member of Women & Girls Research Interest Group at ARU
  • Member of Cluster for Education Research on Identities and Inequalities (CERII) at ARU

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Promoting Sustainable Livelihoods: Unpacking Possibilities for Empowerment with Young Migrants in Ghana. Team: Spencer, G., Thompson, J., Froehlich, F. Asafo, D., Kassim, A., Asiamah, G., Mornuu, J., Doku, M. T., Kwankye, O. S., Dankyi, E. (2021-22). Funder: British Academy
  • Consultancy: ‘Real Choices, Real Lives’ 10 Year Report. Team: Haris, L., Wood, M. M., Froehlich, F., Guidarini, C., Schneider, S. (2016). Plan International UK
  • Consultancy: Athena Swan Bronze Award Application. Research Assistant (2015). The Bartlett, UCL Faculty of the Built Environment

Selected recent publications

In Press. Froehlich, F. Gender and Social Transformation. In Moreau, M.-P. (Ed.) The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Social Justice in Education: Gender and Sexuality.

Accepted. Spencer, G., Thompson, J., Froehlich, F. Asafo, D., Kassim, A., Asiamah, G., Mornuu, J., Doku, M. T., Kwankye, O. S., Dankyi, E. Young People’s Involvement in Migration Research: Opportunities for Reshaping Priorities and Practices. British Academy Journal

Accepted. Froehlich, F. ‘Reaching Higher in Life’ – Education as Social Security Negotiated along the Lines of Age and Gender. In: Lundt, B. and Kah, H. K. (eds.) Gender, Old Age and Social Security in Africa and Europe. Lit Verlag Dr. W. Hopf, Berlin, Germany.

Froehlich, F., 2021. Transnational and Local Concepts of Gender and Social Transformation in International Development Work. Understanding Normative Frameworks through Foregrounding Life Realities. Doctoral Thesis. University College London, UK.

Froehlich, F., 2015. Die Erfindung einer afrikanischen Gesellschaft. Kwame Nkrumah und die Verbindung von Moderne und Tradition in Ghana [The Invention of an African Society. Kwame Nkrumah and the Linking of Modernity and Tradition in Ghana]. Saarbrücken: AV Akademikerverlag

Planned Publications

Froehlich, F. Local Meets Global: Engagements on Rights and Development in Ghana

Froehlich, F. Collaborative Research across the Global South and the Global North: Challenging Hierarchical Processes of Knowledge Production

Froehlich, F. Engaging with Values and Norms as part of Gender and Development – A Focus on Child Protection

Reports and Public Outreach

Froehlich, F., 2018, June 5. Bartlett PhD Student Recounts Ghana Field Trip to Study Gender Roles and Language. Available at: ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/news/2018/jun/bartlett-phd-student-recounts-ghana-field-trip-study-gender-roles-and-language [Accessed 13 June 2022]

Froehlich, F., 2017, Feb 13. Young Girls and Social Norms. Challenges to Promoting Wellbeing and Equality. Available at: ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/development/news/2017/feb/young-girls-and-social-norms-challenges-promoting-well-being-and-equality  [Accessed 13 June 2022]

Froehlich, F., 2016. Human Rights for Development. A Workable Concept or a Noble Mission that has to Remain Abstract? In Lembrechts, S.; Froehlich, F. (Eds.) Human Rights for Development. Advanced Summer Course on Human Rights, Development and Transitional Justice 2015. Course Report.

Recent presentations and conferences

Froehlich, F., 2021. Local Meets Global: Engagements on Rights and Development in Ghana. In: M.S. Merian – R. Tagore International Centre of Advanced Studies, Listen to the Global South! Uncovering the Roles of Southern Actors in Writing Global Gender Norms. Virtual Workshop. 1-2 December, Online via Zoom.

Froehlich, F., 2018. Unequal Power Relations in regard to Gender and Knowledge Production: Examining an International NGO Project Conducted in the Eastern Region of Ghana. In: Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Revisiting the 1958 All African People’s Conference: The Unfinished Business of Liberation and Transformation. 5-8 December, Legon, Accra, Ghana

Froehlich, F., 2016. Imagining Ghana’s Future in Terms of Gender: Gender Images and their Links to Tradition and Modernity in the Context of INGO Interventions. In: SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) Redefining the Past, Imagining the Future. Africa Research Day Conference. 25 May, London, UK.

Media experience

Administrator for Research Project Website youngmigrantsghana.com