Maria Klara Kuss

PhD fellow

Thematic expertise: Political Economy, Governance, Social Policy, Social Protection, and Gender mainstreaming

Maria Klara Kuss is a PhD fellow in Public Policy and Policy Analysis at the United Nations University MERIT’s Graduate School of Governance – supervised by Allister J McGregor (Sheffield), Mark Bevir (UC Berkeley), and Franziska Gassmann (Maastricht). She is also affiliated to the African Studies Centre at Leiden University (ASCL).

Her PhD research is interdisciplinary in nature and draws on anthropological and sociological approaches to public policy analysis. It analyses the de facto negotiations of Zambia’s welfare regime with a focus on the transformative impacts of social cash transfers. This research evolved from her earlier work as Research Officer at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex (UK) where she was part of a UNICEF-funded research project on the views, experiences and perceptions of social cash transfer recipients and their communities in Zambia. Moreover, it builds on her practical experience in living and working in Zambia, gained through her involvement as an advisor for the GIZ.

Maria Klara holds a Master’s degree in Governance and International Development from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex (UK) and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Applied Science Wuerzburg (Germany). She has worked with numerous national and international organisations (including INCLUDE/NWO, UNICEF, OECD, UNIFEM and GIZ) conducting research, consultancy and advisory work in social protection, change and continuity, poverty, rural livelihoods and gender in Zambia, Uganda, Panama and other developing countries.

Her expertise includes: designing and conducting qualitative research, combining quantitative, qualitative and participatory methods; fieldwork and supervision of local fieldwork teams, policy advice and evaluation work; project management; workshop facilitation, and teaching.


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Selected publications by Maria Klara Kuss


UNU-MERIT