Kiran Manku

Kiran is a Research Assistant on the NeuroGenE project, where she is responsible for managing grants, supporting the methodology and research strategy, as well as web design and the twitter handle. In addition, Kiran contributes research to the stigma component of the project through a scoping review and empirical research in Ghana. Her research interests include understanding conceptualisations of disabilities, investigating factors that contribute to stigma, and contextual research for imp in the field of disability and development.

Her current research focuses on attitudes towards persons with mental health, neurodevelopmental, and neurological disorders. This encompasses many components including the healthcare streams of traditional healing, ritual healing, and modern biomedicine, all of which have differing ethical issues and societal impacts. Kiran takes a multidisciplinary approach in her methodology intertwining development, psychology, and anthropology. She has completed fieldwork in Kenya on attitudes and empathy towards persons with disabilities. In collaboration with Dr Caesar Atuire, she has developed a contextual attitude tool to capture frameworks of conceptions towards psychosis in Ghana.

Kiran was awarded her Masters in International Development from the University of Birmingham in 2017. Prior to this, she completed her Bachelor degree in Psychology which included a year studying Anthropology at the Universität Heidelberg.


  • Debate: Promoting capabilities for young people’s agency in the COVID-19 outbreak.

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    The COVID‐19 pandemic is having a pervasive effect on young people's mental health and well‐being, giving rise to feelings of deep uncertainty and lack of control. Inspired by Amartya Sen's capabilities framework, we argue that building capacity and creating opportunities for community and civic engagement during this time will help young people gain agency and well‐being. We highlight two key areas for participatory engagement: coproduction of research, and peer‐led interventions. Providing capabilities for young people's agency not only builds personal resilience, but also strengthens the quality of our research, interventions and overall response to the global health crisis.