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Dr Alison Lloyd Williams

Honorary Researcher

Bowland North



Tel: +44 1524 594627

Research overview

Alison draws on creative and arts-based methods to research youth and community participation in disaster risk management, recovery and resilience building. Since 2014 she has been involved in a range of projects across the UK, Europe, Asia and Africa that have researched the experiences of disaster-affected communities and promoted youth voice and action on issues including flooding, coastal change, nuclear disaster and the climate crisis. Through this work Alison has collaborated with emergency planners, scientists, health practitioners, NGOs and schools, among others.

Research Interests

Alison has an MA in Theatre and Development Studies from the University of Leeds and a PhD in Theatre Studies from Lancaster. Her doctoral thesis, which drew on workshops with children in Uganda and the UK, made a case for a pedagogy of Theatre for Development in education and children as active participants in community development. 

Alison co-devised the participatory methods and tools used to engage with children and promote their voice in two major projects: Children, Young People and Flooding: Recovery and Resilience (2014-2016) and CUIDAR: Cultures of Disaster Resilience Among Children and Young People (2015-2018). She went on to co-develop a series of digital, educational outputs, using data from this research, aimed both at increasing public understanding of flood risk and recovery and helping practitioners to better understand the needs of flood-affected communities. These resources can be found on the team’s Flood Archive site.

Since 2016 Alison has been working with colleagues at Fukushima Medical University (FMU) in Japan, using participatory theatre to explore the role children and schools can play in community resilience building in the wake of the 3.11 disaster. Recent projects include the development of a teacher training course in theatre pedagogy, accredited by the local Board of Education in Fukushima, and a 'Creative Health' programme with children in Japan and other disaster-prone countries in Asia and Africa. In 2023 Alison was awarded the position of Specially Appointed Professor at FMU in recognition of her contribution to research on disaster recovery in Fukushima Prefecture.

Other recent projects include place-based research with communities in England affected by coastal erosion and work with youth in Northern Vietnam, exploring how people are responding to the effects of climate change.

Alison formerly held an Honorary Research Fellow position in the School of Arts, Languages & Cultures at the University of Manchester, contributing to the university’s In Place of War programme via a Theatre in Education consultancy for Children in Crisis Liberia.

Professional Role

Alison also works for Global Link Development Education Centre in Lancaster, using creative, participatory approaches in global education and community heritage projects with young people and adults.

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