Leonard Cheshire Development Centre

Dr Maria Kett

Dr Kett Photo

Assistant Director

Email: m.kett@ucl.ac.uk

Phone: +44 (0)20 3108 3174

Internal: 53174

Click here for a list of Dr Kett's Publications


Dr Kett has a particular interest in disability-related issues in situations of disasters and conflicts. Her other main research interests include social exclusion; psychosocial impacts of conflict; effects of displacement, measures to alleviate poverty, and broader issues around development and human rights.

She has undertaken work in countries including Bosnia, Azerbaijan, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Liberia. Some of this work includes: 1) Examining the effects of conflict and displacement on the lives of persons with disabilities, 2) Initiating the work of the Crosscutting Disability Research Programme which is establishing a research network across a number of other DFID-funded research programme consortiums; 3) Supporting the capacity building and training of disabled people to participate in research; 4) Undertaking research-based consultancies in collaboration with other international agencies, including the United Nations.

Dr Kett has a strong focus on research in conflict and disaster-affected countries, and has undertaken policy-focused work on inclusive humanitarian responses, culminating in her role as Global Focal Point for Disability in the current revision of the Sphere Handbook on Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (2010).

Dr Kett has extensive experience of working at the interface of research into policy and practice, and was previously the Chair of the International Disability and Development Consortium Task Group on Conflict and Emergencies', and in this capacity represented IDDC to a number of major international donors and organisations, including the European Union and the United Nations. She is also Editorial Representative on the Conflict and Catastrophe Forum at the Royal Society of Medicine.

She is also the co-editor of the journal Medicine, Conflict and Survival.


BSc/MSc Global Health and Development at the Centre for International Health and Development, UCL: ‘Conflict, Migration and Human Rights’ module


2009: ILO Report on ‘The inclusion of persons with disabilities in disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) programmes and other general post-conflict socio-economic programmes in Liberia’

2009: World Bank e-forum on ‘The Impact of Climate Change on People with Disabilities’

2008: UNICEF/INTERSOS collaboration on Report on ‘Vulnerable and excluded children in Darfur, Sudan’

2008: World Bank e-forum on ‘The inclusion of persons with disabilities in conflict and emergency responses’

2005: DFID-funded Knowledge and Research Programme. Research report ‘Disability in conflict and emergency situations: focus on tsunami-affected areas’

Selected Publications

Kett, M. and Trani, J. (2010) Vulnerability and disability in Darfur. Forced Migration Review. (35): 12 – 14

Kett, M. and van Ommerern M (2009) ‘Disability, conflict and emergencies’ The Lancet 374 (9704), 1801 - 1802

Kett, M., Lang,R., Trani,J. (2009). Disability, Development and the Dawning of a New Convention: A Cause for Optimism? Journal of International Development 21(5), 649-661. ISSN: 0954-1748

Lang,R., Kett,M., Trani,J. (2009). Introduction to Special Section: Papers from the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: A Call for Action on Poverty, Lack of Access and Discrimination. Disability Studies Quarterly 29(1). ISSN: 1041-5718

Kett, M. and Twigg, J. (2007): ‘Disability and disasters: towards an inclusive approach’ In World Disaster Report 2007; Geneva: International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

Kett, M. and Rowson, M. (2007) ‘Drivers of Violent Conflict’ JRSM: 100 (9): 403 - 406