- University Life
PhD, Sociology and Demography, University of California, Berkeley, 2007 MA, Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, 2003 MA, Demography, University of California, Berkeley, 2002 BA, Sociology and Anthropology, Swarthmore College, 1999
Dr. Robinson's research centers around three main streams. The first stream examines variation in how countries respond to health and development problems and has produced a book and numerous articles related to related to family planning, HIV prevention, and sexuality education in sub-Saharan Africa. Policies, programs, and organizations are of particular interest across these areas. The second stream investigates the origins and effects of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and asks broader questions about state-society relationships. The third stream analyzes fertility timing and outcomes.
Area of Expertise:
Global Health and development; HIV/AIDS; family planning; sex-related health interventions, homophobia, and LGBTQ issues in sub-Saharan Africa
Rachel Robinson is an associate professor in the School of International Service at American University and holds a PhD in sociology and demography from the University of California at Berkeley. Her research focuses on sex-related health interventions in sub-Saharan Africa, including family planning, HIV/AIDS, and sexuality education. She studies how such interventions come into being, the actors that implement them (especially NGOs), and how they influence one another. Current projects relate to politicized homophobia and the extent of social science knowledge on NGOs. She has published a book, Intimate Interventions in Global Health: Family Planning and HIV Prevention in Sub-Saharan Africa (Cambridge University Press 2017) and articles in journals such as Demography, Journal of the International AIDS Society, Population Studies, and Population Research and Policy Review. She has conducted field research in Namibia, Malawi, Nigeria, and Senegal. Her research has been funded by the MacArthur Foundation, the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Robinson teaches courses on statistics, global health, population studies, development, and NGOs.
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