Dina Sidhva
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Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

Over the past 30 years as a social work practitioner, educator and researcher in India and Scotland, my expertise lies in working with marginalised and disadvantaged people to express their ‘voice’ and agency. In championing work on behalf of the socially excluded particularly people living with HIV/AIDS, migration and asylum seeking, domestic abuse, and minority community access to education in social work.

My research expertise and interest span the broad social science aspects areas of work with women, men and children affected by HIV/AIDS; asylum seekers and refugees; human rights, migration, gender violence, international social work and social development; surrogacy and cross border reproductive services.

Current research activities

In 2016 I completed a 12 month participatory action research, which drew on the visual medium of PhotoVoice to give voice to the poignant stories of forced African migrants in Scotland against the backdrop of the UK’s policies on supporting asylum seekers and refugees. The findings of the research have been developed in to an exhibition of photographs that showcases the lived realities of asylum seekers and refugees in Scotland who also live with HIV: “Living in Limbo”.

I am currently actively involved in disseminating this research with plans for more dissemination until March 2018.

The exhibition and talk based on a PhotoVoice Research “Living in Limbo” have been/are planned to be exhibited at events locally, nationally and internationally.  

 Previous Events in Scotland

1)     Scottish Parliament Launch: Exhibition and talk on “Living in Limbo: the lives of forced migrants living in Scotland” launched by Mr Humza Yousaf MSP (former Minister of Europe and International Development) and hosted by Jim Eadie (former MSP) Scottish Government; March 23, 2016

2)     Launch of Gender Rights and Development Network, University of Edinburgh: PhotoVoice Exhibition shown on Day 1 of the Conference, 25-29 April 2016 at Surgeons’ Hall, Edinburgh

3)     Just Festival—“From the Edge”: Exhibition shown from 5-28 August, 2016 at St John’s Church, Edinburgh

4)     Just Festival—“From the Edge”: Talks “Every Picture tells a Story” 9th and 13th August, 2016 at St John’s Church, Edinburgh

5)     Medsin-UK National Conference: Exhibition “Living in Limbo: the lived realities of HIV positive Asylum seekers and Refugees from Africa in Scotland”, 12-13 November 2017, Queen Elisabeth University Hospital, Glasgow


Workshop on: “Living in Limbo: Experiences of African Forced Migrants in Scotland” with Mildred Zimunya (Waverley Care, Scotland)

6)     Health in Faith Conference:Exhibition and Talk “Living in Limbo: The role of faith in the lives of HIV positive Asylum seekers and Refugees from Africa in Scotland”, 26 November 2016, Wellington Church, Glasgow

Previous International events

7)     India Launch: Exhibition and talk on “Living in Limbo: the lives of forced migrants living in Scotland” launched by Sir TimothyO'Shea Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Edinburgh, 16 January, Ministry of New, Mumbai.

8)     College of Social Work, Mumbai: Exhibition and talk on “Living in Limbo: the lives of forced migrants living in Scotland”, 17-23 January, 2017; Talk: 17 January, 2017

9)     J.J College of Architecture: Exhibition “Living in Limbo: the lives of forced migrants living in Scotland”, 15-16 Feb, 2017; Talk: Feb 15, 2017

10)  Tata Institute of Social Sciences: Exhibition and talk on “Living in Limbo: the lives of forced migrants living in Scotland”, Feb 17, 2017

11)  20th Biennale International Consortium for Social Development (ICDS) Symposium, Zagreb, July 7-11:  Workshop onEngaging forced migrants in HIV research in Scotland - challenges and opportunities” with Dr George Palattiyil (University of Edinburgh) in the Subtheme on: Social justice and human rights.


Desired research direction

Alongside the dissemination of the Photovoices through exhibitions and talks, I am working on journal articles and a book proposal to use the rich narratives that I have collected during the project. I expect to turn this into a short-form book that would be suited to an academic press. I am at the stage of working out the details of the book and am in negotiation with a publisher to see how this can be taken further.

I am keen on building on research/publications/teaching and developing of programmes and courses that focus on migration, global challenges, migrant health (particularly mental health) and human rights.

Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange

  • Migration
  • Asylum Seekers and Refugees
  • Global Challenges
  • International Social Work and Social Development
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Black and Minority Ethnic learners and Widening Participation

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Associate, Global Health Academy, University of Edinburgh

17 Nov 2016 → …

Honorary Fellow, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh

1 Mar 201628 Feb 2019


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