What is GAIN?

Our 'Global Associates International Network', or GAIN, is a transdisciplinary network of academics and practitioners from around the world. 

Who is a part of GAIN?

Our community is made up of individuals from a large number of fields, including anthropology and sociology, urban planning, civil engineering, education in emergencies, economics, information technology and entrepreneurship. We also have regional specialists on the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

What does GAIN do?

GAIN is committed to tackling the challenges of displacement and enhancing prosperity, quality of life and education for both refugees and hosts. Its main objectives include

  • Strengthening knowledge exchange between researchers, International Agencies, NGO’s, charities, policy makers and entrepreneurs who address the consequences of displacement.

  • Highlighting solutions to complex problems developed in different contexts of displacement.

  • Acting as a platform for informing people about available expertise that could be linked to existing projects in order to further and add value to ongoing work.

  • Facilitating collaboration between academics and practitioners who share common goals.

How can I be a part of GAIN?

There are opportunities to support the RELIEF Centre in many different ways - from volunteering at, or taking part in events, academic partnerships, consultancy and more.

To find out about our work at the RELIEF Centre and the latest opportunities available, sign up to our newsletter. 

If you would like to participate in GAIN, and feel that you have relevant experience, please contact the RELIEF team at: relief_admin@ucl.ac.uk

Meet our GAIN Associates


Dr Haya Al-Dajani,

Associate Professor (Reader) in Entrepreneurship,

Plymouth Business School, University of Plymouth

Haya’s research focuses upon the intersectionality of gender, entrepreneurship and displacement, and their collective impact on sustainable development. She is currently the Principal Investigator of two RCUK funded projects focusing on entrepreneurship and refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.  She is a member of the Editorial Boards of the International Small Business Journal and the International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship. Haya also co-chairs the Gender and Enterprise Network – a Special Interest Group of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.


Dr Nibedita S. Ray-Bennett,

Associate Professor,

University of Leicester

Nibedita’s research focusses on disaster risk reduction (DRR) and international development. For the first research strand, she has focused on caste, class and gender theories to understand women-headed households’ vulnerabilities and whether micro-credit initiatives can reduce women’s vulnerabilities. She has also studied the everyday health security practices and how health securities can be promoted at household levels in order to offset disaster risks. Her second research strand focuses on reducing organisational vulnerabilities in order to ‘avoid disaster deaths’ and also improving disaster management practices through critical and reflective systems thinking.


Dr Ahmad Sukkar,

Postdoctoral Fellow, Orient-Institut Beirut (Max Weber Foundation)

Dr. Ahmad Sukkar is a scholar, architect and urbanist currently conducting a fellowship at the Orient-Institut Beirut. He is a former Mellon postdoctoral fellow at the American University of Beirut, a former visiting lecturer at the Department of Architecture at the University of Cambridge, and a former research fellow at the University of Oxford. He has worked at leading architectural offices in the UK and the Middle East, including Zaha Hadid Architects. His work examines the interaction between architecture and culture in connection with design, heritage and identity in the Middle East with a focus on conflict, reconstruction and reconciliation in Syria.


Dr Eleanore Hargreaves,

Reader in Learning and Pedagogy,

Institute of Education, University College London


Dr Ghada Khattab, Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University

Dr Eleanor Hargreaves is Reader in Learning and Pedagogy (Department of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment, IOE, UCL). Dr Hargreaves teaches postgraduate international students about effective learning and teaching. She conducts research in the Middle East with disadvantaged students with a focus on the pupil perspective.

Dr Ghada Khattab is a UK-based Lebanese academic with a background in linguistics, English language teaching and education. I work with multilingual children, focussing on their phonological and sociolinguistic development. I also collaborate with clinical colleagues on the assessment and diagnosis of bilingual children with speech and/or language impairment. In my work with adults I advance knowledge of the phonetic and phonological properties of various Arabic dialects, with a focus on Lebanese Arabic