Project Team


Valentina Mazzucato

Principal Investigator

Valentina Mazzucato is Professor of Globalization and Development at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Maastricht University, The Netherlands and she is the PI of the 3WE project. She heads several international research programs on transnational migration between Africa and Europe and is particularly interested in how migration affects the wellbeing of family members — the ones who migrate and the ones who don’t — in different ways​. She also leads the ERC-funded project on the Mobility Trajectories of Young Lives: Transnational Youth in Global South and North (MO-TRAYL) that focuses on life chances of young people of migrant background living in African and European cities.

Prof. Mazzucato is regularly invited to speak in public fora on the effects of transnational migration for development in Africa and migrant integration in Europe. She has lived in and conducted research on numerous African countries in the past 25 years.


Kai Jonas

Co-Principal Investigator

Kai Jonas is Full Professor of Applied Social Psychology at Maastricht University and Adjunct Professor at the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care at Chinese University Hong Kong. His research focusses on health and social psychology. In his approaches he fuses discrimination and emotion research with health outcomes. I have lived and worked in Germany, Spain, the United States of America, and Thailand for extended periods of my life, and these experiences have shaped my focus of the individual, their various contexts and highly diverse contingencies people live in. I hope to be able to contribute with this knowledge and experience to the analysis and improvement of the lives of women working in Ethiopia.


Bilisuma Dito

Project manager

Post-doctoral researcher, quantitative research with female workers

I am an Assistant Professor of Globalization and Development Studies in the Department of Society Studies at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. I am also the manager of the 3WE project. My research focuses on how individuals’ positions in existing household, societal and institutional frameworks influence their well-being, in both migratory and non-migratory contexts. My interest in this project stems from my expertise on intra-household gender dynamics, a topic I studied in my PhD research to understand how gender relations within a household affect the health and labor market participation of women in rural Ethiopia, using the Ethiopian Rural Household Survey panel data. My research in the last 6 years on the well-being consequences of family separation in African transnational families in Europe has sparked my interest to understand the complexity behind measuring and conceptualizing well-being in various contexts in an interdisciplinary manner. My research background motivates me to examine the interactive effects of intra-household and employment conditions on the well-being of female workers in Ethiopia.


Elsje Fourie

Post-doctoral researcher, qualitative research with employers

My name is Elsje Fourie, and I am an Assistant Professor of Globalisation and Development at Maastricht University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. My research has examined how societies think about modernity and modernisation, with a particular focus on East Africa and East Asia. I am also interested in understanding how foreign aid and development assistance is changing amidst the ‘rise of the global South’ and the emergence of more growth-driven development agendas. Because many of these trends converge in Ethiopia, the country has been my main fieldwork site for the past decade. On the 3WE project, I study how corporate social responsibility (CSR) is implemented in flower farms and apparel factories, so that we can better understand the environment in which female workers find themselves. I have an interdisciplinary background and experience of living in over a dozen countries. This provides me with the opportunity and commitment to consider the human dimension of Ethiopian industrialisation from multiple perspectives and to critically examine our knowledge and assumptions of this complex phenomenon.


Konjit H. Gudeta

Post-doctoral researcher, qualitative research with female workers

My name is Konjit Hailu Gudeta and I joined the 3WE project team as a Post-doctoral researcher in August 2019. In the project, I am responsible for the qualitative ethnographic study with female employees working in farms and factories. My interest to explore and understand more about the lives of women in Ethiopia took shape while conducting my PhD study at Tilburg University. My doctoral research, which was inspired by my short-lived entrepreneurial experience, explored the experiences of setting and managing boundaries between the work, family and community lives of women entrepreneurs in Ethiopia. During the project I had the opportunity to sit down with women entrepreneurs having varied background and who were faced with normative gender role expectations and related structural challenges in the country. I was drawn to the 3WE project believing that I can contribute using my previous research and related experience working in the context while at the same time fulfilling my research interests. 

Karen Schelleman-Offermans

Post-doctoral researcher

Karen Schelleman-Offermans (1981) has been trained in Psychology (B.A. 2005, M.A. with distinction 2007, Maastricht University) and Health Promotion (PhD. 2012, Maastricht University/CAPHRI) and currently works as a senior researcher at the Work and Social Psychology department of Maastricht University. She has profound expertise regarding the etiology of risk behaviors with a specific focus on environmental factors, health psychology and behavioral change. In her current research, she focuses on the development and evaluation of interventions to improve the health of employees with a low socio-economic position in the Netherlands. With this knowledge and experience, she will contribute to measurement scales, analyses and the development of interventions in the 3WE project to help improve the lives and well-being of women working in Ethiopia.



Consortium Members


Caroline Wildermans

Consortium member, HIVOS

As Program Manager of Women@Work, Caroline is heading the implementation of two programs: Decent Work for Women, and Bridges (a program for migrant domestic workers migrating to the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia). The programs are executed in three regions: East and Southern Africa, and Southeast Asia. Throughout her professional career, she has worked with different organizations in the development sector, including ten years at Oxfam Novib and three years at SNV in Benin. Since 2010, Caroline has also been involved in Hivos’ international campaigning and lobbying on women’s rights and social development issues.

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Jeske van Seters

Head of Programme Private Sector Development, ECDPM

My name is Jeske van Seters and I lead the Private Sector Engagement team of the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), which is a “think and do” tank based in Maastricht and Brussels. ECDPM is one of the partners of the 3WE project. I am an economist by background and, together with colleagues, conduct policy-oriented research, provide independent advice and facilitate dialogue. It leads me to engage with a broad range of actors, including policy-makers and development practitioners in Europe and Africa, as well as private sector and civil society representatives, which is a great pleasure. We particularly focus on social and environmentally sustainable value chain development,  which matches well with the 3WE project. One of our recent research projects related to EU policy measures for more sustainable garment and textile supply chains, while 3WE is one of the initiatives in Africa that we are engaged in. I have a soft spot for the Horn of Africa, including Ethiopia, especially after having worked for three years in Djibouti for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Other organisations I have worked for are the Directorate General Development of the European Commission in Brussels, CDR-ULA in Costa Rica and SEO Economic Research in Amsterdam.