PhD Students

Mr Alan Msosa

 Alan Msosa is a Commonwealth Scholar and doctoral candidate at the University of Essex Human Rights Centre. He is a Chevening Scholarship alumnus for his MA degree awarded by the same university.
Before joining the Human Rights Centre, Alan worked for International IDEA where he was coordinator for Planning and Programming. He was also their diversity coordinator for their African Programme. He has also worked as Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator for ARASA, a regional network of civil society organisations promoting human rights-based approaches to the HIV and AIDS crisis across southern Africa. He has also worked as head of the complaint handling team at the Malawi Office of the Ombudsman.
Alan has attended numerous international training in areas such as human rights, network and partnership building, monitoring and evaluation, good governance, and HIV and AIDS management. He has presented papers at various national and international human rights forums. He is a guest blogger for Outright InternationalHe is a Research Affiliate at the University of Bergen, Centre for Law and Social Transformation 

  • MA in Theory and Practice of Human Rights, University of Essex Human Rights Centre (2005)
  • BA in Humanities, University of Malawi: Chancellor College (2000)

Current research

Alan’s research focuses on societal and institutional factors that are influencing the lack of protection of human rights for non-heterosexual persons in Malawi.  He research draws from interviews with 44 LGBT Malawians, conducted during field research in 2014. 

Research interests
  • Human Rights in Local contexts (local meanings and institutional operationalization)
  • Sociology and human rights
  • Sexuality and Human Rights
  • In addition to the PhD project, Alan is also researching on the local lexicon of human rights and LGBT rights in Malawi, and politics around international actors advancing LGBT rights in Africa.



Study areas

Interdisciplinary Research:

  • Human Rights
  • Sociology
  • Philosophy
  • African studies
SupervisorDr Roisin Ryan Flood
Thesis titleSexuality and Human Rights in Malawi
  •  Gay Rights’, ‘LGBT Rights’, or ‘Human Rights for LGBT’? Looking at the context in Malawi, presented at the Sexuality, Sexual Reproductive Health Rights, and the Law Workshop (15 March 2016, University of Sussex Centre for Cultures of Reproduction)
  • The LGBT Situation in Malawi, Outright International LGBT Fundraising Dialogue (London, 26 May 2016)
  • Are Minority Rights Human Rights? The Case of Contestation about ‘LGBT Rights’ in Malawi, University of Essex Human Rights Conference (6 July 2016)

Additional information

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