Marleen is the director of the African Studies Centre Leiden. Trained as a human geographer and with a PhD in Development Economics, Marleen is also a Professor of Inclusive Development in Africa at the African Studies Centre, Leiden University. She is a hybrid researcher aiming to combine insights and methodologies from different disciplines as well as different backgrounds.
Marleen’s research is interdisciplinary in nature and analyzes the role of social networks in accessing markets and local socioeconomic development. The focus of her work is on access to formal and informal insurance networks, including community-based health insurance and intra-household resource sharing. She has co-organized several international events including a conference on micro-insurance, seminars on land reform in Zimbabwe, women’s bargaining power and economic development, and social protection. Furthermore, Marleen has collaborated in several international research projects in Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Togo and Nigeria on social networks, insurance and marriage and intra-household issues. Her research work has been published in international peer-reviewed journals.