By |Published On: April 8th, 2020|Categories: Alumni|


Dr. Kate McAlpine, who earned her PhD from Fielding in 2015, was selected in March 2020 to be the third recipient of the Dianne Kipnes Fund for Social Innovation grant. Dr. Charles McClintock, Director of the Institute for Social Innovation, which administers the grant, described Kate’s project as “a highly collaborative innovation for the betterment of children in Africa.”

President Katrina S. Rogers adds, “Dr. McAlpine’s work embodies the purpose of the Kipnes Award for Social Innovation, which is to support research that advances social justice and aligns with the mission of Fielding’s Institute for Social Innovation.”

Kate has dedicated the last 25 years to protecting children in Tanzania from violence in her role as researcher, strategist and social entrepreneur. Her dissertation focused on how to enable better protection of children. She currently leads Citizens4Change, a movement of East African citizens who protect children from violence.

“I’m thrilled. Fielding has been a transformative opportunity in my life and I am excited to be able to sustain the relationship with this work and opportunity.” – Dr. Kate McAlpine


See below, as she talks about her work and experience at Fielding.

Where do you live and work now?

I split life between Tanzania and the UK.

What would you say is your greatest passion?

I’m a “Maximiser” and driven by seeing good things grow and thrive.

How did you grow at Fielding?

I started by doing a Masters in Organizational Management and Development back in the early 2000s and was hooked. I transformed at Fielding. The key thing was being able to hold multiple perspectives at one time. Also the relevance of the learning was so powerful – I could actually go and apply what I learnt practically in my work.

How would you explain your research?

In Tanzania, many children are victims of violence. Rather than taking the problem seeking stance of looking at abuse or abusers, I explored the worldview of Tanzanians who actually take action to protect children.

What were the findings?

I learnt that they have a specific “Ujasiri mindset” that differentiates them from other people, those who say “it’s none of my business” when they see a child suffer. This mindset is founded in empathy and a moral drive to do the right thing. I then theorized how more adults could protect children better. I am now testing this in my work with [Note: “Ujasiri” in Swahili translates into courage, fortitude, or resilience.]

How will this award benefit the work you are doing currently?

It will enable us to build proof of concept of Citizens 4 Change by catalyzing a critical mass of protectors across East Africa. By using data analytics, we will show where they are and how they protect kids. This information will update in real time as more people join the Citizens4Change community and respond to surveys.

The Dianne Kipnes Fund for Social Innovation supports projects from alumni of Fielding’s School of Psychology and School of Leadership Studies that demonstrate innovation and collaboration for improving the lives of individuals, organizations, or communities. Projects can consist of research and/or professional practice efforts. Applications are sought annually for projects of up to a two-year duration.

About the Author: Bryan Lopes

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