Yoana Nieto Valdivieso



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Dr Yoana F. Nieto Valdivieso has conducted both academic and applied research in areas such as Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration of combatants in Colombia, processes of reconciliation between surviving communities and perpetrators, Transitional Justice, and memory studies from a gender perspective. She has worked as a practitioner in the areas of peace building and conflict resolution, children and young adult’s rights, and women’s rights. In 2012 she worked at the office of the Human Rights Ombudsman’s Delegate for Children, Youth and Women in Colombia coordinating a project directed to prevent Sexual Violence and forced recruitment among children and young adults in three highly militarised areas in the country.

Her PhD Thesis, (Ex)guerrilleras: women waging war in Colombia, 1964-2012, was awarded the prize of the best PhD Thesis on Colombia from the Asociacion de Colombianistas (University of San Diego) in 2017. 

Research interests

Yoana co-authored with Luz Maria Londoño Mujeres no Contadas: Procesos de Desmobilisacion y retorno a la vida civil de mujeres excombatientes en Colombia. 1990-2003, a ground-breaking study of insurgent female ex-combatants’ experiences of Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) in Colombia and the long lasting consequences that the lack of a gender perspective on the DDR programs had on demobilised women’s lives. During the last ten years, Yoana has centred her academic research on working with former guerrilla and paramilitary combatants in Colombia in topics such as women’s lived experiences of mobilisation into insurgent and paramilitary organisations, women’s experiences as combatants and actors of proscribed violence, Colombia’s DDR processes, and female ex-combatants’ memory work. She has conducted applied research in the field of transitional justice in relation to reconciliation processes between victims of war crimes and perpetrators in different communities. Yoana has worked as a consultant for the International Organization for Migrants in Colombia and for different Colombian NGOs.

Currently Yoana is working with Dr Janine N. Clark on a five year comparative study of resilience in survivors of war and sexual violence in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Colombia, and Uganda. The project is being funded through a European Research Council Consolidator Grant.

 Her research interests are Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration of combatants, Sexual Violence in war and armed conflict, transitional justice, and feminist theory/ies of war. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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