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Mike Titterton

  • Mike Titterton has been at HSE University since 2020.


In his role as Foreign Specialist, Professor Titterton provides guidance, expertise and joint leadership for ILSIR in its research and development activities.


Article Kuuse R., Zsuzsa K., Titterton M., Bugarszki Z. Deinstitutionalisation and Recommunalisation in Estonia and Hungary: a Tale of Two States // European Journal of Social Work. 2021. Vol. 24. No. 6. P. 964-977. doi

Employment history

Professor Mike Titterton provides guidance and expertise for ILSIR in its research and development activities. He has worked as an independent expert and consultant for international donors, for governments and civil society organisations in worldwide development settings. His International Expert experience includes: Team Leader and Senior Expert for European Union and UK-Department of International Development programmes in Russia and other Post-Soviet countries; registered EU Socieux+ Social Protection Expert and UNICEF-ECARO Expert for Child Protection; and Senior Expert for WHO for the European Health Promoting Schools and Health in Prisons Programmes. He was recently a Visiting Professor for Kazakhstan National Medical University and an Honorary Knowledge Exchange Fellow with the University of Edinburgh. For ten years he was the director of Health & Life for Everyone (HALE), an international social enterprise working with vulnerable children and adults. He has also been employed in the United Kingdom in Government, Health, Social Work and University settings. This includes employment as a lecturer and researcher in UK universities, such as Glasgow University, Stirling University, Queen Margaret University and the Open University, in relation to social policy, social work, health promotion and health care.

His areas of interest are International Development, Comparative Social Inclusion, Health Promotion and Social Work, and Global Partnership Building. These interests include policy and professional practice affecting excluded and marginalised groups in the social, health, education, employment and justice sectors. He has an extensive record of policy and research publications. These include publications in journals such as Community Development Journal, Journal of Social Policy, Social Policy and Administration, International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, Australian Social Work, Health Education Journal, Journal of Nursing and Health Care of Chronic Illness, Disability Today, Community Care, Housing, Health Education, Journal of Mental Health Promotion, and British Journal of Social Work. His latest book is on Inclusive Development in Developing Countries, under contract with Routledge.


Education and academic positions:

Ph.D., Social Policy, University of Edinburgh, 2008

M. Phil., Sociology, University of Edinburgh, 1989

M.A., Politics, University of Edinburgh, 1978


Professor & Foreign Specialist, ILSIR, HSE Moscow, since 2020.

Visiting Lecturer, School of Governance, Law and Society, Tallinn University, 2018 to present.

Visiting Professor, Knowledge Exchange Fellow & Research Fellow, Kazakhstan National Medical University and University of Edinburgh, Health in Social Sciences & Child Protection Research Centre, 2014-18.

Lecturer (pt), Health Promotion, Queen Margaret University, 2000-2002 and 2006-2008.

Lecturer, Department of Social Policy & Social Work, University of Glasgow, 1988-89 and 1995-96.

Consultant & Tutor (pt), Community Care & Family Policy, Open University, 1992-94.

Research Fellow, Social Work Research Centre, University of Stirling, 1986-88.


Academic interests:

1)      International Development in Low and Middle Income Countries;

2)     Comparative Inclusion and Inclusive Strategies;

3)     Health Promotion and Social Work for Vulnerable Groups;

4)     Interdisciplinary Studies, Global Partnerships between Universities, Donors and Stakeholders, and Demonstrating the Impact and Value of Research.


Research projects:


1. Digital Transformation, Social Inclusion and the Social Economy in Estonia and Russia


 Are commonalities and differences in social exclusion and inclusion across Europe attenuated or reinforced by new technologies? To help address this question, the researchers are undertaking a comparative survey of new technologies that affect social policy in two countries of the Former Soviet Union, namely Estonia and the Russian Federation. The focus of the study is on recent developments involving digital transformation, networked communities and models of social innovation. One such model, the social economy, has been advocated as a workable, inclusive approach to improving labour market access and skills development, including among excluded groups. Such models have become increasingly prominent across the European Union and other European countries, especially following the evident failure of neoliberal and austerity-based economics and politics. Combining digital transformation with social economy development offers a region such as the Former Soviet Union a promising way ahead for surmounting aspects of social exclusion. One research question is how the technologies function as alternatives to traditional sources of welfare and ways of working with communities and socially excluded individuals. The researchers consider how digital technologies may increase exclusion of populations that lack the abilities or infrastructure to use them. Digital technologies may also aid the development of social innovation models, alongside new understandings of risk and resilience for socially excluded and vulnerable people. Estonia is one of the most intensively networked countries in the world. The social economy is gradually growing and it has been both benefitting from and contributing to this networking. By contrast, Russia is seeking to catch up in the face of major social and economic inequalities. Digital inclusion has been proving hard to achieve in the context of factors such as the size and demographics of the country. On top of this, social economy and social enterprise initiatives are underdeveloped and face additional hurdles, in comparison with Estonia and other European countries.


2. Promoting Health in Women’s Prisons in North-West Russia


 The researchers conducted a study of the challenges for improving and promoting women’s health in prison settings in North-West Russia. They examined the findings in the light of their own experience in the region and put forward suggestions for overcoming obstacles to reform and progress. These add new knowledge to help fill the gap in applied studies relating to women’s health in prisons and particularly in the Russian Federation and Post-Soviet countries. Work was conducted in Kaliningrad, Tver and St. Petersburg cities and oblasts with Ministry officials, prison staff, prisoners and Russian NGOs. It involved a mix of methods including study visits to selected sites and government and non-government organisations, reviews of policy documents and statistical sources, and discussions with key informants. Challenges found include particular issues posed for women and their health and wellbeing, shortage of links between prison and civilian sector services, lack of unified health services, and lack of employment opportunities and other supports on release. International partnership initiatives are required to bring about a transformation in the health and welfare outcomes of the prisoners in North-West Russia, and in the health care provided within prison settings. Gendered policies and practices remain to be developed at regional and local levels. The need to turn Russian prisons in the North-West into Health Promoting Prisons, where human rights are respected and gender issues recognised, is now essential.


3. Gender and the Management of Wellbeing: Women Living With HIV In Kazakhstan


With the rapid growth in the prevalence of HIV in Central Asia, women in particular have experienced a notable increase in this infection. Using a gender lens, the researchers considered the experential dimension of HIV and its impacts on the health and lifestyle of women, family environment and relationships with children and social networks. They undertook a mixed-methods study of women living with HIV in Kazakhstan, based on a sample of 50 women attending the AIDS Centre in Almaty. Evidence was found of the ‘double vulnerability’ confronting women with HIV combined with a marked resilience and determination to lead a normal life through the personal management of wellbeing. Implications for improving the assistance provided to women with HIV and their children include providing a better blend of formal and informal support to bolster levels of coping and improve health and wellbeing for the women and their families. This involves delivering better integrated services, both within health services, and between health care and social services. Health and welfare professionals in middle and low income countries need greater awareness of the gender lens and should consider supporting the natural coping styles of women affected by HIV.