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Dr. Linda Liebenberg, PhD

Research and Evaluation


Linda Liebenberg, PhD., has joined the IYS-NS team after almost three decades of working internationally as researcher and evaluator in the field of youth mental health and well-being and community resilience. Linda has a master’s degree in research psychology and a PhD in Sociology (Research Methods). She is also currently Adjunct Professor, at the Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University, and an International Research Affiliate at the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, National University Ireland.

Linda started her career as a researcher with street-involved youth living in socioeconomically marginalized communities around Cape Town, South Africa. Since then, she has continued to conduct research and evaluation with children and youth living in complex political contexts internationally. Her work explores the promotion of positive youth development and the promotion of mental health, using formal and informal resources, primarily through the development of community resilience and related community resources. Relatedly, Linda has evaluated service provision and explores youth lived experiences.

As a key component of her PhD and the work she has conducted throughout her career, Linda reflects critically on how best to conduct research and evaluations with children, youth, and their communities (including multiple service providers). She especially considers issues of research validity, decolonisation, and representation in these approaches. These approaches include participatory methods (see for example; sophisticated longitudinal quantitative designs (see for example; and the design of measurement instruments used with children and youth (for example the Child and Youth Resilience Measure, CYRM-28).

Linda has developed consulting and collaborative relationships with many international community-based organizations, including Save the Children Denmark, Eskasoni Mental Health Services, Right to Play, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and the Public Health Association of Canada. She has presented on all five continents on culturally and contextually meaningful approaches to promoting positive psychosocial outcomes of children and youth as well as the ways in which this can be researched and evaluated.

Linda is proudly South African, coming from a multi-generational settler family in South Africa, and now lives in Kjipuktuk, Mi'kma'ki Canada with her husband Janus and cat Rafa Rafiki.

Linda Liebenberg Photo 2023