Professor Lucie Cluver

Professor of Child and Family Social Work, Department of Social Policy and Intervention; Professorial Governing Body Fellow, Nuffield College


Professor Lucie Cluver trained as a social worker, and has practised in South Africa and the UK. In tandem with her Oxford Professorship, she is an Honorary Professor in Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town.

She works closely with the South African government, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), USAID-PEPFAR (United States Agency for International Development/President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), UNICEF, UNAIDS, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the World Health Organisation, and many other international agencies, to provide evidence that can improve the lives of children and adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa.

Professor Cluver's many senior technical and advisory roles include The World Bank Expert Panel: Rapid Social Response for Children Affected by COVID-19, World Health Organisation Adolescent HIV Service Delivery Working Group, World Health Organisation Parent Training Guideline Development Group, WHO INSPIRE Prevention of Violence Against Children Interagency Working Group, USAID Global Advisory Group on social service workforce, UNAIDS Reference Group for the Global AIDS Update, UNICEF Technical Advisory Group on Adolescent Participation.

As a founding member of The Global Reference Group on Children Affected by COVID-19 and Crisis, she is leading efforts to build resilience of children facing current and emerging compound crises.

Professor Cluver has an exceptional track record of impact, and in the past three years has received recognitions, including the Academy of Social Sciences 2023 Annual Lecture; University of Oxford Vice Chancellor’s Innovation and Engagement award 2022; International AIDS Society: Biennial Prize for Excellence in HIV research for Children (2022); the UK Research and Innovation International Impact Award 2021; UKRI Women in Science award (2021); O2RB Excellence in Impact Award 2021; Academy of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Best Paper Award (2021); the European Union Horizon 2020 Impact Award.

In 2019, she was recognised as one of UKRI’s 15 Women with Impact in Research. 

From 2019, Professor Cluver is the Principal Investigator for the UKRI GCRF Accelerating Achievement for Africa's Adolescents Hub, and from 2022 Co-PI of the Global Parenting Initiative. During COVID-19, Professor Cluver co-led the COVID-19 Emergency Parenting Response, working with WHO, UNICEF, the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children, UNODC, CDC, and USAID to develop evidence-based open-source resources for everyone struggling to look after their children in lockdowns and school closures. These resources have reached over 210 million people in 198 countries and territories, and have been used by 34 governments in their national COVID responses.

That work has extended to provide evidence-based parenting support for crisis contexts in Ukraine, Pakistan, Turkey/Syria, and most recently in Sudan.


  • AIDS and COVID orphaned children
  • HIV/AIDS in children and adolescents
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Parenting support in 'Low and Low Middle Income Countries' (LMICs)
  • Supporting children and their caregivers in crisis contexts
  • Building child resilience in compound crisis/polycrisis

Media experience

Professor Lucie Cluver has extensive media experience both in print and broadcast.