Professor Momodou Sallah

Job: Director, Centre for Academic Innovation and Professor of Teaching and Learning

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Applied Social Sciences

Address: Eric Wood 2.22, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 257 7088



Social Media:


Personal profile

  • Cultural competency
  • Global Youth Work
  • Youth participation/involvement
  • Diversity Issues
  • Black young people
  • Young Muslims
  • Globalisation
  • Youth and community development.

Publications and outputs

  • A Local-Global Approach to Critical Peace Consciousness and Mobilisation as Disruptive Counter-Narratives
    dc.title: A Local-Global Approach to Critical Peace Consciousness and Mobilisation as Disruptive Counter-Narratives Ogunnusi, Michael; Sallah, Momodou dc.description.abstract: This paper examines opportunities for peace, as a dichotomy between the actual and re-imagined state of the world, using a Critical Peace Education (CPE) framework, and a Global Youth Work (GYW) pedagogic approach. Drawing from similar and shared constructs presented by CPE and GYW, such as developing local human rights and participatory citizenship, teaching consciousness-raising in and out of schools, and scrutinising how the theory and application of CPE and GYW can influence structural and cultural violence, this paper asserts the need to re-engage with the more radical roots of CPE and GYW as having potential for new stories in peace studies and education that resist the status quo using knowledge and action. The authors are keen to disrupt simplified representations of peace, and uniformity of what is meant by peace, in CPE and GYW theory and practice, and the implications this has both for the social reproduction of inequality, and for youth workers and young people. Secondly, the paper will redress how peace can be understood and acted upon as critical dialogue with young people to unpick and transform experiences for agency. This paper will contribute to a greater understanding of re-imagining peace in everyday life, and the relationship between peace and practice, as part of a decolonised post-critical approach, supported by examples for how youth workers and young people have actively worked towards opportunities for peace in the duality of praxis and consciousness in their everyday life.
  • Preliminary Findings From a Pilot Study of Electric Vehicle Recharging From a Stand-Alone Solar Minigrid
    dc.title: Preliminary Findings From a Pilot Study of Electric Vehicle Recharging From a Stand-Alone Solar Minigrid Gammon, Rupert; Sallah, Momodou dc.description.abstract: The symbiosis between smart minigrids and electric mobility has the potential to improve the cost and reliability of energy access for off-grid communities while providing low-carbon transport services. This study explores the commercial viability of using electric vehicles (EVs), recharged by solar minigrids, to provide transport services in off-grid communities. Preliminary findings are presented from a field trial in The Gambia that aims to assess the techno-economic feasibility of integrating sustainable energy and transport infrastructures in sun-rich regions of the Global South. As a dispatchable anchor load, an EV can improve the technical and economic performance of a minigrid by providing demand-side response services. In the developing world, rural communities are often among the poorest, and inadequate transport services remain a major barrier to wealth-creation. Some solutions to this situation may be transferrable to island communities, which share similar challenges in terms of access to energy and fuel. The first of its kind in Africa, this field trial uses an electric minivan, operating from an off-grid village where it has access to a minigrid whose 4.5 kWp of photovoltaic modules form the roof of a parking shelter for the vehicle. While there, the taxi can recharge, ideally during sunny periods when the photovoltaic array produces surplus power, thus allowing the EV’s battery to recharge while bypassing the minigrid’s own accumulator. This improves system reliability and cost effectiveness, while providing pollution-free energy for the taxi. Ultimately, the intention is to test different vehicles in a variety of circumstances, but this paper outlines only the preliminary findings of the first of these trials. Early results provide convincing new evidence that commercial viability of such a concept is possible in Sub-Saharan Africa. Some promising scenarios for commercial viability are identified, which warrant further investigation, since they suggest that a taxi driver’s earnings could be increased between 250 and 1,300% in local operations, and even 20-fold in tourist markets, depending on vehicle type, minigrid configuration and target market. It is hoped that these may encourage the rollout of solar-recharged EVs where the nexus of sustainable energy and transport systems are likely to make the greatest contribution to addressing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, by helping to solve the trilemma of providing energy security, social benefit and environmental sustainability in low-income countries. dc.description: open access article
  • A scholar-activist’s heretic attempts to “eradicate poverty” from a Southern perspective, through disruptive Global Youth Work
    dc.title: A scholar-activist’s heretic attempts to “eradicate poverty” from a Southern perspective, through disruptive Global Youth Work Sallah, Momodou dc.description.abstract: This paper mainly addresses the reflections, observations and analysis of a scholar-activist, engrossed in challenging intractable international development issues, through the use of a Global Youth Work pedagogic approach. Using the main frameworks of Global Youth Work, scholar-activism, positionality/situatedness and decolonisation, this paper challenges the “missionary position” and “pornography of poverty” approach of some organisations both in the North and South, consciously or unconsciously working and collaborating towards the amelioration of the human condition. There are two main factors that influence my situatedness: given the structural violence that can be generated by knowledge production and configuration from a universally configured orthodoxy in the Development Education/Global Cooperation field that now requires the reimagination of “epistemologies of the South” as responses, which are “credible and visible” (de Sousa Santos, 2014). The second essential stance is my emersion in practice as a scholar-activist who is not only captivated by the process of theoretical knowledge production, but also in heretic and counter-orthodoxy approaches to challenging and changing the world, in practice. The focus of the Agenda 2030 on “eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions” and the reason d’etre of Global Youth Work (Sallah, 2014) of provoking consciousness and taking action, therefore underpins this paper; especially in the promotion of sustainable development. The main focus and lenses through which I do this is the Global Hands project, set up as a charity in The Gambia and a social enterprise in the UK, by former students of De Montfort University in the UK, whose mission is to build capacity and operationalise the dual mandate of Global Youth Work: to provoke consciousness; and to support those affected to take action (Sallah, 2014). Utilising a range of Global Youth Work interventions and case studies such as developing Africa’s first solar-powered taxi service; developing a self-sustaining intervention in its capacity building hub in The Gambia by Global Education actors from the UK with collaborators in The Gambia; running a number of public campaigns, for example, on the “backway” (“illegal” youth migration from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe via the Sahara desert). In this paper, I will explore collaborations, spaces generated, principles and tensions beyond theoretical considerations and their operationalisation in practice. This paper will uniquely contribute to a greater understanding of the interplay between theory and practice, as well as disrupt the colonial lenses and dependency approaches of some organisations that sometimes disempower, instead of rebalancing power and addressing injustice and structural inequality. dc.description: open access journal
  • Towards the Second Duality of Global Youth Work: The Environment and Disruptive Action
    dc.title: Towards the Second Duality of Global Youth Work: The Environment and Disruptive Action Sallah, Momodou dc.description.abstract: There are five faces of globalisation that global youth work (GYW), as an offshoot of global education, should respond to (economic, political, environmental, cultural and technological), in order to be transformative, both in thought and deed. The vexed issue of climate change (environmental face) and its correlation to sustainable development, as an ameliorative mechanism, speaks to the imagination and contours of GYW, centred on the duality of provoking consciousness and taking action (Sallah, 2008a; 2014). In positioning the pedagogic approach of GYW, the author establishes his situatedness as a de-colonial scholar-activist, in presenting an analysis of the impact of climate change and its attendant negative consequences, on a Southern country like The Gambia. Using the conceptual framework of GYW, the author presents his work, spanning the last four years, with Global Hands and at De Montfort University, of disruptive attempts to challenge orthodoxy and configured ways of knowing and being, from a Southern perspective. Drawing on GYW projects he has implemented in a ‘live lab’ in The Gambia which has developed Africa’s first solar powered taxi service, the development of a Compressed Earth Brick machine to combat low-cost housing and climate change, and solar dryers to preserve food and encourage food self-sufficiency, all of which have huge carbon footprint savings as well as significant economic advantages. This article presents a reflective analysis of a scholar-activist’s practice of how GYW can be used to combat climate change and enhance sustainable development in a symbiotic approach. It will illustrate the powerful pedagogic prowess of this development approach as well as highlight the challenges and tensions inherent. dc.description: open access journal
  • Generating disruptive pedagogy in informal spaces: learning with both the head and the heart.
    dc.title: Generating disruptive pedagogy in informal spaces: learning with both the head and the heart. Sallah, Momodou dc.description.abstract: The author's positionality and situatedness is that of a scholar-activist, interested both in the generation/production of knowledge, and the application of knowledge, especially towards social justice and equality. The author also writes from a de-colonial perspective in challenging ways of knowing and ways of being; to generate what has been called “epistemologies of the South” (Sousa Santos, 2014). In using Global Youth Work (GYW) as a pedagogic approach and conceptual framework, the author will illustrate how participatory spaces for the deconstruction and reconstruction of ways of knowing and being, can be generated; how the classroom can be taken into the real world and how the real world can be brought into the classroom. Using a range of places and spaces, spanning the classroom, real-life situations, within communities, and across the streets and museums, the author will share how participatory learning methodologies are constantly employed to generate curiosity, maintain curriculum currency and make learning transformative. Drawing on his writing, teaching, practice and research over the last twenty years, across a number of countries and continents, the author will position participatory approaches and methodologies of learning as disruptive and a panacea to aspire to, as learning and teaching then becomes deeper, rather than surface; and transformative (Freire, 1972) instead of “banking”. dc.description: The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version.
  • The Dictator and the Heretic
    dc.title: The Dictator and the Heretic Sallah, Momodou dc.description.abstract: Building on the author’s first poetry book, Innocent Questions, this collection of poems as implied in the title The Dictator and the Heretic, muses and ruminates on the way things are and the need to question the logic of convention. In a poignant, palpable and provocative way, the author pierces the sacred “logic of the system” and with his rhyme and lyrics, lays bare a range of themes: corruption, exploitation and dependency in Africa; surviving under dictatorship and oppression; post-colonialism and decolonisation; the beauty of Africa; love, heartbreak and hopelessness; and struggle, both internal and external. Using a range of powerful poetry techniques, the author refuses to surrender and instead promotes heresy against a heartless, soulless system of exploitation, unashamedly. Readers will be introduced to critical counter orthodoxy ways of knowing and being; and new ways of perceiving and understanding their constructions of reality if they are able to find the treasures buried in this collection of poems.
  • Intersectionality and Resistance in Youth Work: Young People, Peace and Global Development in a Racialized World
    dc.title: Intersectionality and Resistance in Youth Work: Young People, Peace and Global Development in a Racialized World Sallah, Momodou; Ogunnusi, M.; Kennedy, R. dc.description.abstract: This chapter is framed by the concepts of Critical Race Theory, Critical Peace Education, and Global Youth Work. It departs from a premise that Youth Work can be an effective tool to provoke consciousness (Sallah, 2014) and redress power imbalances as an instrument of resistance (Scott, 1990) in a grotesquely unequal and increasingly globalized world. In this context, we argue that globalized hegemony exists in personal, local, national and global acts of, and reactions to, violence, and that this necessitates a shift from a singular binary of oppression to an intersectorial approach recognizing multiple interconnections such as age, race, structural violence, ‘development’ and global situatedness. In making this argument, we focus on the way that hierarchies of oppression, enacted within society, are linked to micro aggressions and the framing of majoritarian stories within the conscious- ness of the oppressor and the oppressed that negate human potential as direct and structural violence (Galtung, 1969). Crucially, we argue that resistance to oppression should also shift from a mere critical understanding of this intersectionality, to generating pedagogies of disruption, and in turn pedagogies of hope. Starting from the experience of Youth Work in England, this chapter will decon- struct the lure of ‘whiteness’ as a cultural marker (Fanon, 1986; Giroux, 1997), and explore the causal and emergent properties (Archer, 1995; Carter, 2000) of racial hierarchy to understand the generative mechanisms that influence the structure and agency of the individual. It is cardinal to understand at this juncture that ethnicity/whiteness is only one of many variables that intersect to generate discrimination and oppression at the personal, local, national and global levels. Due to imposed word limits, we will explore only ethnicity/whiteness in detail, out of all the other variables, to illustrate our core points. This will permit us the opportunity to position Critical Peace Education and Global Youth Work as experiential, informal and critical spaces to disrupt the configuration of ways of knowing, in order to generate new ways of being. Key questions that frame the chapter include, ‘how do we initiate a critical dialogue between the hidden transcript of subordinate groups into the public transcript (Scott, 1990) of Youth Work?’ and ‘how do we make them one, anti-oppressive and mutually liberatory script?’
  • #Backwaysolutions #Candleofhope: Global Youth Works approaches to challenging irregular migration in Sub-Saharan Africa
    dc.title: #Backwaysolutions #Candleofhope: Global Youth Works approaches to challenging irregular migration in Sub-Saharan Africa Sallah, Momodou dc.description.abstract: Hundreds of thousands of people, young people mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa, attempt to escape the “horrendous situations” they live in, in search of greener pastures. There are significant push and pull factors that catalyse into fatalities that occur from the dangerous routes taken to get into Europe, some evidenced by the news, showing videos of migrant boats capsizing in the Mediterranean or Atlantic Ocean, on a regular basis. This method of travel is known as the “Backway”. During the journey from Sub-Saharan Africa to Mainland Europe, via Libya, not only do many young people lose their lives, but there are many increasing heart-breaking stories of these young people being sold as slaves in open markets in Libya for a price of 200 – 500 dollars; subjected to sexual abuse, kidnapping, and even reports of being used for organ transplants. This chapter is an opportunity to contribute to the dearth of African literature in this field. It responds to an invitation to contribute knowledge, especially in linking Global Youth Work Theory and social action. In presenting this case study of how Global Hands has worked with its partners to utilise the pedagogic tool of Global Youth Work (GYW) in order to provoke consciousness about this sorry state of affairs; and support disruptive action that challenges and finds solutions for the destructive trend of irregular “backway” migration to Sub-Saharan Africa. In doing this, we hope to highlight the agentic forces of some African youths and present a counter-narrative to dominant configurations of ways of knowing and being.
  • “‘Race’, Ethnicity and Young People”
    dc.title: “‘Race’, Ethnicity and Young People” Sallah, Momodou; Kennedy, R. dc.description.abstract: Constructions of ‘race’ and ethnicity continue to affect how some people are socialized by the structures of society. This chapter explores theoretical and policy contributions to constructions of ‘race’ and ethnicity, and how it affects the lives of Black (Sallah and Howson 2007) young people. It starts with an exploration of the changing demographics of Europe generally and the UK in particular. It then looks at constructions of ‘race’ and the cumulative effect of these on racial and ethnic considerations in relation to working with Black young people. After an examination of Critical Race Theory and the articulation of the political definition of Black, the significance of cultural competence, based on mainstream practitioners gaining the required skills, values, attitudes, knowledge and resources, will be explored. The chapter concludes that culturally-competent praxis from mainstream services is needed to effectively counter defective constructions of ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’, and their enactments, especially in relation to Black young people.
  • Participatory Action Research with ‘Minority Communities’ and the Complexities of Emancipatory Tensions: Intersectionality and cultural affinity
    dc.title: Participatory Action Research with ‘Minority Communities’ and the Complexities of Emancipatory Tensions: Intersectionality and cultural affinity Sallah, Momodou dc.description.abstract: Conducting research with communities constructed as the ‘other’ from a purely positivist paradigm can often be replete with colossal flaws with enormous potential to oppress the researched – especially minority communities in this case. This article presents an analysis of the cultural and experiential affinity experiences of the author towards a constructivist approach where the research process is emancipatory and the ultimate goal of engagement is for both the researcher and the researched to become co-producers of knowledge. The multidimensional identities of some ‘minority communities’ and their intersectionality are also discussed. This includes an exploration of this author's identity as a visible member of minority groups and the resulting cultural affinity that imbues his research as well as the participatory nature of his approach that seeks to liberate. The article will also highlight methodological implications of this author's empiric work, complemented by lessons drawn from recent research projects conducted with ‘minorities’ in different parts of the UK to illuminate methodological complexities and illustrate anti-oppressive practice with ‘minority communities’. This article is framed around the four theoretical constructs of Intersectionality; Participatory Action Research; Cultural Affinity/Experiential Affinity; and Freire's transformative education pedagogy.

 Click here for a list of all Momodou Sallah's publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

  • Cultural competence
  • Diversity
  • Work with minorities
  • Global youth work
  • Black young people
  • Young Muslims
  • Participatory research methodologies

Areas of teaching

  • Theory and Practice Youth Work – MA Youth and Community Development, De Montfort University – Module Leader
  • Theory and Practice of Community Development - MA Youth and Community Development, De Montfort University - Module Leader
  • Global Issues in Youth and Community Work - MA Youth and Community Development, De Montfort University - Module Leader
  • Globalisation and Global Youth Work (level 3) BA Youth and Community Development – De Montfort University - Module Leader
  • Field Practice Visiting Tutor

Honours and awards

  • National Teaching Fellow
  • DMU Teacher Fellow

Membership of external committees

  • National Youth Agency Commission to determine - March 2012
  • “Sufficient Offer” of local provision for services for young people
  • SALTO Reference Group on Intercultural Competence - 2010 - 2012
  • Member, Council of Europe Expert Panel on Working - 2009 - 2012
  • With Young People from Disadvantaged Neighbourhoods
  • Member, Black Achievement Forum, LCC - 2009 - 2011
  • Member, Higher Education Academy - 2008- Present

Externally funded research grants information

Global Youth Work in Action
This is a £300,000 project funded by DFID and being delivered by Y Care International that seeks to engage young people around global issues in the UK. I have been commissioned to do the 3 year evaluation component (2010 – 2013).

Guns, Gangs and Knives Project
This project is funded by DFID through its mini-grants scheme and managed by Y Care International to explore how Global Youth Work Methodology can be used to address young people and their involvement in guns, gangs and knives. I have been commissioned to do the 3 year evaluation component (2010 – 2013).

Youth Muslims and Barriers they Face in Accessing Mainstream Services
This project involved over 500 young Muslims between the ages of 13 – 18 as well as key stakeholders, both in the statutory and voluntary sector in Leicester/Leicestershire to explore the range of barriers that affect young Muslim’s participation in mainstream services in 2006. This project is funded by Federation of Muslim Organisations (FMO).

The state of Global Youth Work in British HEIs
This research explored how Global Youth Work is conceptualised and operationalised in 43 of the 50 HEIs that deliver Youth and Community Work qualifications in Britain (2008). Part of a £300,000 DFID funded project delivered by a consortium of voluntary and statutory youth organisations in the East Midlands.

Tackling Inequalities – Consultation with Black Young People in the East of England
A MENTER Project on behalf of GLC to identity inequalities from Black young people’s perspective through consultation events. This research project covered the East of England and focused on the issues affecting Black and Minority Ethnic young people (2009-2010).

African Heritage Muslim Research in Leicester
This research has been commissioned by the Leicester City Council through the African Caribbean Citizens Forum to explore the issues affecting African Heritage Muslims in Leicester using a participatory action research approach (2010).