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Thipphaphone Xayavong

Thipphaphone Xayavong

Contact details

Email: Thipphaphone dot Xayavong at warwick dot ac dot uk

Current PhD student


I am a EUTOPIA PhD Student in Global Sustainable Development at the University of Warwick and in the Department of Geography at the CY Cergy Paris Université. My Master's degree in Peace Education influences my PhD thesis, Learning Space, as it aims to critically investigate the role of education and its effects on the health beliefs and behaviours of the rural populations and ethnic people. I am particularly interested in utilising the Participatory Research approaches to engage community members in co-producing knowledge that challenges the dominant research discourses.

Academic background

  • 2021- Present: PhD student under EUTOPIA Co-tutelle Program
    • Global Sustainable Development at the University of Warwick, UK
    • Department of Geography and Planning at the CY Cergy Paris Université, France
  • 2018-2019: Dual Masters' Programme under Asian Peacebuilders Scholarship
    • MA in Peace Education, University for Peace, Costa Rica
    • MA in Political Science, Ateneo de Manila University, the Philippines
  • 2011-2015: BA in Foreign Affairs, National University of Laos, Lao PDR


Research overview

Learning Space: Education and Its Pathways to Health Belief and Behaviours

This thesis project aims to study the effects of education on health beliefs and behaviours in the context of formal primary and secondary education in rural Lao PDR. Among others, this will involve a detailed examination of the various pathways: political, cognitive, and social pathways that link formal education to health.

Given the stark inequities among social and ethnic groups in Lao PDR, the research will use mixed-methods research design under a participatory approach. The participatory approach is chosen to ensure the active and inclusive engagement of community members in the process of knowledge production throughout the research project. Methodologically, a quantitative component will help us understand the relationships between education and health behaviours at a scale that is representative of the research communities. We will complement the conventional focus of the “quantity” of education (e.g. years of schooling) with the “quality” of primary and secondary education by mobilising the concept of “cognitive learning” as a sensemaking process that entails a change in students’ cognitive processes.

This research also regards culture and its crucial role in development and struggle, shaping the expressions (and acceptability) of different forms of knowledge and health practices as part of people’s “everyday heritage”. Thus, the heritage-sensitive approach will be deliberately used to support people’s sense of place and belonging, promote well-being, and foster emancipation and political participation – to which our participatory research aims to contribute.

Research interests

Education; Public Health, Culture and Heritage; Participatory Research; Decolonising Research Methodologies; Southeast Asia,

Public engagements

  • 02/2021 - 04/2021 Participatory Training for Research Assistants from Communities (Lao PDR): Designed and implemented participatory training with 10 participants representing 3 villages of research communities in Champasak province; A part of participatory approach for Learning Space project.
  • 07/2019 - 11/2019 A Model for Building Youth Capacity on Interfaith: Youth interfaith Training and Conference in Mandalay, (Myanmar): Co-designed and co-facilitated the training with 13 trainees; A capstone project for master programme, Ateneo de Manila University and Asian Peacebuilders Scholarship
  • 12/2017 - 02/2018 Educational activities in rural Salavan (Lao PDR): Designed and implemented two-directional engagement workshops with 75 participants in 3 villages; Activities featured in peer-reviewed publications (Antibiotics, Medical Humanities, Global Health Action)


  • Haenssgen, MJ, Charoenboon, N, Xayavong, T & Althaus, T (2020). Precarity and clinical determinants of healthcare-seeking behaviour and antibiotic use in rural Laos and Thailand. BMJ Global Health, 5:e003779. doi:10.1136/bmlgh-2020-003779
  • Haenssgen, MJ, Charoenboon, N, Zanello, G, Mayxay, M, … Xayavong, T et al. (2019). Antibiotic knowledge, attitudes, and practices: new insights from cross-sectional rural health behaviour surveys in low- and middle-income Southeast Asia. BMJ Open, 9: e028224. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-028224
  • Charoenboon, N, Haenssgen, MJ, Warapikuptanun, P, Xayavong, T & Khine Zaw, Y (2019). Translating AMR: a case study of context and consequences of antibiotic-related communication in three northern Thai villages. Palgrave Communications, 5(23). doi: 10.1057/s41599-019-0226-9
  • Haenssgen, MJ, Xayavong, T, Charoenboon, N, Warapikuptanun, P & Khine Zaw, Y (2018). The consequences of AMR education and awareness raising: outputs, outcomes, and behavioural impacts of an antibiotic-related educational activity in Lao PDR. Antibiotics, 7(4), 95. doi: 10.3390/antibiotics7040095
  • Haenssgen, MJ, Charoenboon, N, Zanello, G, Mayxay, M, … Xayavong, T et al. (2018). Antibiotics and activity spaces: protocol of an exploratory study of behaviour, marginalisation, and knowledge diffusion. BMJ Global Health, 3(e000621). doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2017-000621

Other publications

  • Haenssgen, MJ and Xayavong, T. (2021). Reshaping education and development: Learning from the Yru of Laos, published in New Mandala.
  • Zuan, K, Burke, JM, Okimoto, N, Na, H & Xayavong, T. Children’s book: No Matter What. (unpublished final assignment for Human Rights Education course, University for Peace).
  • Trisnajaya, P, Michino, J, Hoang, TH & Xayavong T. Capstone project: A Model for Building Youth Capacity on Interfaith: Youth interfaith Training and Conference in Mandalay, Myanmar (unpublished final assignment for master programme, Ateneo de Manila University).

Research fundings

Learning Space: Education and Its Pathways to Health Belief and Behaviours (Lao PDR), Co-principal Investigator with Dr Marco J Haenssgen

  • University of Warwick Institutional Research Support Fund: £4,000
  • Institute of Advanced Study (University of Warwick): £2,000
  • University of Warwick Connecting Cultures (Global Research Priority): £1,200