University of Oslo

Joar Svanemyr,
PhD, Associate Professor.


Key qualifications and skills


Extensive knowledge of development issues related to health and gender and particularly reproductive health (prevention of STD/STIs, hiv/aids and unwanted pregnancies; family planning; men’s role; risky/illegal abortions; maternal health). Good knowledge of development policy issues related to the Millenium Development Goals and Poverty Reduction Strategies. Competent in analyzing the social context of health issues. Experience in designing and assessing projects  and programmes. Competent in critical evaluation, problem solving, research, communication and teaching.



Research, teaching and consultancy interests

Reproductive health; gender issues; traditional harmful practices; social and health services for the poor; ethnicity and identity issues; youth.





2003: Doctor Philosophicum (PhD) at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo. Title of PhD Thesis: Kjønnsrelasjoner, reproduksjon og provosert abort i Elfenbenskysten. (Gender relations, reproduction and induced abortion in Côte d'Ivoire).

1995: Master of Philosophy (Hovedfag) in Sociology at the University of Oslo. Title of Master thesis: Hår på brøstet.                  Maskulin identitet og symbolvalg (Hair on the chest. Masculin identity and choice of symbols.)

1991: Undergraduate degree (grunnfag) in History of Ideas.

1989: Undergraduate degree (mellomfag) in French.




Professional experience


2006 March - 2008: Associate Professor at Institute for General Practice and Community Medicine, University of Oslo. Master Study of International Community Health.


2006: Consultancy for Norad: Assessment of channels for support to HIV-prevention in Central America.


2005 December – 2006 March: Consultant for the World Bank for study on “Promoting the demand for family planning in Yemen”.


2005 July – December: Associate Professor at Institute for General Practice and Community Medicine, University of Oslo. Master Study of International Community Health


2005: Independent consultant.

              January – February: Advising the Christian Relief Network on preparing the establishment of fistula clinic in East Congo.

              February: Assisting the Norwegian NGO network Fokus in reviewing applications for support to projects for fighting Female Genital Mutilation and Gender Based Violence.

March – May: Assessment of the Research programme “Development paths in the South” for Norwegian Research Council.



2004: December: Consultancy for Norad: Evaluation of project for distribution of medical equipment in the Democratic Republic of Congo

November: Consultancy for Norad: Revising and editing thematic pages at on health and disability.


2003-2004: Technical adviser on health in Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) with a very wide range of responsibilities and tasks, but with a particular responsibility for reproductive health issues including Female Genital Mutilation. The principal responsible for advising the Norwegian embassies in Mozambique, Ethiopia and Guatemala, and partly Nicaragua, Uganda and Malawi, and for advising the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on matters related to UNFPA, PCC/HRP and Global Health Research.



1996-2002: Researcher at Institute of General Practice and Community Medicine, Section for Medical Anthropology. Topics: Reproductive health in Norway and Africa with a focus on men’s role, as well as sociology/anthropology of health and illness in general with a gender perspective. Approach: Qualitative methods consisting of in depth-interviews, participating observation, and informal conversations.


Projects and tasks:

PhD study on the social context for reproductive decisions with a focus on induced abortions in Côte d'Ivoire. Financed by the Research Council of Norway.

Giving lectures at various Universities and colleges on sociological and anthropological theory and qualitative research method, and counseling and supervising students at the Master of International Health study.



Consultant for WHO assisting a research group in Côte d'Ivoire in elaborating a research protocol on men's participation in the health care of pregnant women and new-born children (August 2002).

Consultant for The Norwegian Heart and Lung Association for a study of compliance among tuberculosis patients in Namibia (2002).

Assistant leader at seminar on Youth and reproductive health, organized by WHO in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (1999).

Pilot study on social factors influencing fertility decision making in the Ivory Coast (1998).

Research on young Norwegian men’s role in contraceptive use and the preventing of unwanted pregnancies on demand from the Norwegian Board of Health (1997).

Adapted and updated report on adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Norway (1997).

Wrote background paper on Norway’s efforts to pursue the Program for Action from the International Conference on Population and Development, 1994.

Analyzed qualitative material on young women’s use of contraception in Oslo (1996-97).

Conducted research on teachers’ coping of illness on behalf of Teachers Union (1996).



Other work experiences:


Supervisor and sensor for students at Master study on International Community Health, University of Oslo (2000-2005)

Interviewer at poll agencies (MMI and Scan Fact).

Leader of seminar for students of sociology.

Conducted study among present and former members of Norske Assurandørers Forbund (NAF, trade union for insurance agents).

Civil worker at Framtiden i våre hender (ecological organisation).

Volunteer for the charitable organisation les Compagnons d'Emmaüs in Albi, France.

Freelance journalism.

Language skills













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Other qualifications and experiences


Excellent knowledge of text-editing and some experience of making lay-out on PC and Macintosh.

Good knowledge and mastering of the software programs Nud-Ist (qualtitative analysis) and Endnote (reference  tool), and familiar with use of SPSS, Excel, and dtSearch.

Good experience in editing homepage for the Internet (personal homepage:

Instructor of Salsa dancing and DJ for Salsa clubs.





Doctoral Thesis

2003: Svanemyr, Joar: Kjønnsrelasjoner, reproduksjon og provosert abort i Elfenbenskysten, (Gender Relations, Reproduction and Induced Abortion in Côte d’Ivoire). Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo.


Master Thesis in Sociology

1995: Svanemyr, Joar: Hår på brøstet. Om maskulin identitet og symbolvalg. (Hair on the Chest. On Masculin Identity and Choice of Symbols), University of Oslo.




Articles in scientific journals with peer review:


2007: Svanemyr, Joar and Johanne Sundby: The Social Context of Induced Abortion among  youth in Côte d’Ivoire.                   Vol. 11, no. 2, august: 13-23.

2000: Svanemyr, Joar: "Pierre Bourdieu om kjønn og makt". Sosiologi i dag, Nr. 4.

1998: Svanemyr, Joar: "Prevensjon som problem og kroppen som aktør: Kroppsliggjøring av struktur og mening". Kvinneforskning, Nr. 3/4.

1998: Sundby, Johanne, Joar Svanemyr og Tale Mæhre: "Avoiding unwanted pregnancy - the role of communication, information and knowledge in the use of contraception among young Norwegian women". Patient Education and Councelling, Nr. 38.




Articles in journals without peer review:


2000: Svanemyr, Joar: "Kommentar til ‘Pikstormerne’".

2000: Svanemyr, Joar: "Den mannlige dominans og 'kvinnenes historie'". Nikk magasin, nr 1.

1996: Svanemyr, Joar: "Om menn, identitet og refleksivitet". Mannsforskning, 2/1996.

1996: Svanemyr, Joar: "Hår på brøstet - om menn og identitet". Sosiolog-nytt, 2/1996.

1995: Svanemyr, Joar: "Kjønn - forskjell - forandring". Sosiolog-nytt, 2/1995.





Svanemyr, Joar: "Induced Abortion, Gender Relations and Inter-Generational Negotiations in Côte d'Ivoire". Nordic Africa Days, Uppsala, 5.-7. oktober 2001.

Svanemyr, Joar: "Le rôle des hommes dans les decisions d'avorter". 6th Congress of the African Society of Gynaecologists-Obstetricians (ASGO), Ouagadougou, 4.-8. desember 2000.

Svanemyr, Joar: "Men, gender relations and sexuality in West Africa". Researching Masculinities, Trondheim, 20.-23. mars 2000.

Svanemyr, Joar: "Men's role in reproductive decisions in Côte d'Ivoire". Men and Reproductive Health,  IASAM/SFK, Oslo, 25-26. oktober 1999.





2006: Svanemyr, Joar: Promoting the Demand  for Family Planning in Yemen An assessment for the World Bank. Washington: The World Bank.

2005: Svanemyr, Joar: Globalisation and marginalisation. Multi- and interdisciplinary research  on development paths in the South. 1998 - 2007. Review and assessment  of the programme period 1998 – 2004.  Oslo: Norwegian Research Council.

2004: Svanemyr, Joar: Evaluation of distribution of medical equipment in DR Congo. Norad.

1998: Svanemyr, Joar & Johanne Sundby: 'Jeg satser på at jeg ikke blir gravid'. En studie av prevensjonsbruk blant unge kvinner i Oslo. Oslo: Statens Helsetilsyn.

1998: Svanemyr, Joar: Dum i kondom. Unge menns forhold til bruk av prevensjon og forebygging av uønskede graviditeter. Oslo: Statens Helsetilsyn.

1997: Svanemyr, Joar: Lærere med helsesvikt: Mestring og tiltak. Norsk Lærerlag.

1994: Svanemyr, Joar: Hvorfor melder assurandørene seg ut av NAF? Oslo: Norske Assurandørers Forbund.

1993: Svanemyr, Joar; Mari Møystad & Johanne Meyer: Assurandør - hvor går du? Oslo: Norske Assurandørers Forbund.



Other publications


2003: Svanemyr, Joar: ”Blant disipler og fiender”. Article on Pierre Bourdieu in Klassekampen, 23.1.2003.

2002: Translation from French: "Harmoniens bakside" (L'envers de l'harmonie). Sosiologi i dag, nr 1-2/2002.

1999: Svanemyr, Joar: "Slutte å snakke om kjønn?" Comment in Dagbladet 12.10.1999.

1995: Svanemyr, Joar: "Klassebegrepet og de intellektuelles ansvar". Interview with Pierre Bourdieu i Klassekampen, 22.5.1995.

1994: Translation from French: "En samtale med Pierre Bourdieu" (Un entretien avec Pierre Bourdieu). Sosiologi i dag, nr 2/1994.

1992: Svanemyr, Joar: "Homo automobilis - med bilen som middel og mål". Mellomfagsoppgave in Sociology, University of Oslo.

1989: Svanemyr, Joar: "L'homme révolté". Mellomfagsoppgave  in French, University of Oslo.






- Professor Johanne Sundby, Institute for General Practice and Community Medicine, Box 1130 Blindern 0317 Oslo. Tel. 22 85 05 50, e-mail

- Professor Gunnar Bjune, Institute for General Practice and Community Medicine, Box 1130 Blindern 0317 Oslo. Tel. 22 85 05 50, e-mail

- Paul Fife, head of health group, Norad, Box 8034 Dep, 0030 Oslo. Tlf 22 24 20 30, e-mail