Minerva Rivas Velarde

Principal Investigator of an Ambizione grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation, Director of the Europe and Central Asia of the Disability Data Initiative Hub


Minerva Rivas Velarde is a Principal Investigator of an Ambizione grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation. Her research project team is affiliated with the HI5LAB: Health Informatics for Innovation, Integration, Implementation and Impact lab, as well as, the biomedical ethics research group. She is also lead research partner in a collaborative project with EssentialTech at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne to develop affordable assistive technology. Furthermore, she is member of the Editorial Board of the Swiss journal of Biomedical Ethics Bioethica Forum.

Prior to this post, Minerva was a research fellow at the Institute of Ethics, History, and Humanities (IEH2) of the Faculty of Medicine of Geneva, a Visiting Fellow at the Petrie-Flom Center in Harvard Law School and visiting Professor at Faculty of Medicine of the Universidad del Rosario in Colombia.  She was also a project leader in a collaborative project between the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Universidad del Rosario and University of Geneva. Minerva has also collaborated with the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization, the International Labour Organization and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Before moving to Geneva at the University of Sydney she co-lead the design, implementation and coordination of the first tertiary educational program in Australia for people with intellectual disability at Sydney University and lecture at Menzies Centre for Health Policy in Global Health and Disability policy.



  • Disability and intersectionality 
  • ICT accessibility
  • Biomedical ethics
  • Disability studies and global health
  • Assistive Technology


Selected journals 

  • Minerva Rivas Velarde, Janet E. Lord, Michael Ashley Stein & Thomas Shakespeare (2021) Disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration in Colombia: Lost human rights opportunities for ex-combatants with disabilities, Journal of Human Rights, DOI: 10.1080/14754835.2021.1969648

  • Jagoe C, McDonald C, Rivas M, Groce N (2021) Direct participation of people with communication disabilities in research on poverty and disabilities in low and middle income countries: A critical review. PLoS ONE 16(10): e0258575. pone.0258575 Editor: Orvalho A

  • Rivas Velarde M, Lieketseng Ned, Karen Soldatic, Satendra Singh and Leslie Swartz, The Handbook on Disability and Global Health, Routledge. Forthcoming  

  • Rivas Velarde, M., Tsantoulis, P., Burton-Jeangros, C., Aceti, M., Chappuis, P., & Hurst-Majno, S. (2021). Citizens' views on sharing their health data: the role of competence, reliability and pursuing the common good. BMC Medical Ethics, 22(1), 1-12.

  • Agata Ferretti; Marcello Ienca; Mark Sheehan; Alessandro Blasimme; Edward S. Dove; Bobbie Farsides; Phoebe Friesen; Jeff Kahn; Walter Karlen; Peter Kleist; S. Matthew Liao; Camille Nebeker; Gabrielle Samuel Mahsa Shabani; Minerva Rivas Velarde; Effy Vayena ‘ Ethics review of big data research: what should stay and what should be reformed? BMC Medical Ethics, 22(1), 1-13.

  • Chavarria M, Mugeere A, Schönenberge K, Hurst S, Rivas Velarde M (2021) Design Approaches for Creating person-centered, context sensitive, and sustainable assistive technology for personal mobility in the GlobalSouth , Ed Michael Ashley Stein & Jonathan Lazar Accessible Technology And The Developing World,Oxford University Press. (P. 248-268)

  • Martin A. Rivas Velarde M (2020) Discussing ethical issues arising from disability, Bioethica Forum, Swiss Journalof Biomedical EthicsVolume 13 / No. 1, p3-5

  • Rivas Velarde M, Lord J, Stain M, Shakespeare T  Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration in Colombia: Lost Human Rights Opportunities for Ex-Combatants with Disabilities, Journal of Human Rights, in print 2021

  • Rivas Velarde M (2021) Understanding professional health education for refugees: health systems approach, Systems Thinking for Global Health Ed. Mannan H. Vallieres F. Book- Oxford University Press-Peer review book chapter (in-print 2021)

  • Rivas Velarde M (2021) Remodelling disability from an Indigenous perspective, The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Disability Ed. Pettinicchio D, Brown R - Oxford University Press-Peer review book chapter (in-print 2021)

  • Burkardt, A. D., Krause, N., & Rivas Velarde, M. (2019). Critical success factors for the implementation and adoption of e-learning for junior health care workers in Dadaab refugee camp Kenya. Human resources for health, 17(1), 1-10.

  • Rivas Velarde (2018) Indigenous Perspectives of Disability. In: Disability Studies Quarterly, 2018, vol. 38, n° 4.


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