Our Aims and Objectives

We are the UK association for all those who research, study and teach global development issues

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What is Development Studies

What is development studies and decolonising development.

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Our Members

We have around 1,000 members, made up of individuals and around 40 institutions

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Find out about our constitution, how we are run and meet our Council

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Meet our Council members and other staff who support the running of DSA

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The DSA Conference is an annual event which brings together the development studies community

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Our conference this year is themed "Social justice and development in a polarising world"

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Find out about our previous conferences

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Our Study Groups offer a chance to connect with others who share your areas of interest

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Students and ECRs

Students and early career researchers are an important part of our community

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Our book series with OUP and our relationship with other publishers

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North-South Research

A series of workshops exploring North-South interdisciplinary research with key messages and reports

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Membership Directory

Find out who our members are, where they are based and the issues they work on

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DSA Masters Dissertation Prize 2023 winners

Lisa Eitinger from the Department of International Development at LSE has been announced the winner of the DSA’s Masters Dissertation Prize for her work entitled: “Ignorance for relevance? A critical assessment of the World Bank’s higher education policy.”

Since 2015 the DSA has awarded an annual dissertation prize to Masters’ students working in the field of international development, development studies and development economics. This annual prize is awarded to the best masters’ level dissertation in these fields of study.

The judging panel found Lisa’s thesis engaged with and is embedded in academic theory and literature, using its case study of the World Bank’s higher education policy to create a high-level argument around the idea and use of knowledge, ignorance, and power in development policymaking.

The panel felt it that the dissertation was outstanding in its analytical depth, the way the case study is used to explore a bigger issue and the wider implications teased out, and in the identification of an interesting, innovative, and original question. The approach to the research was rigorous and made use of an interesting primary research methodology which is well justified and explained, with limitations reflected upon.

The judges concurred that it is unusual to see a Foucauldian discourse analysis done with such skill, with the lens of ignorance offering an unusual but productive approach. 

They found Lisa’s writing style clear, engaging and admirably concise and therefore making a strong contribution to the literature on the ways in which development is depoliticised, the ways in which power over development policy and direction is created and sustained, and the idea of development ‘knowledge’ and fact. 

Lisa will receive £300, plus full funding to attend DSA2023 to present their research in person.

Highly commended

Two other students were highly commended and will receive £100, plus free registration for the DSA2023 online or in-person. They include:

Every year, all Development Studies and Economics departments in the UK are invited to submit one MA or MSc dissertation each for consideration the DSA Masters Dissertation Prize. This year nominations were accepted in the autumn of 2022. The DSA asked all the Heads of Centres of DSA affiliated institutions in the UK to nominate the highest scoring masters’ dissertation (MA or MSc) awarded on their international development, or related subject, programmes in 2023. We were happy to accept nominations of extended essays but these needed to be of exceptional quality to win when compared to longer dissertations. The nominations were evaluated by an academic panel from the DSA. Decisions were made in early March 2023 and the winner and their department notified.

You can read more about the Masters Dissertation Prize and access the back catalogue of winning dissertations to the DSA Masters dissertation prize page.

The DSA is committed to supporting the development of students and early career researchers. Find out more about what the DSA offers students and early career researchers on our website.