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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Past Conferences

Find out about our previous conferences

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Study Groups

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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Round up: Collaborations between researchers and civil society

The DSA hosted a webinar on the topic of NGO and researcher collaboration to tackle inequality and injustice with:

  • Beth Chitekwe-Biti, the Director of the secretariat of Slum Dwellers International;
  • Naomi Hossain, political sociologist and Research Professor at the Accountability Research Center at the School of International Service at American University in Washington DC;
  • Sandra Martinsone is interim Head of Policy, Advocacy and Research at BOND;
  • and moderated by Michael Jennings from SOAS.

It quickly became clear in the webinar that researchers should also consider collaboration with communities, with Beth Chitekwe-Biti reminding us that “Researchers should not just talk to NGOs to the exclusion of communities who face the issues first-hand.” Beth talked about the importance of citizen-led development, pointing out that citizens of African cities often collect their own data but need the help of academia and NGOs to use this data to deliver policy changes.

Beth cautioned that by the time the researchers come to a community the problem has been defined, and the community has to respond to a problem that has been defined without them. Collaboration, she said, is about long term relationships, so the community have a say in what needs researching.

At a practical level, Sandra Martinsone from Bond pointed out that researchers and NGOs work at a different pace.

The audience also raised the issue of funding challenges, that NGOs don’t have funding to commission research. Mike Jennings from SOAS pointed out that the funding councils require researchers to define the research problem as part of the funding bid, another challenge which requires addressing for better collaborations.

To hear the full discussion around these points and more watch the video below.

Resources on collaboration

The speakers and the audience provided the following resources on the discussion points: