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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Delegate voices at DSA2024

With more than 500 participants in the room and 208 joining online, DSA2024 was a great opportunity to meet new connections, hear diverse perspectives, advance critical thinking – and try the SOAS catering team’s cookies! 

Getting voices heard 

Njeri Kimotho from Kenya, from the organisation Solidaridad Network, where she is a global gender equality and social inclusion advisor and feminist policy adviser.  She participated in writing a book on reimagining development from a feminist perspective, with southern feminists in the driving seat and at DSA2024, she presented a paper reflecting on this, examining foreign feminist perspectives in development and what really happens like when foreign feminist policies from the the global North are imposed on developing countries. 

Njeri Kimoto from Kenya, from the organisation Solidaridad Network, at DSA2024 in SOAS
Njeri Kimoto from Kenya, from the organisation Solidaridad Network, at DSA2024 in SOAS

“What was a trigger for me was the need to make the bridge between development practitioners and researchers,” explained Njeri. “There is this narrative that research is not needed in development [practice]. But research is a core critical component in development and therefore when you live on an island where ‘you are a development practitioner, you are a feminist, and that’s all we do,’  then you miss out on this whole other agenda of what is informing that development. That was for me the push button for me to be here and interacting with such great scientists and empirical researchers and seeing their minds and hearing from them, where they come from and them hearing from me and where I am coming from and meeting each other in the middle to create this equilibrium.”

She added it was also critical “for them to also hear our voice – that we are living the experiences of what they write. Giving a voice to [development] and amplifying that will, I hope, change the narrative and also change the framing around what is development from a research perspective.”

Njeri was a self-funded participant; she says like many participants there is not much budget dedicated for knowledge and learning as most funds are allocated towards doing field research. “I had to squeeze my budget really tight [to attend] but at the end of the day I think it paid off because I met great people and I made nice connections but also I was able to amplify my voice especially as we clamor around the climate change agenda.”

Feedback on paper

Felix Danso from the National College of Defence Studies, Ghana attended the conference to present his paper on the impact of Climate Change and Food Production in Ghana

“[Presenting] gave me the opportunity to share my thoughts on a paper that I want to publish so the feedback that came was very helpful to put together a manuscript for academic purposes but also for policy makers to consider some of the recommendations in the paper.”

Felix was one of 44 applicants who received funding to attend the DSA (from 416 applicants). Funding was provided by SOAS, the Journal of Development Studies and the Development Studies Association. 

“Most institutions in Ghana don’t give funding for conferences, it’s too expensive.” he explains. “I depend on the funding from the DSA and supplement it with my own funds to support myself.” 

Cookies bring publishers and institutes together

Also present at the conference was publishers working in the development space including Helena Hurd from Routledge, Adam Swallow from OUP, the team from Practical Action Publishing celebrating their 50th year of publishing, Bristol University Press and Nick Wolterman from Bloomsbury Publishing

Nick Wolterman from Bloomsbury Publishing talks to delegates at DSA2024 at SOAS
Nick Wolterman from Bloomsbury Publishing talks to delegates at DSA2024 at SOAS

“DSA is always great and DSA 2024 was no exception,” said Nick Wolterman from Bloomsbury.  “It was wonderful to learn so much from so many brilliant and passionate people; to hear about some really exciting book ideas and help authors to shape their proposals; to be able to spread the word more about our Bloomsbury Open Collections Open Access funding initiative and about Bloomsbury’s commitment to the UN SDGs; and to participate in the “books publishing strategies for students and ECRs” panel sessions with Routledge and OUP editors. Thanks very much to everyone who came and to the conference organizers, who’ve surpassed themselves once again. And the cookies weren’t half bad, either.” 

A recording of the session on book publishing strategies is available to delegates and we will blog later on the key tips from the session. 

One of the biggest groups of attendees comes from the University of Manchester’s Global Development Institute. This year they also brought staff from their communications team in a welcome return to institutes having a stand at the conference. “Bringing a GDI stall to the 2024 DSA conference was fantastic,” said Communications Manager Chris Jordan. “It really made me realise what we’d been missing out on for the last couple of years.” And Chris wasn’t just referring to the the cookies that were located dangerously close to his institute’s stand.   

“It’s both invaluable and invigorating to reconnect with the rest of the Development Studies community – and especially all the many former GDI-ers who are stalwart attendees. Showcasing our new research and projects to enthusiastic people – as well as getting lots of sign ups to the GDI e-newsletter was a real bonus. See you next year!”  

Chris Jordan and Louise Hahn talk to delegates at DSA2024 at SOAS
Chris Jordan and Louisa Hahn talk to delegates at DSA2024 at SOAS