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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NGOs in development

This group provides a forum for academics and researchers working on issues around civil society and development. The NGO Study Group has debated themes such as: research collaboration between academics and practitioners, NGOs and migration, local organisations and emergency relief, the ethnography of NGOs, and civil society and counter-terrorism. Regular emails keep members informed of upcoming events. The study group has over 100 members, and welcomes new members from the academic, NGO, and policy-making community.


Dr Ibrahim Natil (Dublin City University)

[email protected]

Dr Emanuela Girei (Liverpool John Moores University)

[email protected]


Join our mailing list

Sign up to the study group mailing list for this study group if you are interested in NGOs and civil society issues. If you’re not already, please do consider becoming a member of DSA before joining a study group.

Forthcoming events

Webinar: “Public Diplomacy and New Leadership of Civil Society Organisations”
Date: Thursday 29th February 12.00-14.00 (GMT)

This webinar will explore the roles of civil society organisations (CSOs) when engaging in public diplomacy activities and their impact on community development and change. It provides up-to-date analysis of the challenges and constraints facing CSOs involved in diplomatic missions and working with foreign donors with a focus around a new book published by Routledge, Public Diplomacy and Civil Society Organisations.

Bringing together case studies from Cameroon, Egypt, Poland, Palestine, Lebanon and Libya, this edited collection reflects on how external calls for proposals in the fields of women’s empowerment, community development, education, training, exchange programmes, democracy, human rights and peacebuilding influence the way civil society organisations contribute, deliver, intervene and position themselves in various societies. It also explores the lessons learnt by various CSOs in identifying societal problems, understanding grassroots demands, prioritising development agendas and campaigning for peacebuilding. Grounded in a firm theoretical framework and based on up-to-date empirical research, the book reflects on the leadership shown by civil society organisations in development, politics and business and their impact on community development initiatives and local change process. This book will be an important resource for researchers, policymakers, donors, NGO practitioners and the beneficiaries themselves, within the areas of international development, peacebuilding, civil society, politics and international relations.

The webinar is open to researchers, practitioners, and students.


Galia Chimiak is an Associate Professor at the Civil Society Department with the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. Her main research interests are in CSOs, their human resources, development cooperation and global education. Galia Chimiak is a co-editor-in-chief of VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organization (published by Springer Nature) and a former Convenor of the Civil Society Study Group with Development Studies Association Ireland.

Nguh Nwei Asanga Fon is a PhD candidate in International Relations at Eastern Mediterranean University, North Cyprus. Fon is a research fellow with the International Governance Institute (IGI) Cameroon, and a member of the International Association for Political Science Students (IAPSS). Professionally, Fon has a rich experience as civil society leader in Cameroon having served as Executive Director of Community Awareness and Development Association Cameroon (CADAC) for 10 years (2013 – 2022).

Katarzyna Zalas-Kamińska is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Political Studies at the University of Wrocław. Her research interests are public diplomacy and development cooperation. She cooperates with Polish NGOs (including Grupa Zagranica, a platform of organizations involved in development cooperation, democracy support and global education), as well as with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Poland (as a member of the Development Cooperation Policy Council 2020-2024).

Ahmed El Assal is a PhD researcher at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University Rotterdam. He holds an MA in Governance, Development and Public Policy from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex. Ahmed has more than a decade of experience in the international development sector, with a particular focus on intersections of governance, human rights, and economic justice issues.

Moderators: Emanuela Girei and Ibrahim Natil (Co-Convenors of the NGOs in Development Study Group)

Please pre-REGISTER for the webinar!


Previous meetings

Webinar: “Reimagining Civil Society Collaborations in Development”Date: Thursday 14th December 12.00-14.00 (GMT)

This webinar explored ways in which civil society collaborations in development can be grounded in new imaginings, moving beyond the limits of current debates on power in civil society collaborations. While there is much discussion of localisation, decolonisation and ‘shifting power’ in civil society collaborations in development, the debate thus far centres on reforming the aid system. A new (open access) book published by Routledge, ‘Reimagining civil society collaborations in development. Starting from the South‘ explores different ways in which civil society collaborations in development can be grounded in new imaginings and beyond the North-South dyad.

Drawing on the various contributions of the book, in the webinar, we explored emerging new research agendas on Southern-centred agency, leadership and transformative changes to CSO collaborations in development, which could open new scenarios, roles and processes.


Justice Nyigmah Bawole is a Professor in the Department for Public Administration and Health Services Management, and Dean of the University of Ghana Business School (Ghana). His research interests include Public Sector Management, Climate Change and Sustainable Development, State-third sector relations, and Local Economic Development.

Tiina Kontinen is Associate Professor in International Development Studies at the University of Jyväskylä (Finland). Her research interests include civil society, civic space, civil society organizations and NGOs, knowledge production, citizenship, learning citizenship, and North-South collaborations, with a geographical focus on East Africa.

Margit van Wessel is Associate Professor at the Strategic Communication Chair Group at Wageningen University (Netherlands). She researches and teaches on manifestations of citizenship and civil society, focusing on dynamics between citizens and political and governmental institutions and processes.

Moderators: Emanuela Girei and Ibrahim Natil (Co-Convenors of the NGOs in Development Study Group)


We have run very successful panels each year at the DSA Annual Conference.

At DSA 2021 we ran two panels which you can now review here:

Learning from unprecedented times: NGOs and CSOs through the Covid-19 pandemic (NGOs Study Group) 1

Watch: Learning from unprecedented times: NGOs and CSOs through the Covid-19 pandemic (NGOs Study Group) 2

OR via Youtube here.


Covid19 Challenges, Shifts and Civil Society Organisations

A joint Webinar from:NGOs in Development Group, Development Studies Association, UK & Civil Society Study Group, Development Studies Association Ireland (DSAI)

26th November 2020, 1.00-2.00pm [Dublin/London time]

Speakers:Lucy Philipson – Chief Executive Officer of COCO (Comrades of Children Overseas) an International Charity based in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Lucy has worked at COCO for 17years in various roles, volunteering, fundraising, governance and in project management. Lucy is a trustee for Children North East, board member at International Newcastle and sits on the Newcastle University Business School Alumni committee. Lucy is also a mentor through the Girls Network and a school governor at Fellside Primary School in Wickham.

Gloria ABDO is a socio-cultural reference, with more than 15 years of experience in the educational world and civic engagement. Ph.D. researcher in Human Resources and Leadership with a background in Community Development. Gloria is a social engineer and a lobbyist; linking people, groups, and organizations. She is a freelance trainer and Consultant for NGOs and Youth Groups. Currently, managing the students’ life department at Saint- Joseph University of Beirut, in addition to teaching Community leadership, civic engagement, and volunteering.

Chair and Moderator – Dr Ibrahim Natil is the co-convenor of the NGOs in Development Study Group, DSA-UK, and winner of Robert Chamber Best Overall Paper, selected by DSA Ireland (2017). He is a Research Fellow at the Institute of International Conflict Resolution and Re-construction, Dublin City University, Ireland. His recent book: Barriers to Effective Civil Society Organisations, (Routledge 2020) and his forthcoming book: Conflict, Civil Society and Women’s empowerment, (Emerald, 2021).Chair: Dr Ibrahim Natil, DSA, UK. Thanks: Dr Nita Mishra, DSAI, Ireland

Other outputs


Youth Civic Engagement and Local Peacebuilding in the Middle East and North Africa

Conflict, Civil Society, and Women’s Empowerment

Barriers to effective Civil Society Organisations 

The Power of Civil Society in Middle East and North Africa: Peace-building, Change and Development 

New Book from the NGOs in Development Study group: Negotiating Knowledge: evidence and experience in development NGOs, edited by Study Group members Rachel Hayman, Sophie King, Tiina Kontinen and Lata Narayanaswamy is available from Practical Action Publishing. The book has contributions from Kate Gooding, Kai Matturi, Erla Thrandardottir and Swetha Rao Dhananka.


INTRAC related resources

BISA (British International Studies Association) NGO working group