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

This webinar will explore 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 will explore 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.

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


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 Natal (Co-Convenors of the NGOs in Development Study Group)

Please pre-REGISTER for the webinar!

Previous meetings

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 ModeratorDr Ibrahim Natil is the Co-covenor of 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 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, UKThanks: 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