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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Urbanisation and development

It is well known that over 50% of world’s population lives in urban areas. This involves not only ongoing rapid urbanisation in certain regions of the global south but also challenges and opportunities in the processes of urban change experienced across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and the Middle East. In this context, a focus on human development suggests engaging with pressing issues including the processes of urbanisation, demographic change and population growth; economic growth or stagnation, and implications for livelihoods; environmental challenges including climate change, hazards and disasters; basic services; shelter and housing; conflict and security; and governance and planning processes and responses.

The Urbanisation and development group aims to engage with these issues, with a particular focus on how they affect low-income urban residents, and their gender dimensions, from both scholarly and practitioner perspectives. The group’s formation also reflects the interest among participants to engage with current and emerging policy priorities, including the presence of an ‘urban’ goal in the SDGs and the upcoming Habitat III summit in 2016. A core aim for the group is therefore to facilitate a network in support of influencing current and emerging policy agendas, drawing on existing links to academic, NGO, government and private sector communities in these fields in the global south, in support of an inclusive and collaborative approach.

The group meets twice a year (including one meeting at the DSA annual conference), offering an opportunity for members to discuss their research and potential collaboration.


Martina Manara (University of Sheffield)
[email protected]

Alice Sverdlik (University of Manchester)
[email protected]

Graeme Young (University of Glasgow)
[email protected]

Join our mailing list

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

Forthcoming meetings

Workshop on “New Frontiers of Urban Informality Research” will take place 12 to 13 September 2024 at the University of Sheffield.

Previous meetings

January 2020, University of Sheffield

Workshop: Development Alternatives within Contested Territories in Latin America

Sponsor: White Rose Collaboration Fund and the DSAChairs: Melanie Lombard, Philipp Horn, Beatrice de Carli, Victoria Habermehl and Andrea Jimenez.

See the full report and the workshop programme.


October 2018, University College London

Workshop: Translocal Pedagogies in Planning Education for Urban Equality

Sponsor: DSA Urbanisation and Development Study Group Organised by the Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality (KNOW) project at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit,


July 2016, IDS

DSA Urbanisation and Development Study Group Workshop

Interrogating the New Urban Agenda

Hosted by IIED, The Bartlett Development Planning Unit at UCL and IDS