Category: development studies

“Why are you not doing research in your home country?” – The complexities of being from and doing research in the Global South

Reflecting on their experiences of being researchers from the Global South working on the Global South from institutions in the Global North, Ilaha Abasli and Ahmed Elassal discuss how established research methods and training need to take account of m…

The Political Lives of Information – review

In The Political Lives of Information: Information and the Production of Development in India, Janaki Srinivasan analyses the history of the idea of “information” and its political implications for poverty alleviation through three case studies in Indi…

Do no harm? – What development practice can teach us about negative impact

As previous posts on the Impact Blog have highlighted, one aspect of the impact agenda that has until recently been relatively neglected has been that of negative impact, or ‘grimpact’. In this post Valeria Izzi and Becky Murray draw on examples from development practice and research to advance a more complex understanding of grimpact and argue that as development research […]

The human element – why randomised control trials need mixed methods approaches

The applicability of Randomised Control Trials (RCTs) to the social sciences has been widely questioned. However, assessing the effectiveness of RCTs, in practice has proved difficult. In this post, Naila Kabeer reflects on her recent research into randomised control trials utilised as part of a programme to alleviate poverty in West Bengal and highlights how, when RCTs are used in […]

How diverse is your reading list? (Probably not very…)

The dominance of scholars from the global North is widespread, and this extends to the student curriculum. Data on reading lists shows large authorial imbalances, which has consequences for the methodological tools available in research and allows dominant paradigms in disciplines to remain unchallenged. This post originally appeared on the Citing Africa Blog and is accompanied by a series of podcasts on […]

Can we have it all? Navigating trade-offs between research excellence, development impact, and collaborative research processes

The “gold standard” of impactful international development research involves equitable north-south partnership, interdisciplinary collaboration, and co-production with non-academic actors, ideally including local communities. Such participatory and collaborative approaches are intended to have longer-term benefits, strengthening capacity for research, innovation, and knowledge exchange. Admirable though this may sound, it’s easy to see how it might appear overwhelming to researchers expected to […]