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CDS update

Welcome to the third CDS newsletter of this tumultuous year. On 8 December Michael Woolcock from the World Bank will share reflections from co-editing the World Bank’s 2020 report on global poverty and shared prosperity, entitled reversals of fortune (see Upcoming Events below). The report reminds us that Covid-19 is only one current catalyst of change, with global warming and civil conflict prominent among the others. Change has also come to CDS. Two former CDS directors - Susan Johnson and Sarah White - left the University over the summer, but both remain living in Bath, and we look forward to continued collaboration with them, as well as with Rushil Ranchod and Fariba Alamgir. Meanwhile we welcome Cynthia Kamwengo as a post-doctoral research fellow (and editor of this newsletter), Santosh Mehrotra as a visiting professor and a larger-than-ever intake of doctoral, masters and undergraduates studying international development and related programmes. An unsung contribution to our research are the many interesting dissertations and placement/practicum reports of undergraduate and postgraduate students, who should be congratulated for graduating in such unusual circumstances. Congratulations too, to Grace Igweta and Willy Brandt Nyeko - students on the doctorate in policy research and practice - for sharing in the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to their employer, the World Food Programme. It is both humbling and challenging to be joined by such talented and committed people. We will endeavour to keep up, secure in the belief that one constant amid all the change is the value of timely and credible research.

James Copestake (Director)
CDS Out and About

1. Development policy, practice & political economy 

Since February 2020, Mathilde Maîtrot, Joe Devine, and Geof Wood, together with a team of researchers from the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies have been involved in providing analytical support to the Ministry of Planning’s eighth 5-year plan. This DfID-commissioned project builds on years of engagement with governmental and non-governmental stakeholders in Bangladesh and focuses on extreme poverty. The report is designed to identify key strategic themes drawing on primary data (quantitative and qualitative), but the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected both the process and content of the research. It particularly affected planned visit field sites in March and July to conduct face-to-face interviews, observations and other data collection. However, two main sets of informants contributed to qualitative analysis beyond the earlier data collected: a panel of national level experts familiar with the poverty dynamics of the country, and a panel of practitioner informants drawn from across the regions. In September, a draft report entitled ‘The Hardest to Reach’ was presented to poverty experts (national and regional), representatives from the Government of Bangladesh and relevant development partners. In mid-October, a short policy note highlighting a set of policy recommendations was also submitted to the General Economic Division -Planning Commission, at their request.

In June, Ben Radley was elected to serve a three-year term as Council Member for the Development Studies Association (DSA). Ben published a French-language summary of his doctoral thesis, in collaboration with a Congolese research institute, for dissemination in the country, which is available for download here. The Congolese media outlet IntelCongo published a review of the report and invited him to discuss the findings on a podcast. As part of Africa is a Country’s series on ‘Capital and Labour’ Ben also published an article highlighting the low worker wages and high levels of wage inequality at an industrial gold mine in eastern Congo. During July and August, Ben used a small research grant to carry out a firm-level survey of the solar sector in Burundi, Rwanda and the eastern DR Congo. He intends to draw on the findings to develop a larger future research project, investigating the nature of the relationship between expanded off-grid solar power and economic development in Central Africa.

CDS Director James Copestake was a speaker at the CGAP Virtual Thought Forum ‘Towards a Shared Learning Agenda for Financial Inclusion’ that was held on 19-20 May. James recently completed six years as a Trustee of Intrac and joined the board of Opportunity International UK.

Alice Chadwick was a speaker at International Forum for Volunteering and Development webinar on ‘Volunteer Safety and Security During COVID-19’. Alice was also a speaker at International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) Virtual Forum series on community volunteering and resilience.

Santosh Mehrotra has joined CDS as a Visiting Professor. Santosh is a human development economist, whose research ranges across the fields of labour, employment, skill development, child poverty, education and social policy. He has served as an economic adviser, policy maker and institution builder within the United Nations system and for the Government of India. His recent books include Planning in the 20th Century and Beyond: India's Planning Commission and NITI Aayog with Cambridge University Press and Reviving Jobs: An Agenda for Growth with Penguin Random House.

Rushil Ranchod has recently taken up a role at the Government and Public Policy (GAPP) think tank in Johannesburg, which focuses institutional and governance reform in South Africa. Rushil continues to be a member of CDS as a Visiting Fellow. He intends to use the fellowship to share ideas and work with graduate students and colleagues who have aligned interests on urban transformation and governance, and the data-technology nexus in (African) cities or the global South. He looks forward to brokering new relationships and explore areas for research collaboration between the GAPP, CDS and academics across the university of Bath on issues of public sector reform, governance innovation and improving state capacity


 2. Social justice, sustainability and wellbeing  

Ana Cecilia Dinerstein delivered a keynote speech for the British Sociological Association (BSA) Annual Conference 2020: Reimagining Social Bodies: Self, Institutions and Societies - Theory Stream on ‘For a Critical Theory of Hope’. The keynote was delivered online on 22 April and can be viewed here. Ana is on sabbatical until February 2021 to write an AHRC research proposal titled PLANET HOPE with partners such as Women on the Verge (female scholar, activists and artists) and the  Global Tapestry of Alternatives (GTA) an initiative seeking to create solidarity networks and strategic alliances amongst all transformative alternatives to capitalist patriarchal coloniality, created at local, regional and global levels. It locates itself in or helps initiate interactions among alternatives. This is an ever-expanding, complex set of tapestries, woven together by already existing communal or collective webs, building on already existing and new alternatives to dominant regimes, such as Vikalp Sangam (India).

Sarah White left the University at the end of August to found Relational Wellbeing Collaborative, an enterprise dedicated to designing creative, self-sustaining solutions with organisations and communities to extend relational wellbeing in practice. She writes, “The move reflected a combination of many factors: a long term sense of having come to an end of my current research/teaching trajectory and wanting to do something more practical and hands on while I still have my wits about me; seeing junior colleagues join the department who have greater energy and aptitude for the job than I had; believing that the Covid pandemic shows the importance of taking a relational approach to wellbeing; and beginning advisory work with a Swiss foundation committed to developing a relational approach to wellbeing in their programming and projects.” Working together with Sarah in the Relational Wellbeing Collaborative are long-term research collaboratrix Shreya Jha and Rushil Ranchod (both CDS Visiting Fellows). Sarah still lives in Bath and looks forward to developing new forms of connection with CDS, in this different avatar.

Jhonatan Clausen has been appointed as regional coordinator of the Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA) Latin American Network for the period 2020-2023. Jhonatan was a speaker at the ‘Online forum on Enhancing Integral Development of Persons with Disabilities in Peru’ organised by the Peruvian National Council to Socially Include the Persons with Disabilities (CONADIS). 16 Oct. Jhonatan was also a speaker at the eBook presentation ‘Dialogues on Human Development and COVID19 in Latin America: Towards a new agenda of research, policy making and social responsibility’ held on 5 October, organised by IDHAL-PUCP (Lima, Peru).

Tigist Grieve was the Principal Investigator and contributed to the main report for the qualitative multi-country study ‘The African Report on Child Wellbeing 2020: How friendly are African governments towards girls?’ This report, which will be launched on 20th November, does three things: it provides a comprehensive and continental review and analysis on the state of girls in Africa; it assesses the performance of African governments in fulfilling their obligations to girls using a robust statistical framework known as the Girl-Friendliness Index (GFI); and it relays the voices of girls sought through targeted multi-country qualitative studies carried out in selected countries across Africa.


3. Conflict, Migration and humanitarian action 

Katharina Lenner is Co-Investigator on a new one-year GCRF project led by researchers at Bath University (PI Joanna Clifton-Spring, Dept of Economics) in cooperation with Yarmouk University (Irbid, Jordan) and Fafo (Oslo) exploring obstacles to labour market participation for Jordanian and displaced Syrian women in Jordan. The collaborators will delve into enterprises’ reasons for hiring local and/or refugee women (or not), as well as the obstacles that women face in job search and retention. The project combines quantitative survey research with interviews conducted with Syrian and Jordanian women, employers, and employment centre staff. Katharina will be participating in a workshop on ‘Local integration of refugees in light of the Agenda 2030: CRRF and beyond’ on 5-6 November 2020, organised by the German Development Institute (DIE). The workshop will explore the contributions different strands of research working on forced migration and refugees (e.g. Human Rights, Peace and Conflict, Migration, Development, etc.) make to the debate around the local integration of forcibly displaced people. The aim is to initiate a discussion on how we, as a community, can foster these interlinkages, increase networking and strengthen existing collaborations. Further details and a registration link for the event can be found here.

Philip Proudfoot has signed a book contract with Manchester University Press for his monograph, ‘Rebel-Populism: Revolution and loss among Syrian labourers in Beirut’. The book is about revolutionary politics among Syrian workers in Beirut. In the wake of the Arab Spring, a range of scholars highlighted the political activities of liberal intelligentsia, Islamists, and civil society campaigners. Others examined the spring’s fallout, telling us about refugee lives and resettlement programmes. Yet we know little about the Middle East’s labouring masses. This is a problem for it was working-class political mobilisation that made those regimes tremble. In Syria, the same socio-economic pressures that structured men’s migration from the countryside to the city resembles what many have identified as the material foundations for the uprising itself. On the basis of long-term fieldwork, and bound together by the concept of ‘rebel populism,’ Rebel Populism investigates the texture of workers' political theories; the role of revolutionary WhatsApp memes; the emergence of martyrdom commemoration practices across new media networks; the challenges to maintaining patriarchal gender identity in exile and the proliferation of conspiratorial discourse.

Hannah West presented a paper ‘What did YOU do in the war, Mummy? British women’s experiences of the front-line, 1948-2014’ on 25 September at the Society for the History of War (SHoW) New Voices in the History of War Twitter Conference. Check it out on Twitter at #NVHOW20. In August, Hannah’s piece ‘Nightingale’s Legacy: Women on the COVID ‘frontline’ was published in the Defence-In-Depth research blog from King’s College London.


4. Global public health and education

Harry Rutter has been appointed as co-chair of The Lancet-Chatham House Commission on Improving Population Health post COVID-19. The Commission aims to support local and international efforts to safeguard public health by identifying key actions that will prevent pandemics, reduce communicable disease and protect natural environments. The first Commission meeting will be held on 29 October and its work will run for 18 months culminating in a Lancet Commission Report to be submitted for publication by April 2022. Harry contributed to a comment piece on the Commission’s work that was published in the July issue of The Lancet.
CDS Researchers and SDGs
 

Nicki Schatz has been coordinating CDS research into how current and future options for incorporating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into teaching and research across the University. This has included working the Universities’ Climate Action Group. Aurelie Charles, Yixian Sun, Judith Randel, Susan Johnson, James Copestake and Charlie Larkin in IPR are also involved. Please contact Nicki if interested. 

CDS Events 
The Decolonising Knowledge in Teaching, Research and Practice (DECkNO) centre in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences, now has its own website. DECkNO aims to explore the problem of Eurocentrism in the social sciences and consider its socioeconomic, educational, and policy research implications. We are encouraging discussions around the need to decolonise research theory, epistemology and methods, as well as contributing to the work done at the University of Bath (T&L), South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP) and Equality Diversity & Inclusion (EDI). On October 6, the SWDTP-funded Standing Seminar in Critical Theory (SSCT) held a successful (Sold Out!) webinar (un)Doing Research: Feminist Decolonial Provocations with Dr. Rosalba Icaza, which was sponsored by DECkNO and convened by our PhD students MJ Ventura Alfaro and Callum Cockbill.

Upcoming Events
CDS will host a webinar ‘Covid19: consequences for global inequalities and prospects for development’ on Wednesday 18 November. This is a joint event with the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTSR) at Coventry University. Heaven Crawley from CTPSR will present on ‘The great amplifier: Covid-19, migration and inequality. Yixian Sun from CDS will present on ‘Mask diplomacy? China’s Covid-19 aid and the changing international development landscape’. Registration is free.

The next Standing Seminar in Critical Theory (SSCT) event Critical theory for pandemic times: The Arcane of Reproduction then & now featuring feminist Leopoldina Fortunati and two discussants, will take place on Thursday 26 November, convened by our PhD student Josie Hooker.

CDS and the Centre for Business, Organisations and Society (CBOAS) will hold a seminar via Zoom on 'Deep Adaptation and Organisational Change' with speaker Jem Bendell at 11am on Wednesday 2 December. More details will be made available soon.

CDS will host a webinar ‘Reversals of Fortune: The World Bank 2020 Poverty & Shared Prosperity Report’ on Tuesday 8 December (13.00 to 14.30 GMT). Michael Woolcock, co-editor of the report, will reflect on what the report reveals about the combined effects of conflict, climate change and the coronavirus pandemic on global poverty and prosperity, prospects for recovery, and on the experience of putting the report together. Santosh Mehrotra and Zainab Mai-Bornu will serve as discussants for the webinar. This event is jointly hosted with the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) at the University of Bath and the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTSPR) at Coventry University. Register here
PGR News

Hannah West received a Student Award in the 2020 Doctoral Recognition Awards that were announced in June. Hannah also has been awarded the University of Bath’s Doctoral Award for Public Engagement for her work using film, folk music, documentary interviews and devised theatre to cast light on the gendered experiences of military veterans, in their own words.

Alice Chadwick was Highly commended at the University of Bath’s Doctoral Award for Public Engagement for her work with Volunteer Involving Organisations Network (VIONet) in Sierra Leone.

Waradas Thiyagaraja also made the shortlist for the Doctoral Award for Public Engagement for his work with the LGBTIQ community in Sri Lanka.
CDS Working Papers

Larquemin, A. (2020) ‘An investigation of the factors affecting ownership and use of bank accounts in Ghana’, Bath Papers in International Development and Wellbeing, No. 63, Centre for Development Studies, University of Bath.
Recent Publications

Clausen, J., & Barrantes, N. (2020) ‘Implementing a group-specific multidimensional poverty measure: the case of persons with disabilities in Peru’, Journal of Human Development and Capabilities.

Copestake, J. (2020) ‘Case selection for robust generalisation: lessons from QuIP impact evaluation studies,’ Development in Practice.

Fadel, B. and Chadwick, A. (2020) ‘Volunteerism and Community Resilience – Locally Owned Solutions Delivering Impact’, IAVE Context Paper.

Lenner, K. (2020) ‘Biting our tongues: Policy Legacies and Memories in the Making of the Syrian Refugee Response in Jordan’, Refugee Survey Quarterly, 39(3), 273-298.

Petticrew, M., Maani, N., Pettigrew, L., Rutter, H., Van Schalkwyk, M. (2020) ‘Dark Nudges and Sludge in Big Alcohol: Behavioral Economics, Cognitive Biases and Alcohol Industry Corporate Social Responsibility,' The Millbank Quarterly.

Pitts, F.H. and Dinerstein, A.C. (2020) ) ‘Automation and Crisis: Arguing the Future’, Futures of Work, Issue 15.

Rutter, H., Wolpert, M. and Greenhalgh, T. (202) ‘Managing uncertainty in the COVID-19 era’, BMJ 2020, 370:m3349.

Sharma A., Copestake, J. and James, M. (2020) ‘The Samagra anti-poverty programme in Madhya Pradesh: Integrating household data, overcoming silo-problems and leaving nobody behind’, Development Policy Review, 39 (3).

Walton, O. and Thiyagaraja, W. (2020) ‘Liberal and Illiberal Peacebuilding in Sri Lanka’, in The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Peace and Conflict Studies, Palgrave Macmillan.

Forthcoming Publications
Dinerstein, A.C. and Pitts, F.H. (forthcoming January 2021) A World Beyond Work? Labour, Money and the Capitalist State Between Crisis and Utopia, Society Now Series, Emerald Publishing.

Clausen, J. (Forthcoming) ‘Waking up from the middle-income country dream: COVID-19 and the human development crisis in Peru’, Journal de Ciencias Sociales de la Universidad de Palermo.
CDS Blogs
A Woman’s Place is In Politics - The Case For Ghana’s First Female Vice President by Adwoa Serwaa Bondzie. 

Child workers need rights, not policing, to weather the pandemic by Roy Maconachie, Sam Okyere and Neil Howard.

Urban inequality and COVID-19 in Latin America by Eduardo Lépore and Séverine Deneulin.
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