Centre for Global Development


Encounters interviewing the rural poor in India

Blog post by Rasika Soman

Rasika Soman, a Master’s student from York University reflects on how the RiDNet conference, held recently at the University of Leeds, helped her to reflect on her own research project.

“Visiting the conference on Fieldwork in Development Contexts organized by the Researchers in Development Network (RidNet) at the University of Leeds was nothing less than a delight for me. This was due to  various reasons- the knowledgeable and interesting presenters and their well-researched presentations, the warmth and affection by  which we were received at the conference, and most importantly the fact that I could completely relate my study to discussions of the presenters and their experiences in doing fieldwork with the so called marginalized or for that matter, underprivileged. One of the factors which I could completely relate to was feeling like or being made to feel like an outsider in my own country when I am interviewing people from my own country which are not of the same social class.

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This entry was posted in Conference, Fieldwork, RidNet.

How far will the main UK political parties go to stand against poverty?

Written by Elizabeth Harrison and Eleanor Jew

“With approximately 13 million people currently living in poverty in the UK, we believe it is time to shift the debate about poverty, which should not be seen as inevitable. Our aim is to transform the nature of information about poverty and support interested citizens make informed decisions when they vote on 7th May”.

Today, a report was released by Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP) on the political commitment to poverty in the UK and abroad by the five main UK political parties. Over the last few weeks a team of voluntary academics and peer reviewers have been analysing the General Election manifestos of the Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems, UKIP, Green parties and scoring them on 14 key areas to assess the impact of their policies on UK and global poverty. As explained in the Executive Summary of the Report: “the people that came together under the ASAP UK Election Manifesto Poverty Audit were all motivated by the urge to ensure poverty – in all its complexity – is discussed during this General Election”. Continue reading

This entry was posted in News, Politics, Report, RidNet.

Building bridges in development: Five recommendations to connect the islands of research, policy and practice

This Blog presents recommendations from the recent RidNet conference at University of Leeds, and was first featured on the LSEs Impact of Social Science Blog


Elizabeth Harrison, Eleanor Jew, Thomas SmithIqbal Ahmed and Sarah Peck present the recommendations from a recent conference for early-career researchers on bridging the gap in development research, policy and practice. Participants were encouraged to consider partnership-based solutions to development problems. From having a realistic understanding of intended outcomes to formulating relevant research questions, constructive debate took place on how best to navigate and undertake practical solutions to developing dialogue across sectors.

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This entry was posted in Conference, Development, Events, RidNet.

Making solar cells from blackberries! Solar Photovoltaics Workshop with Dr Richard Komp

Solar Photovoltaics Workshop with Dr Richard Komp at University of Leeds, November 2014

By Lena Kruckenberg

Few people can match the enthusiasm Dr. Richard Komp has brought to solar energy. For the past 30 years Richard has been promoting solar PV installations across the Global South and he has taught hundreds of workshops around the world.

I met Richard when conducting field research in a remote place in rural Nicaragua where he taught a group of young local technicians how to make solar panels from left-over cells and then in Managua where he assisted a social enterprise in designing solar PV systems for mobile phone towers, before he went off to work with groups in Honduras and Ghana.

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This entry was posted in Energy, Events, RidNet, Sustainability.

Does Research Make a Difference in Development? The 3rd RiDNet Annual Conference at the University of Leeds

Written by: Elizabeth Harrison and Eleanor Jew

The Researchers in Development Network (RiDNet) is a multi-disciplinary, cross-faculty network of PhD students working on development at the University of Leeds. Every year RiDNet organises and hosts an annual conference.

The 2014 conference was held on Wednesday 12th November, hosted by the Sustainability Research Institute (SRI) at the School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds. The theme was “Does Research Make a Difference in Development? Bridging the gaps between research, practice, and policy”. This question is prominent in most areas of research where RiDNet members work, and is increasingly being asked as researchers look to make an impact on the world. Furthermore, researchers, policy makers, and practitioners are increasingly acknowledging the need to work together to successfully solve the world’s development problems. However, bridging the gaps in thinking, approach, and access etc. between these three sectors has raised numerous problems.

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This entry was posted in Conference, Development, RidNet.

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