DARG Postgraduate Workshop- 25th May 2016

We are holding a one day event to explore the application of academic research and research skills to different sectors beyond academia. The event will be held at Senate House, London on 25th May 2016 and will include speakers from public, private and non-profit sectors.

The day will include panel discussions on the relevance of research for impact, policy and programming with a focus on how the skills you have learned during your PhD can be adapted to these areas.

Additionally, there will be the follwoing expert speakers presenting on how to effectively communicate your PhD research outside of academia.

  • Stacey Davies │ Managing Director at Practical Action Publishing
  • Jenny Cann │Head of Research, Migration & Borders Analysis at the Home Office (TBC)
  • Natalie Neil │ Senior Research & Impact Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation
  • Mark Henderson │Policy Officer – DG Trade European Commission
  • Tim Uwin │UNESCO Chair in ICT4D, and Emeritus Professor of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is also an Honorary Professor at Lanzhou Univeristy in China.
  • Dr Jay Mistry │ Reader at Royal Holloway, University of London │ Jay was the Coordinator of Project COBRA – Future Challenges, Local Solutions, an EU-funded project working with Indigenous groups in the Guiana Shield of South America.
  • Lydia Tanner │Consultant at Jigsaw Consult specialising in evaluation work relating to primary healthcare, education, community resilience and local responses to emergencies and conflict.
  • John King │Post Graduate Student at Royal Holloway researching the relationships between social science and public policy making, and how social scientists work to translate their ideas so that they can be used by policy makers.
  • Nelly Ali │Post Graduate Student at Birkberk conducting an ethnographic study with street girls and young street mothers in Cairo, Egypt. Nelly has a large blog and twitter following and will discuss the ethics of publishing PhD work online.

To book and to see updates on the confirmed speakers, please see our Eventbrite page here

Postgraduate Workshop 2016

DARG sponsored sessions at the RGS Annual Conference 2016

The RGS-IBG 2016 Annual International Conference is due to take place on Tuesday 30 August to Friday 2 September 2016 at the Royal Geographical Society in London. The conference will be chaired by Professor Peter Jackson (University of Sheffield)

The following calls for papers for DARG sponsored sessions are now live. Please see below for details and closing dates.

1. The Blue Growth Narrative and the Global South
– Celine Germond-Duret (Liverpool John Moores University,UK)
Abstract and further information
Deadline: 10-Feb-2016

2. Relational Approaches to Contemporary Indigenous Issues
– Cadey Korson (University of Oulu,Finland)
Abstract and further information
Deadline: 12-Feb-2016

3. Cities, Housing and Infrastructure: the politics of urban change

– Charlotte Lemanski (University of Cambridge, UK)
– Paula Meth (The University of Sheffield, UK)
Abstract and further information
Deadline: 15-Feb-2016

4. Emergent urban spaces: A planetary perspective
– Paola Alfaro d’Alençon (Technical University Berlin, Germany)
– Ana Claudia Cardoso (Federal University of Para, Brazil)
– Philipp Horn (University of Manchester, UK)
Abstract and further information
Deadline: 12-Feb-2016

5. Economies of Care in the Postcolony
– Shari Daya, Department of Environmental & Geographical Sciences, University of Cape Town
– Beth Oppenheim-Chan, Department of Environmental & Geographical Sciences, University of Cape Town
Abstract and further information
Deadline: 15-Jan-2016

6. Operations of capital: Studying the nexus of land, housing, and finance across the North-South divide
– Desiree Fields (University of Sheffield, UK)
– Stefan Ouma (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany)
Abstract and further information
Deadline: 01-Feb-2016


Undergraduate Development Dissertation Workshop

The DARG Undergraduate Development Dissertation Workshop took place on Saturday 16th January 2016 at UCL, London and covered a range of topics to give geography undergraduates information and guidance on designing and implementing their dissertations. The day included talks on research design, the logistics of fieldwork and ethics and reflections on doing a development undergraduate dissertation. We also had methods sessions on participant observation and ethnography, using surveys, interviews and focus groups, and translation.


Thank you very much to all the students who came along and made the day such a success as well as to Jess Hope and Kate Maclean for organising.

For further events and funding opportunities from DARG please visit our website or follow us on twitter

Please select the below links to view the powerpoint lectures used on the day:

Ben Page: Research Design

Jess Hope: Logistics- Preparing for research, being in the field & leaving

Kate Maclean: Translation

Penny Vera-Sanso: Ethnography


For further information on the speakers and their contact details please see below:

Lottie Heales is a development geographer from King’s College London with a particular focus on rural livelihoods. Her research focuses on the use of agricultural microfinancing by smallholders in Malawi as well as examining the global microfinance phenomenon. She uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques in order to build more nuanced pictures of livelihoods in rural Malawi. She is a guest lecturer in the geography department of KCL and currently works as a researcher on global social innovation at the Young Foundation. Email: charlotte.heales@kcl.ac.uk 

Jessica Hope Jessica Hope is a lecturer in the Geography Department at the University of Cambridge, where she teaches political ecology and development geography. Her research contributes to political ecology by investigating the politics, power relations and conflicts that determine emerging environmental and development agendas. She is particularly interested in the politics of radical alternatives and the ways that transformative socio-environmental paths are voiced, supported or foreclosed. Her empirical focus is Bolivia. Email: jch84@cam.ac.uk

Kate Maclean is Lecturer in Social Geography at Birkbeck, University of London. She is a feminist geographer who has conducted research, as an academic and as a  development consultant, in Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, Mali and Burkina Faso.  She has worked on microfinance, rural livelihoods, contraband and urban regeneration, mostly with a focus on Latin America.  She has published in various journals, including Antipode, Development and Change and Gender, Place and Culture, and has a new book out with Palgrave – ‘Social Urbanism and the politics of violence: the Medellín Miracle.’  Her latest project is entitled ‘El Alto Millionaires: Processes of displacement, identity and urban change in the Global South’and is funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Email K.maclean@bbk.ac.uk

Ben Page is a development geographer with specific research and teaching interests in the relationship between international migration and international development. His expertise is primarily focused on Cameroon in Central/West Africa. Current research is examining the role of international migration in the process of of creating a new African middle class by looking at the house-building activities within Africa by members of the African diaspora. This has built on work that looked at the associational life of African diasporas and the impact of diaspora associations on development in Africa. Future work will continue to address class formation by looking at everyday activities around food.  Earlier research has analysed: (1) the history of community development in Cameroon and the role of community development in the provision of public services (2) the commodification of water in Cameroon and popular resistance to that process (3) water privatization in Cameroon (4) the history of water engineering in Cameroon and Nigeria (5) urban agriculture in Cameroon. Email:  b.page@ucl.ac.uk

Penny Vera Sanso lectures in Development Studies at Birkbeck and is Director of the Social Anthropology programme. She has a BA (Hons) in Anthropology and Geography from University College London (1985) and a PhD in Social Anthropology from Goldsmiths (1994). Alongside her academic career Penny has founded two housing co-operatives in north London.  Penny has published widely on later life and gender relations in India, particularly on the impact of liberalisation and the global economy on livelihoods and gender and generational relations in low-income households and, more recently, on ageism and age discrimination and the role of older people’s paid and unpaid work in supporting India’s economy.  Recently she has focused her interest in developing visual materials to make her research available to the general public.  The documentary ‘We’re Still Working’ can be seen on bit.ly/1qDR40Y (English version) and bit.ly/1n7TT9p (Hindi version).  Email p.vera-sanso@bbk.ac.uk

DARG Undergraduate Development Dissertation Workshop January 2016

The Developing Areas Research Group (DARG) Undergraduate Development Dissertation Workshop is perfect for undergraduate students who are commencing, preparing or thinking about doing a dissertation on development. The workshop will cover practical issues such as fieldwork and logistics, as well as in depth sessions on methodologies including participatory research methods, documentary analysis, visual methods, and interviews and focus groups. Sessions are held by experts in the field, and graduates in development will also be there to share their experiences.

Tickets are £10 for members, or £12 for non-members, which will include a year’s DARG membership.

Saturday, 16 January 2016 from 10:00 to 17:00 (GMT)

University College London – Gower Street London, Gt Lon WC1E 6BT GB

Tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/2016-darg-undergraduate-development-dissertation-workshop-tickets-19495211703?aff=ebrowse

darg u poster

DARG Event- Careers in Academia- June 2015

On the 5th June 2015 the annual postgraduate DARG careers workshop took place at the University of Manchester with a focus on pursuing a career in academia. It was a really fantastic and rewarding day with many inspirational and incredibly knowledgeable speakers. Here is what some of the attendees had to say about the event:

“I think one of the best things about the day was that you were able to ‘historically’ track the way the speakers were able to shape their own career direction, and the way they overcame the challenges facing anybody considering an academic job post PhD. The informal nature of the event also allowed for a deeper discussion about work-life balances and how to juggle the different types of roles you have to fulfil to progress in academia.”

“I think the workshop was really good. It got me thinking about the future… the openness of the speakers about the realities, struggles and success of the PhD process and life after was really good to hear. I think more workshops like these need to be organised.”

“I think it was an interesting workshop specially in the context that I got a first hand insight to the struggles/possibilities/flexibilities that an early career researcher can face and how to cope with them. First hand accounts are always immensely useful. Not many conferences talks about such personal journeys.”

We at DARG are really looking forward to organising next years event so please stay tuned if you would be interested in attending.

David W. Smith Memorial Prize 2015 Winner

We at DARG are delighted to announce the winner of the David W. Smith Memorial Prize 2015, Jack Rogers from Eton School.

The quality and quantity of submissions was high this year so a big congratulations to Jack whose essay to the title ‘Discuss the challenges faced by cities in the developing world in their efforts to become sustainable‘ was awarded first place by the judges. He wins £100 in book vouchers from Routledge Publishers.

We would also like to highly commend Imogen Robinson at The Royal High School, Bath and Lauren Dawe from Mount Kelly, Tavistock for their submissions.

The Developing Areas Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) annual essay competition is in memory of David W. Smith. David W Smith, who also published under the name of David Drakakis Smith, was an outstanding scholar committed to researching on Third World cities. He died in 1999.

The competition is open to A2 level students in England and Wales and Advanced Higher students in Scotland who are invited to write an essay of up to 1500 words to a title chosen by DARG. We will be welcoming submissions once again in February 2016.

Postgraduate Travel Award

DARG provides an annual award to a postgraduate geography student to encourage and assist fieldwork in developing countries.

It is aimed at those preparing for a PhD in topics related to development studies. Applicants should be based at a British institution of higher education, but may be of any nationality. The award must be spent on travel costs, and preference may be given to students in the early stages of their research. The successful candidate is required to provide a short report for the DARG Website.
The award is £800, although smaller awards are sometimes made.

The annual deadline is 1 May. The criteria for the award are:

· Quality of the project design
· Potential significance of the results
· Support from referee (usually the supervisor)
· Financial need
There is no application form, but the following information must be included in all applications as Word/.pdf documents:

Outline of the proposed research (maximum 3 pages – to include full budget)
A full curriculum vitae (including all qualifications and current institutional affiliation)
Full details of all existing or expected financial support
Applicants must also ensure that a reference (normally from the supervisor) arrives before the deadline. Please note that incomplete or late applications will not be considered. Completed applications will be judged by a panel of development geographers and the result notified in June.

All applications should be sent by email to DARG Chair, Nina Laurie: nina.laurie@st-andrews.ac.uk

Deadline: 1 May 2016

Development Geography Careers Workshop- 5th June 2015, Manchester

The upcoming DARG workshop ‘Navigating a Career in Academia: Survival Tips for Development Geographers’ will be held on Friday, June 5th 2015, at the University of Manchester.
This one-day workshop is aimed at postgraduate students thinking about how to pursue a career in academia and will cover topics such as publishing from your PhD and how to find the right position for you.
Tickets cost £15 includes lunch. Tickets can be bought HERE


DARG Undergraduate Development Dissertation Workshop- March 21st 2015

The upcoming DARG Undergraduate Development Dissertation Workshop will be held on Saturday, March 21st 2015, at UCL London.
This one-day workshop is aimed at undergraduate students considering doing their final year dissertation on a topic related to Development Geography while being based abroad or in the UK. It’s a great chance for students to get information and advice on planning and designing their projects, choosing methods and going on fieldwork.
It is £10 for members, £12 to join DARG & attend and includes lunch. Tickets can be bought HERE
A taster of what past workshops have covered can be found HERE

Call for Papers ‘Family geographies, care and relationality’ paper session. Young People, Borders & Well-Being

Call for Papers ‘Family geographies, care and relationality’ paper sessionYoung People, Borders & Well-Being, 4th International Conference on Geographies of Children, Young People and Families, San Diego, California, January 12-15, 2015
Session organisers: Ruth Evans, Sophie Bowlby and Sally Lloyd-Evans (University of Reading)
Session theme:
Despite recent interest in relational geographies of age (Hopkins and Pain, 2007) and intergenerationality (Vanderbeck, 2007), research often focuses predominantly on children or youth without paying adequate attention to the complex gendered, age-based, inter- and intra-generational power dynamics that characterise young people’s family lives and connections to others. Analysis of caringscapes and time-space practices of care within family settings bring to the fore questions of relationality. Research suggests that young people’s caring responsibilities in the context of family illness, disability or death and often in low-income households, may have both positive and negative impacts on their wellbeing (Robson, 2004; Evans and Becker, 2009) and may influence young people’s boundary crossings (Valentine, 2003). For example, care may prevent, enable or reconfigure socially expected lifecourse transitions, such as completing education, migrating for work, initiation rites, engaging in intimate relationships, marriage, childbirth and providing for relatives (Punch, 2002; Evans, 2012; 2014). The care provided by other family members – such as by a young person’s parent or sibling to their parent or friends, or the care provided by friends, relatives or professionals to a parent, sibling or other relative – may also impact on young people’s lifecourse transitions and mobilities.
In this session, we hope to explore the informal and formal caring practices and relations that shape young people’s family lives and reflect on the powerful, often emotive discourses associated with ‘family’ in different cultural and policy contexts. We are interested in papers that address a diversity of caring practices and family relations in the global North and South. Care may be undertaken by children, parents or other family members, non-kin significant others or professionals, may be manifested through ‘proximate’ or ‘distant’ caring relations in transnational households, and may focus on care of the living, dead or dying or non-human agents and materialities. We hope that the session will make a significant contribution to the emerging field of family geographies.
Please send your title and abstract of a maximum of 250 words by 1st September 2014 to Ruth Evans (r.evans@reading.ac.uk).