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What do LSE Activism Students do after they leave?

January 13, 2023
Teaching is weird. You engage on quite an intense level with each year’s cohort of students, and then they fly the nest, and you hear very little about what happens next. Still less whether their studies actually helped (I’m still trying to work out whether my Physics degree has been a help or hindrance in grappling with the complexities of
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Zooming in with LSE’s thinkers on International Development (and me)

July 30, 2020
One of my more enjoyable projects during lockdown has been finding out what my LSE colleagues do all day. We have recorded a series of 15 minute podcasts called ‘Zooming in With ….’ (catchy, eh?). Each interview is roughly divided up between their lives, an area of their research, and what insights it provides onto the current pandemic and response.
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‘This Shit is Killing Me’: Dalit rights and Mumbai’s sewers

July 31, 2019
I thought I’d enliven the summer by posting some of the top blog posts from this year’s students in my LSE class on ‘Advocacy, Campaigning and Grassroots activism‘. Their individual assignment was to design a campaign strategy for a cause close to their hearts, and write a blog about it. First up, Monica Moses on the plight of the sewer

Health, Human Rights and Plastic Bags: 3 top campaign proposals from my LSE students

July 13, 2018
I’ve been selecting some of the student assignments from the initial year of my new LSE course on ‘Advocacy, Campaigning and Grassroots activism’ to show as examples to next year’s cohort, and thought you might like a taste too. Each student had to produce a 2,000 word project proposal for something they would like to change and an accompanying blog.

5 common gaps and 4 dilemmas when we design influencing campaigns

February 27, 2018
I’ve just read the initial proposals of 30+ LSE students taking my one-term Masters module on Advocacy, Campaigning and Grassroots Activism. Their two main assignments are to work as groups analysing past episodes of change (more on that later in the term) and individual projects where they design an influencing exercise based on their own experience and the content of

Week One and my students are already exposing my limitations – this is wonderful!

February 1, 2018
This term, I’m teaching a new course at LSE based on How Change Happens. It’s called ‘Advocacy, Campaigning and Grassroots activism’. It lasts 11 weeks, and is the first fully fledged university course I’ve taught, complete with lectures, seminars and assessed work (essays, but also blogs and vlogs). So far, I’m loving it. I realized how much fun this could become

Want to put together a team to research inequality? LSE may be able to fund you

February 7, 2017
A 20 year project to build an international network of scholars and activists working on inequality is just kicking off. Interested? Read on. The Project is the Atlantic Fellows programme (AFP), run by the LSE’s new-ish International Inequalities Institute and funded by Atlantic Philanthropies, a US foundation (only foundations seem to be able to think on this longer time scale

What does ‘pure research’ on international development look like? Speed-dating at the LSE

September 30, 2016
Following on from yesterday’s musings about NGO-academic collaboration (or the lack of it), here, for my NGO colleagues is a taste of what my LSE colleagues get up to, published earlier this week on the LSE International Development blog Speed dating rocks. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to get icky. I’m talking about a session at LSE’s International Development Department where

Measuring academic impact: discussion with my new colleagues at the LSE (joining in January, but not leaving Oxfam)

September 26, 2014
From the New Year, the London School of Economics International Development Department has roped me in to doing a few hours a week as a ‘Professor in Practice’ (PiP), in an effort to establish better links between its massive cohort of 300 Masters students (no undergrads) and ‘practitioners’ in thinktanks, NGOs etc. So with some newbie trepidation, I headed off

Good research, great video: what’s the best way to motivate community health workers?

August 29, 2014
Some more innovative work from the London School of Economics. This genuinely thought-provoking 8 minute video describes a collaboration between the LSE-hosted International Growth Centre and Zambia’s Ministry of Health. The background academic paper is here. Researchers and officials worked together to answer an important question:  to motivate people in rural villages to become rural community health workers (CHWs), is

The best evidence yet on how Theories of Change are being used in aid and development work

August 28, 2014
If you are interested in Theories of Change (ToCs), you have to read Craig Valters’ new paper ‘Theories of Change in International Development: Communication, Learning or Accountability’ or at least, his accompanying blog. The paper draws on the fascinating collaboration between the LSE and The Asia Foundation, in which TAF gave LSE researchers access to its country programmes and asked

Who’s better at preparing tomorrow’s campaigners: LSE or Harvard?

May 27, 2010
Enough about aid, let’s talk about campaigning. By pure coincidence, I’ve been spending time with a bunch of Master in Public Adminstration (MPA) students recently – fascinating, not least because of the different approaches taken by their courses. Last week, the winning team from this year’s crop at the London School of Economics came in to pitch us their idea