Terra Nullius: What is going on in the rural world?

By Mariel Aguilar-Støen 

How can we understand the complexity of the contemporary rural world, and its entanglements with the urban? This is the first blog post of the  Rural transformations in the new century research group at the Centre for Development and the Environmen (SUM), University of Oslo

In the 1990s, scholars had declared the death of “the peasant” as a useful analytical category, but the Zapatista movement made peasant issues such as land visible again.

Continue reading “Terra Nullius: What is going on in the rural world?”

Small Organisations: A Challenge for Monitoring and Evaluation

By Diego da Silva Rodrigues

To monitor and evaluate public and social policies is a key element of the development agenda. More and more, governments and international organisations tend to make their choices based on evidence, in order to identify the best and most cost-efficient options among a massive amount of programmes which are all aiming to improve people’s lives. Continue reading “Small Organisations: A Challenge for Monitoring and Evaluation”

5 Things that will Frustrate the Heck out of you when studying International Development

By Stella Yoh

International Development is our passion – that’s why we’re all here. It’s what keeps us going through these late nights and grey London days.

But let’s face it, it’s not always a fun ride. As fulfilling as it is, studying International Development can be a real struggle, and if you haven’t had an existential crisis by now, you sure as hell have one coming your way.

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Why a decolonial lens must be at the heart of all those who claim to research and teach “development”

By Julia Schöneberg  

My research focusses on decolonial approaches to knowledge production and pedagogy, especially in the context of “development”. Development is a contested term that has been filled with different, sometime contradictory meanings. I am convinced that one cannot meaningfully speak about “development” without seriously considering critique and arguments brought forward by decolonial scholarship. Essentially, this means to acknowledge and to confront the ongoing impacts and legacies of colonial rule in all realms of academia, society and politics. Continue reading “Why a decolonial lens must be at the heart of all those who claim to research and teach “development””

Faith as Inspiration for Politics and Development

By Henning Melber 

Designs and practices of developmental cooperation continue to maintain an almost exclusive focus on aspects of physical and economic well-being. While these are important necessary dimensions, such reduced perspective neglects the important spiritual source of individual mindsets in human beings. After all, resilience as one of the most important motivating sources of energy for survival, is strongly inspired by spiritual dimensions of belief systems. Facing misery with a determination to not give up and accept the daily challenges requires hope. Religion, or rather faith, is a substantial ingredient to survival. It therefore should not be ignored as a key element in efforts to bring about better living conditions for people in need. Continue reading “Faith as Inspiration for Politics and Development”