Men tending to large pile of hay in Asia

Development theory, policy and practice research

Explore our work in this area of expertise, one of 2 within our Development Studies research

Our research in development theory, policy and practice aims to use our knowledge and expertise to help reduce poverty, to tackle gender and ethnic inequality, to find solutions to the sustainable growth challenges facing society, and to shield the most vulnerable from the devastation caused by disasters and civil turmoil. 

Our research covers the following 4 key pillars

  • Health and Wellbeing – Our work in this topic encompasses research into areas such as fertility, infant and maternal mortality, neglected tropical and non-communicable diseases, health-related behaviours, and harmful cultural practices. We're looking at how these issues impact people's lives and how they intersect with culture, religion and gender
  • Just Society – Our research in this topic explores themes related to trade, micro-finance and governance in developing countries, and encompasses concepts such as state power and state building, democratisation, self-determination and sovereignty, and the role and efficiency of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and aid agencies
  • Water and Aquatic Resources – We're exploring the important role of water in sustainable human development, social justice and gender equality. We're also studying how aquatic resources provide vital protein in low income communities and support agriculture, fisheries and health
  • Infrastructure and Technology – This pillar covers infrastructure and technology in developing countries, and the significance of both natural and human infrastructures in enhancing development capacities and capabilities


Research in development studies crosses faculties and involves a wide range of approaches and methods.

Funders and collaborations

Our researchers collaborate on a scientific level with researchers across six continents, and are engaged in fieldwork in a number of developing countries around the world.

Project and publication highlights

Mapping the complexities and highlighting the dangers: The global drive to end FGM in the UK and Sudan
Progress in Development Studies, Volume: 17 issue: 1, p. 24-37, Nafisa Bedri, Tamsin Bradley

Sustainable financing of marine protected areas: the case of the Martinique regional marine reserve of “Le Prêcheur”
Green Finance, Volume 1, Issue 2, p.110-129, Pierre Failler, Claire Montocchio, Adeline Borot de Battisti, Thomas Binet, Jean-Philippe Maréchal, Myriam Thirot

F​​air trade and consumer social responsibility: exploring consumer citizenship as a driver of social and environmental change
Management Decision, Volume 56, Issue 3, p.634-651, Matthew Anderson

Physical, mechanical and durability properties of soil building blocks reinforced with natural fibres
Construction and Building Materials, Volume 101, Issue 1, p.797-809, Humphrey Danso, Dr Brett Martinson, Dr Muhammad Ali, Professor John Williams

Discover our areas of expertise

Development theory, policy and practice is one of 2 areas of expertise in our Development Studies research – explore the other area below.

Women and development, women and war

We're focusing on gender, and researching how the Cold War and migration in East Asia may be experienced by women and men differently.
Asian women sitting on the floor at a market
Read more

Research groups

Women's and Gender Studies Research Group
We're researching violence against women and girls, access to justice, peace-building and conflict resolution.

Interested in a PhD in Development Studies?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Area Studies postgraduate research degrees page.