Skip to Content

DEV - Making a difference

DEV is committed to research that makes a genuine contribution to resolving major global challenges such as poverty reduction and environmental sustainability. This is not just about conducting surveys, publishing academic papers and writing books (although we do a lot of that too).

DEV researchers work very closely with a large number of organisations involved in international development, including:
-    All the main UN agencies (such as the World Bank and World Health Organisation)
-    All the main bilateral aid agencies (such as the Department for International Development)
-    Government agencies in low and middle income countries
-    International charities and NGOs (such as Oxfam and Christian Aid)
-    Local NGOs and charities in low to middle income countries

All DEV research makes a contribution to resolving "real world" development challenges, in one way or another. Below are just a handful of case studies which illustrate how our research makes a direct impact:

A five year policy research programme on vulnerability to hunger in the southern Africa region resulted in observable changes in the response of governments to chronic food insecurity, shifting from expensive ad hoc responses to crises to lower cost predictable social transfers enabling such crises to be averted. The adoption of new, reformed or expanded social protection policies for the poorest and elderly in Malawi, Lesotho, Botswana and Mozambique was facilitated by the evidence generated. Rising coverage means malnutrition and famine are avoided for the weakest members of society in the region.
"Social pensions" (targeting poor households) have emerged as a major anti-poverty policy for developing countries over the past decade.  These programmes provide regular cash payments to millions of households containing older people, which had not previously been covered by formal social protection schemes. Our research has raised awareness among NGOs, UN agencies and key policy makers; provided robust evidence of the effects of existing social pension programmes and identified the limitations of existing schemes.
Women's rights to land have been a persistent element of policy debates at both global and national level over the last three decades. Our research, by recognising that land is not just a productive asset and a source of material wealth, but equally a source of security, status and recognition and thus has different meanings for men and women, suggests that empowerment of women can best be achieved by broadening the definition of resources to also include those beyond land. This shift in thinking has informed public and policy debate with UN Women and several NGOs in India.
Research into fishing-dependent communities highlighted high HIV prevalence and AIDs incidence. New strategies for development assistance and health service delivery were suggested.  The research influenced the HIV/AIDS and fisheries policies of national governments and contributed to improved access to prevention, treatment and care for 100,000s of people.
In 2007 the Guardian began tracking a development project implemented by Amref in Katine, north-east Uganda. As part of the project DEV Senior Lecturer and anthropologist Ben Jones contributed pieces to the newspaper, blogs online and authored a review of the project. These were widely read and drew comments from readers, many of which work in the development sector. Ben's involvement was particularly appreciated by journalists at The Guardian, who valued his knowledge of the area and critical view of development. Anne Perkins lead writer on the project said of Ben's work that: "his thoughtful analysis of the history of the Teso region, the result of more than a year spent living in the area talking at length to the people of one village, gave a depth to the journalistic impressions of a few short days that would have been lost had I known only about the recent past.‟
Water options and negotiation strategies for the West Bank and Gaza.
This research addresses the many obstacles to water conflict resolution and water resources management in the West Bank and Gaza. Scarcity of water and water quality issues have primarily political roots stemming from the Israeli occupation, and are compounded by over-population due to influxes from refugees in 1948 and 1967. Environmental justice issues abound in the form of climate vulnerability, and proximity of communities to wastewater lagoons, and these issues are inextricably linked with social justice issues related to the broader political conflict. A negotiated end of the conflict and equitable access to water resources is the goal.
Impact Strategy
The Social Sciences faculty at UEA has developed an Impact Enhancement Strategy aimed at supporting research activity across Schools, toward stimulating greater impact and making a practical difference beyond academia.
Please click here for more information about the Faculty Impact Strategy