Global Development Institute Blog

Academics from across GDI will head down to London next month to participate in the highly anticipated Development Studies Association Conference 2024, which is taking place at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, between Wednesday 26th June and Friday 28th June.

This year’s theme is ‘Social justice and development in a polarising world’, and speakers across a range of disciplines and specialities will explore how increasing political polarisation – both at the global and national level – is affecting debates surrounding social justice, global development, inequality and marginalisation, and much more in between.

If you’re looking forward to meeting GDI’s researchers, we’ve put together a helpful list detailing the panels with which they’re involved. Wherever our researchers have shared responsibilities with colleagues from other institutions and organisations, we’ve listed all contributors and included affiliations in brackets. All GDI researchers are noted in bold text.


P04 – Data justice and development


  • Rose Pritchard (GDI)
  • Richard Heeks (GDI)
  • Gianluca Iazzolino (GDI)


  • Smith Ouma (GDI)

Session 1, Thursday 27 June, 14:00-15:30

  • ‘High-resolution remote sensing and social justice in landscapes targeted for biodiversity conservation’ – Rose Pritchard (GDI), Mariana Requena Mora (ICT UAB), José Pablo Prado Córdova (Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala), Laura Aileen Sauls (George Mason University), Klerkson Lugasa, Timothy Foster (GDI), Charis Enns (GDI), Natalie York (GDI)

Session 3, Thursday 27 June, 16:00-17:30

  • ‘Accounting for justice in humanitarian data curation: big tech and the data set politics of anticipatory action’ – Gianluca Iazzolino (GDI), Nimesh Dhungana (HCRI), João C. Magalhães


P08 – The colonial roots of commodity dependence


  • Sophie van Huellen (GDI)
  • Victoria Stadheim (University of Hertfordshire)
  • Helena Perez Nino (ISS Erasmus University Rotterdam)
  • Sara Stevano (SOAS University of London)

 Session 1, Wednesday 26 June, 14:30-16:00

  • ‘The origins of commodity dependence: Legacies of empire in Lusophone Africa’ – Sophie van Huellen (GDI), Sara Stevano (SOAS), Helena Perez Nino (ISS Erasmus University Rotterdam), Victoria Stadheim (University of Hertfordshire)

Session 2, Wednesday 26 June, 16:30-18:00

  • ‘The colonial origins of the status quo in Nigeria: the intersection of commodity dependence and the revenue allocation system’ – Anna Thurlbeck (GDI)

Session 3, Wednesday 26 June, 14:30-16:00

  • ‘The postcolonial political economy of commodity dependence’ – Caroline Cornier (GDI)


P14 – Interrogating localisation from social justice perspectives

Session 1, Friday 28 June, 11:00-12:30

  • ‘Putting solidarity at the heart of localisation: academic research and the One World Together movement’ – Nicola Banks (GDI), Chibwe Henry (Queen Mary)

Session 2, Friday 28 June, 15:00-16:30

  • ‘Where do we go from here? Navigating power inequalities between development NGOs in the international aid system’ – Gijs van Selm (LSE), Lau Schulpen (Radboud University), Nicola Banks (GDI), Badru Bukenya (Makerere University), Willem Elbers (Radboud University), Emmanuel Kumi (University of Ghana), Thomas Yeboah (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology), Innocent Kamya (Makerere University)


P20 – Digital work, social justice and development

Session 1, Wednesday 26 June, 14:30-16:00

  • ‘Digital platforms and urban informality: regulation, legitimisation, extraction and collective agency in Indonesia’ – Mindy Park (GDI), Richard Heeks (GDI), Christopher Foster (GDI)
  • ‘Clifford Geertz takes an Uber: navigating information asymmetry at the Lagos mobility bazaar’ – Katarzyna Cieslik (GDI)

Session 2, Friday 28 June, 15:00-16:30

  • ‘Teenage pregnancy and adolescents’ attitudes towards marriage and pregnancy’ – Jihye Kim (University of Manchester), Mohammed Ibrahim (GDI), Wendy Olsen (GDI)


P26 – Popular contestations and mobilization in times of democratic backsliding

Session 1 Wednesday 26 June, 14:30-16:00

  • ‘The resistance committees of Sudan: sustaining pro-democracy mobilisation through a political transition, a military coup and a war – a story of determination, resilience and agility’ – Hamid Khalafallah (GDI)


P27 – The extractive politics of Africa’s energy transition: A new dawn or more of the same?


  • Gerald Arhin (GDI)
  • Aidan Barlow (University of Bath)

Session 2, Friday 28 June, 15:00-16:30

  • ‘Towards the supernatural: Exploring how spirituality shapes local-level negotiations of critical mineral mining’ – Gerald Arhin (GDI), Antoinette Ayikwao (Accra Technical University)
  • ‘Transnational litigation for environmental justice? How communities are leveraging Northern courts and institutions to challenge resource extraction in the global South’ – Clare Cummings (GDI)


P32 – Approaching climate complexities in the south: Global climate action and its actual effects

Session 1, Wednesday 26 June, 14:30-16:00

  • ‘Do adat forests help reduce mangrove deforestation and alleviate poverty in Indonesian villages?’ – Sandy Nofyanza (GD), Johan Oldekop (GDI)


P39 – Leaving no one behind: citizen participation and access to services in an era of declining public trust in the state


  • Vidhya Unnikrishnan (GDI)
  • Sandra Obiri-Yeboah (University of Ghana)

Session 1, Wednesday 26 June, 14:30-16:00

  • ‘Climate change, land rights and women’s decision to migrate in Northern Ghana’ – Sandra Obiri-Yeboah (University of Ghana), Mohammed Ibrahim (GDI)

Session 2, Wednesday 26 June, 16:30-18:00

  • ‘Life evaluation, affluence and trust in NDA governance’ – Vidhya Unnikrishnan (GDI)
  • ‘Towards a comparative understanding of informal/formal relations in African cities’ service delivery’ – Kibui Edwin Rwigi (GDI), Alice Sverdlik (GDI), Diana Mitlin (GDI)


P45 – Investigating the politics of social (in)justice in African cities


  • Patience Adzande (GDI)
  • Smith Ouma (GDI)
  • Sam Hickey (GDI)

Session 1, Wednesday 26 June, 14:30-16:00

  • ‘Rethinking the politics of informal settlements in Africa: Comparative insights from Accra, Freetown, Harare and Kampala’ – Sam Hickey (GDI), Peter Kasaija (Makerere University), Badru Bukenya (Makerere University), Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai (University of Ghana Business School), Braima Koroma (Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre and Njala University), Jamie Hitchen (University of Birmingham), McDonald Lewanika (LSE)


P46 – State provisioning in crisis? Social policy financing and distributional outcomes in the Global South


  • Mohammed Ibrahim (GDI)
  • Ruby Kodom (University of South Africa)
  • Virgi Sari (LSE)

Session 1, Thursday 27 June, 14:00-15:30

  • ‘Rethinking policy change and education financing in Africa: a multiple streams account from Ghana’s Free Senior High School programme’ – Mohammed Ibrahim (GDI), Abdul-Bassit Abubakari (University of Ghana), Abdul Karim Ibrahim (University of Ghana, Legon), Owuraku Kusi-Ampofo (University of Alberta)
  • ‘Social protection, financing and uneven health care access for children in Ghana’ – Ruby Kodom (University of South Africa), Mohammed Ibrahim (GDI), Virgi Sari (LSE)

Session 3, Friday 28 June, 11:00-12:30

  • ‘Financing healthcare coverage gap in Africa’ – Lawrence Ado-Kofie (GDI)


P51 – Unsettling global development

Session 1, Thursday 27 June, 9:00-10:30

  • ‘Exiting the Other Interregnum: Development, hegemony and the return of geopolitics’ – Nicholas Jepson (GDI)

Session 3, Thursday 27 June, 16:00-17:30

  • ‘New Development of Knowledge in the Making: Unpacking BRI and GDI’ – Xiuli Xu (College of Humanities and Development Studies, China Agricultural University), Xiaoyun Li, David Hulme (GDI)


P56 – Alternative agendas for urban planning and governance in Africa: a social justice perspective

Session 1, Friday 28 June, 15:00-16:30

  • ‘The pivotal roles of legal recognition in African informal settlements: new pathways towards inclusive, equitable urban development’ – Alice Sverdlik (GDI), Zilire Luka (Centre for Community Organisation and Development), Smith Ouma (GDI), Charity Mwangi (Slum Dwellers International – Kenya)


PE02 – Community knowledge in academic research: in pursuit of epistemic justice


  • Daniela C Beltrame (SDI Slum Dwellers International)
  • Diana Mitlin (GDI)
  • Beth Chitekwe-Biti (SDI Slum Dwellers International)


  • Smith Ouma (GDI)

Session 3, Thursday 27 June, 16:00-17:30

  • ‘Shifting patterns of collective action in low income urban communities: experiences from the African Cities Research Consortium’ – Daniela C Beltrame (SDI Slum Dwellers International), Smith Ouma (GDI), Diana Mitlin (GDI), Beth Chitekwe-Biti (SDI Slum Dwellers International)


PE08 – Gender norms change for gender justice: rethinking theory and practice from the global South

Session 3, Thursday 27 June, 9:00-10:30

  • ‘Gendered youth transitions and the implications of interrupted educational pathways – perspectives from five African cities’ – Elizabeth Dessie (GDI)


R04 – European Association of Research and Training Development Institutes (EADI) 50th anniversary roundtable on ‘the future of development studies’

Wednesday 26 June, 14:30-16:00


  • Andy Sumner (KCL)
  • Pritish Behuria (GDI)


  • Arief Yusuf (Padjadjaran University)
  • Brendan Howe (Ewha Womans University)
  • Laura Camfield (KCL)
  • Pritish Behuria (GDI)


R06 – Global development politics

Wednesday 26 June, 16:30-18:00


  • Sam Hickey (GDI)


R07 – Beyond the ‘politics’ of development: Institutions, interests, and ideas

Thursday 27 June, 16:00-17:30


  • Duncan Green (LSE)
  • Claire Mcloughlin (University of Birmingham)
  • Jonathan Fisher (University of Birmingham)
  • Sam Hickey (GDI)


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