International Development


Meet one of our alumni

Sussex alumnus Ken Banks talks about his Sussex experience and his career

Since graduating from Sussex in 1999 with a BA in Social Anthropology and International Development Ken Banks has become a leader in the field of technology within International Development.

He has won awards including National Geographic Emerging Explorer and Tech Awards Laureate, and even found himself on stage discussing how to change the world with Desmond Tutu.

See what our alumni have been doing since graduation

See our students' work

Explore our students' blogs which were produced for a first-year undergraduate module:

See our Placement and Year Abroad student blogs

See our Alumni blogs

Explore other examples of undergraduate work

Maximising the developmental impact of philanthropy: from theory to practice

Maximising the developmental impact of philanthropy: from theory to practice


Work led by Filippo Osella and Roderick Stirrat on Charity and Philanthropy in Sri Lanka has been featured on The Impact Initiative for Development Studies: 

ES/L007819/1 - Maximising the developmental impact of philanthropy: from theory to practice

Read pieces written by faculty

Alan Lester discusses the Continuing Misrepresentations of British Colonialism

The recent debacle of David Cameron’s filmed condemnation of Nigerian and Afghan corruption and the Queen’s remark on Chinese officials’ rudeness highlights the persistence of imperial thinking in Britain.

There seems to be a continuing assumption within the British establishment that it sets an example for others to follow and that the British are owed deference by others.

Read more: Continuing Misrepresentations of British Colonialism 

Paul Boyce and Aniruddha Dutta in The Conversation

Prompting international outrage, the Supreme Court of India has overturned a “reading-down” of the notorious Section 377 of the India Penal Code.

This, in effect, reinstated a law that is widely understood to criminalise homosexuality.

Many see this as a betrayal of basic human rights, particularly freedom of sexual expression and protection from harassment and abuse on grounds of sexual difference.

Read more in The Conversation 

Explore current faculty research projects

Human Generated Soils in Africa

The work of James Fairhead on ‘hidden’ farming practices among forest communities in West Africa was recently covered by National Geographic.

Such practices have the potential to become models for sustainable farming and climate smart agriculture.

Read more on Human Generated Soils in Africa

How Africans Are Saving Their Own Soil

Transformative Pathways to Sustainability

Led by David Ockwell, researchers from the project are carrying out comparative research in six hubs around the world on social transformations in the context of environmental change.

The other hubs are based in Argentina, China, India, Sweden and the United States.

The project covers three areas:

  • sustainable agricultural and food systems for healthy livelihoods
  • low carbon energy transitions that serve the needs of the poor
  • waste and water for sustainable cities

Find out more about Transformative Pathways to Sustainability

Snapshots of Empire

This project, led by Professor Alan Lester, is the first attempt to examine, within specific sample periods, all the incoming and outgoing correspondence of the Colonial Office and the East India Company/ India Office.

Based on an analysis of specific ‘snapshots’ from 1838, 1857, and 1879, we hope to glimpse the processes, procedures, and relationships that enabled the development of global modes of governmentality.

See the Snapshots of Empire blog

Snapshots of Empire

Ebola Response Platform

The Ebola Response Anthropology Platform (ERAP), accessed by more than 16,000 users, delivered online and face-to-face advice to policymakers and practitioners on:

  • identifying and diagnosing cases
  • managing death and funerals
  • caring for the sick
  • improving communications
  • community engagement.

Set up by James Fairhead with colleagues at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), the ERAP has just won an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) impact prize.

See The Ebola Response Anthropology Platform

ENERGETHICS: Norwegian energy companies abroad - Expanding the anthropological understanding of corporate social responsibility (CSR)

Dinah Rajak is working with colleagues in Norway to study Norwegian energy companies

The Energethics project focuses on the sustainability strategies and CSR practice of Norwegian energy companies which represent varying ownership models, including Statkraft, Statoil and Det Norske Oljeselskap.

Researchers are exploring how CSR policies are shaped by the following factors:  the Nordic corporate model for company-state-society interaction a globalised CSR discourse state ownership or majority state shareholding local factors and engagement wit host governments and communities.

The project is tracking the production, circulation and implementation of CSR/Sustainability policy and practice empirically, following the chain of CSR processes from strategy to operations, from headquarters to project sites and communities in Canada, Indonesia, Kurdistan-Iraq, Northern Norway, Tanzania, Turkey and the UK.

Read more about ENERGETHICS


Realising Rights to Global Health

This study led by Doctor Maya Unnithan, focused on the Indian state of Rajasthan and tracked the transmission of rights ideas and practices trans-nationally and through to local recipients.

Maya was also recently interviewed for a Wellcome Trust film on public engagement and the contribution of social sciences and humanities.


Find out more about the Realising Rights to Global Health research