photo of Catherine Shutt

Dr Catherine Shutt

Post:Associate Tutor (International Development)
Other posts:IDS casual (Institute of Development Studies)
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Cathy Shutt is a development practitioner with over 22 years’ experience of research and practice within the international development sector. Three years work with community organisations followed by five years with small international NGOs located in the Global South equipped her with first hand knowledge of how power relations in aid relationships affect organisational cultures as well as monitoring, evaluation, learning and financial management practice. These were issues explored in more depth during her PhD. Since completing her PhD, much of her consultancy work has focused on aid relationships and the results and evidence agenda; NGOs and civil society; monitoring, evaluation and learning in governance, empowerment and accountability programmes; organisational learning and change; value for money; power/political economy analysis especially as it relates to debates about thinking and working more politically. Her experience includes work on youth participation; women’s empowerment; humanitarian responses and disaster risk management; as well as using social communications to change attitudes, behaviours and social norms.

Cathy has a multi-disciplinary perspective that straddles anthropology, development studies, international relations, political sociology, gender, accounting and economics. Recent teaching on the aid architecture and co-facilitation of the Big Push Forward means she has an excellent understanding of the politics of the aid system and ideological, methodological and practical issues related to the sector’s current focus on evidence, results and value for money. 

Key competencies and expertise:

  • Evaluability assessment & designing and facilitating research, formative evaluation and learning exercises to test programme theories (of change) that include power and context analysis, e.g. realist approaches
  • Explanatory qualitative analysis with respect to the above
  • Evaluating partnership/grantmaking models & managing accountability relationships
  • Non-profit management accounting and financial analysis
  • Developing value for money assessment strategies and operational frameworks
  • Teaching and facilitating theoretical and experiential learning using seminars, participatory workshops, participatory research exercises and critical reflection processes
  • Playing an external, critical-friend accompaniment role in INGO and bilateral internal review and organisational learning processes
  • Writing for both academic and practitioner audiences

Country research experience includes: Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Ecuador, Germany, Sweden, Norway and the UK. 


2015 The Politics and Practice of Value for Money, in (eds) Eyben, R. Roche, C. Guijt, I. & Shutt, C.  The Politics of Evidence in International Development: Playing the Game to Change the Rules, Practical Action UK

2013  Improving the Evaluability of INGO Empowerment and Accountability Programmes, Centre for Development Impact Practice Paper 1, Institute of Development Studies

2012 A Moral Economy? Social interpretations of money in Aidland, Third World Quarterly, Vol 33, No 8, pp1527-43

2011 Power in youth and governance work, with Salim Mvurya PLA Notes 63, IIED, UK

2010 CLTS:  A Pathway to Child and Youth Empowerment, PLA Notes 61, IIED, UK

2009  Changing the World by Changing Ourselves: Reflections by a bunch of BINGOs, Practice Paper 3, IDS, UK

2006 Power: A Personal View, IDS Bulletin 36(6)

2006 Money Matters in Aid Relationships, in (ed) Eyben, R. Relationships for Aid, Earthscan

2005  Evaluation Practice around the World: Cambodia, in (ed) Mathison, S. Encyclopaedia of Evaluation, Sage Publications