Welcome to Development Studies Association
The Development Studies Association is the UK's learned society and professional body for academic teaching and research, policy and practice in the field of international development.
While the annual conference is a principal focus for the association, the DSA is active throughout the year through its many Study Groups. All those involved in development whether as teachers, researchers, consultants or practitioners, are welcome to join both the Study Groups and the DSA itself.
For all the DSA members' news visit our new set of News pages.
Thought for the Month
If one of your resolutions for the new decade is to get better connected with the development studies community, the DSA is an excellent place to start. The DSA is a large and highly diverse organisation, and one of the best ways of finding your place within it is to join one of the fifteen existing Study Groups (SGs). These cover nearly the whole alphabet, from Africa to Women and Development (see the current list at https://www.devstud.org.uk/study-groups/). The SGs are a particularly good space for people to extend their existing networks, connecting with others who share their research interests but who might be operating in different spheres – early and later career researchers, participants from all the regions of the UK and beyond, and so on.
The SGs are wholly responsive to member interests: each of the existing groups was created because a group of DSA members wanted to have a space where they could engage with others of similar interests in a more sustained way. Anyone is welcome to join these groups – simply email the current convenors (also on the website) and ask to be included in future notifications. Or you can simply attend the SG’s panels and meetings at the DSA Conference. You do not need to be a DSA member to start participating in the SGs, but we ask that you become a member if you continue participation, since the ultimate purpose of the SGs is to enhance the member experience of the DSA and build relationships there. And if you look at the list and don’t see a group that reflects your interests and commitments, you are encouraged to find collaborators and propose a new group.
What do the Study Groups do? The DSA asks them to be active at the DSA Conference and to organise another activity each year. At the Conference, many SGs propose panels related to their area of interest, hold formal meetings on the schedule where old and new members can network and make plans, or just meet informally. In between, the SGs have most often organised additional workshops to hear about the current research of members or to network, but they also experiment with other formats and activities. In recent years, the DSA has offered £500 to each Study Group each year to help cover the costs of these sorts of activities, such as catering or travel support for PhD student members or unwaged participants.
For example, the SG on NGOs and Development has held webinars and other sessions with development practitioners, who might not attend the Conference. The SG on Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change will be holding a workshop this year on interdisciplinarity and climate change. The Women and Development SG have recently jointly published a special issue of the Gender and Development Journal.Other SGs have hosted meetings to develop collective grant applications or to invite potential new members to participate.
Exactly what the SGs are and do depends on what their participants want. We hope you will choose to be one of those participants in 2020. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any additional questions.
Best wishes to you all,
Study Group Convenor, DSA