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Small-scale Private Development Initiatives: Doing Development Differently?

This research explores an under-theorised sector of the development landscape: Private Development Initiatives (PDIs), very small-scale global North organisations dedicated to supporting development interventions in the global South. In particular, the project aims to understand the nature and contributions of small-scale Private Development Initiatives in North-East England, and the types of solidarities and connections that they foster with their partners and communities in the global South.

Whilst some PDIs emerge out of institutional contexts (e.g. schools, churches, hospitals), others are independent entities. These initiatives tend to be informal, set up by one or several individuals as an ongoing strategy for development work, for example following their return to the global North from a developing country or drawing on an individual’s diasporic links with a particular country.

Whilst European and North American research has begun to explore these often invisible ‘citizen aid initiatives’ they remain largely unrecognised within the UK development sector, cutting across understandings of activism, volunteering, citizen engagement, and solidarity.

We are currently undertaking a survey to collect data on the experiences of people involved in PDIs in the Northeast of England, which you can access HERE.

To find out more, or to take part in the research, please contact Prof Matt Baillie Smith or Prof Katy Jenkins. 



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