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Nisha Susan Thomas

Nisha Thomas Northumbria UniversityQualifications

MSc International Development (International Development Department, University of Birmingham), 2007

PhD Project

My PhD research examines the link between diaspora and development through international volunteering. My study will explore the various forms and patterns of international volunteering amongst diasporic communities that occur through formal structures (such as NGOs) as well as informally (through personal connections or other affiliations) in their countries of origin. The objective is to recognize what is distinctive about diaspora volunteering and identify their unique and particular contribution to development. My research also attempts to establish diaspora volunteering within the wider debates in international volunteering and development literature, and thereby enable a broader conceptualization of international volunteering and development.

The study, which is undertaken in collaboration with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), UK, will focus on two diasporic communities in Britain and their countries of origin; one from Africa (Nigeria) and one from South Asia.

In addition to this, on a personal level, I am also interested in the shifting patterns and modalities of development co-operation, debates on aid effectiveness and the changing politics of foreign aid and development, more broadly.


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