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Research in DPP

DPP research focuses on the key drivers that are challenging the established global order and ushering in new ways of thinking about development. In 2014, the Research Excellence Framework (REF), the process that assesses the quality of research in UK higher education institutions, graded 69% of international development research at The Open University ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. In addition:

  • 100% of research was assessed as 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent) for impact
  • 100% of the environment for research in Anthropology and Development Studies was assessed as 4* or 3*.

Our expertise centres on the technological, political and ethical issues that are confronting and connecting the developed and developing worlds, including:

  • Science, technology, innovation and development
  • Global value chains
  • Innovation for pro-poor growth
  • Social justice and the politics of development
  • Real-time evaluation of research and development interventions.

We are particularly proud of our work:

  • Leading discussion of the impact of the Rising Powers – especially China – on Africa, where our emphasis on the proactive role of African agents has overturned the assumption that Africa has no say in shaping its own destiny.
  • Investigating private sector investment and innovation processes in Africa, which has had direct impact on the health and agriculture sectors, improving food security and contributing to the local production of pharmaceuticals and access to medicines.
  • Exploring the ways in which information technologies are increasing access to knowledge and allowing people to challenge and change dominant ways of thinking.

Our strong and distinctive research culture – founded on interdisciplinary and intercontinental collaborations – is funded by UK Research Councils, the EU and other public institutions. Our internationally acclaimed publications help to:

  • Influence policy makers, NGOs and activists around the world
  • Support the delivery of change on the ground
  • Shape public understanding of what international development is and what it can achieve.

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