Danny Burns - Team Leader
Participation Power and Social Change
T: +44 (0)1273 915612
Danny Burns is Team Leader of the Participation, Power and Social Change team at IDS. His work focuses on participatory learning for social change with a strong emphasis on systems thinking and complexity.
Between 2002 and 2010 he was Professor of Social & Organisational Learning at the University of the West of England (UWE). At UWE, he co-directed the SOLAR action research centre. Prior to this he was a lecturer, then senior lecturer, at the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol. There he was Programme Director of the M.Sc. in Management Development and Social Responsibility. Previously, Danny worked as the Director of the Tenant Participation Advisory Service for Scotland and prior to that as Director of the Decentralisation Research and Information Centre. Over the past eight years he has directed or co-directed more than fifteen action research projects.
Currently Danny is currently working on three research projects:
- He is co-directing the Participate initiative (2012-13) with Joanna Wheeler. Participate is a collaboration between IDS and the Beyond 2015 campaign. It is supporting a major global programme of participatory research which will contribute to global debates on the future of international development post 2015 as well as laying the foundations for an international participatory research network. The project is funded by the UK Department of International Development.
- He is working in Bangladesh (2012-13) with Katy Oswald on Voices of the Marginalised: Piloting participatory methods with people with disabilities and older people. This is funded by HelpAge, ADD, and Sightsavers.
- He is working with Joanna Wheeler and Katy Oswald on the Valuing Volunteering project (2011-14). Funded by VSO, this is a five country systemic action research project in the Phillipines, Nepal, Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique looking at the impact of volunteering on poverty.
Previously, Danny was a member of the leadership team for the Bellagio Initiative on the Future of International Development and Philanthropy (2011-12).
He also led a major action research programme for the National Co-ordination Centre for Public Engagementin Higher Education.
Danny is widely published, most recently on systemic approaches to action research. Key texts include:
- Burns, D. (2007) Systemic Action Research. Bristol: Policy Press
- Burns, D. (2012) Action Research for Development and Social Change. Brighton: IDS
Danny's interests include participatory methods, systemic action research, community development and community action, the significance of complexity and systems thinking to development and systemic conflict transformation.
Danny currently supervises three research students:
- Alfredo Ortiz
- Jody Aked
- Eric Kasper
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