Photo of Jo Howard, Research Fellow in the IDS Participation cluster

Jo Howard - Research Fellow


Richard Douglass

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Jo Howard is a Research Fellow based with the Participation research and knowledge cluster, and associate of the Cities cluster. She also works closely with the Governance and Power and Popular Politics clusters.

Her work focuses on participatory action research to support processes of empowerment, citizenship and inclusion with people living in poverty and marginalization, and participatory action learning processes with civil society and governmental organisations to strengthen how they work with marginalized groups.

She has worked in research since 2000, and her work spans the UK social policy field and the international development arena. She previously worked as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments, and the Cities Research Centre, both at University of the West of England (2003-2012). Over the last 15 years she has worked with civil society and governmental partners in the UK, Latin America, Central & Eastern Europe and Africa, on topics ranging from women’s empowerment, state-civil society partnership working, citizen participation in service delivery, participatory local governance, innovation in public service delivery, and participatory approaches to monitoring and evaluation.

Her current work is with Swiss Development Cooperation providing support for peer learning around Roma Inclusion (2015); with VSO on a review of their Participation and Governance thematic work (VSO 2014-15) leading to further work on embedding participatory practice across the organisation (2015-); developing approaches to participatory monitoring and accountability of the SDGs (2015-17) and how intersecting inequalities relate to building sustainable inclusion (2016-2018). Jo is Chair of the Editorial Board of the Community Development Journal.

This project focuses on the need to consider and address intersecting inequalities – the spatial, economic and identity-based drivers of poverty and inequality - if the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are to be successful.

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The Participatory Monitoring and Accountability (PMA) programme marks a new phase of the Participate initiative. It aims to foster and support PMA learning processes that enable citizen participation for accountability to be embedded in development policy and practice.

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Image of Participate Policy Brief Issue 04

Participatory Accountability for the SDGs: Beyond Social Accountability

People who are most marginalised need to participate in the monitoring and accountability of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) if the ‘leave no-one behind’ ambition is to be met. Participatory accountability is necessary for their realities to be understood and for their voices to be heard. More details

Image of cover of Participate Policy Brief Issue 03

Using Knowledge from the Margins to Meet the SDGs: The Real Data Revolution

Participate Policy Briefing 3 (2017)

As efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) gain momentum, we need to consider the inclusiveness of the data revolution. Knowledge from people living on the margins of society needs to be recognized, valued and embedded in the data to make visible the complex realities of their lives. More details

This is the front coverr to IDS Bulletin 46.5, 'What is the Unique Contribution of Volunteering to International Development?'

What is the Unique Contribution of Volunteering to International Development?

IDS Bulletin 46.5 (2015)

This IDS Bulletin is entirely based on the global action-research project Valuing Volunteering, commissioned by Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), a UK-based international volunteer cooperation organisation, and conducted by researchers at IDS in partnership with VSO. More details

This is the cover for 'Work with us: How people and
organisations can catalyse sustainable change.

Work With Us: How People and Organisations can Catalyse Sustainable Change

This report provides a synthesis of studies conducted by the Participate Participatory Research Group (PRG) in 29 countries, and attempts to identify and draw out the patterns of change that emerge across them from people's accounts of their own experiences of moving in or out of poverty and marginalisation. More details

Thematic Expertise:
Accountability; Citizenship; Governance; Participatory methodologies; Politics and Power; Poverty.

Geographic Expertise:
Latin America and the Caribbean; Non-OECD Europe; Rwanda; United Kingdom; Zambia.