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Joanna Howard

Research Fellow and Cluster Leader

Dr. Jo Howard is a Research Fellow and Leader of the Participation, Inclusion and Social Change Cluster. She co-convenes the Master’s programme in Participation, Power and Social Change.

Jo has worked in research and learning for over 20 years. She has long had an interest in citizen participation and local governance and has worked in Latin America, Europe, India and Africa. Since joining IDS in 2014, she has strengthened and deepened her work on participation to investigate how participatory research processes contribute to empowerment, citizenship and inclusion, and to a broader social justice agenda. Her work, like that of colleagues in the PISC cluster, is to facilitate participatory and action research processes with people living in poverty and marginalisation. Since 2012, she has worked with the Participate Research Network which brings participatory approaches to explore and open up pathways to accountability for marginalised groups and communities, in the context of the SDG commitment to leave no one behind. Collaborative and participatory research through this partnership, supported with a British Academy grant, enabled deeper understanding of intersecting inequalities as a foundation for building accountable relationships in Uganda, Ghana, South Africa, Egypt and India. Jo’s work has highlighted the relevance of intersecting inequalities for inclusive development policy and practice in the context of Roma inclusion policies, and she is currently collaborating with the CREID programme to explore the use of participatory action research methodologies for engaging and researching with religious minorities in contexts of intersecting inequalities.

Additionally, Jo designs, delivers and advises on training and learning processes with civil society and governmental organisations in Participatory Action Research, and reflective and collaborative learning for development practitioners, including through her role as Learning Journey Manager with the K4D programme.

She previously worked as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments, and the Cities Research Centre, both at the University of the West of England (2003-2012). Jo is on the Editorial Board of the Community Development Journal.

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K4D Learning Journeys

K4D Learning Journeys are collaborative across disciplines, usually involve other UK government departments and development partners, and provide spaces for discussion and reflection linked to real case working scenarios and application. They are facilitated by thematic experts and supported by...


The Sanitation Learning Hub

Together with partners around the world, our focus is to support and strengthen the sector to tackle the complex challenges it faces in delivering the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.2.


Capitalisation of SDC Experiences in Roma Social Inclusion

Jo Howard is working with SDC to capitalise experiences in Roma social inclusion by drawing broad conclusions from past SDC experiences in promoting Roma social inclusion and making them easily accessible for decision makers. Furthermore, she will produce a synthesis paper with main findings and...



K4D: a model for effective evidence and learning

The UK Aid sector has faced unprecedented challenges over the last 18 months due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, reduction in funding, and shake up of the politics and policy driving development. Constant throughout all the debates and changes has been the importance of quality evidence and...

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Joanna Howard & 2 others

2 July 2021



Understanding Intersecting Vulnerabilities Experienced by Religious Minorities Living in Poverty in the Shadows of Covid-19

CREID Intersections Series; Religious Inequalities and Covid-19

The purpose of this study, conducted during the Covid-19 pandemic between November 2020 and March 2021 in India and Nigeria, is to explore the direct and indirect effects of Covid-19 on religiously marginalised groups experiencing intersecting vulnerabilities. The findings provide recognition...

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Joanna Howard & 17 others

16 November 2021

Joanna Howard’s recent work


Celebrating Participation Research week

Over 1,600 registered to join in a series of webinars held this week as part of Participation Research Week to mark launch of the SAGE Handbook of Participatory Research and Inquiry. In the sessions, editors and authors of the handbook discussed  cutting-edge approaches to participatory...

24 September 2021


Participation research week events

Join the editors and authors of the new SAGE Handbook of Participatory Research and Inquiry in a series of Participation Research week events running from Monday 20 to Friday 24 September. The events explore why participatory methods are needed, who they benefit and the real-world contexts they...

6 September 2021