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Joanna Howard

Research Fellow and Cluster Leader

Joanna Howard is a Research Fellow and Leader of the Participation, Inclusion and Social Change Cluster. She is also an associate of the Cities Cluster and 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.

Joanna is also Chair of 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...



Working Paper

Using Participatory Action Research Methodologies for Engaging and Researching with Religious Minorities in Contexts of Intersecting Inequalities

CREID Working Paper 5

While there is growing scholarship on the intersectional nature of people’s experience of marginalisation, analyses tend to ignore religion-based inequalities. A lack of Freedom of Religion and Belief (FoRB) undermines people’s possibilities of accessing services and rights and enjoying...

8 January 2021

Working Paper

Navigating Power and Intersectionality to Address Inequality

IDS Working Paper;504

This paper examines the drivers of inequality and social exclusion, especially discrimination, with a focus on how they intersect at the levels of family, community and local government institutions. The paper reviews current literature and emerging research, drawing on empirical work being...

1 December 2017


Participatory Accountability for the SDGs: Beyond Social Accountability

Participate Policy Briefing;4

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...

1 June 2017

Joanna Howard’s recent work