Image of Katy Oswald

Katy Oswald

Research Officer

Katy Oswald is a Senior Research Officer in the Power and Popular Politics Cluster. She is also a Psychotherapist in-training. Her teaching and research interests lie in the interplay between subjective/psychological understandings of personal and social change, and how power shapes (and is shaped by) individuals and society.

Katy is interested in how a more inter-disciplinary approach to research and teaching can expand our understanding of how change happens, and contribute to progressive social change. She teaches on the ‘Power and Social Perspectives on Development’ module in the autumn term, and co-convenes and teaches on the ‘Reflective and Creative Practice and Social Change’ module in the spring term. She is an experienced facilitator of participatory action learning/research.

Google Scholar



Learning on the Streets. Youth and vending in urban Zimbabwe

IDS Research fellow Marjoke Oosterom has won an ESRC New Investigators grant to do research on youth and political socialization in the informal economy. Research partners are Tinotenda Chishiri (RAU), Dr. Rekopantswe Mate (University of Zimbabwe) and Simbarashe Gukurume (Great Zimbabwe...


Participatory Approaches to Quality Assurance

This collaboration between IDS and the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) aims to bring appropriate participatory methods into quality assurance within SDC. It will also bring new levels of rigour to the principles of participation, poverty orientation and empowerment in the work of SDC and its...


Capacity Collective

Exploring and addressing the challenges facing capacity development to bring about change in a purposeful way




Engaged Excellence in Development Studies

An important question for schools of Development Studies (DS) is how to undertake research that is both rigorous in its own right, and relevant and useful to those whose lives and futures are potentially affected by the new evidence, insights and concepts it generates. In other words, how do we...

Image of Katy Oswald
Katy Oswald & 2 others

8 January 2019

Journal Article

Engaged Excellence


Who defines what good quality research is? How, why and who should we co-construct knowledge with? What counts as impact? How do we build enduring partnerships? The articles in this IDS Bulletin aim to answer these questions based on IDS’ approach of ‘engaged excellence’.

Image of Melissa Leach
Melissa Leach & 2 others

19 December 2016


Interrogating an Engaged Excellence Approach to Research

IDS Evidence Report 214

In recent years several debates have emerged about how to make academic research more ‘engaged’. The motivation for these debates has varied from a recognition that engagement can help increase the impact of research, to normative arguments that research needs to engage with those it seeks...

1 December 2016

Katy Oswald’s recent work


Power and Popular Politics

Using a power lens on all our work, we examine popular forms of contestation in particular of non-elites. We seek to pioneer new ways of working with community, activist, academic and professional co-researchers from both the global North and South, using qualitative, ethnographic and action...