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Katy Oswald

Research Officer

Katy Oswald is a Senior Research Officer in the Power and Popular Politics Cluster. She is Co-Convenor of the MA in Power, Participation and Social Change. She is also a Humanistic Counsellor, with a private practice in Brighton. Her teaching and research interests lie in the understanding of how subjective experience plays a role of personal and social change, and how power shapes (and is shaped by) individuals and society.

She is an experienced facilitator of reflective practice, which can provide an opportunity for humanitarian or caring professionals, activists and campaigners to reflect on the challenging nature of their work, their relationships with the people they serve, and how their assumptions and beliefs can affect the work they do.

Katy is interested in how a more inter-disciplinary approach to research and teaching that incorporate theories and ideas from Psychology 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.

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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...

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Katy Oswald & 2 others

8 January 2019

Journal Article

Introduction: Interrogating Engaged Excellence in Research

IDS Bulletin 47.6

Approaches to engaged research, which do not just produce academic knowledge, but link with people and groups in society, have long intellectual roots. In recent years, however, for epistemological, practical and ethical reasons, interest in such approaches has gained ground. At the Institute...

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John Gaventa & 2 others

22 December 2016

Katy Oswald’s recent work