Image of Robert Chambers

Robert Chambers

Research Associate

Professor Robert Chambers has a background in biology, history and public administration.

His current concerns and interests include professionalism, power, the personal dimension in development, participatory methodologies, epistemology, poverty,  stunting, teaching and learning with large numbers, and work on sanitation and hygiene with the Sanitation Learning Hub.

Google Scholar



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.



Universal justice: a provocation

We (Tessa and Robert) are working on a book of forewords Robert has written for other books.  We think collecting the writing together In this way will draw attention to their importance and be valuable to others.  We were brainstorming about the final section which is still to be...

19 October 2020



Rapid Action Learning for Sanitation and Hygiene Programming

Frontiers of Sanitation: Innovations and Insights 15

This issue of Frontiers of Sanitation describes four Rapid Action Learning approaches that have been developed and tested in India by IDS and partners to support the Swachh Bharat Mission – Gramin, and encourages others to use them, to innovate other approaches, and to share their...

Image of Jamie Myers

Jamie Myers & 2 others

21 September 2020

Working Paper

Rural Appraisal: Rapid, Relaxed and Participatory

The term Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) describes a growing family of approaches and methods to enable local people to share, enhance and analyse their knowledge of life and conditions, to plan and to act. PRA flows from and owes much to activist participatory research, agroecosystems,...

10 August 2018

Working Paper

Poverty and Livelihoods: Whose Reality Counts?

Anti-poverty rhetoric is widespread, and some indicators of human well-being have improved. Current conditions are often appalling, trends in many places negative, and future prospects bad. In assessing conditions, professionals' realities are universal, reductionist, standardised and stable. ...

10 August 2018


Challenging the Professions: Frontiers for Rural Development

This book questions the dominant approaches of the professions, disciplines and bureaucracies concerned with rural development. New frontiers can be opened up by breaking out of, and reversing, many of the ideas, values, methods and behaviour normally dominant in disciplines and departments, by...

10 August 2018

Robert Chambers’s recent work