Vision, mission and strategic approach

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Vision statement

We aim to engage in cutting-edge, rigorous and interdisciplinary research that contributes to understanding and innovatively solving complex, contemporary social development challenges facing people and communities in Africa and the global south. In doing so we aim to challenge and shape social development theory internationally.

Mission statement

We engage in high quality, rigorous, applied, interdisciplinary social development research in order to:

  • Understand complex social development challenges in Africa and the global south
  • Innovatively design and test evidence-based solutions to these challenges
  • Shape important social development and welfare theory, policy and practice debates
  • Train the next generation of social development scholars, policy-makers and practitioners.

Our values

  • We do our research with heart, cognisant of the need to improve people’s lives not only in the outcomes of our work but in how we do our work.
  • We do our work with ethical and financial integrity, mindful of the need to manage resources well.
  • We conduct our work in a way that places people (including our staff and students) at the centre, aware of the need for our work to enable people’s ongoing growth and development.

Output Online

Our strategic approach

  • We use, test and extend the social development lens as a theory and practice framework in all of our work.
  • We conduct deep, nuanced and locally relevant work and connect it with macro themes, data, and analysis in order to shape important macro social and welfare theory, policy and practice debates and develop social development solutions that are relevant for low and middle-income countries.
  • We engage on an ongoing basis with relevant stakeholders across the spectrum in the course of our research (from high-level policy-makers, to local-level practitioners, and community-based stakeholders; as well as the media).
  • We engage students and emerging researchers in practical ways in our research (in the field and in the classroom) in order to build social development capacity.