Research-into-Practice: POLIS MA Global Development Students’ research supporting the work of UK-based development NGOs

Two MA Global Development students who worked with NGOs as part of their dissertation projects have had their work featured as part of activism to raise awareness around key development challenges.

Both partnerships were part of a pilot dissertation pathway to promote research partnership with external NGOs supervised by Dr Lata Narayanaswamy, Lecturer in International Development in the School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS).

Elizabeth Goolden worked with Irise International, an NGO that delivers programmes and research in the UK and East Africa to support young people and their communities to address menstruation related barriers using a rights-based approach. Irise had identified a lack of comparative research on the extent to which the experience of menstruation-related barriers, including stigmas, taboos and access to menstrual hygiene sanitation are shared across developing and developed country contexts. Elizabeth, who has been awarded the Dissertation Prize in POLIS for her research, has written about her findings on menstrual taboos for Irise and about her experience of doing the research for Leeds’ WASH blog. 

Bronwen Embleton worked with Womankind, a global women’s rights organisation working in solidarity and equal partnership with women’s rights organisations and movements to transform the lives of women. Womankind identified a need for more research on violence against women in online spaces, and the particular impact this violence is having on women’s rights activism and activists. Bronwen’s research, which was also awarded a distinction, informed the production of a blog to launch Womankind’s support for 16 Day of Activism against Gender-Based violence.