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Development studies
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Development Studies

The Open University's Development Policy and Practice (DPP) Group is a leading centre of development studies and development management research, and hosts the OU’s inter-faculty Priority Research Area in International Development and Inclusive Innovation.

In the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework results:

  • OU research in Development Studies is ranked 5th in the UK overall for the quality and intensity of its research using the Times Higher Education Research Intensity Score
  • 69% of OU Development Studies research was assessed as 4* (world-class) or 3* (internationally excellent)
  • 100% of the OU environment for research in International Development topics was also assessed as 4* (world-class) or 3* (internationally excellent).

Underpinning its international research excellence, DPP has extensive networks within and outside the University. It hosts the OU’s Priority Research Area in International Development and Inclusive Innovation, which brings together and supports the wide range of inter-disciplinary development and innovation research undertaken across the University. In the UK, the DPP group works closely with academics from a range of development studies institutes and with a consortium of non-governmental organisations. Internationally, it has research and teaching collaborations with staff and institutions from more than 20 countries. It has developed a facilitative capacity to bring people together to work in new programmes, courses and research.

Key facts

  • The group is recognised for its internationally excellent interdisciplinary research on innovation and development and for its growing profile in generating theoretically informed and empirically grounded knowledge on the roles and impacts of individuals, groups and systems in development processes.
  • The group is continuously developing new conceptual frameworks and avenues of inquiry and prides itself in being able to attract and retain world-class researchers and students who are willing and able to expand conceptual and empirical horizons.
  • The group’s network of local and global partners provides students and researchers access to a vibrant intellectual community.
  • We focus on questions of governance of development and the role of the emerging powers in reconfiguring development cooperation.
  • We focus largely, though not exclusively, on Africa and Asia.