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Dr Katie Wright

Reader in international development

Feminist Research Group, Social Sciences

I have two main research interests focused on gender, human wellbeing and development in Latin America and globally: (i) human wellbeing, gender and international migration and (ii) gender, microfinance and sustainable livelihoods.

    I am a Reader in International Development currently based at the University of East London. Previously I was an ESRC Post Doctoral Fellow, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Bath where I was also a PI on a further ESRC project. I completed my PhD on gender relations and microfinance in Peru at the former Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Liverpool.

    I have two main research interests focused on gender, human wellbeing and development in Latin America and globally: (i) human wellbeing, gender and international migration and (ii) gender, microfinance and sustainable livelihoods.

    I completed my PhD on gender relations and microfinance in Peru at the former Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Liverpool. My current research is on gender and the life course focusing on Latin Americans outside Latin America. My monograph for Palgrave MacMillan on Development, Human Wellbeing and International Migration drew on ESRC funded work in this area. My research focuses on non-material transmissions and the inter-connectedness of human wellbeing across continents and increasingly on Latin Americans outside Latin America.



    I have two main research interests focused on gender and development in Latin America and globally: (i) human wellbeing, gender and international migration and (ii) gender, microfinance and sustainable livelihoods.

    My latest book, International Migration, Development and Human Wellbeing (Palgrave, 2012) draws on ESRC funded research that I was awarded to investigate the construction of human wellbeing amongst Latin American migrants in London and Madrid. This monograph applies human wellbeing theory to the case of international migration and as such is the first of its kind. It discusses the concept of 'living well' – exploring how human wellbeing is constructed and how it 'travels' across spatial boundaries. It also highlights the role of social variables such as gender and generation. Drawing on empirical research, undertaken with Peruvian migrants based in London and Madrid, I investigate the needs that migrants themselves identify in their attempts to 'live well'. By next examining the perspectives of their Peru-based relatives and close friends, I move the analysis beyond consideration of how wellbeing is constructed in particular locations to consider inter-subjective impacts of this migration and the global interconnectedness of human wellbeing outcomes. Incorporating a human wellbeing perspective implies a radical rethink of development studies and policy because it necessitates much greater cross-disciplinary insights and understanding of the inter-connectedness of North and South in terms of human wellbeing outcomes both for those that migrate and the relatives that remain. Additionally, 6 international journal articles (including one special issue in Journal of International Development) were produced from the ESRC-funded empirical work.

    My main contribution to the area of gender, microfinance and sustainable livelihoods has been related to placing concerns with sustainability within the broader context of poverty alleviation, meaningful community participation in decision-making and recognition of the importance of social and cultural contexts. My research interconnects areas such as: social inequalities (such as gender, race and class), sustainable livelihoods, sustainable development, microfinance, and situates these within the broader theories of international development. My main contributions to this area have been via 5 additional internationally refereed journal articles including Journal of Microfinance, Journal of International Development, Development Policy Review, Global Social Policy, IDS Bulletin and a book entitled Money with a Mission: Managing the Social Performance of Microfinance (ITDG, 2003). This book reflects the implications of a social performance management agenda from the perspective of twelve partners from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe, who participated in a three-year Ford-Foundation funded microfinance action-research programme called Imp-Act. The book outlines the social performance agenda and the processes of discovery and self-discovery that underlie programme learning. In contrast to available impact assessment frameworks, learning through Imp-Act has been largely driven by the Microfinance institutions’ own goals and perspectives. This was based on learning from a three-year action research project financed by the Ford Foundation (Development Finance Affinity Group) to improve the Impact of Microfinance on Poverty. It involved collaborative action-research into institutionalising systems of impact monitoring and assessment in 40 microfinance institutions across Asia, Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe.

         
    1. Research Affiliate of Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, University of Oxford (2016-present)
    2. Associate Fellow of the Institute of the Americas, University of London (2015 – present).
    3. Member of the board of trustees at ‘Latin Elephant’ (2014- present) a charity that promotes the engagement of migrant and ethnic groups (including Latin Americans) in urban regeneration processes in Elephant and Castle and other areas of London.
    4. Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (awarded June 2013).
    5. Member of the Development Studies Association over the past fifteen years.
    6. Member of the Society for Latin American Studies over the past fifteen years.
    7. Member of the Developing Areas Research Group forming part of the Royal Geographical Society.
    8. Networks with development communities and NGOs based in Europe and in developing countries as well as area studies research communities in Latin America and the USA.
        
    1. External examiner, (September 2015- present) School of Law and Social Sciences, for 3 MSc programmes (Development Studies/Refugee Studies/ Urbanisation and Development), London South Bank University.
    2. External examiner, Department for Geography (2012-2016) for 3 BSc (Hons) programmes (Geography/ International Relations and Global Development/Third World Development), University of Derby.
    3. Founder and convenor of the ‘Migration, Development and Social Change’ Study Group forming part of the Development Studies Association.
    4. Participation in the Developing Areas Research Group forming part of the Royal Geographical Society.
    5. Participation in research groups pertaining to the Society for Latin American Studies.

    Overview

    My current research is on gender and the life course focusing on Latin Americans outside Latin America. My monograph for Palgrave MacMillan on Development, Human Wellbeing and International Migration drew on ESRC funded work in this area. My research focuses on non-material transmissions and the inter-connectedness of human wellbeing across continents and increasingly on Latin Americans outside Latin America. My recent study takes a gender and life course perspective to examine the intergenerational transmission of human wellbeing amongst Latin American migrant mothers and their daughters in London. I am presently working on a monograph on the theme of Gender, Migration and the Inter-generational Transmission of Human Wellbeing. I am shortly to extend this to examine the case of intergenerational human wellbeing transfer amongst Latin American migrant fathers and sons.



    Research

    Publications currently in preparation

    Wright, K. ‘Exploring the inter-generational transmission of human wellbeing: The case of Latin American migrant mothers and their daughters in London, UK’ (journal article planned for Development and Change).

    Wright, K.' What role do inter-generational transfers play in social and occupational mobility?  (journal article planned for European Journal of Development Research)

    Wright, K. ‘Gender, Migration and the Inter-generational Transmission of Human Wellbeing’ (Book proposal in preparation for submission to the ‘Sociology of Immigration and Emigration series’, University of California Press).


    Books 

    Wright, K. (2012) International Migration, Development and Human Wellbeing (Palgrave MacMillan). 

    Wright, K., Brody, A., Greeley, M. (eds.) (2005) Money with a Mission: Managing the Social Performance of Microfinance Vol 2. ITDG: Rugby, UK.


    Journal Articles

    Wright, K. (2016) Intergenerational transfers over the life course: Addressing temporal and gendered complexities via a human wellbeing approach. Progress in Development Studies. 16 (3): 1-11.

    Wright, K. (2011) Constructing migrant wellbeing: An exploration of life satisfaction amongst Peruvian migrants in London. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 37(9): 1459-1475.

    Wright, K. (2011) Constructing human wellbeing across spatial boundaries: Negotiating meanings in transnational migration. Global Networks. (First published online 31st October).

    Wright, K., Black R. (2011) Poverty, migration and human well-being: Towards a post-crisis research and policy agenda. Journal of International Development, 23(4): 5484-554.

    Wright, K., Black R. (2011) International migration and the downturn: Assessing the impacts of the global financial downturn on migration, poverty and human well-being. Journal of International Development, 23(4): 555-564.

    Wright, K. (2010) ‘“It’s a limited kind of happiness,” Barriers to achieving human well-being among Peruvian migrants in London and Madrid’, Bulletin of Latin American Research, 29(3): 367-383.

    Wright, K. (2009) Wellbeing, poverty and social policy. Global Social Policy 9(1): 135-140.

    Wright, K. (2009) Redefining development for national security: Implications for civil society. Development in Practice 19(6):793-798.

    Wright, K., James, R., and Katundu, B. (2007) Assessing the organisational costs of HIV/AIDS on NGOs in Malawi: Results from a pilot study. Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health 12(10):1172–1179.

    Wright, K., Copestake, J., Dawson, P., Fanning, J., McKay, A. (2005) Monitoring the diversity of the poverty outreach and impact of microfinance: A comparison of methods using data from Peru. Development Policy Review 23(6):703-723.

    Wright, K. (2005) El lado más oscuro de las microfinanzas: Evidencia de Cajamarca, Perú. Debate Agrario 38:91-108.

    Wright, K., Altamirano, T., Copestake, J., and Figueroa, A. (2004) Conceptualising the links between poverty, inequality and well-being in Peru. Global Social Policy 4(3):313-336.

    Wright, K., Copestake, J. (2004) Impact assessment of microfinance using qualitative data: Communicating between social scientists and practitioners using the QUIP. Journal of International Development 16(3):355-367.

    Wright, K. (2003) “Problems? What problems? We have none at all”. Qualitative data collection for impact assessment: Getting the questions right. Journal of Microfinance 5(1):115-138.

    Wright, K., Cohen, M. (2003) How can microfinance organisations become more client-led? Lessons from Latin America. IDS Bulletin 34(4):94-105.


    Contributions to Books

    Wright, K. (2011) ‘Conceptualising human wellbeing from a gender and life course perspective: The case of Peruvian migrants in London,’ in McIlwaine, C. (ed.) Cross-Border Migration Among Latin Americans: European Perspectives and Beyond. Palgrave Macmillan: London.

    Wright, K. (2005) ‘The darker side to microfinance: Evidence from Cajamarca, Peru’, in Microfinance: Perils and Prospects Fernando, J. (ed.) Routledge: New York, USA.

    Wright, K., Copestake, J., Johnson, S. (2003) ‘Impact assessment of microfinance: Towards a new protocol for collection and analysis of qualitative data’, in Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Methods for Development Research Holland, J. with Campbell, J. (eds) ITDG: Rugby, UK.


    Working Papers

    Wright, K. (2007) “You are not going there to amuse yourself,” Barriers to achieving wellbeing through international migration: The case of Peruvian migrants in London and Madrid. WeD Working Paper 33. Wellbeing in Developing Countries ESRC Research Group. University of Bath: Bath, UK.

    Wright, K., Altamirano, T., Copestake, J., Figueroa, A (2004) Poverty studies in Peru; Towards a more inclusive study of social exclusion. WeD Working Paper 5. Wellbeing in Developing Countries ESRC Research Group, University of Bath: Bath, UK.

    Wright, K. (2004) Assessing the social performance of microfinance using the QUIP: Findings from Huancayo, Chimbote and Cajamarca, Peru. Imp-Act Working Paper 10. IDS: Brighton, UK.

    Wright, K. (2003) QUIP: A Qualitative Impact Assessment Protocol for Microfinance organisations. Imp-Act Working Paper 7. IDS: Brighton, UK.

    Publications

    Funded Projects and Consultancies

    In 2008-9 I was awarded £40K for a research-based consultancy to fund a study of research influence of the ESRC-DFID funding stream.

    Prior to this, in 2005-7 I was awarded a research grant of £47K as ESRC Principal Investigator on project entitled ‘Conceptualising the Construction of Human Wellbeing across Spatial Boundaries: The case of Peruvian Migrants in London and Madrid’ £47K.

    In 2004-5 I was awarded an ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. In 2001-3 I formed part of a bid to the Ford Foundation (Development Finance Affinity Group) Improving the Impact of Microfinance on Poverty: An action research project (Imp-Act). Collaborative action-research into institutionalising systems of impact monitoring and assessment in 40 microfinance institutions across Asia, Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe. £250,000 (approx.) was given in four grants to Bath, out of a total project budget of $3 million. In 1998-2001I was awarded an ESRC PhD Studentship.

    I regularly apply for research funding. For example, in 2009 I submitted a proposal with Professor Katie Willis at Royal Holloway, University of London entitled ‘Transnational Migration, Space and Human Wellbeing: Connecting London and Latin America’. £350,000 was solicited. Reviewers assessed this ‘a very well written and coherently structured proposal’ (though unfunded on this occasion we were invited to resubmit).

    In December 2012 I started to develop a large funding proposal to The Leverhulme Trust with support from the UEL Research Development Fund grant awarded (£4519) for a pilot study of project on the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Wellbeing between migrant mot0hers and their daughters in London. In 2013, I secured an additional Small Grant awarded by UEL (£3263) to pay for additional interviews and a set of focus groups to bolster this larger research proposal to Leverhulme, which has was shortlisted in 2014, though did not get funded in the second stage.

    I have also conducted a series of additional research-based consultancies for Amnesty International, DFID, Ford Foundation, IDRC, International Federation of the Red Cross, SIDA and The World Bank.

    Funding

    I actively participate in the following research groups:

    • Developing Areas Research Group (Royal Geographical Society);
    • Feminist Research Group (University of East London);
    • Migration and Social Change Study Group (founder and convenor, Development Studies Association);
    • Wellbeing in Developing Countries ESRC Research Group (University of Bath).

    Supervision:

    I have supervised many students who have conducted field research overseas, drawing in particular on personal networks in Latin America, who I have been able to link our students with in conducting work in a range of countries in the region including: Peru, Chile, Mexico and Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago. I am currently director of studies for Navila Tinny, who is conducting PhD research on gender and microfinance in Bangladesh.



    1. Wright, K. Convenor of a panel (with Dr. Pia Joliffe and Dr. Caroline Oliver University of Oxford) 'Migration, Life Transitions and Socio-Political Inequalities', and presentation of a paper 'Intergenerational Transfer of Human Wellbeing from A Gender and Life Course Perspective: The Case of Latin American Migrant Mothers and their Daughters in London, UK'. Development Studies Association, University of Oxford, 13th September, 2016)

    2. Wright, K. Convenor of an international workshop (with Professor Cathy McIllwaine, Queen Mary’s University of London) funded by the UCL Institute of the Americas and the Development Studies Association ‘Migration, Development and Social Change’ Study Group entitled ‘Latin American Perspectives on Migration, Social Inequalities and Life Transitions’ London International Development Centre, 1st February 2016.

    3. Wright, K. Invited by the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford to present as part of their seminar series on 'Wellbeing and Migration in the UK' 'Conceptualising the inter-generational transmission of human wellbeing from a gender and life course perspective: The case of Latin American migrant mothers and their daughters in London, UK'. University of Oxford, 15th October 2015.

    4. Wright, K. Convenor of a conference panel entitled ‘Gender, international migration and the life course’ and paper presentation entitled ‘Gender, international migration and the inter-generational transmission of human wellbeing’, Development Studies Association Annual Conference, Institute of Education, University of London, 1st November, 2014.

    5. Wright, K. Panel member at ‘Making Latin Americans Visible in London public engagement symposium’. Queen Mary, University of London and Southwalk Playhouse, 6th June 2013.

    6. Wright, K. Convenor of a conference panel entitled ‘Gender, wellbeing and migration’ Development Studies Association Annual Conference, , Institute of Education, University of London, 3rd November 2012.

    7. Wright K Invited as a panel member for roundtable sessions on ‘The role of research in representing and responding to the Latin American/ Ibero-American Community in London’. Latin American Perspectives in Education Research Group (LAPE), Institute of Education, University of London, 17th May 2010.

    8. Wright, K. Convenor of a policy workshop entitled ‘Poverty, Migration and Development: Towards a Post-Crisis research and development agenda’ Queen Mary, University of London, 3rd November 2010.

    9. Wright, K. Convenor of two panels entitled ‘Mobilities and Inequalities: Towards a new ethics of policy response?’ Development Studies Association Annual Conference, London, 5th November 2010.

    10. Wright, K. Convenor of two panels on migration and the economic downturn. Development Studies Association Annual Conference, University of Ulster, 2nd-4th September 2009.

    11. Wright, K. Invited by the Developing Areas Research Group (forming part of the Royal Geographical Society) to facilitate ‘Doing Development Dissertations: An undergraduate dissertation workshop’ University College London, 27th November 2010.

    12. Wright, K. Invited as a panel member for roundtable sessions on ‘The role of research in representing and responding to the Latin American/ Ibero-American Community in London’. Latin American Perspectives in Education Research Group (LAPE), Institute of Education, University of London, 17th May 2010.

    13. Wright, K. Invited speaker. ‘Constructing migrant wellbeing: An exploration of life satisfaction amongst Peruvian migrants in London’. International Mental Health Seminar Series, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, 4th May 2010.

    14. Wright K ‘Migration and the economic downturn: Assessing the migration and developmental impacts’. Convenor of two panels on migration and the economic downturn. Development Studies Association Annual Conference, University of Ulster, 2nd-4th September 2009.

    15. Wright, K. ‘Connecting human wellbeing in North and South: Negotiating meanings in transnational migration’. Royal Geographical Society-IBG Annual International Conference, University of Manchester, 26th-28th August 2009.

    16. Wright, K. ‘Rethinking global interconnectedness and human wellbeing: Constructing human wellbeing across spatial boundaries’. AHRC Diasporas, Migration and Identities Programme/ Centre for Nationalism, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism (CRONEM) Conference, University of Surrey, 11th-12th June 2009.

    17. Wright, K. ‘Constructing migrant wellbeing: An exploration of life satisfaction amongst Peruvian migrants in London’. JISLAC Latin American Diasporas Conference, Institute for the Study of the Americas, London, 11th-12th December 2008.

    18. Wright, K. ‘Counter-terrorism and Security and Development: What are the Implications for NGOs?’ Bath Spa University, guest lecture, 13th November 2008.

    19. Wright, K. ‘Counter-terrorism, The War on Terror and Security and Development’ University of East London, guest lecture, 30th October, 2007.

    Interests

    Undergraduate Teaching

    1. Inequalities, Social Development and Livelihoods (BA in International Development and BA in International Development and NGO Management 2015-2016, Module Leader).

    2. Gender and Development (BA in International Development and BA in International Development and NGO Management 2010-2014, Module Leader)

    3. Sustainable Development (BA in International Development and BA in International Development and NGO Management 2009-2014, Module Leader)

    4. Research Methods (BA in International Development and BA in International Development and NGO Management 2010-2014, Module Leader)

    5. NGO Placement Module (BA in International Development and NGO Management, 2012- 2014, Module Leader) .

    6. Food, Hunger and Development (BA in International Development and BA in International Development and NGO Management 2009-2010, Co-tutor);

    7. Political Economy of International Development (BA in International Development and BA in International Development and NGO Management 2010, Module Leader)

    8. Study Skills (BA in International Development and BA in International Development and NGO Management 2009-2013, Co-tutor)

    9. Introduction to NGO Development (BA in International Development and NGO Management, 2010-2013; Co-tutor).

    10. Dissertation module (BA in International Development and BA in International Development with NGO Management, 2009-2014 and 2016 -present).

    Masters Teaching

    1. Programme Leader, PG Cert in NGO and Development Management via Distance Learning (2014- present).

    2. Development Management in the International Context (MSc in NGO and Development Management 2009-2013 Co-tutor)

    3. Qualitative Research Methods (MSc in NGO and Development Management, MSc in Refugee Studies Module Leader 2013; Co-tutor 2010-present);

    4. Project and Programme Design (MSc in NGO and Development Management Module Leader 2011; Co-tutor 2009, 2010; 2013);

    5. Supervision and marking of MSc in NGO and Development Management dissertations (Co-tutor 2009-2012; Module Leader 2014).

    Examining and Assessment

    1. External examiner, Department of Geography BSc (Hons) Geography/ International Relations and Global Development/Third World Development, University of Derby (2012 – present).

    2. External examiner, MSc Development Studies/Refugee Studies/Urbanisation and Development, London South Bank University (from 1st Sept 2015).

    3. External examiner, PhD Candidate Suzanne Solley, Queen Mary's, University of London 21st July 2016. 'Rewriting Widowhood: Intersectionality, Wellbeing and Agency amongst Widowed Women in Nepal'.

    Teaching