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Dr Katie Wright

Reader in International Development

Feminist Research Group; Centre for Social Justice and Change, CASS, 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. I have two main research interests focused on gender and development in Latin America and globally: (i) gender, human wellbeing, and international migration and (ii) gender, microfinance and sustainable livelihoods. I was previously 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.

    My most recent monograph entitled ‘Gender, Migration and the Inter-Generational Transfer of Human Wellbeing’ (Palgrave Macmillan 2018) builds on a previous monograph (Palgrave Macmillan 2012) on International Migration, Development and Human Wellbeing that drew on ESRC funded work in this area. I am currently drafting a third monograph for Palgrave Macmillan on Masculinities, Migration and Inter-Generational Relations. In addition, I am currently co-investigator on a British Academy Funded Project (with Eva Lloyd, PI) investigating early child education strategies for achieving equitable early childcare education access for Lebanese children and Syrian child refugees and realizing Sustainable Development Goal 4.2. Early Childhood Education.

    I hold visiting/ associate positions at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, University of Oxford, the Institute of the Americas, University of London  and am Member of the board of trustees at ‘Latin Elephant’ a charity that promotes the engagement of migrant and ethnic groups in urban regeneration processes. I am founder and convenor of the ‘Migration, Development and Social Change’ Research Group for the Development Studies Association and social policy pathway member for the UBEL London Doctoral Training Partnership Scheme. I am also associate editor of the international journal Progress in Development Studies.



    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 first monograph, International Migration, Development and Human Wellbeing (Palgrave Macmillan, 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 most recent monograph (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) builds on this by focusing on how human wellbeing is constructed and transferred intergenerationally in the context of international migration - exploring both processes of transmission as well as outcomes. The theoretical basis for this book formed the basis of an article I published in Progress in Development Studies in 2016 investigating intergenerational transfers over the life course, which addressed temporal and gendered complexities via a human wellbeing approach. This second monograph argues that adoption of an intergenerational life course and human wellbeing perspective has relationality at its heart which offers a view of the life course as dynamic and fluid, enabling study of how lives are interconnected across time and space. This opens up discussion of how transfers operate in more complex household structures as families are reconfigured via cycles of relationship dissolution and repartnering forming part of broader international migration trajectories. A further key argument presented is that locating inter-generational transfers historically and temporally in the context of multiple migrations at critical life junctures deepens understanding of gendered processes of transmission in childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle age and later life. Importantly, use of intergenerational chains (such as mothers and daughters) allows identification of continuities in gender roles and ideologies, as well as offering insight into ruptures, dissonance and ambivalences.

    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 the Centre for Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS, University of Oxford) (2016-present).
    2. Associate Fellow of the Institute of the Americas, University of London (2015 – present).
    3. Member of the Social Policy Pathway Team for the UBEL London Doctoral Training Partnership Scheme (2019-present).
    4. 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.
    5. Member of the Development Studies Association.
    6. Member of the Society for Latin American Studies.
    7. Member of the Developing Areas Research Group forming part of the Royal Geographical Society.
    8. Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (awarded June 2013).
    9. 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.
    10. Associate Editor, Progress in Development Studies (2019-present).
    1. External examiner, (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 of Geography (2012-2016) for 3 BSc (Hons) programmes (Geography/ International Relations and Global Development/Third World Development), University of Derby.
    3. External Examiner for Lorena Guzman Elizalde (Department of Geography, University of Sussex) whose PhD is entitled ‘Return to Mexico: Exploring the (Re)integration Experience’, 3rd May 2018.
    4. External Examiner for Suzanne Solley (Department of Geography, Queen Mary, University of London) whose PhD is entitled 'Rewriting widowhood: Intersectionality, well-being and agency amongst widowed women in Nepal'. 21st July 2016.
    5. Founder and convenor of the ‘Migration, Development and Social Change’ Study Group forming part of the Development Studies Association.
    6. Participation in the Developing Areas Research Group forming part of the Royal Geographical Society.

    Overview

    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 most recent monograph entitled Gender, Migration and the Inter-Generational Transfer of Human Wellbeing (Palgrave Macmillan 2018) builds on a previous monograph (Palgrave Macmillan 2012) on International Migration, Development and Human Wellbeing and Development that drew on ESRC funded work in this area. I am currently drafting a third monograph for Palgrave Macmillan on Masculinities, Migration and Inter-Generational Relations.

    In addition, I am currently co-investigator on a British Academy Funded Project (with Eva Lloyd, PI) investigating early child education strategies for achieving equitable early childcare education access for Lebanese children and Syrian child refugees and realizing Sustainable Development Goal 4.2. Early Childhood Education.


    Research

    Publications currently in preparation:
    Wright, K. ‘Masculinities, Migration and Inter-Generational Relations’. (Book contracted by Palgrave Macmillan).

    Books
    Wright, K. (2018) Gender, Migration, and the Intergenerational Transfer of Human Wellbeing (Palgrave MacMillan).
    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

    2019-2021: British Academy Co-Investigator (with Eva Lloyd -PI) Towards early childhood education by 2030 for all children in Lebanon: Exploring strategies for achieving equitable early childcare education access for Lebanese children and Syrian child refugees and realizing Sustainable Development Goal 4.2. Early Childhood Education. £204K

    2012-2013: I developed 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 Gender, Migration and the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Wellbeing. 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.

    2008-9: ESRC Research-based consultancy ‘Enhancing Research Influence of the ESRC-DFID funding stream’. £40K

    2005-7: ESRC Principal Investigator, ‘Conceptualising the Construction of Human Wellbeing across Spatial Boundaries: The case of Peruvian Migrants in London and Madrid’ £47K.
     
    2004-5: ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship.

    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.

    1998-2001: ESRC PhD Studentship
    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 welcome students seeking to pursue PhD supervision on the following subjects:

    Gender; Masculinities; Intersectionality.
    Transnational Migration
    Human wellbeing, Life Satisfaction and Quality of Life
    Life course and Intergenerational Relations
    Microfinance
    Sustainable Livelihoods



    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, 13 September, 2016)

    2. Wright, K. Convenor of an international workshop (with Professor Cathy McIlwaine, Queen Mary 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, 1 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, 15 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, 1 November, 2014.

    5. Wright, K. Panel member at ‘Making Latin Americans Visible in London public engagement symposium’. Queen Mary, University of London and Southwark Playhouse, 6 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, 3 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, 17 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, 3 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, 5 November 2010.

    10. Wright, K. Convenor of two panels on migration and the economic downturn. Development Studies Association Annual Conference, University of Ulster, 2-4 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, 27 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, 17 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, 4 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, 2-4 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, 26-28 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, 11-12 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, 11-12 December 2008.

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

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

    Interests

    Teaching

    Undergraduate Teaching
    1. Inequalities, Social Development and Livelihoods (BA in International Development and BA in International Development and NGO Management 2015-present, 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-present, 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 Management (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; Module Leader).

    Masters Teaching
    1. Programme Leader, PG Cert in NGO and Development Management via Distance Learning (2014-2018).
    2. Development Management in the International Context (MSc in NGO and Development Management 2009-2013 Co-tutor).
    3. Research Methods for the Social Sciences (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-present; Module Leader 2014).

    PhD Supervision
    2019-present: Director of studies, Michelle Harewood ‘Exploring narratives of power, rights and agency, the case of British Caribbean’s in the UK’.
    2019-present: Second supervisor, Danilo Di Emidio, ‘Academic achievement in UK Education policy and young people’s mental health: a school-based ethnography in London’. (UBEL Doctoral Training Partnership funded).
    2019: Director of studies, Rebekah Pink-Hayes ‘Applying Narrative Approaches to the Case of NGOs Working with People with Disabilities in Ghana’ (Deferred to 2020).

    Examining and Assessment
    1. External examiner, MSc Development Studies/Refugee Studies/Urbanisation and Development, London South Bank University (2015-present).
    2. External examiner, Department of Geography BSc (Hons) Geography/ International Relations and Global Development/Third World Development, University of Derby (2012 – 2016).
    3. External examiner, PhD Candidate Lorena Guzman Elizalde (Department of Geography, University of Sussex) whose PhD is entitled ‘Return to Mexico: Exploring the (Re)integration Experience’, 3rd May 2018.
    4. External examiner, PhD Candidate Suzanne Solley, Queen Mary's, University of London. 'Rewriting Widowhood: Intersectionality, Wellbeing and Agency amongst Widowed Women in Nepal', 21st July 2016.

    Teaching