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Development Studies

Development Studies

What is Development Studies?

Areas of study concerned with development throughout the world, with a particular focus on developing nations, fall under the umbrella term development studies. Development studies aims to tackle some of the challenges facing the world and develop strategies to help alleviate poverty and inequality. It is an important area of study because it looks at inequality in the world and tries to find solutions to improve the lives of citizens. Development studies encompasses many disciplines including political science, economics, sociology, psychology, communication, nutrition and health sciences, environmental science and climate, business, information technology, gender studies and education.

Development Studies Association Ireland (DSAI)

DSAI came into being as an independent national association representing development studies in Ireland in 2012. Its purpose is to establish a broad system of alliances across the development sector, to enhance the research capacity and capabilities of the sector. It aims to provide a space for research dissemination and high-quality debate on the key issues of the day in development studies and practice. DSA Ireland aspires to being a virtual one-stop-shop for Irish development studies bringing academics and practitioners together to develop strategies that ensure a fair and equitable world for all. DSAI receives support from both Irish Aid and the Department of Foreign Affairs.  

DSAI’s vision: the creation of a vibrant and innovative development studies community, which will focus on cutting edge research, led by Irish research institutions, contributing to the reduction of poverty, inequality and vulnerability in the world.

While still a relatively young organisation, DSAI plans to further develop its capacities and work programmes, based on individual, institutional and organisational membership. Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT), now the Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest (TUS) became an institutional member in January 2021.

For more information about DSAI visit

DSAI – TUS (Mid-West) Branch

DSAI institutional membership must be more than a collection of individual researchers, to serve the needs of practitioners there must be a move away from an individual approach to a collaborative institutional approach by researchers. In this way a closer alignment between research themes and Irish Aid’s strategic objectives could be achieved, resulting in closer links between researchers and the overseas operations of agencies.

With this aim in mind, the DSAI – TUS (Mid-West) Branch was established. Initially, the branch aims to spread awareness, across the TUS community, of the existence of DSAI, but long term its key aim is to establish a clear understanding of the purpose of institutional membership, how it will operate to ensure effective membership and how it will work alongside other TUS research structures.

We are delighted to announce that one of our members, Dr Catherine Corcoran, was recently elected to the Steering Committee of DSAI.

View list of members

Other useful links
  • Irish Aid Development Education Strategy 2017 - 2023
  • STAND global issues - STAND - Visit for details of the upcoming Spring Global Issues course offered by STAND. This is the perfect first step for any student interested in developing their understanding of international development and global justice issues and it’s a great way to get connected with STAND and to take action. 
    It’s also an opportunity for students to develop professionally - upon completion of the course, participants receive a Certificate of Completion which can be linked to their CV and LinkedIn profiles. 


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