Global Development Institute staff and alumni recognised for their commitment to social responsibility
Our alumni were recognised for their working Nigeria and India while our researchers were commended for their innovative teaching.
We are delighted that staff and alumni from the Global Development Institute have been recognised at two University award ceremonies, the Volunteer of the Year Awards and Making a Difference Awards.
Rita Robert Otu graduated from GDI with an MSc in International Development (Economics and Management of Rural Development) in 2007. She was recognised at this year’s Volunteer of the Year Awards for her work to help fight hunger and empower local farmers, in particular women, in her home country Nigeria.
The Making a Difference Awards, saw GDI linked projects Highly Commended in two categories. The awards recognise the impact our staff, students, alumni, and external partners are having on the social wellbeing of our communities and wider society.
The Muungano-Community Savers-GDI Teaching Alliance were highly commended in the Outstanding teaching innovation in social responsibility category for ‘Decolonising development pedagogies while supporting inclusive development practice’. The project brings together GDI researchers, Nicola Banks, Diana Mitlin and Maria Rusca with Muungano wa Wanavijiji in Kenya, Shack/Slum Dwellers International and Community Savers in Manchester.
Our alumna Malavika Krishnan was high commended in the Outstanding social innovation and environmental impact category for ‘One thing that should never be taken away from you is your education!’
Volunteer of the Year Awards
Alumni winner Rita Robert Otu has been helping fight hunger and empower local farmers, in particular women, in her home country Nigeria since she graduated with an MSc in International Development (Economics and Management of Rural Development) in 2007.
Rita grew up in a community that suffered from poor nutrition, specifically a lack of vitamin A. UNICEF estimates that at least one in two children under 5 years old suffer from this ‘hidden hunger’ due to nutritional deficiencies in Nigeria.
But she has returned home an “assertive, pragmatic, go getter” to found Beau Haven Farms, a social enterprise that empowers communities to address malnutrition and lack of economic opportunity with environmentally sustainable farms.
Rita, a United Nations Empower Women Global Champion, has also led the initiative ‘Uforo Iban Uto Inwang (#She’s Empowered Through Agriculture) to enable 50,000 women, especially widows, to build their financial and entrepreneurial skills and self-confidence to start their own commercial cassava farms. And she has volunteered with HarvestPlus Nigeria, raising awareness of good nutrition and farming opportunities at an event attended by 5,000 Nigerians.
Making a Difference Awards
Outstanding teaching innovation in social responsibility
Muungano-Community Savers-GDI Teaching Alliance, Decolonising development pedagogies while supporting inclusive development practice
This project involved co-producing a series of teaching innovations to decolonise development studies teaching and give students first-hand insight into the strategies and practices of community activists fighting for more inclusive urban development in Manchester, Kenya and Uganda. It offers critical balance to traditional pedagogies that prioritise engagement with development theories and professional practice by bringing unheard voices into the classroom. These teaching innovations have simultaneously paved the way for the Global Development Institute to help facilitate and support the emergence of a new network of women’s savings groups across Manchester and Sheffield, thus strengthening global urban development practice.
Outstanding social innovation and environmental impact
Malavika Krishnan, One thing that should never be taken away from you is your education!
This project aimed to ensure that inequalities and the pandemic aren’t a reason for poor learning outcomes. It supported government school students who are discriminated against in schools and receive insufficient pedagogical attention, to ensure that the pandemic does not exacerbate these existing inequalities. As part of Chalo Padhe Online, this project supported 200 girls and students from lower-income families in Delhi with school supplies, smartphones, internet packages and specialised online learning programmes.