Portsmouth Business School

Development Studies Group

The Development Studies Group (DSG) brings together multidisciplinary expertise on development-related themes from across the fields of Anthropology, Computing, Economics, Engineering, Environmental Research, Geography, Marketing, Medicine, Operations Research, Political Science and Sociology. Underpinning our work is a commitment to gender and ethnic equality, a desire to help reduce poverty and inequality, a belief in sustainable growth and the application of appropriate technologies, and a conviction that action needs to be taken to shield the most vulnerable from the devastation caused by disasters and civil turmoil.

The DSG is structured around four research pillars:

  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Just Society
  • Water and Aquatic Resources
  • Infrastructure and Technology

Each pillar groups a team of researchers with international recognition who are at the cutting-edge of their respective disciplines. The diversity of experience and expertise found within the four pillars enables our researchers to develop original ideas, to tackle development-related problems through different lenses, and to offer a wide area of competencies to development agencies.

Our researchers collaborate on a scientific level with researchers across the six continents, and are engaged in fieldwork in a number of developing countries around the world.  The DSG hosts a vibrant multidisciplinary research seminar series.

Health and Wellbeing

The remit of this pillar is wide, covering concerns about infant and maternal mortality and the combatting of certain diseases (as espoused by the MDGs), it also encompasses research into fertility, neglected tropical/non-communicable diseases, health-related behaviours, harmful cultural practices and even health advertising.

The pillar will look at gathering and pooling  demographic data on a range of health issues but will also consider qualitatively the impacts they have for people’s lives and in particular the intersections between culture, religion and gender for people’s health well-being.   Find out more


Just Society

The Just Society

The Just Society pillar covers a variety of themes related to trade, micro-finance and governance in developing countries. Researchers within this pillar are actively engaged in investigating the development and evolution of social, economic and political institutions in the global South.

Research interests encompass concepts such as: state power and state building, democratization, the role of culture in these processes, self-determination and sovereignty, and the role of the colonial heritage. An important part of this pillar is dedicated to studying the role and efficiency of NGOs and development aid agencies in such contexts.   Find out more


Water and Aquatic Resources

Water and Aquatic Resources

This Pillar brings together economists, scientists, engineers and geographers to seek holistic solutions to Water and Aquatic Resource challenges, recognising the interdependence of technology, environmental and social sciences.

Access to safe water and sanitation are major targets of the Millennium Development Goals, highlighting the key role of water in sustainable human development, social justice and gender equality.  Aquatic resources provide vital protein in low income communities, but also valuable ecosystem services to maintain agriculture, fisheries and health.  Find out more


Infrastructure and Technology

Infrastructure and Techology

This pillar covers three key topic areas in relation to infrastructure and technology and the significance of both natural and human infrastructures in enhancing development capacities and capabilities.

The topics areas cover key issues identified by RCUK by focusing on the services provided by both humanly produced and natural resources as well as the development of sustainable, resilient and local solutions to living in uncertain and hazardous environments.  Find out more