Research at the Department of International Development, Maynooth University

Our research is concerned with development challenges, processes and practices in a variety of local, community, national and international settings and contexts.

**Call for Papers**

We welcome submissions to the Research and Perspectives on Development Practice series of occasional papers.  It is a peer-reviewed series (ISSN: 2009-6976) published online in the MURAL (Maynooth University Research Archive Library).  We are continuously inviting submissions throughout the year. Should you wish to submit a paper, please get in touch with Tom Campbell, Managing Editor, at or review further details in the guidelines for new papers document, using the link below.

While we are interested in submissions related to any research relevant to development practice, in view of strategic themes currently a focus of this Department, we are particularly interested in papers regarding research related to the areas of:

  • Climate Action - Responses to Climate Change and Development Challenges
  • Development Education - Critical Global Activism and Engagement with International Development Policy.


Guidelines for Research and Perspectives on Development Practice papers
  Editorial Review Group

Our approach to Research is:

Inclusive - we recognise that knowledge creation can and should be a shared process that brings to the fore diverse perspectives that give voice to different experiences and realities.
Engaged – we place particular value on applied research that enables critical reflection on people’s lived experience of development challenges, processes and practices in the light of broader theoretical questions and debates.
Critical – we regard research as political and potentially transformative. In its potential to contribute to the realisation of justice, equality and human rights, we place emphasis on the kinds of research that raise critical questions about the realities we know and experience.

Our Contribution to Development Research

Our contribution to development research comes in many forms – through direct research by staff at the Department of International Development; through research projects undertaken by our students, often as part of their Masters Degree in International Development; and through on-going exchange and dialogue with practitioners, partners (in Ireland and overseas) and in other learning communities, particularly in the countries of the Global South. In addition, we often act as a convenor, bringing together individuals and groups to exchange experiences, knowledge and understandings, as a participant in research networks, and as disseminator of research and new ways of reflecting on development issues.

The Focus and Themes of Our Research and Publications

Staff (full-time and visiting) at the Department of International Development are engaged in research on a variety of different areas of development. These include development education, political ecology and discourses around climate change, migration, overseas volunteering, development representations and the security-development nexus.

Most Recent Staff Publications Include:

Campbell T. and Semplici G. (2023) The revival of the drylands: Re-learning resilience to climate change from pastoral livelihoods in East Africa. Climate and Development (TCLD), Taylor and Francis Online   

Dillon, E. (2022) 'Making Connections in Challenging Times-The Transformative Potential of Poetry for Critical Global Education'. Journal of Transformative Education, 

O'Keeffe, P. and Carron, D. (2022) 'Education Can't Wait for LGBTIQ Refugees? Exploring Inclusion and Access to Higher Education in Kakuma Refugee Camp' In: Migration, Displacement, and Higher Education: Now What?. United States : Palgrave MacMillan.

Doyle, K. (2022) EU Peacebuilding Missions: Developing Security in Post-conflict Nations. London: Palgrave.

O'Keeffe, P. (2022) 'Higher Education in Refugee Camps via Collaborative Blended Learning: The Impact and Benefits for Refugees and their Student Tutors' In: Teaching Refugees. New York : Springer.

Campbell, T. (2022) Climate Change Policy Narratives and Pastoralism in Ethiopia: New Concerns, Old Arguments?. Nomadic Peoples, 26 (1):106-133

Rooney, N. & Comhlámh (2022) "Struggle as Acts of Citizenship", Comhlámh First Wednesdays, 5 October 2022, [Webinar]. 

Rooney, N. & Kharki, N.L. (2022) "From ‘Results Based’ to ‘Adaptive’ Approaches… Reflections on experience, challenges and opportunities", Research Engagement and Practice Seminar (REAPS) Series, 13 April 2022 [Seminar]. 

Campbell, T. (2022) "Climate change policy processes and pastoralism in the Horn of Africa: Old wine in new bottles?", PASTRES, March 11 2022 [Blog]. 

Reilly, P. (2022). Reflections on a Journey  (Kimmage - Ireland)  pp.118-121  in Timmel, Sally and Rachel Stewart (eds)  Building a Movement: 50th Anniversary Training for Transformation  Cape Town:  TFT in Practice NPC - Training for Transformation

O’Keeffe, P. and Lovey, T. (2022) Meaningful higher education in Kakuma refugee camp: A case study of why context and contextualization matter. Prospects. ISSN 0033-1538

Reilly, P. and Liddy, M. (2021) Looking back and looking forward: Conversations on Paulo Freire’s Influence on Global Development Practice. In: Papers from a Conference to Mark the Centenary of the Birth of Paulo Freire (1921-1997), October 28, 2021, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland.

Barrie, I., Campbell, T., Dillon, E., Jones, J., Kamara, J., Marren, P., Reilly, P., Rooney, N., Sesay, M., Turay, J. (2021) ‘Teaching and Research in Development Studies in the Light of COVID’. Maynooth University Department of International Development and University of Makeni Department of Development Studies, Webinar 

Campbell, T. (2021) 'Climate Change Policy Narratives and Pastoralist Predicaments in the Horn of Africa: Insights from Ethiopia and Kenya'  Joint XVIV International Grasslands and XI International Rangelands Congress. Microsoft Word - IGC-IRC-Paper (T. Campbell).docx ( 

Doyle,K. and Desta,T (2021) 'Analysis of CSDP Strategic Communications'. Journal of Politics and Law, 14 (No 2):56-73.

Campbell, T. (2021) Climate Change Policy Narratives and Pastoralism in the Horn of Africa: New Concerns, Old Arguments?. PhD Thesis. Dublin City University. Climate change policy narratives and pastoralism in the Horn of Africa: new concerns, old arguments? - DORAS ( 

Dillon, E (2021) Dillon, Eilish (2021) ‘Shifting the Lens on Ethical Communications in Global Development: A Focus on NGDOs in Ireland’, Project Report. Maynooth University, Maynooth.  

Dillon, E (2021) 'Why Opposites Don't Always Attract: Reflections on Binaries and Their Implications for Decolonising Development Communications and Education', Policy and Practice: A Development Education Review, Vol. 33, Autumn, pp.73 - 89. 

Dillon, E (2021) ‘Reflections on Feminism for International Women’s Day 2021’, Department of International Development Blog, 

Dillon, E (2020) ‘How Can Poetry Connect Us’? Bridge 47 Podcast, 

Dillon, E (2020) ‘Some Reflections on Learning at the end of this COVID Year’, Department of International Development Blog, 

Dillon, E (2020) 'Re-thinking International Development Communications', Department of International Development Blog - 

Dillon, E (2019) 'Connecting the Personal and the Political: Feminist Perspectives on Development Education', Policy and Practice: A Development Education Review, Vol. 29, Autumn, pp. 11-30.  

Dillon, E (2019) ‘Why Words Matter. Let’s Think About the Words We Use in Development Speak’, Department of International Development Blog, 
Dillon, E (2018) 'How Critical is the Global? Discursive Shifts in Development Education in Ireland', International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning, Vol.10, No.2, pp. 163 - 176   

Rooney, N (2021) ‘A global moral crossroad…’, Department of International Development Blog,  

Rooney, N & Comhlámh (2021) ‘Just Health: Challenges and hope for real solidarity one year into a global pandemic’, Comhlámh First Wednesdays Webinar  

Rooney, N & Comhlámh (2021) ‘Ireland, Palestine and the UN Security Council’. Comhlámh First Wednesdays Webinar  

Rooney, N (2019) ‘Generation Global Citizen’, Department of International Development Blog,  

Byrne, P. (2018) Financial Management. In: Heintze, H-J and Thielborger, P. (eds) International Humanitarian Action, Springer.

Dillon, E. (2018) Critical History Matters: Understanding Development Education in Ireland Today through the Lens of the Past, Policy & Practice: A Development Education Review, Vol. 27, Autumn, pp. 14-36.

Dillon, E. (2018) How Critical is the Global? Discursive Shifts in Development Education in Ireland, International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning, Vol.10, No.2, pp.163 – 176. Online:

McConnon, E. (2018) Risk and the security-development next: The Policies of the US, the UK and Canada. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Dillon, E. (2017) How Critical is Talk? Discourses of Development Education among Facilitators in Ireland, Doctoral Thesis, Department of Adult and Community Education, Maynooth University.
Liddy, M. and O’Flaherty, J. (2017) The Impact of Development Education and Education for Sustainable Development Interventions: A Synthesis of the Research, Environmental Education Research
Liddy, M., O’Flaherty, J. and McCormack, O., (2017) The teachers put effort into teaching us about life, and what’s right and what’s wrong: Values and moral education in publicly managed schools in Ireland, Journal of Beliefs and Values, Online:  
Reilly, P. (2017) Capacity Building through Education Provision: A review of the North-South collaborative programmes of MS-TCDC and Kimmage DSC between 1994 and 2014. Research and Perspectives on Development Practice (Discussion Paper). Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Kimmage Manor, Whitehall Road, Dublin 12, Ireland.
Cenker, M., Hadjivasiliou, L., Marren, P. and Rooney, N. (2016) Development Education in Theory and Practice: An Educator’s Resource

Dillon, E. (2016) Development Education in Third Level Education. In: Chenker, M., Hadjivasiliou, L., Marren, P., and Rooney, N., (eds) Development Education in Theory and Practice: An Educator’s Resource.
Dillon, E. (2015) What Questions are We Asking? Challenges for Development Education from a Discourse Analysis of National Surveys on Attitudes to Development in Ireland, Policy & Practice: A Development Education Review, Vol. 20, Spring, pp. 37-62.
Liddy, M.  (2015) The neglect of politics and power analysis in development education. In:  Reynolds, R. (ed) Contesting and Constructing International Perspectives on Global Education, Sense Publishers, Netherlands.
Marren, P. (2015) Overseas Development Aid: Is it Working? In: McCann, G. and McCloskey, S. (eds) From the Local to the Global: Key Issues in Development Studies, Third Edition, Pluto Press, London.

Support for Postgraduate Research:

When it comes to support for postgraduate research, our focus is on supporting students to critically reflect on development in their own lived context. This allows for a wide range of research types and themes from a variety of countries and contexts. In recent years, we have supported Masters’ level research on areas such as agriculture, fair trade, democratic governance, gender based violence, poverty reduction, migration and domestic work. We have recently published papers arising from students’ research, as part of our occasional papers series Research and Perspectives on Development Practice, which can be accessed at the Maynooth University e-prints library