Discover our practice engagements in the UK from 2012 to 2018.
'Social Development in Practice' is a practice-based module at the heart of the Social Development Practice MSc. In this module, our students explore, through practice, the ways in which a socially sensitive approach can be integrated into development interventions in both Global South and Global North countries.
It is important to us on the Social Development Practice MSc that we recognise diversity and individuals' rights and freedoms, while also building people’s capacities to engage in processes of meaningful change alongside other societal actors. Therefore, from 2012 to 2018, we engaged our Social Development Practice MSc students with local communities in the UK and explored policy and planning processes to ensure more equitable and transformative development outcomes.
The focus of our UK practice engagements has been on centring an 'action-learning' approach whereby our students engaged with real London-based communities to understand their real challenges, where they examined the organisational and institutional processes which act as opportunities for achieving socially just development. In collaborative dialogue with communities, our students consolidated the theoretical concepts they learnt through their core and optional modules on the Social Development Practice MSc, and responded to the needs, interests and apsirations of diverse and marginalised social groups.
2019 - University-led community partnerships and social justice: Exploring potentials in UCL Bloomsbury and Stratford
Situated within the university in which we work (UCL), this report aims to contribute to the discussion on the role of universities in partnering with community organisations in the advancement towards socially just cities. In partnership with UCL Engagement, the public engagement unit of UCL Culture, our research explored four different ‘practices’ of university-community partnerships which are evidenced within UCL. These included:
- Skills sharing and co-production
- Engaged teaching and scholarship
- Volunteering, and
- UCL EAST Neighbourhood Engagement.
Rather than telling one consolidated story, we presented four chapters within our report, with each offering different reflections on the nature of community-university partnerships to reveal critical lessons, and offering clear guidance on how the barriers and opportunities for the different partnerships work towards supporting socially just ambitions.
- Discover the outputs of our 2019 project
2018 - Our homes, our schools: How housing affects young people's learning capabilities
Building on action-research in 2017, this project emerged from the partnership with Citizens UK and our collaboration with three London schools (the Willow Primary, St. Ignatius Primary and City and Islington College) and focused on deepening young people's reflections around housing and education.
Our resulting report unfolded an analysis of how London's worsening housing crisis is shaping the educational capabilities and aspirations of young pupils, but also how in turn they are tacking action to own their stories and call for reform.
- Discover the outputs of our 2018 project
2017 - Housing and Learning: Views from young Citizens in London, UK
Based on the joint partnership between our staff and students of the Social Development Practice MSc with Citizens UK, students from Middlesex University, and teachers and students from 10 London Schools, this action-learning project investigated the impacts of London’s housing crisis on educational learning of pupils. Together, we drew lessons for all stakeholders involved and summarised this within our report.
- Discover the outputs of our 2017 project
2016 - Campaigning through Images: Exploring housing rights in north London
As part of our ongoing collaboration with Citizens UK, in our 2015-16 Social Development Practice MSc students and staff partnered with PhotoVoice, a non-profit organisation which promotes the ethical use of photography for positive social change. Together, we utilised participatory photography as a complementary means for understanding the housing experiences of distinct groups of residents in north London. With a view to appreciating the power relations at play that determine unaffordability and insecurity of housing and therefore inhibited ability to access full citizenship rights, we produced a report that was suited within in the context of Citizens UK’s housing campaign targeting the 2016 mayoral election.
- Discover the outputs of our 2016 project
2015 - Reclaiming regeneration: Negotiating a Citizens Charter for Euston area
The Euston area of London is centrally located and increasingly attractive for redevelopment purposes. In response, our Social Development Practice MSc students and staff collaborated with Camden Citizens and with residents of the Euston area to create a space for participatory development - where residents could redefine what regeneration meant to and for them.
- Discover the outputs of our 2015 project
2014 - Regeneration aspirations for Euston: Local perspectives on the High Speed Two rail link
Following a three-month research project, our Social Development Practice MSc students produced a report focused on the regeneration aspirations of local residents, workers and business owners in the Somers Town and Regents Park wards of Camden. The resulting report is set against the backdrop of the proposed construction of the £50 billion high-speed two (HS2) rail link.
- Discover the outputs of our 2014 project
2013 - Regeneration and wellbeing in east London: Stories from Carpenters Estate
- Discover the outputs of our 2013 project
2012 - The Newham experience
As part of the research study commissioned by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee of Newham Borough Council, our Social Development Practice MSc students explored the hurdles and constraints faced by high school pupils in getting to and from school when using the local bus network. Through qualitative analysis, our study aimed to explore those social aspects of mobility that are often overlooked but may nevertheless lead to impaired access to educational opportunities.