UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Nai Lee Kalema on Decolonising Public Administration

24 January 2024, 12:00 pm–1:30 pm

Nai Lee Kalema on decolonising public administration

A talk at UCL IIPP by Nai Lee Kalema

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

All | UCL students






IIPP Comms

This event is open to IIPP's students and faculty only

Hosted at UCL IIPP on Wednesday 24th January 2024 from 12:00 - 13:30 (GMT) for a talk by Nai Lee Kalema.

As part of the Term 2 Creative Bureaucracy Brown Bag lecture series, Nai Lee Kalema facilitated an interactive workshop titled “Decolonising Public Administration”, an enrichment event organised as part of an IIPP MPA module led by Prof Rainer Kattel.

This interactive workshop explored decolonising approaches in the context of public administration, delving into the nuanced implications for the discourse, curriculum development, and real-world applications. The presenter briefly provided an overview of coloniality and its impact on public administration scholarship and practice, delving into several practical examples. Most attendees either ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ that coloniality in their day-to-day life relates to public administration and discussed its material implications through their experiences.

Next, the workshop transitioned into a dynamic learning lab, facilitating a deep dialogue and interactive exchange among participants, reflecting on their diverse experiences and insights from various contexts within public administration and policy realms. Guided by presenter-led examples and participant contributions, the group collectively reflected on what does or should characterise a decolonising agenda in public administration practice, scholarship, and pedagogy, citing several examples. Finally, this section culminated with an open debate about what a decolonising agenda in public administration should mean for people, public value, and the future.

This brown bag lecture is part of Creative Bureaucracy brown bags on Wednesdays throughout Term 2.
The talk is being organised as an enrichment event as part of an IIPP MPA module led by Prof Rainer Kattel. Students who would like to be notified of other events in the future can sign up by emailing IIPPComms@ucl.ac.uk.

Read more about Creative Bureaucracy brown bag lectures here

About the Speaker

Nai Lee Kalema

PhD Student at UCL Institute for Innovation for Public Purpose (IIPP)

Nai Lee Kalema
Nai Lee Kalema is a PhD student in Innovation and Public Policy at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (UCL IIPP). Nai’s research is supervised by Professor Rainer Kattel, Professor of Innovation and Public Governance, and Dr Kate Roll, Associate Professor in Innovation, Development and Purpose. At UCL IIPP, Nai serves as a PGTA for the UCL IIPP’s Digital Transformation module led by Dave Eaves, Associate Professor in Digital Government, and Mike Bracken, Visiting Professor of Practice and founding executive director of the UK Government Digital Service (GDS).

Priorly, Nai was a PGTA for the UCL IIPP’s Transformation by Design module led by Rowen Conway, Visiting Professor of Strategic Design, and Dan Hill, Professor of Design and Director of Strategic Design for Vinnova (The Swedish Government’s innovation and research agency) (fmr). Finally, Nai served as an RA for the UCL Urban Lab with Ben Campkin, Professor of Urbanism and Urban History.

Nai gained meaningful experience at Harvard Medical School (HMS), MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and the National Innovation Service (NIS). Her work experience has centred on cultivating global innovation networks, public-sector innovation, and public-sector design. Also, Nai was a co-instructor for the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine (DGHSM) at Harvard Medical School (HMS). Nai also volunteers for Public Health Pathways, a UK public health charity that uses co-design, co-learning, and community-led interventions to promote health equity.

Nai holds a Masters concentrating in International Relations and a Postgraduate Certificate in Social Justice from Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Arts from George Washington University. Also, Nai performed university coursework at Howard University and graduate coursework at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. More about Nai Lee Kalema