From the Local to the Global
Submitting InstitutionSt Mary's University College, Belfast
Unit of AssessmentPolitics and International Studies
Summary Impact TypeSocietal
Research Subject Area(s)
Studies In Human Society: Policy and Administration, Sociology
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies
Summary of the impact
This case study is based on a project which guides policy makers and
non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in international development policy.
`From the Local to the Global' is a project between university academics
in the UK and Ireland, academics in the Global South and NGOs. The
initiative included the publication of an edited collection of articles on
international development in 2009; the establishment of the Policy and
Practice journal; the creation of a network of organisations; the
integration of the project into a European Union Lifelong Learning project
coordinated by the Polska Akcja Humanitarna (PAH) in Warsaw; a
book adapted and translated into Slovakian, Polish and Greek; and a
lecture tour to 14 universities across Eastern Europe.
The research which comprises this case study was a part of an ongoing
dialogue since the early 2000s between academics in the field of
international development and practitioners who were working in the field
in development contexts. The focus of the research is a series of
commissioned articles on various development issues. All the research was
carried out in the summer of 2009; updates and revisions from subsequent
other language issues were carried out throughout 2010, until December
2011. The book was published as From the Local to the Global in
August 2009 and was the product of continuous dialogue between the
participants since 2003.
The underpinning research for the case study was carried out through a
series of projects funded by the British government's Department for
International Development (DfID), the British Council, the Irish
government's Irish Aid Programme and the European Union's Lifelong
The DfID-funded Global Dimension in Education Project (2005-2008)
had the objective of building global issues into the working life of St
Mary's and led to the establishment of the Global Dimension Resource
Centre. The creation of the centre resulted in ongoing research between
the academics involved and established a working partnership with the
Centre for Global Education in Belfast.
The British Council funded the Zambia — Northern Ireland Knowledge
Transfer Project (2009-2011). The objective of this project was to
create links and working relationships between academics at St Mary's, the
University of Zambia and various NGOs in sub-Saharan Africa. These links
helped to establish a research network between the two universities.
Irish Aid funded the Policy and Practice Project (2008-ongoing).
The objective of this project was to establish a network of organisations
and individuals who could contribute to the ongoing dialogue around the
study of international development within Irish society. This project was
managed by the Centre for Global Development with St Mary's as a partner.
It led to the creation of the Policy and Practice journal, a
support network for those working in this field and regular conferences
and training sessions.
The European Union's Lifelong Learning Programme funded the Knowledge
Makes Change (KMC) Project managed by Polska Akcja Humanitarna
(PAH) in Warsaw. This initiative grouped together organisations across
Europe who were actively promoting dialogue between academics and
development organisations. The partnership included PAH (Warsaw), Pontis
(Bratislava), NGO Support Centre (Nicosia), World Development Research
Group (Warsaw), La Monde Diplomatique (Paris), and Universite
Libre de Bruxelles (Brussels).
The overall coordinators of the initiative have been Gerard McCann,
Senior Lecturer at St Mary's University College Belfast and Stephen
McCloskey, director of the Centre for Global Education, Belfast. Dr McCann
has been working on the re-editing and revising of other language editions
and is the principal lecturer on the lecture tours.
References to the research
Key research outputs all of which can be supplied by the HEI on request:
McCann, G. and McCloskey, S. (Eds.), Od Lokálneho ku Globálnemu:
Kl'účové Problémy Rozvojových Štúdií, (2011). Co-edited book, Pontis,
Bratislava, pp226. IBSN: 978-80-968229-3-4.
McCann, G. and McCloskey, S. (Eds.), Από το τοπικό στο παγκόσμιο Κεντρικά
ζητήματα της ανάπτυξης στο σύγχρονο κόσμο, (2010). Co-edited book, NGO
Support Centre, Nicosia, Cyprus, pp369. IBSN: 978-9963-9933-1-4.
McCann, G., 'Moralna ekonomia w dobie kryzysu', (2011). In ZNAK, Number
669, an article translated for ZNAK Miesiecznik. An academic
journal based in Kracow. ISBN: 0044-488X.
McCann, G. and McCloskey, S. (Eds.), Lokalnie-Globalnie: Kluczowe
zagadnienia studów nad rozwojem, (2010). Co-edited book, PAH,
Warsaw, pp284. ISBN: 978-83-929513-5-3.
McCann, G and Matenga, C. (Eds.), Issues in Economic Development in
Sub-Saharan Africa, (2011). Co-edited book, (University of Zambia)
ZAM, Lusaka, pp186. ISBN: 987-0-9553472-10.
McCann, G. and McCloskey, S. (Eds.), From the Local to the Global,
(2009). Co-edited book, Pluto Press, London and New York, pp308. ISBN:
Details of the impact
The contribution of this piece of research had a significant
international impact in that it contributed to the discourse in Higher
Education and NGOs on the process of globalisation and the study of
international development across a global audience — with sales of the
initial book in India, Africa, the Australasia, Europe and the USA,
followed by translations of and publicity for the revised and updated
versions tailored for audiences in Eastern and Southern Europe. The
impact, underpinned by excellent research, has been widespread and
pervasive in regards to the promotion of the discipline of International
The research has brought the issues pertinent to development onto a
broader stage and has given it international recognition. The Centre for
Global Education and the Knowledge Makes Change projects came to utilise
the publications as the benchmark in the field. This had an impact not
only at international university departmental level, but also across the
development NGO sector. The outworking of the initiative also led to
Gerard McCann being commissioned to work as an adviser on the English
language version of the guidelines for members of the Polish Parliament
and Senators going into the Polish Presidency of the European Union
Council in July 2011. The European Union's Development Cooperation
Policy (Polish Language author Pawel Baginski, Global Development
Research Group; Warsaw, 2011, ISBN 978-83-929513-8-4, pp.1-218) was
circulated to all those working with the Council and European Parliament
committees on international cooperation. The contribution also led to a
broader exploration of key themes and debates in the field of
international development opening up discourse in universities working
with the material and the books. In April 2013, at St Mary's, some of the
participants collaborated to bring together representatives of the African
Diaspora in Ireland and African NGOs to conclude a consensus document on
`Peace in Africa' which was presented to the G8 Summit
The impact was multiple. The research made a distinct contribution to
impact by helping to bring together diverse interests working in the area
of international development and development education. This ensured a
praxical linkage between academics working in the central areas of
North-South economic, political and social interaction, development
practitioners working in the field of development or within development
NGOs and political decision makers needing information on key areas
relevant to North-South cooperation strategies. This research further
helped to generate dialogue.
The series of initiatives also assisted in the enhancement of development
studies departments in various countries. In the University of Zambia the
English language version was used as a textbook for students of
development training going into the career of NGO management. In Trnava
University the Slovakian version and the links were utilised to justify
the establishment of a distinct Development Studies department. In Warsaw,
PAH adapted the research to inform policy makers of the importance of
practical intervention in cooperation strategies. In Northern Ireland the
original research is used as a textbook on modules in Queen's University
Belfast, the University of Ulster and St Mary's University College
Belfast. All the lecturers concerned have contributed to the text and work
together to develop the themes. The lecture tours, promoting the research
in different languages, have covered six countries and sixteen
universities in total. These were:
- St Mary's University College Belfast, UK
- Limerick University, Republic of Ireland
- Cork University, Republic of Ireland
- Warsaw School of Economics, Poland
- Bratislava Economics University, Slovakia
- Copernicus University, Poland
- Torun University, Poland
- Poznan School of Economics, Poland
- Trnava University, Slovakia
- Nitra University, Slovakia
- University of Banska, Slovakia
- Comenius University, Slovakia
- European University, Cyprus
- Cyprus University, Cyprus
- Nicosia University, Cyprus
- University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia
The outworking of the research initiative has been outstanding in terms
of the objectives of the original project, which were regional, in that
the adaptation and proliferation of the constituent ideas of the project
have gone global.
The significance of the research and the difference it has made to the
beneficiaries can be seen from
- The extent to which the research has been picked up and used on a
- The way in which it has contributed to and consolidated the discourse
around international development studies.
- The manner in which the research is accepted within the field as of
global significance and the research of choice by development studies
departments in a number of countries.
- The way in which issues were profiled in an assertive manner with
reference to the interface between academic reflection and development
practice — this has informed the study of the issues covered in the
- The manner in which the authors and editors were permitted to take on
roles as advisors in their respective fields to strategies and policies
relevant to international development.
- The extent to which the discourse implicit to the research has been
brought to different audiences on a global plane.
Sources to corroborate the impact
Centre for Global Education Northern Ireland, Director, Stephen McCloskey
Pontis Foundation, Bratislava, Project Coordinator, Michal Cenker www.pontisfoundation.sk
Development Studies Department, University of Zambia, Chrispin M.
Matenga. www.unza.zm email@example.com
NGO Support Centre, Cyprus, Project Coordinator, Louiza Hadjivasiliou