Who We Are

Director – Professor David Hudson

David Hudson

David Hudson is the Professorial Research Fellow in Politics and Development at the University of Birmingham (UK). He has written widely on the politics of development, in particular on the role of coalitions, leadership and power in reform processes and how development actors can think and work politically; the drivers of global migration, finance and trade and how these processes shape national development; and how people in rich countries engage with global development issues, as part of the Gates Foundation’s Aid Attitudes Tracker. He has extensive fieldwork experience and loves nothing better than working with survey, network, and interview data. He is also actively involved with practitioners and policymakers, providing evaluations, design and policy advice, consultancy and training with donors and NGOs.

David has published in a range of journals, including the Journal of International Development, Political Studies, Contemporary Politics, and The International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning. He has also given evidence to the UK Parliament's International Development Committee.

Email: D.E.Hudson [at] bham.ac.uk

Deputy Director – Dr Claire Mcloughlin

Claire McloughlinClaire is a Lecturer in International Development at the University of Birmingham. Her research focuses on the political sociology of vital public service delivery in conflict-affected and divided societies. In particular, she is interested in the politics of distributive justice and procedural fairness in service delivery, and the historical processes that embed welfare provision in social contracts. She has published on how and when services become significant for processes of state (de-)legitimation. She has a particular interest in the role of higher education in state legitimation and nation-building. 

Email: C.Mcloughlin [at] bham.ac.uk


Senior Research Partner – Chris Roche

Chris RocheChris is Associate Professor and Chair in International Development at La Trobe University in Melbourne, where he is also Director of the Institute for Human Security and Social Change. He has over 25 years’ experience working for international NGOs as a project manager, evaluator, policy researcher and director. 

He is particularly interested in understanding how social change happens, who is involved, and how the effectiveness of attempts to promote change is understood and assessed. His research interests also include complexity, power and politics; leadership, networks and coalitions; the role of civil society and International NGOs;  and poverty, gender relations and inequality.


Communications Manager – Sarah O'Connor

Sarah O'ConnorSarah has more than 15 years' experience in international development knowledge management and communications. She previously worked for the Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, for an international NGO and for various publishing companies. Sarah joined DLP in 2013, and is based at the University of Birmingham.

Email: S.A.OConnor [at] bham.ac.uk


About DLP

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

Find out more


Two exciting job vacancies in the DLP team

Monday 12th November 2018

DLP is looking for a Program Manager and a Communications Manager to help lead a new three-year phase of research on leadership in global development.

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New article on how unfair service provision affects state legitimacy

Thursday 26th July 2018

Claire Mcloughlin's new open-access article in the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding draws on the case of higher education in Sri Lanka. It explores how unfair service provision can undermine state legitimacy in divided societies.

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