Meet the Research Director 2018/19!

My name is Luca and I am super excited to be directing the Research Team this year. I have long been fascinated by the question of why some are countries are rich whilst others remain poor and, by extension, what we can do about it. It is why I chose to study Economics. Whilst you can learn a lot in the classroom, CDI allows you to tackle this question head-on and use your insights to help inform real-world projects. How do we best fight gender inequality? How do we assist communities without infringing their autonomy? What new technologies should we help implement in what local areas? These questions need answers!

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This past summer I worked on the Monitoring and Evaluation of the Entrepreneurship Project. Although often at times difficult, it was without a doubt one of the rarest and rewarding experiences I have ever had. I was given an astounding amount of responsibility shaping the project and talking to stakeholders. I had to rise to the many challenges NGOs face and was made to recognize and tackle many of my own preconceptions. With the help of my UK and Tanzanian colleagues, I grew tremendously because of it.

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One key thing I learned was that research is absolutely vital for development, especially the ideation stage. As Research Director I want to ensure that our projects are targeting the most pertinent problems, that our efforts are informed, and that our solutions are sustainable. That means thinking critically and creatively.

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To this end, research volunteers will be able to pursue their own areas of interest with great flexibility, looking to identify new project opportunities and publishing a peer-reviewed working paper by the end of their assignment. Although most research is done in Cambridge, volunteers can expect to collaborate with international organizations, leading development scholars, and our Tanzanian partners. This is a truly unique opportunity to get involved in and see your work directly feed back into real projects.

If you are interested in joining the Research Team, applications are open now!




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