James Smith

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‘To intervene effectively and appropriately in complex systems and situations we need data – for insight and analysis; but above all we need to understand the contexts in which it was collected, conveyed and constructed.’ 

James Smith is the Vice Principal International at the University of Edinburgh and has held a personal chair of African and Development Studies since 2010. He holds visiting professorships in Development Policy and Practice at the Open University and in the Department of Geography, Environmental Management and Energy Studies at the University of Johannesburg.

 James has published widely on the relationship between scientific research, technological innovation and international development. Much of my work has focused on sub-Saharan Africa (especially South Africa and Eastern Africa), but he has also conducted research in parts of South Asia and the Andes of South America. He has a European Research Council Advanced Investigator Grant for a project entitled INZI (Investigating Networks of Zoonosis Innovation). This project will examine the evolution of medical and veterinary research surrounding trypanosomiasis across Africa. He is also involved in several large international projects, notably the DfID PISCES project, which is examining bioenergy security in East Africa and South Africa, and the ESRC Innogen Centre, which is exploring the social, political and economic implications of the new life sciences. Other recent projects have included a project funded by the Microsoft Foundation to look at mobile banking in Kenya, and a systematic review, commissioned by DfID, examining the evidence of the impact of aid on maternal and reproductive health.

#SouthAfrica #innovation #qualitative #quantitative #interdisciplinary