Skip to main content

Leave no one behind? Addressing linguistic exclusion in international development work

Monday 26 June 2023, 16:00-17:30 BST
University of Leeds (room TBC)

-- this seminar has been called off due to ongoing industrial action --

Please join us on Monday 26th June 16:00-17:30 (BST) for a research seminar with Dr Angela Crack, University of Portsmouth & Dr Michael Chasukwa, University of Malawi who will speak about:

“Leave no one behind? Addressing linguistic exclusion in international development work”

The research seminar is hosted by the Leeds University Centre for African Studies and the The Centre for Global Development and is a hybrid event, meaning people can attend in person or join online (link to follow).  


The UN Secretary-General’s report, Our Common Agenda, reiterates the importance of the commitment of the Sustainable Development Goals to ‘leave no one behind’. However, the deleterious impacts of linguistic exclusion on international development work is barely considered by policy-makers and NGO practitioners, let alone satisfactorily addressed (Footitt et al 2020, Tesseur 2022). This paper gives an overview of a multidisciplinary research endeavour between IR/public administration and language/translation scholars to provide a local solution to this global problem. It describes how a Chichewa translation glossary of international development terminology was co-produced with communities in Malawi through participatory workshops, with the aim of facilitating communication between development stakeholders. It explains our achievements in enhancing the impact of this project by helping practitioners to run their own workshops in different languages. We argue that translation can be conceptualised as an anti-racist practice, and we reflect on lessons learned for academics and practitioners with similar normative and methodological concerns


Dr Angela Crack is the Interim Associate Dean for Research at the University of Portsmouth. Her research and teaching interests include NGO accountability, NGO-community relationships, the role of language and translation in NGO development work, civil society space, and transnational advocacy networks. She has published widely in a variety of formats on these issues, including monographs, journal articles and commissioned policy papers and her work can be accessed here.


Dr Michael Chasukwa is a Senior Lecturer & Head of Department at the University of Malawi. His research and teaching interests include local governance, decentralization, local government, politics of development, political economy, African politics, and agriculture policies in the con­text of development. Dr Chasukwa was a LUCAS/LAHRI Research Fellow in 2021.