Researching the politics of development



Meet Anna Webster – New ESID Communications and Uptake Officer

photo130th October 2015

What’s your background?

I was born and brought up in Leeds and I did my degree in Media, Culture and Society at the University of Birmingham. I then moved to Liverpool and lived there for 14 years, working for a number of different NGOs, as a freelance journalist,  and doing a Masters in Sociology at Lancaster University.
My most recent job was for Refugee Action, managing communications for an assisted voluntary return service. This involved fascinating work with international partners in countries of return and I really appreciated the opportunity to visit partners and returnees in Zimbabwe, China and Brazil. Producing films about voluntary return sometimes involved hearing difficult experiences of returnees struggling to find employment and the stigma of returning to families with no resources. But I also heard from people who felt relieved and happy to be back in their country and to be reunited with their families. It was also inspiring to meet partner organisations, NGOs in 18 countries providing invaluable support to returnees with social and emotional life, education and employment.
After years of strenuous commuting around the North West, I was relieved to move to Manchester last year where I live with my partner and two-year-old son. In my rare spare time I enjoy singing in a choir, (sometimes!) going running, and countering that with cooking and eating nice food.

What does your role for ESID involve?

I am now really excited to be working for ESID, in a role which brings together my interests in academic research, international development and communications. I plan to work with our international partners to improve the reach and engagement of our communications through channels such as this website, blog and social media.
I’m also excited about the potential for the forthcoming synthesis workshop to begin clarifying the key findings of ESID’s research, and develop key messages and policy implications. I will then be working with the team to promote the uptake of these to a wide range of international audiences, including governments, donors and policy makers. Through identifying ways in which these audiences can advance more effective states and more inclusive development, ESID research has the potential to make a real difference to people’s lives.
It is a fantastic community of people at ESID and I’m really looking forward to meeting and working with you all. If you would like help with promoting the uptake of your research or are interested in writing a blog or article for ESID, please email us. Also don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @globaldevinst #Effectivestates