Department of International Development, Maynooth Research Week Seminar ‘Recent Research on International Development Practice’

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 - 14:00 to 15:30

This Seminar will explore research being undertaken at the Department of International Development.

Participants will be invited to critically reflect on each topic with reference to its relevance for international development thinking and practice today.  Open to all.


  • Dr. Eilish Dillon, Head of Department at Maynooth University, Department of International Development – Supporting Ethical Communications among NGDOs in Ire- land – Barriers and Opportunities. 
  • Patrick Ekeson, Member of the St. Patrick’s Missionary Society (Kiltegan Fathers) and MA in International Development Student - The role of Grassroots Organisations in pro- moting the 2030 Agenda Goal 16 and Sustainable Local Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Bauchi State, Nigeria. 
  • Dr. Sinéad McGrath, Module Lecturer at Maynooth University, Department of International Development – The Role of International Migrant Organisations with Internally Displaced Women in the Context of Post-Conflict Transitional Justice in Colombia. 


  • Dr. Eilish Dillon will explore the question: ‘What are the barriers and opportunities for sup- porting ethical communications among non-governmental development organisations (NGDOs) in Ireland today?’ Despite decades of criticism about the ways in which issues, peoples and places have been represented in global development (GD) communications, problems remain with regard to the portrayal by NGDOs of colonial stereotypes, ‘us’ and ‘them’ binary relationships and identities, and their use of images of people in the ‘global South’ as undignified victims who are objects of aid. Why do such representations persist? Are efforts to support ethical communications, for example through the Dóchas Code of Conduct on Images and Messages working? Eilish will address these issues with reference to her recent IRC-funded ‘New Foundations’ research on ethical communications among NGDOs in Ireland, which was conducted in association with Dóchas.
  • Patrick Esekon will discuss his recently-completed Masters research in International Devel- opment on the role of grassroots organisations like Sharing Education and Learning for Life (SELL) Foundation in promoting the 2030 Agenda Goal 16 and sustainable local peacebuild- ing in post-conflict Bauchi State, Nigeria. With ongoing challenges in terms of gender equal- ity, climate change, conflict, insecurity, weak institutions, and marginalisation and exclu- sion, the need for justice, peace and sustainable livelihoods is critical for ‘leaving no one behind’. Patrick draws on Paulo Freire’s dialogical-participatory approach to learning, find- ing that local stakeholders’ can make a valuable contribution to local peace. Respecting lo- cal cultures and belief in the power of local capacities, ideas and solutions, dialogue with all stakeholders in peacebuilding processes is critical for sustainable local peace. This is partic- ularly important in the context of poor governance, state ineffectiveness and lack of inclu- sivity in peacebuilding processes in the region.
  • Dr.  Sinéad  McGrath  will  discuss the  question: ‘Do  programmes run  by international migrant organisations provide effective remedies for internally displaced women in the context of post-conflict transitional justice?’ She will draw on her doctoral thesis on Colombia, which aims to join the dots between discussions of gender and displacement, displacement and transitional justice, the programmatic work of international organisations (IOs) in rela- tion to these issues, and the experience of women beneficiaries of these IO interventions. Rejecting prevailing discourses that position IDP women as victims who lack agency, the thesis whether IO programming provides effective platforms from which women can exer- cise their agency in transitional contexts. These questions are all explored in relation to the case study of Colombia – a country with one of the highest rates of conflict-related internal displacement in the world – and the interventions of the UNHCR and the IOM.

To participate in the Seminar, please send an email to: for the Teams event link. 

All are Welcome.