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The Listening Zones of NGOs: Languages and cultural knowledge in development programmes

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There will be a drinks reception after the seminar

This paper discusses the findings of a 3 year AHRC project, The Listening Zones of NGOs: languages and cultural knowledge in development programmes. The starting point for the research was the observation that ‘listening’ is key to the relationships which International Governmental Organisations (INGOs) seek to form with communitites across the world with whom they work. In order to investigate the contribution of languages and cultural knowledge to listening, the project worked with 4 UK-based ING Os (Christian Aid, OxfamGB, Save the Children UK, and Tearfund), and with NGOs and development practitioners in Kyrgyzstan, Malawi and Peru. The presentation will discuss the findings and recommendations from the project, and discuss their possible relevance to future research on listening.

Hilary Footitt is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies in the University of Reading, UK. She has written widely on languages in conflict and post-conflict situations, and was the Principal Investigator for the AHRC projects Languages at War, and the Listening Zones of NGOs.She is co-editor for the series Languages at War (Palgrave Macmillan), and for the forthcoming Handbook of Languages and Conflict.

This talk is part of the Second Language Education Group series.

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