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Centre of Governance & Human Rights (CGHR)


CGHR Practitioner Series: Lent 2014


Doing good in tough places: working in human rights, peace building, humanitarian aid and development

The CGHR Practitioner series aims to allow students to listen and speak to a selection of high-level experts working in the various fields related to development and humanitarian aid, and address key issues and questions. The seminars are designed to equip students with an in-depth and critical look at what each area involves; the type of work carried out, contingent challenges and essential competencies.

Read more about the series.

15th January: Ken Banks, Founder: | FrontlineSMS | Means of Exchange.

Ken Banks, Founder of and FrontlineSMS, will be the first speaker of the Series this year. Ken devotes himself to the application of mobile technology for positive social and environmental change in the developing world. He has worked at the intersection of technology, anthropology, conservation and development for the past twenty years and, during that time, has lived and worked across the African continent. He is a PopTech Fellow, a Tech Awards Laureate, an Ashoka Fellow and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and has been internationally recognised for his technology-based work. Ken is also a published author, with his first edited book, "The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator", released in late 2013. His latest project, Means of Exchange, looks at how everyday technologies can be used to democratise opportunities for economic self-sufficiency, rebuild local community and promote a return to local resource use.

29th January: Polly Rossdale, Life After Guantánamo Project Coordinator at Reprieve.

Polly Rossdale’s work at Reprieve focuses on rehabilitating and resettling ex-Guantánamo prisoners.

Polly read Social Anthropology at St John’s College, Cambridge, and holds a Certificate in Immigration Law from City University and a Diploma in Legal Reasoning and Analysis from Birkbeck College, London. She has a European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation at the European Inter-University Centre, Venice.

Polly has researched and volunteered in Central and South America and several West African countries and brings this experience – plus four European languages – to Reprieve. She has previously worked with organizations providing refugee care and rehabilitation to survivors of gross human rights violations. She is a trustee of the Schwab and Westheimer Trusts, which provide educational grants to young refugees and asylum seekers.

12th February: David Whitty, Producer at BBC World Service Radio.

5th March: Dr Imogen Parsons, Lead Humanitarian Advisor at DFID.

Dr Imogen Parsons heads the Africa Humanitarian Unit in DFID , where she oversees DFID 's programmes in the Sahel and Central African Republic as well as working with DFID offices across the continent to ensure early warning and response to the crises as they emerge. She previously worked in the Stabilisation Unit's Lessons and Civilian Capacity teams, and spent two years leading emergency responses for Save the Children. She holds a PhD in international relations from LSE , and a Masters in Development Studies. Countries she has worked in and on include Mali, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, DRC , Libya, Afghanistan and Angola.




Ken Banks 1


Ken Banks 3


Ken Banks 2


Imogen Parsons 1