In the first of our quick Q&As we grab a cup of something hot and have a chat with Andrew Clappison, M&E specialist and Research to Action Pioneer.
If you could be a colour what would it be and why?
Green – for me it symbolizes the mystery of the sea.
What inspired you to work in International Development?
My research background was in governance and how different personal and organisational connections shape governance systems. I saw a strong link here with communications and knowledge sharing, which I thought I could build on and make a difference.
What 3 words best describe your work?
Jack of all trades (not quite three words sorry!)
What scares you about your work?
Power play and prejudice – sadly it exists even in international development.
What piece of research do you think changed lives?
I’m not sure one piece of research can on its own – but I’m a big fan of philosophers like Karl Marx, Michel Foucault, Felix Guattari and Bruno Latour. The first of these has played a massive role in the world we live in (both positive and negative). Felix Guattari’s Three Ecologies provides some powerful thinking on ‘sustainable development’ that does not seem to have found resonance with mass society – sadly.
How do you stay informed with the news around you?
I’m pretty bad at this. I shy away from mainstream news channels, but I do follow a number of blogs that keep me upto date with the things that I’m interested in.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever discovered?
My partner, Sarah.
What picture do you have as your screensaver?
I don’t have one, but if I did it would be a picture of Sarah and our two children Wilbur and Bluebell.
What new skill would you like to learn?
I have been carving lots of spoons recently, but I keep cutting my hand so I think there is still some learning to do!
What is your favourite website and why?
I draw lots of inspiration from what people create and build – Pinterest is a pretty good visual source.
What would you like the people reading this interview to remember about you?
Not sure I care. People come to things with their own ideas and attitudes – What they remember, or more importantly interpret, will be shaped by these and out of my control.
Describe your dream holiday.
Playing in the woods, swimming in the river, drinking red wine by the fire.
More words from Andrew…
What can we learn from the Think Tank Initiatives stories of influence series?
The use and abuse of research evidence
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