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Research Questions

How are these advicescapes changing in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka? 

How do lived experiences of religion, caste, ethnicity and gender intersect in advicescapes? How do they affect the advice given? Who is included and who is excluded?

What forms of support are provided to advice-givers and recipients from international development donors? 


How is advice-giving enacted in urban and rural settings? How does the focus on SME development differ between locales and exacerbate uneven geographies of opportunity?

“Can entrepreneurial advice-giving address inequalities of access and outcome for young people in rural and urban south Asia?”

Our Mission

Research Methodology

Utilising the team’s experience and expertise within the Anthropology of Development, we will produce an ‘Aidnography’ of advice. Undertaking ethnographic analysis of how ideas, experiences, and biases circulate within advice ecosystems, bolstered by quantitative report data from practitioner agencies, will challenge conventional training approaches and examine how advice delivery varies between rural and urban locales.


Ethnography as a methodology has the power to bring together researchers and practitioners in creative ways to build practical, inclusive solutions to inequality. Our methodology also moves us away from the mainstream emphasis on metrics, targets, and assets to explore human and social dimensions of advice ecosystems. Qualitative data will be collected through focus groups, workshops, participant observation, structured and semi-structured interviews, and life histories. 


Project outputs

The project outputs (workshops, policy briefs, industry materials on advice, academic publications, short videos – see above) will capture insights into the practitioner-academic partnership, as well as the advisor-advisee relationship in business development. The key expected outcomes of the research are to (i) develop a network of private sector and development industry actors through which to effectively channel and implement research findings; (ii) reshape advice delivery as an inclusive dialectic, built on a research evidence-base informed by participant observation at the heart of advice-giving. 

Explore our observations so far

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