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Department of Development Studies

Dr Michael Jennings

BA (Oxon); MA, PhD (London)


Michael Jennings
Department of Development Studies

Senior Lecturer

Centre of African Studies


Development Policy, Aid, Institutions and Poverty Reduction Research Cluster

Research Cluster Convenor

Dr Michael Jennings
Email address:
+44(0) 207 898 4268
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
On Sabbatical:
2015/16 Full Academic Year


Michael has degrees from the University of Oxford and London (SOAS), and has taught and researched at Oxford and the Centre for Development Studies at Swansea University. His research interests include: the politics and history of development processes in sub-Saharan Africa: governance, civil society, non-governmental organisations and faith-based organisations; and social aspects of health in Africa.


Courses Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Christine Singer, “Born Free”? Youth and Screen Media in Post-Apartheid South Africa (1994-2012)
  • Edwige Aimee Fortier, Powerful Publics: Civil Society, Tunisia, and the Transition to Democracy (2011-2013)
  • Sibylle Herzig van Wees, The Role of Faith Based Health Providers in context of Health Reforms in post-1990 Cameroon


Michael’s research examines the emergence of development narratives over the past century, and conflicts between different narratives held by competing actors operating in the developmental space. In particular, he is interested in the multiple roles which ‘development’ as a process and idea takes on, and synergies between power, politics and development in the North and South. Michael has undertaken work on security issues in East Africa, including a survey of conflict, crime and security in Kenya. He has also worked on a diagnostic survey of DFID’s engagement with faith-based groups, East and Horn of Africa section. Michael is a regular contributor of expert briefing documents on a wide range of political, social and health issues in sub-Saharan Africa.


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I am an Africa Expert for Oxford Analytica, for whom I have written briefing reports on African development, politics and health issues for the past five years. I have consultancy experience, including with DFID, and am a member of the Round Table Group. I am experienced in television and radio broadcasting.

Available for
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Press
  • Briefings
  • Special Study Programmes
  • Short Term Consultancy
  • Long Term Consultancy
Regional Expertise
  • Africa
Country Expertise
  • Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda


Authored Books

Jennings, Michael (2008) Surrogates of the State: Non-Governmental Organisations, Development and Ujamaa in Tanzania. Bloomfield, Ct: Kumarian Press.

Jennings, Michael (2007) Surrogates of the State. NGOs, Development, and Ujamaa in Tanzania. Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press.

Edited Books or Journal Volumes

Jennings, Michael and Clarke, Gerard, eds. (2008) Development, Civil Society and Faith-Based Organisations: Bridging the Sacred and the Secular. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Jennings, Michael and Barrow, Ondine, eds. (2001) The Charitable Impulse: Non-Governmental Organisations in East and North-East Africa. James Currey Publishers.

Barrow, Ondine and Jennings, Michael, eds. (2001) The Charitable Impulse: NGOs and Development in East and North-East Africa. Oxford: James Currey.

Book Chapters

Jennings, Michael (2015) 'Cooperation and competition: missions, the colonial state and constructing a health system in colonial Tanganyika.' In: Beyond the state: The Colonial Medical Service in British Africa. Manchester: Manchester University Press. (Studies in Imperialism) (Forthcoming)

Jennings, Michael (2014) 'Bridging the Local and the Global: Faith-Based Organisations and the Emergence of the Non-State Provider Sector in Tanzania.' In: Maclean, Lauren and Cammett, Melani, (eds.), The Politics of Non-State Social Welfare in the Global South. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, pp. 119-136.

Jennings, Michael (2013) 'NGOs.' In: Cheeseman, Nic and Anderson, David M and Scheibler, Andrea, (eds.), Routledge Handbook for African Politics. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 322-333.

Jennings, Michael (2013) 'Do Not Turn Away a Poor Man: Faith-Based Organisations and Development.' In: Clarke, Matthew, (ed.), Handbook of Research on Religion and Development. Cheltenham and Northampton, Mass.: Edward Elgar, pp. 359-375.

Jennings, Michael (2013) 'FBOs in Tanzania.' In: Clarke, Matthew, (ed.), Handbook of Research on Religion and Development. Cheltenham and Northampton, Mass.: Edward Elgar, pp. 491-504.

Jennings, Michael (2007) 'Missions and maternal and child health care in colonial Tanganyika, 1919-1939.' In: Hardiman, David, (ed.), Medical Missionaries in India and Africa. Clio Medica Press, pp. 227-250.

Jennings, Michael (2007) 'HIV and AIDS.' In: Oxford Analytica, Sub-Saharan Africa: Key Issues to 2012. Oxford: Oxford Analytica, pp. 60-66.

Jennings, Michael (2006) 'Tanzania, 2001-2002.' In: Africa Contemporary Record. New York: Holmes & Meier, pp. 540-559.

Jennings, Michael (2006) 'Using Archives.' In: Desai, Vandana and Potter, Robert, (eds.), Doing Development Research. Sage Publications, pp. 241-250.

Jennings, Michael (2005) 'A Short History of Failure? Development Processes over the Course of the Twentieth Century.' In: Huque, Ahmed Shafiqul and Zafarullah, Habib, (eds.), Handbook of International Development Governance. Marcel Dekker, pp. 599-610.

Jennings, Michael (2005) 'Getting the Research Questions Right and Getting the Right Data.' In: Holland, Jeremy and Campbell, John, (eds.), Combining Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in Development Research. ITDG Publications, pp. 27-36.

Jennings, Michael (2005) 'A Century of Development: Policy and Process in Sub-Saharan Africa.' In: Africa South of the Sahara. London: Europa, pp. 30-35.


Jennings, Michael (2015) 'The precariousness of the franchise state: Voluntary sector health services and international NGOs in Tanzania, 1960s – mid-1980s.' Social Science & Medicine, 141 . pp. 1-8.

Jennings, Michael (2013) 'Common Counsel, Common Policy: Healthcare, Missions and the Rise of the ‘Voluntary Sector’ in Colonial Tanzania.' Development and Change, 44 (4). pp. 939-963.

Jennings, Michael and Mercer, Claire (2011) 'Réhabiliter les nationalismes : convivialité et conscience nationale en Tanzanie post-coloniale’ [Rehabilitating Nationalisms: Conviviality and National Consciousness in Post-Colonial Tanzania].' Politique Africaine, 121 . pp. 87-106.

Jennings, Michael (2009) 'Building Better People: Modernity and Utopia in Late Colonial Tanganyika.' Journal of Eastern African Studies, 3 (1). pp. 94-111.

Jennings, Michael (2008) 'Healing of Bodies, Salvation of Souls’: Missionary Medicine in Colonial Tanganyika, 1870s-1939.' Journal of Religion in Africa, 38 (1). pp. 27-56.

Jennings, Michael (2007) '"A Very Real War": Popular Participation in Development in Tanzania During the 1950s & 1960s.' International Journal of African Historical Studies, 40 (1). pp. 71-95.

Jennings, Michael and Burton, Andrew (2007) 'The Emperor's New Clothes? Continuities in governance in late colonial and early post-colonial East Africa.' International Journal of African Historical Studies, 40 (1). pp. 1-25.

Jennings, Michael (2005) 'Chinese Medicine and Medical Pluralism in Dar es Salaam: Globalisation or Glocalisation?' International Relations, 19 (4). pp. 457-474.

Jennings, Michael (2003) ''We Must Run While Others Walk': Popular Participation and Development Crisis in Tanzania, 1961-9.' The Journal of Modern African Studies, 41 (2). pp. 163-187.

Jennings, Michael (2002) '"Almost an Oxfam in Itself": Oxfam, Ujamaa and Development in Tanzania in the 1960s and 70s.' African Affairs, 101 (405). pp. 509-30.

Jennings, Michael (2002) 'This Mysterious and Intangible Enemy: health and disease amongst the early UMCA missionaries 1860 - 1918.' Social History of Medicine, 15 (1). pp. 65-87.

Jennings, Michael 'Common Counsel, Common Policy: Healthcare, Missions and the Rise of the Voluntary Sector in Colonial Tanzania.' Development and Change, 44 (4). pp. 939-963.


Jennings, Michael (2015) 'Kenya: Recent History.' In: Africa South of the Sahara 2016. London: Europa.

Jennings, Michael (2015) 'Tanzania: Recent History.' In: Africa South of the Sahara 2016. London: Europa.

Jennings, Michael (2015) 'Uganda: Recent History.' In: Africa South of the Sahara 2016. London: Europa.

Jennings, Michael (2014) 'Beyond the Tangles of Civil Society.' Journal of the OASIS International Foundation (19). pp. 34-38.

Jennings, Michael (2012) 'International NGOs must address their accountability deficit.' The Guardian Poverty Matters Blog .

Jennings, Michael (2011) 'Buying cheap isn’t always best for development.' The Guardian Poverty Matters Blog .

Jennings, Michael (2009) 'Commentary on “Five reasons why Africa matters to the world”.' Europe's World, 13 .

Jennings, Michael (2008) 'The Mo Ibrahim Prize and Governance Index.' Royal African Society Website .

This list was generated on Thu Oct 8 00:32:06 2015 BST.