SOAS University of London

Daniel Norfolk

SOAS has provided me with extremely useful tools for this new direction.

Year graduated from SOAS

Programme studied
MSc African Politics

Current job title and name of organisation
Researcher; International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

What do you like about what you do? 
IDRC supports development research in the global south. As an in-house researcher, I'm able to pursue projects of my own design. Concentrating on South Asian relations, I am now involved in coordinating a Track-II dialogue between India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Research and consultations take place in all three countries, allowing me to engage with a fascinating spectrum of actors and ideas.

How has your time at SOAS helped you succeed in this role? 
Interestingly, adopting a regional focus (Africa) encouraged me to make an extra effort to be conscious of the political evolution of other regions. I ended up as a political analyst in Delhi, working for a London-based think tank and the Canadian government. Only now am I returning to Africa, and SOAS has provided me with extremely useful tools for this new direction.

Can you give current students any tips on getting into this kind of work? 
Experience is crucial, and it is often easiest just to pick a country or region and go. Financial constraints can make this extremely
difficult. I worked in a pub for five months while writing reports for a policy think tank before I had enough money
to make a move. Everything builds character!