Dear DSAI friends

Season’s Greetings and as Chair of DSAI I write to wish you a very happy and peaceful Christmas.

There’s exciting news at DSAI as we close out the year which we hope will further consolidate the organisation and strengthen our impact.

Firstly let me introduce you to the DSAI Steering Committee which was elected/approved at our November Annual General Meeting.  I am returning for another year as Chairperson, and I’m delighted to welcome back the following members: Maja Hall Laandorf, PJ Walls, Enida Friel, Grainne Kilcullen, Honor Fagan, Hugh McBride, Padraig Carmody, Gerry McCann and Angela Veale.   The steering committee is an excellent representation of development and academic practitioners from across the island of Ireland; you can find further details on each member’s background and interests on our website  

I want to also take this opportunity to thank our exiting members: Sean Farren and Rob Kevlihan. Both Rob and Sean have provided excellent support and input to the Steering Committee and as Study Group Convenors. The committee wishes them both well and sincere gratitude for their important contribution.  Another big thank you and good bye to Mairead Finn, our Coordinator who is departing us to take up a full time role with TIDI.  I know you will join me in sincere thanks to Mairead for her tireless and intelligent support: we wish her the very best with TIDI and it is our sincere hope that we will be collaborating with her and TIDI in the future.

DSAI is embarking on a new phase of funding from Irish Aid, in recognition of our contribution in strengthening the collaboration between development/ humanitarian practitioners, academia and policy makers. This new phase of funding comes with some other exciting news. In line with our goal to ensure as broad of support and representation as possible among the Higher Education sector in Ireland, we are moving the role of Coordinator to Maynooth University in 2018.  A big thank you to Maynooth for stepping up and offering this support, and also a great gratitude to Trinity College for all their support and assistance over the previous years as the DSAI Coordinator was hosted there. We could not have achieved our recent successes without this support.  The role of DSAI Coordinator is now advertised here:

Also note, we are grateful that Dublin City University has offered to host the role of Communications and Membership Officer. This role is offered for 1 day per week, and is advertised here: .

Thank you if you could share these advertisements with any interested friends or colleagues.

We look forward to an exciting year, in which the Steering Committee will be working to support the DSAI Study Groups to ensure vibrant programmes of work for each of them. Our goal as an organisation is to strengthen the evidence base underpinning humanitarian and development practice and policy and our Study Group activities and thematic papers are a key contribution to this. Please join one of our groups and contribute your experience and expertise!

I hope you have time over the Christmas break to fully peruse our website, which has been the focus of great attention over 2017.  Many thanks to CiviQ for their work on making the site more accessible and impactful.  It is a key mechanism for sharing information and learning and we welcome any feedback for improvements.

I hope to be back in touch with news of our appointments in the early part of 2018. Until then, I wish you well in your work and efforts on behalf reducing global poverty and exclusion.  It is a privilege to work in the development and humanitarian sector, and with all of you.

Warm wishes,

Mary Van Lieshout