Pauline Dixon

‘Working across Boundaries’

 I’m a Professor of International Development having been awarded a Personal Chair at Newcastle. Over the last 20 years I have been researching how, in some of the poorest parts of the developing world, families make school choices for their children.

I have directed research projects in India, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Liberia, South Sudan and China. The research is of the utmost importance, owing to the misconceptions around the inabilities of illiterate and poor parents being able to make choices. Therefore my work focuses on dispelling myths and carrying out research that informs policy initiatives that are based on solutions from the grassroots and poor communities themselves.

I have been instrumental the implementation of an education voucher program in the slums of Delhi, India. The project also ran a randomized control trial (RCT) to consider the impact of the scheme and resulted in a longitudinal study lasting five years. Other areas of expertise include investigating children's multiple intelligences and creativity in poor areas of Tanzania. I have also carried out research concerning the use of phonics in schools in India and China to improve reading.

I deliver keynote speeches and presentations around the world including on Capitol Hill, Washington D.C., at Brown University, as well as in Europe including Zurich, Liechtenstein, Durham, Glasgow, London, and Vienna. My TEDx talk “How private schools are serving the poorest” has had around 36,000 views. I have also presented my research findings to government officials in India and Africa. I won the South African Luminary Award for my dedication to alleviate poverty in developing countries. My books include "International Development and Private Schools for the Poor" which was named as one of the 100 'books of the year' by the Times Literary Supplement and my edited Handbook with Humble and Counihan "Handbook of International Development and Education" was published last year.