Dr. Jo-Anna Russon is a Research Fellow for VET Africa 4.0 which is an ESRC GCRF funded research project on skills development in Africa. The project is co-ordinated from the University of Nottingham by Professor Simon McGrath, UNESCO Chair in International Education and Development. Jo-Anna is the key point of liaison between project consortium universities: Nottingham (UK), Gulu and Kyambogo (Uganda) and Rhodes and Wits (South Africa). Her responsibilities include general project management, case study design, data collection and analysis, supporting the collation of project reports and academic publications, and the dissemination of project outputs.
Jo-Anna previously worked as a Research Fellow in the Responsible and Sustainable Business Lab (RSB Lab) at Nottingham Trent University. Her primary project was the "Values-driven-leadership (VDL) in Africa" programme, working with partner institutions and VDL alumni in Africa on research development, grant capture, and impact-case analysis.
Jo-Anna Russon is a PhD graduate from Queens University Belfast, UK. Her research entitled 'Poverty Alleviation: The UK Government-MNC interface in Sub-Saharan Africa' reviewed the UK's Department for International Development's (DFID) increasing commitment to work with private sector actors to deliver overseas aid. Jo-Anna is continuing her research in this area, with a focus on the boundaries of DFID's engagement with the private sector and development consultancy firms from a political-economy perspective, drawing on corporate responsibility literature on the business-poverty relationship.
Prior to returning to higher education Jo-Anna worked as a counsellor and manager for voluntary sector drug and alcohol services. Here she developed an interest in the relationship between business and society, and the potential for strategic links between voluntary/non-profit organisations and the private sector. As a result, she returned to higher education where she gained both an MSc and PhD in the field of sustainability and corporate responsibility. Throughout her career Jo-Anna has developed a keen interest in theory and practice on how government, academia, not-for-profit actors and local communities can work collaboratively to alleviate poverty, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.