School of Education

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Jo-Anna Russon

Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Social Sciences



Dr. Jo-Anna Russon is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Education. Her work focuses on exploring the opportunities and challenges of private sector engagement in UK official development assistance, (see recent book HERE). Current work centers on the role of private sector consultants and contractors in UK aid, particularly through the lens of education and skills. Jo-Anna is also involved in co-leading various research projects on TVET and skills with Professor Volker Wedekind, in partnership with various colleagues and institutions in South Africa and Uganda.

Before joining the University of Nottingham in 2019, Jo-Anna worked as a Research Fellow in the Responsible and Sustainable Business Lab (RSB Lab) at Nottingham Trent University with Professor Mollie Painter, having completed her PhD with Queens University Belfast. Jo-Anna returned to higher education, having worked in the voluntary sector where she developed an interest in the strategic and interconnected relationship between business and society. As a result, she returned to higher education, gaining 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.

Expertise Summary

Dr Jo-Anna Russon, Current and recent research projects

Consultants and Contractors in the UK aid landscape

2021-2025. Funder: ESRC.

Quality TVET Lecturers

2021-2023. Funder: Dept' of Higher Education, South Africa.

  • Dr Russon: Lead Researcher (Project lead: Volker Wedekind)
  • Partner: Zolile Zungu, Lecturer, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
  • DHET overview

Cash Transfers for community led skills development Uganda

2023. Funder (pilot 1): University of Nottingham.

  • Dr Russon: Primary Investigator
  • Partner: EDI Uganda

Community Skills Development Uganda: writing for regional impact

2023-2025. Funder - British Academy;

Urban Agriculture Training Networks

2023-2024: Funder - Midlands Innovation

  • Dr Russon: Co-Investigator
  • Partners: School of Education colleagues

VET Africa 4.0

2019- 2021: Funder - ESRC

School of Education

University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

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