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Dr Sarah Cardey

  • Director, Graduate Institute for International Development, Agriculture and Economics
  • Programme Director for MSc Applied International Development
  • Programme Director for MSc Communication for Development
  • Teaching: Gender and Development, Communication for Innovation and Development, Principles of Communication Design for Development, Concepts and practices of communication
  • Lead educator on Hungry Planet: People, food and agriculture Online Open Course (FutureLearn)

Areas of interest

Her primary research interests are in:

  • Gender and development
  • Development communication
  • Farmer innovation
  • Livelihoods and governance.

She is also interested in policy-practice linkages, research into practice, and multidisciplinary approaches to development challenges

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Cardey will consider PhD applications in the research areas:

  • Gender and development
  • Development communication, including communication and social change, innovation systems, gender and communication and critical health communication in development
  • Extension systems and innovation systems in smallholder agriculture
  • Rural livelihoods

Research projects

She is currently involved in projects with colleagues in:

  • Ethiopia
  • Philippines
  • The Sahel Region
  • Sudan
  • Uganda
  • Kenya.

These projects include looking at innovation systems in smallholder farming from a gendered perspective and monitoring and evaluation of participatory communication methodologies in development contexts. Past work includes experience in:

  • Uganda
  • Kenya
  • Sudan
  • South Africa
  • Cameroon
  • Togo
  • Mali
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Haiti
  • Canada
  • The UK.     

She works with both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and bring a gendered lens to the implementation, analysis and conduct of research.


Sarah is an interdisciplinary social scientist who specialises in gender and development, development communication and rural livelihoods. 
Prior to joining Reading, she worked in development communication in the field. 
In her role as GIIDAE director, she works on developing postgraduate teaching in the School. She works on international partnership building, student recruitment, alumni engagement, and outreach activities.

She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and has served as external examiner for programmes and PhD examinations across the UK and Europe.

Academic qualifications

PhD from the University of Reading
MSc from the University of Guelph 
BA from Mount Allison University.

Professional bodies/affiliations

Member of the Global Research Initiative on Rural Communication, a consortium of academics from the University of Guelph, Wageningen University, University of Queensland, and the University of the Philippines Los Banos, in conjunction with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

Other Activities

Previously, Dr Cardey served as a co-chair of the Communication and HIV/AIDS Working Group of the International Association for Media and Communication Research from 2008 - 2015, and is an active member of the C4D Network.
She has been invited to present at a range of global meetings and symposia about communication and development, including the World Congress on Communication for Development in 2007 and the Forum on Communication for Development & Community Media for Family Farming hosted by the FAO in 2014.
In 2011, she was the lead organizer of the symposium entitled "Food Security and Poverty Alleviation Under Changing Environmental Conditions" held in Khartoum, Sudan.


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