Sally Hartley

Visiting Researcher


I am a researcher and practitioner in international development, now focusing on bringing together practice and research.  I have particular interests in youth, co-operatives, livelihoods and entrepreneurship, processes of learning and research use.  I have lived and worked in both southern and east Africa and in South Asia, predominately in youth-led development in the NGO sector. This has informed my recent PhD research at the Open University of young people’s engagement with co-operative businesses, using participatory techniques to produce academically rigorous research for use by practitioners and policy.  I am now a visiting researcher at the Open University and continuing my interest in co-operatives and youth and developing further my work on research dissemination and knowledge uptake and participatory and visual methods of research with youth.

Published paper

• Hartley, S. (2011) ‘New spaces for a new generation: the rise of co-operatives amongst young people in Africa’, Co-operative College Paper 16, Manchester, Co-operative College UK

Publications to be published:

• Hartley, S (upcoming, 2013) ‘Rethinking the role of co-operatives for youth engagement: case studies of Lesotho and Uganda’, Journal for International Development (Submitted in early April 2013).

• Hartley, S and Johnson, H (upcoming, 2013) ‘Learning to co-operate: Youth engagement with the co-operative revival in Africa’, European Journal of International Research (submitted in late March 2013)

My PhD research brought together two modern development issues: the co-operative revival and the burgeoning youth in countries in Africa and explored the role of co-operatives in developing youth agency and capabilities.  I looked at youth co-operatives that have been established in Lesotho and Uganda and found that as well as increasing incomes, these co-operatives provide opportunities for education and learning, personal development, development of networks and prompted engagement with the wider community.  An underlying feature of his doctoral study was finding ways to connect my academic findings to co-operative practitioners. This issue of bridging practice and research was a core motivation for beginning academic research and has become my central research interest since finishing my PhD - it arises from and is enhanced by my own practitioner background working in the youth NGO sector for 10 years. I am now focusing on understanding knowledge processes and the role of research for development and looking at these issues in the context of co-operatives and youth.

Researching youth and cooperatives by Sally Hartly

A DPP research student Sally Hartley has recently completed her PhD in youth and cooperatives in Uganda. Her thesis was entitled 'Learning for Development through Cooperation: The Engagement of Youth with cooperatives in Lesotho and Uganda, was jointly supervised by the Co-operative College and the Open University.