Sara Kinsbergen
Sara Kinsbergen

Sara Kinsbergen appointed Professor in the field of the Citizens’ Role in Sustainable Development

On 1 July 2023, Sara Kinsbergen was appointed Professor in the field of the Citizens’ Role in Sustainable Development at the Faculty of Social Sciences. This special teaching and research remit is a collaboration between the Radboud Centre for Social Sciences, the Department of Anthropology and Development Studies (CAOS) and the Wilde Ganzen Foundation.

Kinsbergen conducts research into the thousands of small-scale, voluntary development organisations in the Netherlands and in other countries. In recent years, Kinsbergen has transformed this research at Radboud University into a fully fledged research field. The chair that she holds is also strongly linked to teaching. “I believe that education and research can be used to contribute to a world that is more equal, more inclusive and more sustainable. This requires research and education that are both shaped by a continuous exchange with social partners,” says Kinsbergen.

International co-creation

Her research is characterised by the co-creation between national and international knowledge institutions and civil society organisations, which aim to collectively create academic and social added value. “Over the next few years, I will be working together with researchers in the global north and south as we address the question of the role that citizens will play in the sustainable development of our rapidly changing world.”

Wilde Ganzen

This special teaching and research remit aligns with Wilde Ganzen’s commitment to overcome global poverty by using a bottom-up approach that involves small citizens’ initiatives. “We are convinced that real change can only come when people are free to determine how they should tackle their problems,” says Managing Director Kees de Jong. “By collaborating with Radboud University, we want to share our knowledge about this with our global partners and also promote international solidarity within our own country.”

About Sara Kinsbergen

Sara Kinsbergen (who was born in Deurne, Belgium in 1982) began her academic career at Radboud University, where she obtained her Master’s degree in Anthropology and Development Studies in 2006. After she completed the AMID Young Professional Postgraduate Programme, she obtained her PhD with her research study entitled: ‘Behind the Pictures: Understanding Private Development Initiatives’, which focused on small-scale, voluntary development organisations. After completing this PhD research, she continued her research on private initiatives as a postdoctoral researcher and then as an Assistant Professor and Associate Professor.

Since she completed her PhD research, Kinsbergen has gone on to develop a research programme that is entirely financed by third-party funding. This financial collaboration reflects the importance that she attaches to structural, sustainable collaborations between civil society organisations and academic institutions. Her efforts to bridge science, policy and practice earned her the 22nd place in the top 100 most influential people in Dutch philanthropy.

She has worked for the AMID Young Professional Postgraduate Programme since 2014 and has held the position of Programme Director since 2019. In 2022, the programme received Radboud University’s Internationalisation Award for its internationalisation strategy. Sara Kinsbergen is also a member of the Development Cooperation Committee of the Advisory Council on International Issues.