Dr Michael Walls PhD Photo

Michael is Professor of Development Politics and Economy at UCL’s Development Planning Unit (DPU) and Programme Leader for the MSc in Development Administration and Planning. He has twelve years’ experience in senior management in the private sector and now lectures in ‘market-led approaches to development’ (a module titled ‘Society and Market: Private Agency for Development’). For seven years, he was responsible for teaching development management at DPU (‘Development in Practice’).

For the past decade and a half his research has focused on the Somali Horn of Africa, and most particularly on the evolving political settlement in Somaliland. As well as undertaking research on state formation and political representation, he has been a part of the coordination team for international election observations to Somaliland elections in 2005, 2010 and 2012, and is Head of Mission (Chief Observer) for the 2017 international Election Observation Mission for presidential elections. Michael is actively involved in a number of Somali-related groups, including the Anglo-Somali Society, Somaliland Focus (UK) and Kayd Somali Arts and Culture Ltd.

If you want a fuller summary of Michael’s work, research and publications, then please go to his profile page at DPU, UCL.

Research Summary

Research, consultancy and teaching interests lie in the related areas of development management and governance, including: state formation in developing countries; post-conflict reconstruction; state-led development and approaches to regulation of the market to promote equitable development; livelihoods in informal economies – especially African cities; frameworks for understanding and measuring development and wellbeing; and the ethical foundations for development intervention. Michael has established a particular focus on the Somali areas and Ethiopia within the Horn of Africa.