I’m a doctoral student in the Program on Anthropology & History at the University of Michigan. I work on the theory and practice of international development, particularly the mobilization of science and technology in Africa historically and today. This research seeks to merge African studies and Science & Technology Studies by asking how ‘science,’ ‘technology,’ ‘Africa,’ and ‘development,’ have been variably conceived, practiced, and merged in the post-war era.
During 2012, I was a Fulbright Scholar and research associate at the Centre for Social Science Research at the University of Cape Town. My research focused on the adoption of biometric identification by the welfare state in South Africa. I was also a 2012-2013 Fellow at UC Irvine’s Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion where I focused more particularly on the linkages between financial formalization and cash transfers in South Africa. With the support of Privacy International, I have looked more broadly at the adoption of biometric identification in Africa, as well as the rise of mobile surveillance across the continent. Previous work has looked at the impact of mobile money and open data on personal autonomy in Kenya.
Previously, I was a researcher at infoDev, a unit of the World Bank focused on technology and innovation. I have an MSocSc in Sociology (Development Studies) from the University of Cape Town and a B.S. in Science, Technology & International Affairs from Georgetown University.
You can find me on Twitter: @kevindonovan.