I am in the programs in Anthropology & History and Science, Technology & Society at the University of Michigan where I work on a few topics. I have an interest in the politics of knowledge within the international aid and development industry, especially the growth of experimental methodologies.  My longer term project is on the historical and contemporary dynamics of regionalism in East Africa. I am also editing a special edition of African Studies Review with Aaron Martin and Philippe Frowd.

Before doctoral work, 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. Other 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) and on Academia.