I am in the programs in Anthropology & History and Science, Technology & Society at the University of Michigan where I work in a few areas. My dissertation studies the historical and contemporary dynamics of regional market formation in East Africa. I also have an interest in the politics of knowledge within the international aid industry, especially the growth of experimental methodologies. Finally, I have studied the politics of surveillance in Africa and am editing a special edition of African Studies Review with Aaron Martin and Philippe Frowd on the topic.

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. I have looked more broadly at the adoption of biometric identification in Africa, as well as the rise of mobile registration and monitoring 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.