Matt Baillie Smith

Professor of International Development, Northumbria University, Newcastle

Matt is a Professor at Northumbria University (UK) and an interdisciplinary global development academic, whose research focuses on the relationships between civil society, citizenship and development in the global South. His current work explores volunteering in humanitarian and development settings, and on young people as development actors. Matt previously worked for a development NGO and he continues to work in partnership with a range of national and global development organisations.

Matt currently leads Refugee Youth Volunteering Uganda (, a project funded by the UK government's Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) to explore volunteering by young displaced people in Uganda and its impacts on their skills and employability. He is also lead of a British Academy/GCRF project exploring young people and Sustainable Development in Palestine, and a Co-Investigator and Work Package lead on Living Deltas (, a UKRI/GCRF funded interdisciplinary research hub supporting more sustainable futures for deltas in South and South East Asia. Matt is also Research Director of the Swedish Red Cross led Volunteers in Conflicts and Emergencies Initiative (, a research, innovation and learning project to support safer and more effective engagement of volunteers in crises.


  • –present
    Professor of International Development, Northumbria University, Newcastle


  • 1999 
    Warwick University, PhD Sociology