ABCD Institute > Institute Faculty > Active Faculty > Alison Mathie

Alison Mathie

Alison's experience in the international development field spans over 40 years and in that time she has encountered diverse ways in which people organize to bring about change in their communities all over the world. After extended periods working in Papua New Guinea and Nigeria, and after opportunities for further education, she worked at the Coady International Institute in Nova Scotia, Canada from 1998, facilitating adult learning in asset-based and citizen-led development (ABCD), participatory evaluation, action research, and gender analysis.   She continues to be involved in collaborative participatory research initiatives and designing educational programs in ABCD and action research, along with consulting work in evaluation.


Alison is fortunate to have had the chance to study for a PhD in Program Evaluation and Planning from Cornell University, and a MA in Sociology from the University of Guelph in Canada. However, experience on the ground has always been where the most profound learning has taken place. In keeping with this her collaborations with colleagues have sought to draw out and document inspiring and instructive cases of citizen-organizing and influencing around the world, examples being:​

Mathie, A. and Gaventa, J. (Eds.)(2015). Citizen-led innovation for a new economy. Halifax, NS.: Fernwood Press.  

Mathie, A. and Cunningham, G. (Eds.)(2009). From clients to citizens: Communities changing the course of their own development.  Rugby, UK: Practical Action.