Professor Sarah Bracking
Position SARCHi Chair in Applied Poverty Reduction Assessment
Discipline Development Studies
Phone  031 260 1544
Campus Howard College
Office Address 809, 8th Floor, Denis Shepstone Building


  • Professor Sarah Bracking currently holds the University of KwaZulu-Natal SARCHi Chair in Applied Poverty Reduction Assessment, under which a programme of research is being implemented in order to help reduce the scale and scope of poverty in South Africa by designing better means to assess policy intervention and implementation. This programme begins from the concept of poverty as multi-dimentional and multi-causal, such that research covers the economic, political and environmental domains, focusing on how we can ensure poverty reduction at both  the micro and macro scales.  
  • Professor Bracking graduated from York University in the UK (BA Hons Politics), then Leeds University (MA, International Resources and Development; PhD on Structural Adjustment, Business and the State in Zimbabwe 1991-7). She worked as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Democratization Studies at Leeds University, principally on the International IDEA State of Democracy Project. She then moved to the University of Manchester where she was a member of the Chronic Poverty Research Centre (2001-2006) and Global Poverty Research Group (2001 – 2007), held a number of research grants, was promoted to Professor in International Development in the School of Environment and Development, and is the Research Director of the Leverhulme Centre for the Study of Value at     
  • Her most recent work has focused specifically on the developmental co-benefits of climate finance designated for adaptation projects, moving from a twenty year career of research in development finance generically. Research on this is ongoing in the Leverhulme Centre for the Study of Value, funded from a major programme grant award from the Leverhulme Trust (RP2012-V-041). This research is critically exploring the social articulation of valuation in the development, environment and conservation domains. Professor Bracking also has ongoing theoretical and field research on private sector development and corruption in the extractive industries and infrastructural build projects in South Africa, funded by the Michelsen Institute.
  • From 2009-2012, Professor Bracking worked as Principle Investigator on a number of research grants: on reform of European development finance institutions (DFIs) and their use of tax havens, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Norway (2010); on development and environmental impact assessment in development finance institutions funded by Norwegian Church Aid (2011); and on a community based system for the treatment of HIV, funded by the European Union and ACP (2008-). She was invited as an Expert Witness to the UK Parliamentary Committee on International Development (December 2010) because of her research work on the CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution. She has also worked with ZIMCODD on debt write-off (2008); Counter Balance on reform of the European Investment Bank (2009); and Advocates for International Development (A4ID) as a trainer (2006 -). Sarah is editor of Corruption and Development (Palgrave, 2007) and author of Money and Power (Pluto, 2009), and is currently completing a book on The Financialisation of Power in Africa (Routledge, forthcoming). She is also a Columnist at The Africa Report,



Book Chapters

  • Bracking, S. (2014) Corruption and development: the mutable edges of morality in modern markets. In: Heywood, Paul (ed) The Routledge International Handbook on Political Corruption. London: Routledge.
  • Bracking, S. (2014) Financial flows and secrecy jurisdictions in times of crisis. In  Hammar, A. (ed.) Displacement Economies, London, Uppsala: Zedpress, Nordiska Afrikainstitutet. (Africa Now series).


  • Bracking, S. (2015). Performativity in the Green Economy: how far does climate finance create a fictive economy? Third World Quarterly, 36(12), 2337-2357.
  • Bracking, S. (2014). The Anti-politics of Climate Finance: The Creation and Performativity of the Green Climate Fund, Antipode, 47, pages 36–302, doi:10.1111/anti.12123
  • Bracking, S. (2014) The anti-politics of climate finance: The Creation and Performativity of the Green Climate Fund. Antipode. doi: 10.1111/anti.12123



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