Writing by the Dignity Project

PSJP response: A step on the path to defining dignity. Philanthropy for Social Justice & Peace, November 2018

The Dignity Project. Humanitarian Evidence Week – Evidence Aid, November 2018

What does ‘Dignity’ add to our understanding of development? From Poverty to Power, February 2018

Presentation at the Africa Social and Behaviour Change conference, Nairobi, 20 February 2019

A life that matters: building a dignity agenda in UK aid. Submission of evidence to UK Parliament International Development Committee’s inquiry on the philosophy and culture of aid. 6 February 2021.


Writing by others

Lots of exciting work is being done in this area by many different people. It’s a vast field, and there’s a lot more detail in our literature review, but here are some of the most prominent projects.

  • Remy Debes is one of several academics leading a revival of philosophical interest in dignity – read an accessible summary of his research agenda at Aeon.
  • ODI’s Humanitarian Policy Group has been exploring dignity and displacement in recent publications. Its series of reports constitutes the most extensive examination of dignity in development so far.
  • Mansur Lalljee and colleagues published an important series of papers on the psychology and measurement of respect for others.
  • There has been a series of investigations into respectfulness in medicine, most prominently in palliative care (by Chochinov, among others), and in maternal care.
  • Jeffrey Paller published a fascinating paper on dignified public expression in Ghanaian politics.
  • When it comes to development, Philanthropy for Social Justice & Peace released a summary of its discussions around dignity and development, the Aspen Institute has released a short book, ‘Development as Dignity’, and even the UN Secretary General has put dignity to the fore in development.

Of course, work on dignity also owes much to a wider agenda that has charted disrespect (and worse) in development. This project owes much to authors such as Robert Chambers, James C. Scott and the currents of thinking around community-driven development, localisation, and empowerment.