Joseph K Assan

Senior Lecturer and Sustainable International Development Program Director

Joseph K Assan's photo


Office: Heller-Brown Building 154
Phone: 781-736-3989
Brandeis Directory


International Development Policy Analysis; International Political Economy; Livelihood Sustainability; Migration, Refugees, and Borders; Household Well Being; Social Policy; Sustainable Development; Development Studies; Development Management; Poverty Reduction; Climate Change Adaptation; Resilience; Agriculture and Rural Development; Land Tenure Security; Environmentally Induced Vulnerabilities and Human Security; Youth (Un)Employment Policy; Environment, Health, and Human Well-being; Employment and Labour Policy; Social Protection; Project Management; Project Planning and Implementation.


  • HS 203f - Contemporary Issues in Africa's Development
  • HS 205f - Organizational Management for Development Practitioners
  • HS 211f - Agriculture and Rural Development
  • HS 258f - Strategic Planning and Project Management
  • HS 277f - Introduction to Planning and Implementation
  • HS 279a - Planning and Implementation
  • HS 285f - Livelihoods, Enterprises and Development


  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Cape Coast

Joseph K Assan

Senior Lecturer and Sustainable International Development Program Director


Professor Joseph K. Assan is a faculty on the Sustainable International Development Program, The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, at Brandeis University. Joseph holds a PhD from the University of Liverpool, UK. He is currently the Associate Director for International Political Economy and Sustainable Development at the Center for Global Development and Sustainability at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Until his appointment at Brandeis University, Joseph was an Assistant Professor of Development Practice at Trinity College Dublin where he acted as the Associate Director of the Masters in Development Practice Programme which was jointly run by Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin, Ireland. Prior to this, Dr Joseph Assan served as the Director of the International Development Program at the University of Liverpool and as a lecturer in International Development at the University of East London, UK. Since 2018, he serves as an Editor of CASTE: A Global Journal on Social Exclusion, an open access, peer-reviewed journal published under the auspices of the Brandeis Library. Joseph has extensive field research experience in international and sustainable development and has worked as a Project Officer with organizations such as the Global Hunger Project. He has published in numerous international peer-reviewed journals including Area Development and Policy, Foreign Affairs, Journal of Sustainable Development, Journal of International Development, and International Development Planning Review. His research examines the intersection between migration, sustainable livelihoods, environmental variability/climate change, and household well-being. He is also interested in the impact of social protection programs on human security and wellbeing within the context of poverty reduction. Over the years, Joseph has developed teaching skills and research expertise in the field of the political economy of international development with an interest in the nexus of theory, policy, and practice in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Dr. Joseph Assan was invited to speak on Capitol Hill, discussing how to sustain Africa’s current growth and reduce inequality. He has also participated in various international high-level fora including meetings at Brussels, Paris, Bonn, Copenhagen, Beijing, Delhi, Brookings Institution, Washington DC, focusing on global development, the USA, China, and Africa relations, livelihoods development strategies in developing countries, Internal Migration and Displacement, and Vulnerability among others. Joseph served as the co-chair of the conference sub-theme on Migration, Borders and Refugees for the African Studies Association. He also served on the Executive Committee of the African Speciality Group of the Association of American Geographers, a member of the Scientific Council of the Development Studies Association, UK and Ireland and a board member of the Boston Network for International Development (BNID) for several years. Joseph is currently the faculty representative on the Heller Board of Advisors, and was previously a member of the Brandeis Faculty Senate.

Awards and Honors

  • African Studies Association Advocacy Award (2018)
  • Recipient of the 2017 Heller School's Best Research Team Award as Principal Investigator, by the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University (2017 - 2018)
  • Davis Fellow (2015 - 2016)
  • National Endowment of the Humanities Research Fellow (2015 - 2016)