Tiina Kontinen

General description

Tiina Kontinen is Associate Professor in International Development Studies. She leads the International Master's Degree Programme for Development, Education and International Cooperation (DEICO),  which is a joint programme between the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Education and Psychology.  She is also responsible for the discipline of  Development Studies and the PhD programme in Development Studies at the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy. 

In 2022, Kontinen was granted the Good Teacher Award in the University of Jyväskylä, based on the recommendations of students and the Student Union. She teaches several courses in DEICO progamme, and continuously supervises Master Thesis and PhD dissertation. 

She received the Title of Docent (adjunct professor) in Development Studies at the University of Helsinki in 2015, and in Adult Education (especially in organizational learning and change in associations) at the University of Jyväskylä in 2016. In has held an Honorary Research Fellowship in Social Anthropology in the School of Social Studies, University of Manchester.

She was a Finnish representative in the Executive Committee of the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) in 2011-2017. Kontinen is also a former Chair and a member of the Board of the Finnish Society for Development Research, and a current Chair of the Board in the UniPID - Finnish University Partnership for International Development until the end of 2023. 

She is a co-convenor of EADI-working group on Citizenship and Civil Society in Development together with Marianne Millstein and Kees Biekart. Kontinen also serves as a member of Programme and Research Council of the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala.  

Kontinen received her PhD in 2007 at the Faculty of Behavioral Sciences, University of Helsinki. Her PhD Learning Challenges of NGOs in Development was awarded a price among five top-PhDs in the Faculty. In the University of Helsinki, she attended (1999-2003) a multidisciplinary Graduate School for Activity Theory and Developmental Work Research in one of the Centres of Excellences granted by the Academy of Finland. She was also an associate member of the national graduate school for development studies, DEVESTU. In 2004-2007, she  worked as an assistant lecturer in the discipline of Development Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki, where she later (2010-2011) continued as a postdoctoral researcher. In between (2007-2010), she was employed by a Finnish umbrella organization KEPA as a coordinator for organizational development and collaborated with a number of development NGOs. She joined the staff of the University of Jyväskylä in January 2012 as a  senior lecturer in the international master degree programme Development and International Cooperation, and was working as an Academy of Finland Research Fellow 2016-2021.

Active JYU affiliations

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Research interests

Kontinen's research interests include civil society, civic space, civil society organizations and NGOs, knowledge production, citizenship, learning citizenship, and North-South collaborations, with geographical focus on East Africa. She has led several research project funded by the Academy of Finland with global teams. Kontinen leads a research group on 'Civil Society and Citizenship in Development' (CitDe) and a research group on 'Critical Approches to Sustainability, Global Education, and Development' (CritED) (together with Senior Lecturer Heidi Layne). She emphasises collaborative working and publishing in research teams, as well as provision of opportunities for early career researchers and researchers from the global south.

Fields of science

Follow-up groups

Personal keywords

civil society; civic space; civil society organizations; non-governmental organization; citizenship; North-South partnerships; Tanzania; Uganda

Projects as Principal investigator

Publications and other outputs

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Last updated on 2023-18-12 at 10:14