Robyn  Eversole Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Robyn Eversole

Robyn Eversole studies development issues and processes in Australia and internationally. She is an anthropologist whose research crosses disciplines to address practical development issues. Robyn has worked in Latin America, the Asia-Pacific region and across rural and regional Australia. She is originally from West Virginia, USA and now lives in Tasmania.


Robyn is passionate about connecting theory and practice, and generating research that is of practical use for professionals and communities grappling with development issues.  She has worked in the Australian university sector based on regional campuses for 15 years and prior to that she worked in international development practice with international NGOs, USAID, and European Commission projects.  She is fluent in Spanish and English and is the author of four scholarly books, six books for children and over 60 scholarly journal articles and book chapters.


    PhD, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, 1998

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Robyn has published extensively on participatory development, poverty, community engagement, development governance, local economic development and social enterprise. Much of her work has focused on linking the research and teaching roles of universities to the needs and opportunities in rural and regional communities. Her numerous applied research projects conducted in partnership with industry, government and community organisations, in direct response to their needs and concerns, have contributed to understanding social change and building resilience on the ground in rural and regional communities.  Her book Knowledge Partnering for Community Development describes the knowledge partnering development approach and how to apply it in practice.

Personal Interests

    Robyn enjoys the outdoors, hiking, gardening, and travelling with her family.



Regional Science Policy and Practice

Constructing Advantage in the Cradle Coast Region, Tasmania

Published: Jun 13, 2014 by Regional Science Policy and Practice
Authors: Robyn Eversole, Tony McCall
Subjects: Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Geography

The literature on regional innovation systems (RIS) highlights that the local contexts of knowledge production matter for economic success. For less-advantaged regions, this raises a practical methodological challenge: how to construct platforms for regional innovation from the ground up? This paper discusses how a university working in a peripheral Australian region has addressed this challenge, using insights from regional development platform method (RDPM).

Development Studies Research

Migrant Remittances and Household Development, An Anthropological Analysis

Published: May 19, 2014 by Development Studies Research
Authors: Robyn Eversole, Mary Johnson
Subjects: Anthropology - Soc Sci, Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Geography

Over the past decade, influxes of remittances from overseas workers, mostly sent to families back home, have begun to attract attention for their potential development impacts. This article seeks to answer the question: What is the development impact of these remittances for the households that receive them? with reference to field data from remittance-receiving households in the Philippines.

Local Economy

Social Enterprises as Local Development Actors

Published: Jul 30, 2013 by Local Economy
Authors: Robyn Eversole
Subjects: Anthropology - Soc Sci, Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Geography

The social enterprise sector is attracting policy and academic interest internationally for its promise to meet development challenges across social and economic domains. This article discusses findings from applied research in Tasmania, Australia, that aimed to understand whether social enterprises were present, what distinguished them as a sector, and the kinds of development roles they sought to play.

Community Development Journal

Social Enterprises in Rural Community Development

Published: May 27, 2013 by Community Development Journal
Authors: Robyn Eversole, Jo Barraket, Belinda Luke
Subjects: Anthropology - Soc Sci, Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Geography

Social enterprises are hybrid organizational forms that combine characteristics of for-profit businesses and community sector organizations. This article explores how rural communities may use social enterprises to progress local development agendas across both economic and social domains. Drawing on qualitative case studies of three social enterprises in rural North West Tasmania, this article explores the role of social enterprises in local development processes.

Community Development Journal

Remaking Participation:, Challenges for Community Development Practice

Published: Aug 11, 2010 by Community Development Journal
Authors: Robyn Eversole
Subjects: Anthropology - Soc Sci

Increasing communities' participation in development processes has been the subject of both policy aspiration and scholarly critique. This paper explores the implications of a critical perspective on the ‘elusive goal’ of participation. Drawing on insights from a range of scholars, this paper poses a practical challenge to professionals who work with communities: to name and challenge deeply embedded assumptions about expert knowledge and formal institutions.


New Interview - Knowledge Partnering for More Effective Development

By: Robyn Eversole

More effective development – what is required?

Knowledge Partnering for Community Development discusses why development efforts often fail, and how innovative solutions can be achieved by bringing different kinds of knowledge together. Read an interview with the author here: