Katherine has a masters in Development Studies from the London School of Economics, is a Special Advisor to the Lonely Planet on their Volunteering publications, and has her own International Development Q&A page with guardian careers.
Katherine’s passion for international development and volunteering emerged during her Tourism Management degree at the University of Plymouth where she studied the harmful effects of western tourism on fragile developing communities. She went onto publish work on the importance of environmental and cultural education at fragile tourism sites and took a more keen interest in the role of volunteering in development during her VSO placement.
Katherine spent one year volunteering through VSO in Nepal in 1999/2000 where she worked for an environmental NGO called the Kathmandu Environmental Education Project www.keepnepal.org (who we are partners with to this day!). She witnessed first hand the challenges and needs of development NGOs in the field and met a lot of volunteers and travellers wanting to make a difference. In reality many of the volunteers she met, on short term gap year style placements, were not making much of a difference and were not addressing any of the skills gaps she had witnessed at NGOs around the country. It was in Nepal that Katherine informally started matching people she knew with NGOs that needed skilled assistance and trying to explore ways that volunteering could more meaningfully engage in International Development.
Founding 2Way Development
A few years later, after much research and preparation, 2Way Development was born, a social enterprise that provided a professional alternative to government gap year experiences, and a way to connect skilled volunteers with development charities in a sustainable and personal way.