No need for Sherlock

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Cooranbong, New South Wales

The Avondale academic who co-edited the first book to objectively critique child sponsorship has now completed the doctoral degree on which it is based.

It’s a privilege to research in a way that influences broader debate and awareness of the most appropriate way of helping millions of poor children globally.

The research Dr Brad Watson conducted for his Doctor of Philosophy thesis contributes to almost half of the 15 chapters in Child Sponsorship: Exploring Pathways to a Brighter Future, a scholarly text published by Palgrave Macmillan.

The book’s genesis might be traced to Dr Watson’s personal sponsorship of several children and his previous employment with Asian Aid, a Christian charity for which he also served as a company director.

Child Sponsorship is a collaboration between Dr Watson, a senior lecturer in international poverty and development studies at Avondale College of Higher Education, and his doctoral supervisor, Professor Matthew Clarke, head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin University. At 272 pages, the book uses contributions from other academics and practitioners to explore the origins, the controversy, the diversity and the challenges of the billion-dollar industry.

Organisations contributing chapters include World Vision International, the world’s largest child sponsor, Save the Children International, Plan International, Compassion International and Transform International.

Unlike most doctoral students, Dr Watson published the book before the thesis, which is called Child Sponsorship NGOs: Origins, Evolution and Motives for Change. Conferral will come at Deakin in October, more than a year after the book’s launch at Avondale in 2014.

“The most exciting thing about my PhD is that it’s over!” says Watson. “No, I’m kidding. I’m excited to have found such an interesting and important topic. It’s a privilege to research in a way that influences broader debate and awareness of the most appropriate way of helping millions of poor children globally.”

Child Sponsorship: Exploring Pathways to a Brighter Future is available from Palgrave Macmillan. A review of the book can be found HERE.