Marsela Dauti is a Marie Curie Fellow at the Department of Government. She holds a PhD and MSW from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, and MA from the Department of Gender Studies at Central European University. Before joining the Department of Government, she was an Associate Professor at the University of Tirana and the University of New York in Tirana.
Keywords: participatory development government responsiveness political empowerment of women evidence-based policymaking global social work political social work mixed methods and interdisciplinary research
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My research investigates how democratization processes unfold at the community level, focusing on issues of inclusion, accountability, and responsiveness. I have published articles in the British Journal of Social Work, Global Social Welfare, Social Development Issues, Journal of Human Rights and Social Work, and Community Development Journal, among others. My current research project, funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, examines the impact of gender quotas on local decision making in post-authoritarian regimes. I am keen on supporting policymakers, development practitioners, and human rights activists to integrate evidence in their work, and strengthen the impact of the social work profession on policymaking processes.
My research lies at the intersection of macro social work (social development, political social work) and political science (political representation, gender and politics, democratization). Most of my research is conducted in Albanian communities, where I have been involved since 2010.
Participatory initiatives and government responsiveness
Drawing on interviews, participant observation, and process tracing, I investigate the impact of participatory initiatives on government responsiveness. I have studied the impact of citizen advisory panels and community scorecards – two participatory initiatives supported by USAID and UN Women in Albanian communities – on government responsiveness. My work provides insights for development agencies and community organizations implementing participatory initiatives.
Citizens’ engagement in local decision-making
My research on citizens’ engagement in decision-making is divided into two tracks. The first track examines barriers to citizens’ engagement in formal organizations. The second track focuses on citizens’ engagement with local representatives. I have collaborated with community organizations and citizens’ groups to implement interventions that draw on participatory, innovative approaches. An underlying feature of these interventions is the combination of research with advocacy and capacity building.
Women’s political representation
Combining natural language processing with qualitative and quantitative analysis, I examine whether and how electoral gender quotas affect democratization processes. My work on electoral gender quotas contributes to theories of women’s representation and institutional change, shedding light on women’s political agency in post-authoritarian regimes.
I have received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, United Nations Development Programme – Albania, European Union’s Regional Programme on Local Democracy in the Western Balkans, European Union’s Civil Society Instruments Against Corruption Programme, and MoveAlbania – Local Democracy in Action.
Dauti, M. (forthcoming). “It’s not just a matter of increasing numbers!” Advancing women’s political representation in quota-adopting countries. Social Policy Issues.
Dauti, M., Dhëmbo, E., Bejko, E., & Allmuça, M. (forthcoming). Rethinking the transformative role of the social work profession in Albania: Some lessons learned from the response to COVID-19. International Social Work.
Dauti, M. (under review). Gender quotas, state reforms, and service responsiveness in local councils.
Dauti, M. (under review). Measuring gender differences in political behavior through surveys vis-à-vis big data. What does the comparison reveal?
Dauti, M. (under review). Bystanders or contesters? Women’s political representation and quality of government in the local councils of Albania.
Dauti, M. (2019). Do community scorecards enhance the responsiveness of government officials? Evidence from the implementation of a development project in Albania. Social Development Issues, 41(1), 1-14.
Bejko, E., & Dauti, M. (2018). The politics of evidence-based policymaking in Albania: Implications for human rights advocates. Journal of Human Rights and Social Work, 4(1), 83-90. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41134-018-0074-3
Dauti, M. (2017). Women’s decision-making power in the local councils of Albania: Do numbers make a difference? Global Social Welfare, 5(4), 253-263. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40609-017-0105-5
Dauti, M. (2017). The impact of decentralization on participation in formal organizations in Albania: Lessons for community-based interventions. International Social Work, 60(6), 1523-1536. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020872817695392
Dauti, M. (2016). Contesting corruption: How the poor demand accountability and responsiveness from government officials. British Journal of Social Work, 47(2), 561-578. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcw019
Dauti, M., & Gjermeni, E. (2015). Mapping women’s representation in the local councils of Albania. In S. P. Ramet & C. M. Hassenstab (Eds.), Gender (in)equality and gender politics in Southeastern Europe: A question of justice (pp. 213-228). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Dauti, M. (2014). Can participatory governance enhance public services in a transitional democracy? Lessons from Albania. Social Development Issues, 36(2), 65-77.
Dauti, M. (2014). Outcomes of participatory decision-making: Evidence from Albania. East European Politics and Societies and Cultures, 29(1), 226-247. https://doi.org/10.1177/0888325414536260
Dauti, M. (2014). Decentralization on the ground: Challenges and opportunities for social work practitioners in post-communist Albania. Community Development Journal, 50(1), 10-23. https://doi.org/10.1093/cdj/bsu001
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