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Home » Local News

International Graduate Students Help Out In The Lanes

Published by on Friday, 13 February 2009No Comment

Unique international collaboration for Brighton’s Lanes A unique international collaboration between a team of development researchers and the Lanes Business Network is exploring the future of the business community in the Lanes this month. 

“The Lanes is a unique, historic area, with a vibrant business community.  We have an opportunity to revitalise the Lanes Business Network so that it’s really valuable to our members.  But to do that, we need to know what the community wants from us, and how they would like to become involved” explains Tim Maugherman, Chair of the Lanes Business Network.

The research team, made up of four students at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex, will bring their varied experience in community development in Kenya, South Africa, Guatemala, Indonesia and Australia to understanding what makes the Lanes a community.

The students are conducting the research as part of their studies at IDS. 

During the week beginning Monday 16th February, students will be in the Lanes, to meet traders and talk about their ideas for the Lanes Business Network and the challenges, priorities and ideas for the Lanes area.

Traders can also contact the team with their views by email, at

For the students, working in the Lanes is a fascinating opportunity to compare and contrast how individuals and organisations come together in Brighton with the work they are engaged in overseas.

“I’m interested in what motivates the Lane’s Network members to come together to build their sense of community” says Rosario Garcia, a student from Guatemala.

“In Kenya the challenges at community level are not so different to the challenges here. We are interested in balancing tradition with modernization, protecting the environment and ensuring people can live in safety.’” said Gathoni Njenga.

The Lanes Business Network includes more than 100 traders located in The Lanes area of Brighton. Membership is free. The Network was set up to: network and create interaction between businesses in the Lanes; market the Lanes; keep the Lanes traders informed and represented on important issues involving the council.  The Network is currently assessing its direction for 2009. Tim Maugherman of Maugherman’s Deli is the current Chair.

The IDS students bring considerable knowledge of a range of social and environmental issues from more than 30 years combined work experience in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Australia.

  • Rosario Garcia Meza: works in Guatemala on women’s empowerment with NGOs and community groups.
  • Gathoni Njenga works with a capacity building organization in Kenya.
  • Andy Seale works with the UN in South Africa on HIV and AIDS.
  • Joanne Sharpe works in communication and public consultation in Indonesia and Australia.

The team will present their findings at an informal social evening on Monday 2 March, and traders in the community will be invited to attend.

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