Believers in the potential of communities

Who we are

From the Roots Up (FTRU), established in October 2021, is a student-run think tank that aims to positively impact communities by providing support to community-based NGOs through research that addresses knowledge gaps.

At its core, FTRU is simply a group of individuals who are passionate about grassroots development.

What we do

We assemble teams of students passionate about grassroots development and connect each team with a community-based NGO to create and conduct research projects based on the needs of the NGO.

What we believe

At FTRU, we think that effective aid isn't handed out from the top down, but must work from the roots up. Communities that are impacted by development should have the primary say in development decisions, and therefore NGOs that are rooted to the communities that they serve are of great importance. We believe that they are worth supporting in order to get closer to addressing the root problems that underpin development initiatives.

Where community-based NGOs lack the capacity to research into knowledge gaps that might aid their programs, there may be room for FTRU to make a difference in this sector by bringing together NGOs and students. Interdisciplinary teams of students can be a useful resource to support these initiatives by bringing a diversity of perspectives to develop holistic research outcomes.

what is community-BASED development?

“Community-based development (CBD) is an approach to implementing local development projects that advocates for community participation in decision-making and management, with a goal of using local knowledge and resources to run more effective projects.” (Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab)

However, literature surrounding Community-Based Development suggests that, in practice, its large potential gains may be unrealised for various reasons. More reading can be done on this at this link.

for students

We are open to applications from all students from the University of Oxford passionate about grassroots development and willing to commit to the full length of a project.

Please see this page to see our job descriptions and be directed to making an application.