Hannah Mcnicol

Hannah Mcnicol


Personal profile


Hannah holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in History and Politics from Magdalen College, University of Oxford (2018) and a Masters in Development Studies, specialising in Gender, from the University of Melbourne (Deans Honours List). She is a dual awarded PhD Researcher at the University of Melbourne and University of Manchester and affiliate of the Global Development Institute.

Hannah is a member of the "Second Cold War Observatory". Her research focuses on the relationship between the Chinese and dominant liberal development models in the context of China's Belt and Road Initiative and the "Second Cold War".  In particular, Hannah is examining the significance of emerging ‘softer’ Special Economic Zones (SEZs) with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) objectives in both Chinese and liberal development policies under the increasingly shifting political economic dynamics of contemporary development. Hannah hopes to put policy mobilities and critical Development Studies in dialogue to better understand the impact on and role of local communities in this evolving mobile policy. 

Hannah was a co-author on "The Second Cold War: US-China Competition for Centrality in Infrastructure, Digital, Production, and Finance Networks"  and a key contributor for an Asian Development Bank paper at Oxford University on economic growth policy and sustainable investment in China. 

Further writing has explored:
- Discussions about Pacific aid in the face of Chinese geopolitical and security concerns;
- A Second Global Cold War observatory dispatch;
- The relevance of International (gender) Development for reclaiming International Women's Day;
- The need for ethical representation in the development sector;
- Women’s economic empowerment in Cambodia;
- Financial inclusion and women's entrepreneurship in Nepal;
- How to drive a more diverse and democratic impact investment market;
- The increasing role of "blended finance" in Australia's Development policy.

Hannah has been featured on the Development Intelligence Lab's "Intel" and as an OnImpact Media profile.
Hannah is also the Research and Communications Lead at the Australian International Development Network (AIDN) where she is the Editor of the "AIDN Beat", and assists with AIDN's podcast "philanthropod". Hannah previously worked at Good Return where she regularly contributed to Good Return’s blog and was part of a team to produce the Frontier Broker Network’s ‘Investing in Gender Equality’ podcast.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

External positions

PhD Researcher, The University of Melbourne

10 Sept 202110 Sept 2024

Areas of expertise

  • HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
  • Gender History
  • gender and sexuality studies
  • Gender inequalites
  • Development Aid
  • development studies
  • HB Economic Theory

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute


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