David Hulme


  • School of Environment, Education and Development, Oxford Road

    M13 9PL Manchester

    United Kingdom

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Personal profile


David Hulme is Professor of Development Studies at the University of Manchester where he is Executive Director of the Global Development Institute and CEO of the Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre. He has worked on rural development, poverty and poverty reduction, microfinance, the role of NGOs in conflict/peace and development, environmental management, social protection and the political economy of global poverty for more than 30 years. His main focus has been on Bangladesh but he has worked extensively across South Asia, East Africa and the Pacific.  

Research interests

  • Political economy analysis (PEA)
  • Rural development policy and planning
  • Poverty reduction strategies
  • Finance for the poor
  • Sociology of development
  • Role of community organisations and NGOs
  • Evaluation of technical assistance
  • Environmental management; public sector reform

Country Experience:

Bangladesh, Belize, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe.


Current Positions

Professor of Development Studies 
Executive Director, Global Development Institute (GDI)
CEO, Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre (ESID)

Previous Roles

  • Head of Institute of Development Policy and Management (IDPM) (2010-2013)
  • CEO, Brazil in Africa program (2016-2018)
  • Professor of Development Studies, Leverhulme Professorial Research Fellow (2006-2009)
  • Associate Director Chronic Poverty Research Centre (2005-2010)
  • Associate Director ESRC Global Poverty Research Group (to 2007)
  • Associate Director Brooks World Poverty Institute (from 2006),
  • Associate Director, Institute for Development Policy and Management (from 2009)
  • Director and Founder of Chronic Poverty Research Centre (2000-2005),
  • Joint Director and Co-founder for ESRC Global Poverty Research Group (from 2002),
  • Director of Institute for Development Policy and Management (1992-1997), 

Visiting Appointments

  • 2016-18 School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne: Visiting Professor, intensive postgraduate teaching, advice to doctoral students and Dean’s Lecture
  • Institute of Developing Economies Advanced Studies Tokyo, 1996 & 2012
  • BRAC University, Bangladesh - Visiting Professor, BRAC Development Institute, Jan 2006
  • Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies - Visiting Professor and Joint Director Programme for Research on  Chronic Poverty in Bangladesh, April 2002 - April 2006

Other research

Editorships of journals

  • 2006 to date: Canadian Journal of Development Studies (Editorial Board)
  • 2003 to date: Oxford Development Studies (Editorial Board)
  • 2003 to 2008: Public Administration and Development (Editorial Board)
  • 1997 to date: Public Management Journal (Editor for Developing Countries)
  • 1994 to 1998: Journal of International Development (Joint Managing Editor)
  • 1987 to 1994: Manchester Papers on Development (Book Review Editor)

Guest editorships of refereed journals

  • Special Issue: Histories of Microfinance, Journal of Business History (with T Arun), 2012
  • Special Issue: Health, Health-care, Well-being and Poverty, Journal of Development Studies (with D Lawson), 2012
  • Special Issue: Understanding Poverty and Well-Being: Bridging the Disciplines, Journal of Development Studies, 42(7) (with J Toye), 2006
  • Special Issue: Chronic Poverty and Social Protection, European Journal of Development Research, 17(1) (with A Barrientos), 2005
  • Special Issue: Chronic Poverty and Development Policy, World Development, 31(3) (with A Shepherd), 2003
  • Special Issue: Different Poverties, Different Policies, Journal of International Development 14(5) (with B Cooke), 2002

Other research


  • 2017-2021 RCUK – Global Challenges Research Fund - (£8 million): CEO and PI for the Future Dams Research Consortium examining the design and assessment of mega-water system interventions (led by GDI, MACE at Manchester and IIED)
  • 2017-2020 DFID Research Programme Consortium – Phase 2 (£3.0 million): CEO of Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre Phase 2, ESID (proposal with S Hickey and K Sen)
  • 2016 Rockefeller Foundation (US$30,000): Grant to mount the ESID Phase 1 Synthesis Workshop at the Rockefeller Bellagio Centre with 23 participants from 10 countries (with S Nasneen)
  • 2014-2017 - NERC Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation Grant. Co-investigator and principal investigator mentor for the 'Institutions for Urban Poor's Access to Ecosystem Services: A Comparison of Green and Water Structures in Bangladesh and Tanzania' (with M Roy).
  • 2011-2017 - DFID Research Programme Consortium - Effective States and Just Societies’ Research Centre
  • CEO for an international consortium that explores the ways in which state capacity to meet citizen needs and preferences can be improved with S Hickey and K Sen (joint Research Directors).
  • 2010-2013 - ESRC/DFID Research on International Development Grant: Principal investigator for ‘Community and institutional responses to the challenges facing poor urban people in an era of climate change in Bangladesh’ (with S Guy and M Roy).
  • 2010-2011 - ESRC Emerging Powers Research Network: Principal investigator to establish an international research network on ‘Beyond the BRICs: Emerging Powers and Global Poverty’ (with M vom Hau and J Scott).
  • 2005-2010 - Chronic Poverty Research Centre Phase 3
  • Principal investigator for the grant and Associate Director of CPRC responsible for the Core Academic Research Programme.
  • 2002-2007 - Global Poverty Research Group (ESRC)
  • Joint-Director (with Professor John Toye) of the Global Poverty Research Group (GPRG), an ESRC Research Group operated by the Universities of Manchester and Oxford. The key focus of the group is to explore the ways in which cross-disciplinary and multi-methodological analyses can contribute to the understanding of poverty and policies for poverty-reduction.
  • 2002-2006 - Programme for Research on Chronic Poverty in Bangladesh (DFID, Bangladesh)
  • UK Director of PRCPB, a collaborative research programme operated by IDPM and the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies. PRCPB produces the Bangladesh Chronic Poverty Report and provides ‘big picture’ applied research on the country’s development prospects.

Strategic activities:

  • 2013-2016 - Brooks World Poverty Institute, The University of Manchester: Member of the team that designed the proposal for the third phase of BWPI (with A Barrientos and R Wilkinson). Academic leader for negotiations with Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Foundation and Director of the 'Global Poverty Reduction' programme.
  • 2009-2012 - Brooks World Poverty Institute, University of Manchester: Member of the team that designed the proposal for the second phase of BWPI. Academic leader for negotiations with the R and E Brooks Foundation and Director of the ‘Global Poverty Reduction’ and ‘BDI-BWPI Collaborative Research’ programmes.


Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • ESRC/DFID Poverty Alleviation Research Grants Committee - Vice-chair (September 2013)
  • Academy of Social Sciences - Academician (appointed March 2013)
  • International Social Science Council  - Member of the Scientific Committee of the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP) (appointed February 2013)
  • Oxford International Development Department, University of Oxford - Member of the Academic Advisory Board (2012-2015)
  • Fellow of the Human Development and Capabilities Association - Elected to a five year fellowship in April 2010. 
  • Development Studies Association of the UK and Ireland - Member (1985-present), elected member of Council (1987-1992 and 2001-2004) and Annual Conference Convenor (1987 and 2001)
  • Economic and Social Committee on Research, Department for International Development - Statutory appointment by the Secretary of State for International Development to ESCOR (1997-2001) the committee that allocated DFID research grants to the social sciences
  • Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex (2006-2009) - Member of Advisory Council to id21 (the organisation responsible for the dissemination of UK research on International Development in the UK, Europe and globally)
  • Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University, the Netherlands - Member of Academic Advisory Council (2004-2008)
  • Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford - Member of the Advisory Council (2002-2007)
  • Citizenship and Participation Research Centre, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex - Member of the Centre Advisory and Review Group (2001-2005)

Supervision information

Previous PhD supervisions:

  • Abdulai Abdul-Gafaru - The state and poverty in Northern Ghana
  • Admire Nyamwanza - Adapting to climate change in the Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe
  • L Peter Ragno - Social protection in urban Bangladesh: an analysis of the old age pension scheme
  • Mohammed Eusuf - Dynamics of Urban Poverty in Bangladesh
  • Mathilde Maitrot - Corporate governance and the social performance of MFIs in Bangladesh
  • Moustafa Khalil - Islamic organisations and poverty reduction in Egypt
  • Ganga Tilakaratna - The role of microfinance in poverty reduction in Sri Lanka
  • You-Ah Chung - The political economy of South Korean foreign aid
  • Lucy Scott (2007 to 2010) - The Chars Livelihoods Programme and poverty reduction in Bangladesh
  • Daniel Neff (2005-2009) - A comparison of objective and subjective methods of assessing poverty
  • Alessandro Conticini (2002-2005)- Why do children in Bangladesh migrate to the street?
  • Jonathan Goodhand (1998-2005) - The role of NGOs in peace-building: a comparison of Afghanistan and Sri Lanka
  • Hiroko Tanaka (2000-2005) - Poverty reduction in Thailand: a comparison of universal and targeted approaches
  • Linda Norgrove (2000-2004) - Resisting the park: community conservation at Mount Elgon, Uganda
  • Admos Chimhowu (1999-2003) - Livelihood dynamics on land settlement schemes in Zimbabwe
  • Lauchlan Munro (1998-2001) - An evaluation of social protection programmes in Zimbabwe
  • Trevor Rees (1997-2001) - Community conservation in India: a study of World Bank Ecodevelopment Schemes
  • Takayuki Sahara (1996-2000) - Institutional development approaches in Japanese foreign aid
  • Amani Abou-Zeid (1996-2000) - A technical and political assessment of the Egyptian Social Fund
  • Jorge Barenstein (1996-2000) - Strengthening local government in Bangladesh: a fuzzy set analysis
  • Christopher Southgate (1994-1998) - Local governance and conservation at Kimana Swamp, Kenya
  • Mubina Khondkar (1995-1998) - Womens empowerment and microfinance in Bangladesh
  • Orovu Sepoe (1994-1998) - Womens empowerment and social change in Papua New Guinea
  • Deryck Brown (1993-1996) - Institutional development of enterprise promotion agencies in the Caribbean
  • Graeme Buckley (1992-1996) - Indigenous enterprise and microfinance in Africa
  • Md Noore Alam Siddiquee (1990-1994) - Decentralisation and development in Bangladesh: a study of the Upazila system

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 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Land Settlement Schemes and Rural Development in Papua New Guinea , James Cook University of North Queensland


Bachelor of Arts, Economic Geography, University of Cambridge


External positions

President, Development Studies Association


Areas of expertise

  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • poverty
  • development studies
  • JA Political science (General)
  • JF Political institutions (General)
  • JZ International relations
  • GE Environmental Sciences
  • climate change

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities
  • Digital Futures
  • Sustainable Futures
  • Global Development Institute


  • global development
  • development studies
  • poverty
  • inequalities


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