Personal profile


BA Politics (1994, Liverpool), PGDip Research Methodology (1996, UCE), MA Development Studies (1997, Staffs), Phd Development Studies (2002, Staffs)

Personal details

I am currently Deputy CEO of the African Cities Research Consortium, a six-year programme funded by FCDO, which seeks to generate new insights and approaches to tackle complex problems in Africa’s rapidly changing cities, and enable them to become more productive, equitable and inclusive. Previously, I was joint Director of Research within the DFID-funded Effective States and Inclusive Development (ESID) Research Centre, which concluded in 2019.

Research interests

My research examines the links between politics and development, including issues of state capacity and elite commitment, natural resource governance, social exclusion and adverse incorporation, citizenship participation and NGOs and the politics of social protection and social justice. Much of this work is carried out within the DFID-funded Effective States and Inclusive Development (ESID) Research Centre (2011-2016,, within which I am joint Director of Research, some of which in turn builds on earlier work within the Chronic Poverty Research Centre. I also carry out research and advisory work for some international development agencies, including the UK Department for International Development, UNDP, NORAD, the World Bank and several non-governmental organisations.


Current research projects

Effective States and Inclusive Development (ESID) Research Centre (£9m, 2011-2019,

The Politics of State Capacity in Africa: Pockets of Bureaucratic Effectiveness (£0.5mn, 2017-2020, ESRC-DFID)


Further information

Teaching Commitments

Contributing lecturer to the following courses: 

Politics, Governance and Development

Development Fundamentals

Development Research

Poverty and Development

Policy Analysis

Anti-Poverty Transfers

Research Methodology (PhD course)


Current PhD Students

2016- Mohammed Ibrahim, ‘Investigating the socio-political impacts of social protection in Ghana’. Fully funded through Zochonis Trust Award. Lead, with Tom Lavers.

2016- Edward Ampratwum, 'The Politics of Implementing Social Protection in Ghana'. Fully funded through School PhD Award. Lead, with Tom Lavers.

2015- Matt Tyce ‘The political dynamics of growth and structural transformation in KenyaESRC Fully funded through ESRC-NWDTC Award. Lead; Co-supervisor: Kunal Sen.

2014-  Kate Pruce ‘The politics of social protection in Zambia’. Fully funded through ESRC-NWDTC Award. Lead; Co-supervisor: Armando Barrientos.

2013- Chris Lyon ‘Social contracts and social justice in Brazil: towards a relational approach’. Fully funded through BWPI Award. Lead; Co-supervisor: Armando Barrientos.

2013- Ishmael Aayanore. ‘Governing oil in Ghana’. Fully funded through Government of Ghana. Lead; Co-supervisor:Tomas Frederiksen.


Completed PhD Students

Jessica Hawkins. State formation in Uganda. Co-supervisor, with Tim Jacoby.

Kojo Asante ‘The politics of oil in Ghana and Uganda’. Principal Supervisor, with Tony Bebbington. Fully funded through BWPI/ESID.

Sophie King ‘Exploring the Political Space for Empowerment in Uganda: the role of NGOs’. Principal Supervisor, with Admos Chimhowu. Fully funded through ESRC +3 Scheme).

Badru Bukenya, ‘The politics of service delivery: towards processes of state and citizenship formation in Uganda’. Principal Supervisor, with Admos Chimhowu. Part funded through an SED Bursary Award.

Briony Smith 'Rebuilding social relations and citizenship in post-conflict Bosnia' (Principal Supervisor). Fully funded through ESRC award.

Ambrose Kessy 'Local governance reform in Tanzania' (Co-supervisor)

Annapaola Letizia 'Local governance reform and political capabilities in Albania' (Co-supervisor)

Jenny Peterson 'War economies and the neoliberal policy agenda in post-war Kosovo' (Principal Supervisor, 2004-7). Fully funded through Faculty OSR Award.

N'deye Fall 'NGOs and development in Senegal' (Co-supervisor, 2004-7) 


Country Experience

Cameroon, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia and Namibia.


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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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