Human Development, Poverty and Children

Human development – beyond per capita income, through health and education, to enabling productive, creative and autonomous lives – has long been a core theme for the department and our present strength and reputation in this field is due mainly to two research groups: the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and Young Lives.

ODID faculty have participated in design, methodology and research for the UNDP's flagship Human Development Report since its foundation in 1990. Building human capabilities necessarily starts with children, so the department also has a tradition of research collaboration with UNICEF.

Our research in this area draws on the pioneering work of Paul Streeten (QEH Director 1971–1978) and Frances Stewart (Director 1994–2004). Research on poverty and vulnerability is also carried out by the International Growth Centre (IGC).

In the media
Teaching maths using real world data: a Young Lives collaboration with Oxfam
Young Lives
Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative
Building universal social policy in the south
Intra-household decision-making: does religiosity matter?
Home and school contributions to cognitive skill formation and the effect of early stimulation int...
Consumption and social enterprise in a context of poverty, Morro da Cruz, Brazil
'Times have changed for real': children and youth and social change in central Rwanda...
Mobility and segregation of the indigenous population in Mexico


Sabina Alkire
Director, OPHI, and Associate Professor
Bridget Azubuike
Quantitative Research Assistant, Young Lives
Liza Benny
Quantitative Research Assistant, Young Lives
Anastasia Bow-Bertrand
Communications Manager, Young Lives
Jo Boyden
Professor of International Development and Director, Young Lives
Kristine Briones
Quantitative Research Assistant, Young Lives
Grace Chang
Quantitative Research Assistant, Young Lives
Gina Crivello
Senior Research Officer, Young Lives
Richard Dolan
Research Student


12 Oct, 2017
First Arab Multidimensional Poverty Report launched
09 Oct, 2017
New Young Lives paper explores children’s experiences of violence
29 Aug, 2017
Young Lives to launch 2016-17 school survey findings
24 Aug, 2017
Costa Rica launches world's first 'Business MPI'
10 Jul, 2017
New article by Padmini Iyer and Rhiannon Moore examines how Young Lives conceptualise, measure learning quality
21 Jun, 2017
Podcast of James Ferguson's Olof Palme Lecture now available
05 Jun, 2017
New OPHI research: half the world's poor are children
19 May, 2017
New OPHI article explores multidimensional poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa
18 May, 2017
New article by former ODID DPhils examines place of technology in Capability Approach
23 Mar, 2017
New article co-authored by Sabina Alkire explores changes in multidimensional poverty over time in 34 countries


07 Sep, 2017
'Surviving without thriving – but all is not lost for the world's "stunted" children'. Young Lives research on stunting featured in the Guardian
27 Jul, 2017
'Lessons for the Universalization of Health Care in Emerging Economies'. Indrajit Roy participates in UNRISD-organised webinar
04 Jul, 2017
'Nearly half of the world’s poor are now children – that’s 689m young people'. DPhil Felip Roa-Clavijo writes for The Conversation
10 May, 2017
'Gender gap in secondary education: Domestic chores the largest contributor, says study'. Young Lives research featured in
22 Nov, 2016
'Boys in Telangana, AP consume more nutritious food than girls'. Young Lives research features in Deccan Chronicle
12 Sep, 2016
'Ethiopia’s young men: Between hope and a hard place'. Young Lives research features in New Internationalist magazine
09 Sep, 2016
'Girls’ diverging pathways to marriage'. Read an essay by Gina Crivello on
24 May, 2016
The best books to challenge our assumptions about raising children. Jo Boyden interviewed by Five Books
16 Oct, 2014
'Can stunting be reversed? Yes, and Peru is showing us how'. Andreas Georgiadis writes for the Guardian
10 Jun, 2013
‘To be young and poor: the crisis of development’. Adil Hossain writes for The Guardian