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 1968–1978) and Frances Stewart (Director 1994–2004). Research on poverty and vulnerability is also carried out by the International Growth Centre (IGC).

In the media
Shannon Philip
Research Student
Natalie Quinn
Senior Research Officer, OPHI
Lucia Rost
Research Student
Juan Manuel Santos
Visiting Professor
Sophie Scharlin-Pettee
MPI Data Analyst and Supervisor, OPHI
Frances Stewart
Professor Emeritus of Development Economics
Caroline Wanjiku Kihato
Visiting Fellow


25 Oct, 2018
Nobel Peace Laureate Juan Manuel Santos appointed Visiting Professor at ODID
20 Sep, 2018
Half of world’s poor are children, according to new OPHI/UNDP figures
15 Jun, 2018
Young Lives team runners up in 2018 OxTALENT awards for data visualizations
01 Mar, 2018
HDRO and OPHI unify global multidimensional poverty measures to better monitor progress on SDGs
27 Feb, 2018
New article co-authored by Masooda Bano explores family and school effects on religiosity in Pakistan
13 Feb, 2018
Young Lives publish new summative report on children's work
30 Jan, 2018
Young Lives release new data visualizations
23 Jan, 2018
New update of OPHI's global MPI shows 48% of people in Angola are poor
15 Jan, 2018
New book by alumnus Indrajit Roy: Politics of the Poor
09 Jan, 2018
New article by Kate Pincock examines impact of education on Tanzanian girls' sexual agency


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
09 Jun, 2017
Child Marriages Rising in Urban India, Declining in Rural. The Wire highlights study by Young Lives India and India's National Commission for Protection of Child Rights
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