Photo of John Thompson, a Research Fellow with the Knowledge Technology and Society Team

John Thompson - Research Fellow

Rural Futures; Resource Politics; Green Transformations
T: +44 (0)1273 915682


Layla Ismail

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John Thompson has worked on power, policy and sustainability issues in food and agriculture, water resource management and rural development for nearly 25 years, in both developing and industrialised countries.

He joined IDS in October 2006 as a Research Fellow and serves as Joint Co-ordinator of the Future Agricultures Consortium, which aims to encourage critical debate and policy dialogue on the future of agriculture in Africa and other developing regions.

Previously, he served as Director of the Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods Programme of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), London, and Director of Research and Development of Just Food, New York City. Thompson has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed articles, technical papers and reports, and is author and co-editor of several books.

In addition, he has sat on several international task forces, advisory panels and editorial boards, and has worked as a Research Associate at the National Environment Secretariat, Kenya, a Research Fellow at Clark and Harvard Universities, USA, and a Fellow at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria.

Modern agricultural biotechnology has profound implications for global and local agricultural and food systems, and for the livelihoods of farmers in the developed and developing worlds. The actual consequences will depend on the pathways along which the technology is developed and applied in practice.

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The DFID funded Future Agricultures Consortium is an Africa-based alliance of research organisations seeking to provide timely, high-quality and independent information and advice to improve agricultural policy and practice in Africa.

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The STEPS Centre is an interdisciplinary global research and policy engagement hub, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. It aims to develop a new approach to understanding, action and communication on sustainability and development.

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Four year initiative that will seek to maximise the impact of research funded by the ESRC DFID Strategic Partnership.

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Search and filter for all the author's publications by journal, research theme, country and much more.

This is the image for the 2nd IDS Virtual Bulletin, 'Ending Hunger and Malnutrition.

Ending Hunger and Malnutrition

IDS Virtual Bulletin 2 (2012)

The first article in this virtual IDS Bulletin is by Michael Lipton and dates from 1982. In that year the WHO stunting rate for children of preschool age in sub-Saharan Africa was 39 per cent. In 2012 the rate is still 39 per cent. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Contested Agronomy: Agricultural Research in a Changing World

Over the last 40 years, suggest the editors of Contested Agronomy, agricultural research in the developing world has been profoundly influenced by three powerful trends. More details

Non-IDS publication

Why Agronomy in the Developing World Has Become More Contentious

Agriculture and Human Values DOI 1007/s10460-012-9376-8.10 (2012)

Contested agronomy: more heat than light?

18 Feb 2016
By Jim Sumberg, John Thompson, Ken Giller, Jens Andersson

Thematic Expertise:
Accelerating Sustainability; Agriculture; Agri-food Business and Agricultural Trade; Land Reform and Rights; Livestock and Pastoralism; Climate Change; Environment; Globalisation; Science and Society; Water and Sanitation.

Related Programmes and Centres:
Future Agricultures Consortium; STEPS.

Geographic Expertise:
Central and South Asia; East Asia (excluding Japan and South Korea); Non-OECD Europe; North America; OECD Europe; Sub Saharan Africa.