GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE FOR GLOBAL CHANGE

Photo of Melissa Leach

Melissa Leach - Director

Directorate and Development Office
T: +44 (0)1273 915674
E: m.leach@ids.ac.uk

CV

Administrator:
Vanessa Borrino

Personal URL:
http://www.transformingdevelopment.com/

Thematic Expertise:
Agriculture; Citizenship; Climate Change; COP18; Environment; Gender; Governance; Health; Ebola; Zoonoses; HIV; Livelihoods; MDGs and Post 2015; Politics and Power; Science and Society.

Geographic Expertise:
Latin America and the Caribbean; Sub Saharan Africa; United Kingdom.

Melissa Leach is the Director of the Institute of Development Studies. Between 2006 and 2014 Melissa directed the ESRC STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre. She originally trained as a geographer (MA Cambridge) and social anthropologist (PhD London).

Over the last thirty years she has been closely involved both in ethnographic fieldwork, speaking four African languages, and in extensive interdisciplinary research. This has engaged anthropology with historical, ecological and science and technology studies approaches, as well as working with foresters, agricultural and medical scientists.

She has led and managed many large, interdisciplinary research programmes involving multi-country teams. Her work has forwarded new perspectives in several fields, including the anthropology of environment and development; gender-environment relations; the environmental entitlements approach to institutions and natural resource management, environmental and forest history and challenging 'received wisdoms' about environmental change.

Melissa's recent work has explored the politics of science and knowledge in policy processes linked to environment and health; addressing vaccine controversies, scientific uncertainties, citizenship and public engagement; cultural and political dimensions of vaccine delivery; medical research trials, emerging infectious diseases, and ecology-health linkages.

Vaccines for children are currently high on international policy, aid and funding agendas, as a major promised means to meet the Millennium Development Goals. Yet major challenges have emerged in ensuring effective coverage and dealing with public anxieties.

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Vaccines for children are currently high on international policy, aid and funding agendas, as a major promised means to meet the Millennium Development Goals. Yet major challenges have emerged in ensuring effective coverage and dealing with public anxieties.

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A consortium of researchers aiming to advance understanding of the connections between disease and environment in Africa, focusing on animal-to-human disease transmission..

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The aim of the Rapid Response Briefings (RRB) series is to support governments and development agencies in responding quickly to rapidly emerging phenomena and unexpected global events and understanding the impact they may have on development policy, practice and outcomes.

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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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This is the image for IDS Policy Briefing 42, 'Engaging Science and Politics
in a Post-2015 Framework'.

Engaging Science and Politics in a Post-2015 Framework

This policy briefing, part of the special MDG series, examines how science and politics must be engaged in a post-2015 framework in order to tackle the interlinked environmental and social justice challenges which the world currently faces. More details

This is the cover for our Rapid Response Briefings

Zoonoses - From Panic to Planning

Over two thirds of all human infectious diseases have their origins in animals. The rate at which these zoonotic diseases have appeared in people has increased over the past 40 years, with at least 43 newly identified outbreaks since 2004. More details

This is the latest book by Melissa Leach called Epidemics: Science, Governance and Social Justice

Epidemics: Science, Governance and Social Justice

Recent disease events such as SARS, H1N1 and avian influenza, and haemorrhagic fevers have focussed policy and public concern as never before on epidemics and so-called 'emerging infectious diseases'. More details

This is the cover of Dynamic Sustainabilities

Dynamic Sustainabilities: Technology, Environment, Social Justice

Linking environmental sustainability with poverty reduction and social justice, and making science and technology work for the poor, have become central practical, political and moral challenges of our times. More details

IDS Working Paper

AIDS, Citizenship and Global Funding: A Gambian Case Study

Making sense of an HIV-positive diagnosis is often a struggle. Across Africa this is mediated by a new globalism in public health; the last decade has seen an array of new international initiatives and funding mechanisms. More details

IDS Policy Briefing

Making Vaccine Technologies Work for the Poor

This IDS Policy Briefing argues that policymakers and practitioners must pay close attention to local cultural understandings of vaccines, looking at how the dynamics of supply and demand interact in local settings, if they are to improve uptake, design appropriate health promotion approaches, and address so-called 'anti-vaccination rumours'. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Discourses, Dynamics and Disquiet: Multiple Knowledges in Science, Society and Development

This editorial for our special issue reflects on the fact that the emerging relationships between science, technology and processes of social change are providing a fertile field for analysts and practitioners engaged in the diversity of what we might define as development studies, yet also challenge them to engage more effectively with complex dynamics and multiple knowledges. More details

Citizenship, Global Funding and AIDS Treatment Controversy: A Gambian Case Study

Making sense of an HIV-positive diagnosis is often a struggle. Across Africa this is mediated by a new globalism in public health; the last decade has seen an array of new international initiatives and funding mechanisms. More details

IDS Working Paper

Mobilising Citizens: Social Movements and the Politics of Knowledge

This paper reflects comparatively on a series of case studies of citizen mobilisation in both north and south, arguing that the politics of knowledge are now central. The cases focus on issues ranging from genetically-modified crops, vaccines, HIV/AIDS and occupational health, to struggles around water, housing, labour rights and the environment. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Pathways to Sustainability: An Overview of the STEPS Centre Approach

This booklet gives a quick insight in to the STEPS approach as the Centre seeks to grapple with two of the most pressing challenges of our times: linking environmental sustainability with poverty reduction and social justice, and making science and technology work for the poor. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Empowering Designs: Steps Towards More Progressive Social Appraisal of Sustainability

The challenges of designing new frameworks for social appraisal aimed at sustainability and social justice are reviewed by this paper. Here, 'social appraisal' refers to the ways society gathers knowledges to inform policy decisions and discourse and a number of key features of potentially more empowering 'pathways' approaches are identified. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Health in a Dynamic World

This paper argues that we are approaching a major turning point in the organisation of national and global health systems. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Dynamic Systems and the Challenge of Sustainability

Dynamism, uncertainty and complexity dominate today's world. Yet many policy interventions ignore this, and so often fail. What is missing is a rigorous and systematic approach to addressing dynamics, one that encompasses an understanding of complex system dynamics and provides a useable guide to action. More details

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