Photo of Allister McGregor, IDS Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction research fellow

J. Allister McGregor - Research Fellow

Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction
T: +44 (0)1273 915646


Tina Nelis

Thematic Expertise:
Climate Change; Conflict and Security; Conflict Violence and Development; MDGs and Post 2015; Poverty Inequality and Wellbeing; Urban Poverty; Social Protection; Social Protection; Urbanisation.

Geographic Expertise:
Bangladesh; India; Thailand.

Professor J.Allister McGregor uses his background in economics and anthropology to study the ways that systems of governance and the formulation and implementation of development policies impact upon poor people. His most recent work has been on conceptualising and then operationalising a social conception of wellbeing both as a way of critically analysing the persistence of poverty and as a means of re-evaluating development policy and practice.

He is currently using the wellbeing to framework in the ongoing study of fishing communities in South and Southeast Asia, where there are conflicts between conservation and poverty policy objectives. He has a programme of research collaboration with colleagues in Thailand and has a particular interest in the nature of development processes in that country.

Previous projects include: WeD; Norwegian Aid Evaluation; REME; Inland Fisheries

Crisis Watch is a global network of researchers and practitioners with a shared interest in monitoring the on-the-ground impacts of the financial crisis.

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The Government of Zambia has initiated a study to look at the affects of the financial crisis on women and children in Zambia.

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This study proposes an exploration of the determinants of wellbeing for informal workers living in informal settlements across a diverse set of urbanising localities in Bangladesh and India. We will present empirical evidence on what patterns and gradations of wellbeing success and failure are emerging for women and men engaged in informal work and living in informal settlements.

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The OECD Development Centre has commissioned Allister McGregor to write "Guidelines on Measuring Progress for Development".

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This project is a response to the initial DFID-ESRC 'Resource scarcity, growth, and poverty reduction' call and it is titled "Tangled in their (own) safety-nets?: Resilience, adaptability, and transformability of fishing communities in the face of the World fisheries crisis.

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The Centre for Social Protection (CSP) at IDS are currently working on this large scale study, which provides an opportunity to carry out work systematically on under-researched aspects of social protection delivery and impact.

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The Bellagio Initiative is a series of global consultations that aims to explore trends and opportunities in philanthropy and development.

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Tomorrow Today is a horizon scanning programme designed to support the preliminary but systematic exploration of new and emergent policy issues.

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IDS were commissioned by the UN to carry out background research to produce the UN Secretary-General's second report on the impacts of the ongoing economic crisis on vulnerable populations in developing countries.

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This is the cover for IDS Working Paper 436, 'An Economics of Wellbeing:
What Would Economics Look Like if it were Focused on Human Wellbeing?'

An Economics of Wellbeing: What Would Economics Look Like if it were Focused on Human Wellbeing?

This paper makes a number of fundamental proposals to reconsider economics by putting human wellbeing at the centre. More details

This is the image for IDS Working Paper 431, 'Evaluating Outside the Box: An Alternative Framework for Analysing Social Protection Programmes'.

Evaluating Outside the Box: An Alternative Framework for Analysing Social Protection Programmes

The evidence base on social protection programmes is expanding rapidly, largely pointing towards their positive impacts. More details

This is the image for Time to Reimagine Development.

Time to Reimagine Development

The major global crises of the past four years have collectively had a dramatic impact on people's lives and livelihoods – but have they also had a large impact on core ideas underlying mainstream development? More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Capability Approach and the Politics of a Social Conception of Wellbeing

The capability approach constitutes a significant contribution to social theory but its potential is diminished by its insufficient treatment of the social construction of meaning. Social meanings enable people to make value judgements about what they will do and be, and also to evaluate how satisfied they are about what they are able to achieve. From this viewpoint, a person’s state of wellbeing must be understood as being socially and psychologically co-constituted in specific social and cultural contexts. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Beyond Business as Usual: What Might 3-D Wellbeing Contribute to MDG Momentum?

The Millennium Declaration provided considerable impetus to refocus the efforts of development agents around the world on the major ethical challenge of eradicating global poverty. The MDGs that followed have become an important mechanism for pursuing the agenda of the Millennium Declaration. We are now, however, at a point where reflection on the MDG framework is called for. In this article we explore what the contribution of a concept of (3-dimensional) wellbeing might bring to a revived MDG momentum. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Social Protection: Responding to a Global Crisis

The current global financial crisis will have adverse effects on poor people in developing countries in the short-run and across longer time-scales. More details

IDS In Focus Policy Briefing

Social Protection Responses to the Financial Crisis: What do we know?

Over the last decade there has been significant growth in the number of social protection programmes around the world. In times of financial crisis it is not a question of whether we can afford to support social protection initiatives; rather whether we can afford not to. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Validation of the WeDQoL-Goals Thailand Measure: culture-specific individualised quality of life

The aim of this study was to validate an individualised measure of quality of life (WeDQoL-Goals-Thailand). Three hundred and sixty-nine Thai people completed the WeDQoL by interview. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Editor’s Introduction: Quality of Life and International Development Policy and Practice

This journal special issue arises out of a research programme which sought to build on the foundations of Sen’s contribution and complement this by drawing on a broader range of insights into development and social change from across the social sciences. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Needs, Wants and Goals: Wellbeing, Quality of Life and Public Policy

This paper considers the possible contribution of Quality of Life methods in international development policy and practice. It discusses the role of theories of human needs in how public policy makers and implementors might distinguish between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’. More details

IDS In Focus Policy Briefing

After 2015: '3D Human Wellbeing'

'3D Human Wellbeing' is emerging as a complement to the more traditional and material ways of conceptualising and measuring poverty and deprivation such as those implicit in the MDGs. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Wellbeing, Development and Social Change in Thailand

Thailand has experienced economic and social transformation over a relatively short period of time and its experiences may offer salutary lessons for many other developing countries. However, the characteristics of Thailand's transformation to modernity encourage us to consider new frameworks for analysing and understanding development and social change. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Wellbeing in Developing Countries: From Theory to Research

In a world where many experience unprecedented levels of wellbeing, chronic poverty remains a major concern for many developing countries and the international community. Conventional frameworks for understanding development and poverty have focused on money, commodities and economic growth. This book challenges these conventional approaches and contributes to a new paradigm for development centred on human wellbeing. More details

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