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Richard Jolly - Research Associate

Business, Markets and the State
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Deborah Shenton

Sir Richard Jolly is Honorary Professor and Research Associate of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. As co-director of the UN Intellectual History Project, he is currently overseeing and working on a 16 volume history of the UN’s contributions to economic and social development since 1945, of which ten volumes have been published and three recognized by Choice as outstanding academic books of the year. A CD-ROM has been issued with the full transcripts of the 79 interviews with four Secretary Generals and others who have made major contributions to the UN.

Richard Jolly is on the Council of the Overseas Development Institute and from 2001-6 was a Trustee of OXFAM and Chairman of the UN Association of the United Kingdom. He was made a Knight of the Order of St. Michael and St George in the New Years Honours of 2001 for his contributions to international development.

Before returning to England in 2000, Richard Jolly was an Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations holding senior positions in UNICEF and UNDP for nearly 20 years. He was from 1996 to 2000 Special Adviser to the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and architect of the widely-acclaimed Human Development Report.

Before this, he was, for 14 1/2 years, Deputy Executive Director in UNICEF, with responsibilities for UNICEF’s programmes in over 130 countries of the world, including UNICEF’s strategy for support to countries in reducing child mortality and implementing the goals agreed at the 1990 World Summit for Children. In UNICEF, he also led the agency’s efforts to ensure more attention to the needs of children and women in the making of economic adjustment policies, and co-authored the book Adjustment with a Human Face.

As a senior UN official, Richard Jolly was much concerned with reform and collaboration among the operational agencies. From 1996 to 2000 he chaired the system-wide UN Sub-Committee on Nutrition (SCN) and from 1997-2004 the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), both of which have recently prepared major reports setting out global goals and strategies for reducing malnutrition and ensuring access to hygiene, sanitation and water on a world-wide basis.

Before joining the UN, Richard Jolly was from 1972 to 1981 Director of the Institute of Development Studies. During this period, he co-directed with Hans Singer in 1972, the ILO Employment Mission to Kenya, published as Employment, Incomes and Equality. In 1978, he served as Special Consultant on North-South issues to the Secretary-General of the OECD in 1978, and from 1978-1981 was a member and for three years rapporteur of the United Nations Committee on Development Planning. From 1982-1985, Richard Jolly was Vice President of the Society for International Development and from 1987-1996, Chairman of SID's North/South Roundtable.

He has written or been a co-author of some 20 books including four of the volumes on UN history, The Power of UN Ideas: lessons from the first 60 years; UN Voices: the struggle for development and Social Justice; UN Contributions to Development Thinking and Practice (2004) and Ahead of the Curve (2002), five Human Development Reports (1996 to 2000), and a number of other books including Jim Grant: UNICEF Visionary (2002), Development with a Human Face (1998); Adjustment with a Human Face (1987); The Bretton Woods Institutions and the United Nations; Challenges for the 21st Century (1995); Disarmament and World Development (1984); Planning Education for African Development (1969) and some 100 scholarly and more popular articlesRichard prepared a Short History of IDS for the Institute's 40th anniversary, which has just been issued as a Discussion Paper (388).

On a lighter note, in 1959, Richard Jolly was secretary of the British Alpine Hannibal Expedition, which investigated Hannibal's route across the Alps with the aid of Jumbo, a 1.5 ton elephant. This raised money for the UN's World Refugee Year and led to Richard's first published article "Hannibal's route across the Alps: results of an empirical test".

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this is the cover of the book, 'UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund): Global Governance That Works'.

UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund): Global Governance That Works

This book provides an in-depth analysis of UNICEF’s development and operations, whilst exploring the significance of UNICEF’s achievements and the reasons behind them. More details

This is the cover to Towards Human Development: New Approaches to Macroeconomics and Inequality.

Towards Human Development: New Approaches to Macroeconomics and Inequality

Book (2014)

Human Development is widely recognised as the overriding goal of development, yet its realization is challenged by growing inequality, macro-economic fluctuations, and recurrent financial crises. More details

This is the cover of IDS Bulletin Vol 44.5-6, 'Whose Goals Count? Lessons for Setting the Next Development Goals'.

Whose Goals Count? Lessons for Setting the Next Development Goals

IDS Bulletin 44.5-6 (2013)

This IDS Bulletin compiles reflections from various actors on the core elements of the MDGs and also on topics not explicitly covered in them, such as governance, participation and infrastructure. More details

This is the image of the paper, 'Human Security and the Next Generation of Comprehensive Human Development Goals'.

Human Security and the Next Generation of Comprehensive Human Development Goals

This paper makes a case for extending the MDGs beyond 2015 but significantly reshaping them and to move away from the outdated and oversimplified North-South dichotomy. More details

This s the image for 'Milestones and Turning Points in Development Thinking'.

Milestones and Turning Points in Development Thinking

This book brings together 20 articles written by pioneers of international development, fascinating for their early challenges to orthodox thinking and bold in suggesting alternatives. Covering five key dimensons, each piece has a new introduction by Sir Richard Jolly indicating its impact on policy over the years and the enduring relevance for the challenges of our times. More details

Letters to the editor | The Economist

17 Jul 2015
By Richard Jolly

Austerity and democracy in Greece

03 Jul 2015
By Richard Jolly