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Stephen Thompson - Research Officer

Health and Nutrition
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Ben Ramalingam is a researcher, author, advisor and facilitator focusing on global development and humanitarian issues. Currently Leader of the Digital & Technology Cluster at IDS, his research agenda includes economy and inequality; government and service delivery; citizenship, activism and rights; sustainability, resilience and humanitarianism; and digital practices, tools and methods.

He previously served as Head of Research and Development at ALNAP, a unique multi-stakeholder network for aid effectiveness, performance and learning. Prior to this, he led the Knowledge and Learning research programme at the Overseas Development Institute, and was Deputy Director of the Humanitarian Futures Programme based at Kings College London. He has also worked in strategy consulting and investment banking.

Working at the interface of research, policy and practice, he has written and worked extensively on development and humanitarian issues ranging from climate change, urbanisation, food prices and economic development to humanitarian crises, health systems and environmental sustainability. He works with and advises many international agencies including the United Nations, World Bank, NGOs, national and regional governments and businesses.

Ben co-founded and is Chair of the Humanitarian Innovation Fund, the first dedicated fund for new ideas and approaches in international disaster responses. This work has been featured in Wired Magazine.

Ben is also a fellow at the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA).

His 2013 book Aid on the Edge of Chaos: Rethinking International Cooperation in a Compex World (published by Oxford University Press) has been widely cited and received positive acclaim from across development experts and the media. It explores how ideas from the cutting-edge of science can help aid become more relevant, innovative and catalytic.

The Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF) identifies and supports innovations that have the potential to create social impact in education, health and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) across Tanzania.

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The project will focus on the growing importance of real-time data and in particular how digital tools can be used to generate information in support of more adaptive, contextually relevant, decision-making and programme management and implementation

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The next World Social Science Report due to be published in 2016 will focus on the critical contemporary issues of inequalities and justice.

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IDS publications on international development research

Barriers to Use of Refractive Services in Mozambique

This article seeks to understand what barriers may limit their uptake by the general population and inform decision making on improved service delivery. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Development of a Public Optometry System in Mozambique: a Cost Benefit Analysis

BMC Health Services Research (2014)

This paper demonstrates that a programme designed to address the burden of refractive error in Mozambique is economically justifiable in terms of the increased productivity that would result due to its implementation. More details

IDS publications on international development research

HEART Family Planning Topic Guide

This document presents a summary of family planning. It reviews existing literature, examining carefully what the current knowledge is, where the important issues or problems lie and “what works”. It is divided into ten sections More details

IDS publications on international development research

HEART Nutrition Topic Guide

This Topic Guide has been compiled to provide an overview of undernutrition in the context of development. It covers the nature, scale and complex range of causes of undernutrition and summarises the evidence for what works to address the problem. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The challenges faced by Portuguese speaking universities in Africa

This article explores how Portuguese speaking universities in Africa overcome some of the challenges they face with delivering high quality education and research. More details

Thematic Expertise:
Disability and Development.