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IDS academic Stephen Devereux among the world’s most impactful researchers

Published on 3 December 2020

A new study from Stanford University has named Dr Stephen Devereux, Research Fellow in the IDS Rural Futures cluster and co-Director of the Centre for Social Protection, as one of the most impactful researchers in the world in 2020.

Over six million researchers across 22 scientific fields and 176 subfields were assessed. Led by Stanford University researcher John P. Ioannidis and published in PLoS Biology, the global study used standardised citation metrics to produce a database of the most influential academic authors. The methodology was designed to exclude self-citation and ‘citation farms’, where groups of authors cite each other’s papers.

Commenting on the report, Stephen Devereux said: ‘I am sure many of my IDS colleagues are also included in this study, but I am especially pleased for my colleagues and students at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa, a historically disadvantaged institution where I work half-time. My research in South Africa is funded by the National Research Foundation and the UK’s Newton Fund, and I am very grateful for their support.’

Stephen Devereux is a development economist who works mainly on famine, food security and social protection, with a geographic focus on east and southern Africa. Since 2016 he has held a research chair in Social Protection for Food Security, affiliated to the Centre of Excellence in Food Security in South Africa, and in 2019 he was awarded a Mercator Fellowship at the University of Bremen in Germany.

His research and policy engagement in South Africa covers issues ranging from social grants to school feeding schemes to student hunger, and from farm worker labour conditions and seasonal hunger to the impacts of COVID-19. Recent publications include: External donors and social protection in Africa; Violations of farm workers’ labour rights in post-apartheid South Africa; Seasonal food insecurity among farm workers in the Northern Cape; and Conceptualising COVID-19’s impacts on household food security.

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