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Amrita Saha

Research Fellow

Amrita Saha is an economist with a focus on political economy and development. She works with the Rural Futures and the Business, Markets and State clusters at IDS.

Her ongoing research explores the political economy of trade protection, agricultural commercialization in Sub-Saharan Africa, innovation and inclusive structural change. Amrita holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Sussex. Her past research roles have included working with the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, the Ministry of Commerce in India, WTO Geneva, and United Nations ESCAP. She has also taken up various teaching roles at IDS, LSE, SOAS, University of Sussex, and University of Bath.

Amrita has extensive experience in designing and implementing large-scale household and firm-level surveys, small-scale targeted surveys and structured interviews. Her work demonstrates a combination of rigorous quantitative modelling, qualitative methods, and the use of digital applications for survey design. She is particularly interested in working on political economy issues for India, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Conceptualisation of Earmarked Taxes to Support Food Fortification

Food fortification is one of the most rapid, cost-effective, scalable and evidence-based impactful strategies to reach hundreds of millions to combat micronutrient malnutrition, when delivered as intended (Horton, 2006, Keats et al., 2019; Mbuya et al., 2020; Saha et al, 2021). However, the...


Marine Spatial Planning in Indonesia

This project, led by the Institute of Development Studies, in partnership with Ernst & Young and ABPmer, delivered a review and set of recommendations for informing Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) in Indonesia for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) as part of The Global...


Unlocking the Potential for Future India-UK Trade and Development

This is a 3-year project, funded by UK Economic and Social Research council (ESRC). The project will run from 2021-24, in partnership with the UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO) at University of Sussex, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), and the Centre for Development economics at the...


Futuristic Ecosystems for Digital Entrepreneurships UK-India

EFFECT – Ecosystems For Futuristic Entrepreneurship through Collaboration and Technology EFFECT aims to explore opportunities and challenges for furthering knowledge economies through trade partnerships that enable ecosystems for entrepreneurship. The project will examine the topics of...



Pathway to UK-India Free Trade Agreement: call for focused advocacy

India and the UK are set to launch free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations in November 2021, with the aim of an interim agreement in early 2022. In preparation for this, the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) and Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) recently undertook a...

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Amrita Saha & 2 others

20 October 2021


Trade, human rights and EU-India negotiations

There is now an increasing recognition that the effects of trade and trade policy are far too great to be treated separately from other development goals such as human rights. Over 80 per cent of all trade agreements signed since 2013 include labour provisions, and more than 40 per cent of...

1 June 2021


The future of UK-India trade and development – part two

As the Covid-19 crisis continues across India, the pandemic has highlighted a new dimension to the UK-India partnership, particularly in health and vaccine supply and distribution.  And despite the UK Prime Minister’s intended trip to India being cancelled due to the second wave of Covid-19,...

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Amrita Saha & 2 others

30 April 2021


Working Paper

Inclusive Trade: Four Crucial Aspects

IDS Working Paper 564

This Working Paper contributes to the conceptualisation of ‘inclusive trade’. The review adopts a deliberative approach while considering the direct and indirect distributive dimensions of trade. It draws attention to issues across four central aspects of inclusion: transparency and...

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Amrita Saha & 4 others

1 March 2022

Journal Article

Insights into Smallholder Capacity for Agricultural Commercialisation: Evidence from Four African Contexts

The European Journal of Development Research

Over the last 15 years, the agricultural economics and development literature has amply highlighted success stories of smallholder farmers in developing countries, illustrating their increased engagement and integration with markets, in other words, higher rates of commercialisation. Yet, this...

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Amrita Saha & 2 others

20 July 2021

Amrita Saha’s recent work