Emilie Wilson

Emilie Wilson

Head of Communications and Impact, ICTD

I am interested in engaging people with research through communication, and also in whether or how this activity can support evidence-based dialogue and decision making.

I recently joined the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD), based at IDS, in November 2023 as Head of Communications and Impact, the latest role in my happy and long career at IDS.

Previously, I lead on the development and implementation of communication and engagement strategies for the Coalition for Religious Equality and Inclusive Development (CREID) and the Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) research programme. I’ve also worked with BASIC, CLEAR, CORE and SuPWR IDS-led programmes.

Media engagement

When I begun working on Communications and Engagement work over ten years ago, I was seconded to The Guardian, contributing to the development and launch of its award-winning Guardian Global Development site.

I have been successful in securing interviews in and pitching pieces to major media outlets, including Al Jazeera, BBC World News, Devex and The Guardian, as well as more topical outlets, such as Tax Notes.

Marketing, social media engagement and content development

Since then I have gained considerable experience in social media engagement and content development, including:

In 2015, I led on the marketing strategy for re-launching the IDS Bulletin as an open access journal. Launched in 2016, its new website achieved nearly 400,000 downloads in its first year, four times greater than anticipated.

Project management in communication output design and production

I have project-managed the design and production of the IDS Annual Review (2013, 2014 and 2015) as well as leading on the design of the IDS Strategy 2015-2020 (short version) (PDF). I oversaw the creation and development of a new website for the Coalition for Religious Equality and Inclusive Development, tendering for developers and designers, and managing a freelance content project manager.

I have developed an interest and built my experience in translating research concepts and findings into alternative visual formats such as infographics and animations. Examples include: Power, Violence, Citizenship and Agency project (PDF), Time to care (created with Studio Syrup) and Empowerment and accountability in fragile, conflict and violence-affected settings (working with an MA student on Media Practice for Development and Social Change)


I joined IDS in May 2007, beginning as junior Research Assistant working on Eldis and building my experience in knowledge management and evidence dissemination. In 2010, I moved on to focusing more on communications, engagement and impact.  I was elected as a staff trustee to the IDS Board (from June 2016 to July 2019). Prior to that, I worked for the Scottish charity, Citizens Advice Scotland, on public affairs and social policy in Scotland in the areas of consumer debt, housing and employment rights. I graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a MA (Hons) in Arabic with politics and Middle Eastern history.



Covid-19 Learning, Evidence and Research Programme in Bangladesh (CLEAR)

The Covid-19 Learning, Evidence and Research Programme in Bangladesh (CLEAR) is a 2.5 year FCDO-funded programme to support an evidence-informed Covid-19 response and recovery in Bangladesh. The pandemic has disrupted production in agriculture, industry and the informal sector- creating a new...


Covid-19 Responses for Equity (CORE) Knowledge Translation Support

This knowledge translation project aims to increase the visibility, support and uptake of research generated by IDRC’s cohort of CORE research projects, to foster evidence-based policymaking for response to and recovery from the socio-economic impacts of Covid-19.


Participatory Research on Reintegration in Bangladesh and Cambodia

This research project is led by Eric Kasper of the cities cluster and funded by Winrock and USAID. Phase one What constitutes successful reintegration for survivors of trafficking in persons (TIP) and what can various stakeholders do to increase the likelihood of successful...


Coalition for Religious Equality and Inclusive Development (CREID)

The Coalition for Religious Equality and Inclusive Development (CREID) provides research evidence and delivers practical programmes which aim to redress the impact of discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, tackle poverty and exclusion, and promote people’s wellbeing and...



Durdin-er Diaries: chronicles of hard times in Bangladesh

Which governance channels do people whose livelihoods and incomes were severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic navigate while attempting to bounce back? Through a joint IDS and BIGD research project we aim to answer this question by exploring the trajectories of recovery, coping strategies,...

27 January 2023


7 principles for doing meaningful research communications

At IDS, we believe that evidence-based research plays a vital role in bringing about a more equitable and sustainable world. And to achieve this, we are committed to communicating research beyond academic audiences and journal articles. However, we are very aware of the responsibility we...

15 February 2022


Deeply ingrained prejudice fuels hate speech in Iraq

Whether fuelled by political and religious leaders, or the media, hate speech in Iraq taps into deeper problems of structural inequality in society and has been greatly exacerbated by conflict and Covid-19 in recent months, as uncovered by researchers from Independent Media Organization in...

8 January 2021



Waste Pickers Are Part of the Solution to Solid Waste Management in Senegal

Story of Change

Waste pickers from the Bokk Diom organisation, working at Dakar’s Mbeubeuss landfill, continued to provide essential waste management services throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. However, their incomes and livelihoods are threatened by the transformation of the city's waste management system, a...

Olga Abizaid & 3 others

13 September 2023


Fostering Gender Diversity and Inclusiveness in Street Vendor Associations in India

Stories of Change

This project, led by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), focuses on the effects of the socioeconomic crisis created by the Covid-19 pandemic on informal women workers in India, particularly street vendors in the context of shrinking state support and gaps in access to social...

Aditi Vyas & 3 others

20 June 2023

Emilie Wilson’s recent work

Past Event

Tax and Digitalisation in Africa: Lessons for the G20 GovTech Agenda

The global digital public infrastructure (DPI) agenda is substantially informed by experiences from the Global North and South Asia. Africa has its own vast array of contributors to add to the debate. In a historic move, under India’s G20 Presidency (and with support from UNDP and...

26 June 2024

Past Event

Rethinking Tax Registration: Stumbling Blocks and Building Blocks

Revenue administrations have recently been investing significant efforts into registering a large number of new taxpayers, in the broader quest to formalise the informal sector. But have these efforts been effective in increasing revenue and improving administration? The ICTD hosted a webinar...

15 November 2023

Past Event

Equitable support for livelihoods and food

We know that Covid-19 caused a major impact on households’ production and access to quality, nutritious food, due to losses of income, combined with increasing food prices, and restrictions to movements of people, inputs and products. Research from the IDS-led CORE programme has...

6 July 2023

Past Event

Shock proof and inclusive fiscal policies

Close collaborations with government’s responding to the Covid-19 pandemic produced a range of monetary and fiscal policy recommendations for longer term recovery and future resilience. As we continue to face multiple crises, what have learnt about the effectiveness of range of...

4 July 2023