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Jodie Thorpe

Research Fellow

Jodie Thorpe is an IDS research fellow with over 15 years’ experience in research and advisory work. Her work explores the relationships between market actors, and between the market and the state, to understand what drives business investment that is more or less inclusive, and how these relationships impact development outcomes. She is interested in the governance processes and institutional structures that mediate state-business interactions, both formal arrangements and informal networks.

Prior to joining IDS, Jodie was a Private Sector Adviser at Oxfam GB, undertaking research, policy analysis, and advocacy on business and poverty issues, particularly related to agricultural investment and markets, small-scale farmers, climate change and natural resource use. She was also a Director at SustainAbility, a global think-tank and strategy consultancy on business risks and opportunities for sustainable development. Jodie led SustainAbility’s Emerging Economies programme and advised companies and organisations including Anglo American, Aracruz Celulose, Banco Real, Ford, Hindustan Unilever, the International Finance Corporation, Natura, Tata Power and WWF.

Jodie holds a BSc in Zoology from the University of British Columbia and an MSc in Comparative Politics (Latin America) from the London School of Economics.

Jodie is the co-convenor of the MA Globalisation, Business and Development at IDS. 

Student surgeries: 15:30-16:30 on Wednesdays during term time; please e-mail in advance for an appointment.

PhD supervision

Along with John Gaventa and Marjoke Oosterom, Jodie is supervising JoonYeol Lee on his PhD titled ‘How Myanmar farmers have been implementing their agency under the diverse power structures during the last thirty years.’

Google Scholar
Twitter @jodie_thorpe



K4D Prosperity Fund COVID-19 Evidence and Learning Initiative

This Evidence and Learning Initiative was a cooperation with the Prosperity Fund (PF). It helped to ensure that in the current context of COVID-19, changes to the existing PF portfolio (and investments in new ones) are informed by and contribute to the evidence base on how the pandemic is...


Brazil IDS Initiative

The Brazil IDS Initiative provides focus in a geography at the leading edge of development thinking and practice due to accelerating environmental, economic, political and social change. It recognises that tackling challenges such as climate change, poverty and injustice...


Impact Story

IDS research shapes enterprise development action in Africa

This past year has seen IDS expand our wide portfolio of long-term research on the private sector through dedicated work for the German development agency GIZ. We provided evidence to assess and shape its programme on enterprise development in East Africa – and in the process, stimulated...

1 September 2020


Will Covid-19 change our economy? Not unless we reimagine it

Covid-19 has introduced a huge degree of uncertainty into people’s lives (most especially, thus far, in Northern countries unused to coping with disorder). Yet one thing seems to be certain. A seismic economic shock is underway, which will change all our lives forever. Or is it? Will Covid-19...

27 April 2020


Jodie Thorpe’s recent work