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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.

PhD supervision

Along with John Gaventa and Marjoke Oosterom, Jodie is supervising JoonYeol Lee on his PhD titled ‘How Myanmar farmers have been implemented 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...


(Re)thinking the Off-Grid City

This research is designed to help improve the lives of the poorest residents of cities in Africa and Asia by focusing on how they are meeting their basic needs and accessing infrastructure, particularly when they are living 'off-grid'. The research is led by a consortium including experts in...


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


Democratising economic power – reflections on Davos

As the world’s economic elites gather in Davos, I am reflecting on a blog I wrote last year in reaction to the 2019 World Economic Forum focus on “Globalisation 4.0”. Entitled ‘Putting the spotlight on “participation” in economic alternatives’, the blog questioned the Davos model...

20 January 2020



Designing for Impact: South-South Trade and Investment

As countries across the world grapple with the effects of COVID-19 and look towards ‘post-pandemic’ transformations, and as we enter the final decade of the UN Global Goals, fresh thinking and action in trade, investment and development have never been more welcome. In this, there are many...

Image of Amrita Saha
Amrita Saha & 3 others

27 October 2020

Jodie Thorpe’s recent work