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Maria del Mar Maestre Morales

Research Officer

Mar Maestre is an international development researcher and practitioner with a focus on private sector, market systems and development. She has over 10 years of professional experience, which combine an international development profile with investment banking professional experience. Mar works in the Business and Development Centre at IDS and her research focuses on understanding market pathways (such as informal, formal) towards more sustainable and equitable outcomes.

Currently, Mar is researching how different market pathways (defined as a large number of actors interacting with different perspectives and levels of power) drive changes which will have intended and unintended consequences for the communities they interact with. Her current projects are on market systems approaches, food systems and nutrition, women’s economic empowerment and unpaid care work, public-private partnerships, social enterprises, and inclusive business.

She uses systems thinking as well as participatory and qualitative methods and has worked in South and East Asia (Philippines, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh) and Sub-Saharan Africa (Tanzania, Ghana, Rwanda, Ethiopia) among others.

Prior to joining IDS, Mar was the programme and country manager at Fundacion CODESPA, a Spanish NGO in the Philippines for two years. She also worked for four years in the private sector, as associate of Lazard, an international investment bank, advising key European companies on corporate finance transactions.



DICE Collaboration Grant

The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and Jodie Thorpe of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) are partnering together to deploy the “ANDE/IDS Gender Inclusion and Investing for Brazilian SGBs in the Creative Economy” project. ANDE and IDS will engage with ecosystem...


Business and Development Centre

The Business and Development Centre (BDC) brings together thinking from business, economics, political science and development studies to tackle critical questions on the role of business in development, focusing initially on agriculture, food and nutrition, the green economy and public health.



Journal Article

Linking Energy Access, Gender and Poverty: A Review of the Literature on Productive Uses of Energy

Energy Research & Social Science Volume 53

This article reviews the empirical literature about gender and productive uses of energy, focusing on electricity, to answer three research questions: do men and women obtain different benefits from the Productive Use of Electricity (PUE)?; which gendered constraints affect women’s chances to...

1 July 2019


Value Chains for Nutrition in South Asia: Who Delivers, How, and to Whom?

IDS Bulletin 49.1

There is currently much talk of the private sector role in nutrition, and whether the state can ‘shape’ the market to deliver better nutritional outcomes. This issue of the IDS Bulletin presents research findings in this area, developed by the consortium of research partners under the...

5 February 2018

Maria del Mar Maestre Morales’s recent work