fbpx

Person

Melissa Leach is the Director of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). She co-founded and co-directed the ESRC STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre from 2006 to 2014, with its pioneering pathways approach to innovation, sustainability and development issues. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and was awarded a CBE in 2017 for services to social science.

A social anthropologist and geographer, her interdisciplinary, policy-engaged research in Africa and beyond links environment, agriculture, health, technology and gender, with particular interests in knowledge, power and the politics of science and policy processes.

External Advisory Roles

  • Strategic Coherence of ODA Research (SCOR) Board, Independent Member
  • International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-food)
  • Medical Research Council Global Health Group
  • ESRC International Development Advisory Group
  • Stockholm Environment Institute Science Council
  • Future Earth Science Committee, Vice Chair, 2012 – 2017
  • Lead social scientist, UK and WHO Ebola scientific advisory committees, 2014-15.
  • Lead author, UN Women World Survey on the Role of Women in Economic Development, 2014
Google Scholar
http://goo.gl/wsFvO3

Research

Project

Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform

The Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform aims to establish networks of social scientists with regional and subject expertise to rapidly provide insight, analysis and advice, tailored to demand and in accessible forms, to better design and implement the social and communication...

Project

Epidemic Response Anthropology Platform

The Epidemic Response Anthropology Platform (ERAP) is a resource to support a humane and effective response to epidemics. The aim of the platform is to promote evidence on the social dimensions of epidemics in different contexts and to improve the way this evidence is used in response planning.

Opinions

Opinion

COVID-19 – a social phenomenon requiring diverse expertise

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages across the world, one thing is clear: this epidemic, like all others, is a social phenomenon. The dynamics of the virus, infection and immunity, not to mention on-going efforts to revise and improve clinical care, and endeavours to develop medical treatments and...

20 March 2020

Publications

Journal Article

Principles for Knowledge Co-production in Sustainability Research

Nature Sustainability

Research practice, funding agencies and global science organisations suggest that research aimed at addressing sustainability challenges is most effective when ‘co-produced’ by academics and non-academics. Co-production promises to address the complex nature of contemporary sustainability...

Image of Melissa Leach
Melissa Leach & 3 others

20 January 2020

Book

Engaged Excellence in Development Studies

An important question for schools of Development Studies (DS) is how to undertake research that is both rigorous in its own right, and relevant and useful to those whose lives and futures are potentially affected by the new evidence, insights and concepts it generates. In other words, how do we...

Image of Katy Oswald
Katy Oswald & 2 others

8 January 2019

Melissa Leach’s recent work