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Susie Jolly

Honorary Associate

Susie is currently an Honorary Associate at IDS, and freelance consultant, researcher, facilitator and trainer.

From 2010-2017, Susie Jolly led the Ford Foundation gender and sexuality grant making program in China, totalling US$2 million/year, and supported programs on developing Chinese philanthropy, and on China’s global South relations. Before joining Ford, she founded and led the IDS Sexuality and Development Programme, which made visible previously unseen connections between sexuality and development.

She has extensive knowledge of sexuality, gender and development issues globally, with six years’ experience at the BRIDGE gender information unit, IDS. She has completed numerous consultancies on gender, sexuality, HIV/AIDS and social development, with DFID, Sida, UNDP, UNIFEM, World Bank, Christian Aid and others, in China, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Kenya, Sweden and Norway. She is an experienced researcher, facilitator and trainer on sexuality and gender, and has published widely on these issues.

Selected publications

Jolly, S., Cornwall, A., and Hawkins, K. (2013) (eds ) Women, Sexuality, and the Political Power of Pleasure, Zed: London

Cornwall, A., Correa, S., and Jolly, S. (ed), 2007, ‘Development’s encounter with sexuality: essentialism and beyond’, in Correa, S., and Jolly, S., Development with a Body: Perspectives on Sexuality, Rights and Development,  Zed: London

Jolly, S., with Cornwall, A. (ed),2006, ‘Sexuality Matters’, IDS Bulletin 37.5, Brighton: IDS

Refereed articles
Jolly, S. (2016), ‘Positive Approaches to Sexuality and New Normative Frames: Strands of Research and Action in China and the USA’, Sexuality Education 16.3

Jolly, S. (2011) ‘Why is Development Work so Straight? Heteronormativity in the International Development Industry’, Development In Practice 21.1

Jolly S. (2010) ‘Pleasure and Empowerment: Connections and Disconnections’, Development 53.2

Cornwall, A., and Jolly, S. (2009) ‘Sexuality and the Development Industry’, Development 52.1

Jolly, S. (2006) ‘Not So Strange Bedfellows: Sexuality and International Development’, Development, 49.1

Jolly, S. (2000) ‘Queering Development: Exploring the Links Between Same-sex Sexualities, Gender and Development’, Gender and Development 8.1

Book chapters/working papers
Cornwall, A. and Jolly, S. (2016), ‘Sexuality and the Development Industry: Reflections 6 Years on’, in Harcourt, W. (ed) The Palgrave Handbook of Gender and Development, Palgrave Macmillan: New York

Jolly, S. (2014) ‘Gender and Sexuality Activism in Beijing: Negotiating International Influences and National and Local Processes’, in Pereira, C., (ed) Changing Narratives of Women’s Sexualities: contestations, compliance and women’s empowerment, Zed: London

Burris, M., Jolly, S., Kaufman, J., Lee, E. (2013) ‘Gender and Reproductive Health in China: Ford Foundation and UN Contributions’, in International Philanthropy in China, China Medical Board: Beijing

Jolly, S. (2010) ‘Poverty and Sexuality: What Are the Connections?’ Sida Working Paper

Jolly, S., in Izugbara, C., Undie, C., and Wanjiku Khamasi, J. (ed), (2010) ‘Sexuality and Poverty: What Have They Got to Do with Each Other?’, in Old Wineskins, New Wine: Readings in Sexuality in sub-Saharan Africa, Nova Science Publishers: New York

Cornwall, A. and Jolly, S. (2010) ‘Sexuality, Gender and Poverty’ in Chant, S. (ed), The International Handbook of Gender and Poverty, ELGAR: Oxford

Jolly, S. (2007) ‘Why the Development Industry Should Get Over its Obsession With Bad Sex and Start to Think About Pleasure’, IDS Working Paper 283, Brighton: IDS

Also published in Bergeron, S., and Lind. A. (ed.), 2010, Development, Sexual Rights and Global Governance: Resisting Global Power, Routledge: New York

Ge, Y. and Jolly, S. (2001) ‘East Meets West Feminist Translation Group: A conversation between two participants’  in Hsiung Ping-Chun, Maria Jaschok, and Cecilia Milwertz (ed.), Chinese Women Organising; Cadres, Feminists, Muslims and Queers, Berg: Oxford

Cook, S. and Jolly, S. (2000) ‘Gender and Poverty in Urban China’, IDS Research Report 50, Brighton: IDS

Communications pieces/policy briefings
Jolly, S. (2016) ‘Why gender and sexuality are central to China’s relationships with the global south’, Ford Foundation blog, [received over 250,000 hits]

Jolly, S. (2015) ‘Chinese NGOs name Ford among top donor partners’,  Ford Foundation blog

Jolly, S. (2015) ‘A More Inclusive Approach to Grant Making’, Ford Foundation blog

Jolly, S. (2013) ‘Sexuality and the Economy in China’, IDS Policy Briefing, Brighton: IDS

Jolly, S. (2009) ‘Sexuality Activism in China-Lessons for and from Donors’, IDS In Focus Policy Briefing 8.3, Brighton: IDS

Jolly, S. (2008) ‘Rethinking Sexuality and Policy’, id21 Insights 75, Brighton: IDS

Jolly, S., Esplen, E., and Ilkkaracan, P. (2007) ‘Gender and Sexuality’ BRIDGE Cutting Edge Pack, Brighton: IDS

Jolly, S. (2006) ‘Sexuality and Development’, IDS Policy Briefing, Brighton: IDS

Jolly S., and Cornwall, A. (2006) Quick Guide to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, ELDIS, Brighton: IDS

Jolly, S. with Reeves, H. (2005) ‘Gender and Migration’, BRIDGE Cutting Edge Pack, BRIDGE, Brighton: IDS

Jolly, S. (2004) ‘Gender Myths’, Gender and Development In Brief Special Issue, 2004, BRIDGE, Brighton: IDS

Jolly, S. with Bell, E. and Narayanaswamy, L. (2003) Gender and Migration in Asia: Overview and Annotated Bibliography, BRIDGE, Brighton: IDS





Covid-19 and the impact on gender and sexuality

Differences are emerging in the way people develop Covid-19 – whether by age, underlying health, geography or socio-economic factors, people are not experiencing the pandemic equally.  Although women and men appear to have an equal chance of contracting Covid-19, globally, in almost every...

21 May 2020


Journal Article

Sexuality Matters

IDS Bulletin 37.5

This IDS Bulletin addresses a theme that mainstream development has persistently neglected: sexuality. Over the last decade, development policymakers and practitioners have come to endorse a multi-dimensional approach to poverty, and growing attention has been placed on achieving greater...

1 October 2006

Journal Article

Introduction: Sexuality Matters

IDS Bulletin 37.5

I work a lot on issues of sexuality and sexual rights. And every time I mention that in the context of India, I am told that the community is not ready for it, in a country where poverty is so high why do we need to talk of sexuality; this is a western notion and I am English speaking and that...

1 October 2006

Susie Jolly’s recent work