Dr David Lawson

Senior Lecturer

Full contact details
View graph of relations


Professional Experience/Background:

David Lawson has more than 25 years of experience in development economics and application of public policy in lower and lower middle income countries. He has five years, combined experience, as resident government advisor in Ethiopia, Lesotho and Uganda. His research interests are in development economics and public policy, but more specifically related to conceptual and applied policy understanding of extreme and chronic poverty, particularly related to gender issues. His books include the “What Works for the Poorest” series (Practical Action: 2007, 2010, 2020), “Gender, Poverty and Access to Justice: Policy Implementation in SSA” (Routledge, 2020), and author of “Cash Transfers for the Poverty Reduction: An International Operational Guide” (Routledge, 2020). He has substantial research management and administration experience, having lead interdisciplinary teams. He has consulted extensively for donors such as World Bank, UNICEF and DFID. Most recently he was an advisor to Melinda Gates on issues of gendered time poverty, and panel advisor on health equity and gender issues for WHO, founding advisor for the OECD Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI), and lead consultant for UNICEF on restructuring child social welfare programs in Southern Africa.


Profile: ACIB, BA (Economics) MA (Economic Development and Policy Analysis) PhD (Economics) University of Nottingham


Administrative Positions

2016-19, School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED), Athena Swan

2013-16, School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) and University Ethics Committee - Chair

2008-13, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM)/School of Economics : Development Economics and Policy Seminar Series - Co-Convenor

2007-9, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM): PGR - Discipline co-ordinator

2005, Development Economics and Public Policy (DEPP) - Cluster convenor.

2004+, MSc International Development: Public Policy and Management (PPM) - Program Director; Economics Analysis of the Public Sector (EAPS) and Public Sector Reform and Management (PSRM) - Module Convenor. Gender and Development – Contributor.


Professional Positions

2018 - Senior Researcher, Nordic Africa Institute 

2015-16, Pivotal Ventures - Invited Expert 

2012 +, University of Helsinki, Development Studies - Visiting Professor

2011-12, OECD, Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) - Invited Expert

2010-11, University of Helsinki, Institute of Development Studies (IDS) - Visiting Research Fellow

2009-11, World Health Organisation (WHO), Scientific Resource Group (SRG) on Equity Analysis and Research - Panel Expert.

2009-16, Brooks World Poverty Institute (BWPI), University of Manchester - Faculty Associate.

2009-11, Herbert Simon Institute (HSI), MBS, University of Manchester - Fellow.

2003-10, Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC) - Research Fellow.

2003-8, Global Poverty Research Group (GPRG), Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) at Oxford University, and the Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM) at Manchester University - Research Fellow.

2007, 2010, United Nations University-World Institute for Development Economics Research ( UNU-WIDER), Helsinki, Finland - Visiting Research Fellow.

2005-7, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), BRAC, Bangladesh - Visiting Research Fellow

Further information

Country Experience

Bangladesh, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Namibia, Nigeria, St Kitts and Nevis, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda.


Completed PhD Students

Peter Agamile  “Climate Change and Sustainable Development: Welfare Changes in Uganda”.

Ibrahim Kasirye, 'Agriculture and Gender in Developing Countries: The Case for Uganda'.

Gordon Abeke-Nkrumah, 'Determinants of Utilisation of Maternal Healthcare Services in Ghana'

Lawrence Ado-Kofie, “The Distributional Impact of Economic Growth on Non-Income Dimension of Poverty in Ghana”

Olabimton Adebowale “Microfinance and Its Impact on The Dynamics of Poverty: A Case Study of Nigeria”

Alma Kudebayeva, “Measurement and Determinants of Poverty in Kazakhstan during the boom of 2000’s: Alternative Approaches”


External positions

Senior Researcher, Nordic Africa Institute

Research Networks and Beacons

Related information


Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

View all (60)


Activity: External visiting positions or secondmentsVisiting an external academic institution

View all (1)

Media coverage and contribution

View all (1)