Personal profile

Research interests

I currently hold the posts of Professor of Social Justice, Director of the Bristol Poverty Institute and Director of the Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research at the University of Bristol.  I provide research leadership for multidisciplinary poverty relevant research across the University of Bristol.


I have an international reputation for research into issues of poverty and social justice and I have written and edited over two hundred books, papers and reports on these subjects.  I was a member of the UN Expert Group on Poverty Statistics (Rio Group) and contributed to its ‘Compendium of Best Practice in Poverty Measurement’.  I acted as an external expert for the European Union Working Group on Income, Poverty and Social Exclusion and was a member of the EU Task Force on Material Deprivation.  I was appointed as a scientific advisor to the European Union/Latin American Network 10 - Fight against Urban Poverty. I also advise both the United Nations Department for Economic & Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the Commonwealth Secretariat on poverty and hunger issues amongst young people (aged 15 to 29) and contributed to the 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011 World Youth Reports.  I have advised the World Health Organisation on measurement issues concerning water and sanitation access and policy in low and middle income countries. I worked with UNICEF on its first ever Global Study on Child Poverty and Disparities, which involved providing scientific advice and support to over 50 UNICEF country offices and in 2016 I was appointed as an Advisory Board member for the UNICEF Office of Research in Florence.  I was appointed as an international advisor for the development of the official multidimensional poverty measure in Mexico and advised the New Zealand and UK Governments on poverty measurement and anti-poverty policies.  From 2008 to 2011, I held a public appointment to the Child Poverty Expert Group, a Ministerial Advisory Group that provided the Minister for Children and the Welsh Assembly Government with expert, evidence-based advice on the actions needed to eradicate child poverty in Wales.  Finally, I led the Poverty and Social Exclusion in the United Kingdom project, which was the largest project of its kind in UK history.  In 2006 and 2007, I was given the tremendous honour of addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations about child and youth poverty.  In 2018, I had the honour of being elected as a Fellow of the British Academy for my work on poverty research.

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • PolicyBristolChildrenAndFamilies
  • PolicyBristolGlobalPoliticalEconomy
  • PolicyBristolMethodologiesAndDataAnalysis
  • PolicyBristolHealthAndWellbeing
  • International Development
  • Cabot Institute Water Research
  • Cabot Institute Food Security Research
  • Cabot Institute Environmental Change Research


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