As an urban social anthropologist/social policy specialist I have more than forty years ofexperience relating to urban development and social policy on a range of issues including academic and policy-focused research, teaching and training. As a researcher I have undertaken primary field-based research on urban poverty, urban violence, household asset vulnerability and accumulation strategies, gender and development and the informal sector in countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Jamaica. Other research has included social policy, community participation, the social dimensions of economic reform, human rights, social protection and most recenty urban climate change adaptation with empirical research in Mombasa, Kenya. I have undertaken applied research on the role of women's organizations in peace processes in Colombia.
I have taught at the London School of Economics, where I was the Convenor of the MSc in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries (1886-1990); the New School, New York where I was an adjunct professor (2002-2003); and the Development Planning Unit, University College London where I directed the first global training program on gender planning (1978-1986). From 1990 to 2000 I worked at the World Bank, in the Urban Division and then as Lead Specialist for Social Development in Latin America. Prior to coming to the University of Manchester I worked in two policy-focused think tanks, as Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute (2001-2002) and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Washington D.C. (2004-2007).
I am a Non-Resident Research Fellow at Brookings Institution, and a member of the UNCHS Huairou Commission. I was a Visiting Professor at the University of Bristol, a Research Fellow at the World Policy Institute, New York, and was a member of the US National Academy of Science's Panel on Urban Population Dynamics. I twice served on the DFID ESCOR research committee, and was an Advisor to the Ford Foundation's Global Urban Research Initiative. I am on the editorial advisory boards of four journals in the area of Development Studies and Urbanization. I have obtained research grants from a range of institutions including DFID/ESRC, Ford Foundation, World Bank and UNDP and am currently PI for research projects on Understanding the Tipping Points of Urban Violence, and Asset Planning