Jo Boyden has been an authority on child development and children's rights since the mid-1980s. Over that time, she has worked on various aspects of research and policy with children, particularly child labour, education, children in conflict (especially working with the Refugee Studies Centre), as well as publishing on childhood resilience in the context of adversity, poverty, and socio-cultural development.
Her recent research has maintained a broad multidisciplinary range alongside a focus on issues of childhood poverty. As Director of Young Lives since 2005, Jo leads a five-country, multidisciplinary team, providing strategic vision, guidance on research and analysis, and using her extensive networks among policymakers and practitioners and across key academic disciplines like education, psychology, sociology, anthropology and international development, to increase the project's outreach and influence
Jo has worked in a wide range of countries, including: Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Peru (where she carried out her doctoral research), Somaliland and Sri Lanka. She has advised many of the large INGOs (Christian Children's Fund, Plan, Save the Children, Oxfam) as well as UN and other multilateral agencies and bilateral donors (CIDA, Danida, DFID, SIDA). One of her best-known works ('What Works for Working Children') was written for Save the Children Sweden.
Jo trained at University College, London (BSc Hons, 1973), Cambridge University and the London School of Economics (PhD, 1983).