About us


Staff profiles

Management team

Research team

GSDRC's specialist researchers synthesise the latest evidence and expert thinking on governance, social development, humanitarian and conflict issues to inform policy and practice. They produce Topic Guides, Issues Papers, and rapid-response Helpdesk Research Reports for a range of agencies, and undertake consultancy projects.

Information team

The information team provides GSDRC's online knowledge services – an e-library of research summaries, a professional development directory, and a monthly e-bulletin. The team also manages the publication, dissemination and impact monitoring of GSDRC research outputs.


Heather Marquette, Director

Based at the International Development Department (IDD), University of Birmingham

Email: h.a.marquette@bham.ac.uk

Heather has been the GSDRC’s Director since April 2010. She is also Reader in Development Politics in the University of Birmingham’s International Development Department. A political scientist by training, Heather has 14 years of international experience in research, policy advice, consultancy and training in governance and development. Her work has focused primarily on Africa, (Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana in particular), Afghanistan and India.

GSDRC Responsibilities

  • Providing academic oversight
  • Developing strategy

Qualifications

  • PhD Political Science, Department of Politics, University of Durham
  • MA International Studies, Department of Politics, University of Durham
  • BSc International Business, Department of Business Administration, Franklin Pierce University

Areas of interest

  • Anti-corruption reforms and strategies
  • Development politics
  • Political economy analysis
  • Good governance
  • Statebuilding
  • Aid policy
  • Civic education

For further information, including details of Heather's publications, see her University of Birmingham staff profile.


Brian Lucas, Manager

Based at the International Development Department (IDD), University of Birmingham

Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 5037
Email: brian@gsdrc.org

Brian is a project manager specialising in knowledge management and information technology solutions for international development and environmental issues. He has experience as a manager, communicator, and educator in the public, private, and NGO sectors. Brian joined the Governance Resource Centre in 2004. He led the bid to form the Governance and Social Development Resource Centre (GSDRC), becoming its Manager in 2005, and overseeing its expansion. Previously, Brian managed the information services unit at GRID-Arendal in Norway, a United Nations Environment Programme collaborating centre.

GSDRC Responsibilities

  • Coordinating the GSDRC's work
  • Strategic management and quality oversight
  • Administration, contracts, personnel, and financial management
  • Managing relations with clients
  • Conducting rapid-response research

Qualifications

  • MSc Management of Non-Governmental Organizations, London School of Economics
  • MSc, BSc Civil Engineering, University of Manitoba, Canada

Areas of interest

  • Knowledge and information management
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Environment and sustainable development
  • E-Governance
  • Management of NGOs
  • Distance learning

For further information, including details of Brian's publications, see his University of Birmingham staff profile.

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Evie Browne, Research Fellow

Based at the International Development Department (IDD), University of Birmingham

Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 4965
Email: evie@gsdrc.org

Evie joined GSDRC in 2013. Previously, she worked as a research consultant providing analysis on social issues for ODI, IDS, the Commonwealth Secretariat and International Alert among others, and before that worked for an Open Access scientific publisher. She also teaches on the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Continuing Education Undergraduate Certificate in International Development and sits on the Cambridge Humanitarian Centre’s Board of Trustees as Honorary Secretary.

Qualifications

  • MA International Social Development, University of East Anglia
  • MA (Honours) Classical Studies, University of Edinburgh

Areas of interest

  • Gender
  • Social protection
  • Civil society
  • Power relations
  • Children’s rights
For further information, including details of Evie's publications, see her University of Birmingham staff profile.


Becky Carter, Research Officer

Based at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Brighton

Tel: +44 (0) 1273 915 787
Email: becky@gsdrc.org

Becky joined GSDRC in 2012. She has worked as a principal consultant with Mokoro Ltd since 2007 and has recently worked in Cambodia, Ethiopia and Zambia. She has experience as a consultant for donor agencies including DFID, the EU and the World Bank, and for organisations such as the International Aid Transparency Initiative.

Qualifications

  • MA Latin American Area Studies, Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London
  • BA Social and Political Science, Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge

Areas of interest

  • Aid effectiveness, including aid management, transparency and predictability
  • Social protection
  • Public sector institutional reform
  • Complexity


Emilie Combaz, Research Associate

Based at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI), University of Manchester

Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 3483
Email: emilie@gsdrc.org

Emilie joined GSDRC in 2012. Her PhD, completed in 2011, examined how torture was handled as a multilateral issue from 1945 to 2009 at the UN, the Council of Europe and the Organization of American States. Along with her work at GSDRC, Emilie facilitates research coordination within HCRI. She is a native French speaker, is fluent in English and German, and has a working knowledge of Spanish.

Qualifications

  • PhD / MPhil / MA Political Science & International Relations, Sciences Po, Paris
  • BA Political Science, Sciences Po

Areas of interest

  • Human rights
  • Inequalities and power – class, gender, race, age, (dis)abilities
  • Humanitarianism
  • Violence
  • Political and historical sociology
  • International organisations and multilateralism


Huma Haider, Research Fellow

Based at the International Development Department (IDD), University of Birmingham

Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 8468
Email: huma@gsdrc.org

Huma joined GSDRC in 2007.  She is a licensed attorney (New York State Bar) and worked previously in the Prosecution Support Section of the War Crimes Chamber, Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  She has also researched issues of refugee / IDP return, coexistence and reconciliation in Bosnia.

Prior to this, Huma was Director of Research and Publications at the Atlantic Council of Canada (an NGO focusing on NATO, security and development, and peacebuilding); and founding editor of The Transatlantic Quarterly (a journal focusing on the interplay of political, socioeconomic, legal, cultural and military components in the development of peace and security).

Qualifications

  • LLM International Human Rights Law (London School of Economics)
  • MBA (University of Toronto)
  • LLB (University of Toronto)
  • BA Political Science / Economics (McGill University)

Areas of interest

  • Transitional justice in the context of peacebuilding
  • Coexistence and reconciliation in divided societies
  • Identity and conflict dynamics
  • Role of refugees, IDPs and diaspora communities in conflict dynamics and peacebuilding
  • The Balkans, particularly Bosnia and Herzegovina

For further information, including details of Huma's publications, see her University of Birmingham staff profile.


Siân Herbert, Research Fellow

Based at the International Development Department (IDD), University of Birmingham

Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 4965
Email: sian@gsdrc.org

Siân joined GSDRC in 2013. Previously, she worked as a researcher for the think tanks the Overseas Development Institute and Open Europe. Siân also writes freelance, and has been published by the Guardian, Chatham House and Argentine think tank El Centro Argentino de Estudios Internacionales (CAEI). She is fluent in Spanish and speaks competent Portuguese.

Qualifications

  • MA International Relations and Negotiations and International Economic Relations, Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO), Argentina (in cooperation with the Universidad de San Andrés and the Universidad de Barcelona)
  • BSc Politics and International Relations, University of Southampton, UK

Areas of interest

  • The determinants of conflict and fragility
  • Governance in situations of conflict and fragility
  • The determinants of income and gender inequality
  • Policy and approaches to aid in middle-income countries
  • EU development policy
  • Latin America, particularly Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico
For further information, including details of Siân's publications, see her University of Birmingham staff profile.


Róisín Hinds, Research Fellow

Based at the International Development Department (IDD), University of Birmingham

Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 8468
Email: roisin@gsdrc.org

Róisín has a PhD in human geography entitled ‘Of Mines and Markets: Labour regimes and agency in Chinese-structured Global Production Networks (GPNs) in Zambia’. This explored the interplay between local labour regimes and Chinese capital. Prior to joining GSDRC in 2013, Roísín worked for a Namibian NGO on community-based natural resource management programmes in the Bwabwata National Park.

Qualifications

  • PhD Geography, School of Nature Sciences, Trinity College Dublin
  • MSc Sustainable Development, Queens University Belfast
  • BA Politics and Philosophy, University College Dublin

Areas of interest

  • Labour
  • Globalisation
  • Southern African economics and politics
  • Political economy analysis
  • Rural development
  • Community-based natural resource management
For further information, including details of Róisín's research, see her University of Birmingham staff profile.


Claire Mcloughlin, Senior Research Fellow

Based at the International Development Department (IDD), University of Birmingham

Email: claire@gsdrc.org

Claire joined GSDRC in 2004. Prior to this she was a civil servant in the UK Home Office’s Migration Directorate. Her recent work and research has focused on non-state service providers, the relationship between service delivery and statebuilding, and policies and approaches to aid in fragile situations. 

Qualifications

  • MA International Relations and World Order, University of Leicester
  • BA History and Politics, University of Leicester

Areas of interest

  • Service delivery in fragile situations
  • Non-state service providers and relationships with the state
  • International policy and approaches to aid in fragile situations
  • Political economy analysis
  • Migration and development

For further information, including details of Claire's publications, see her University of Birmingham staff profile.


Sumedh Rao, Research Fellow

Based at the International Development Department (IDD), University of Birmingham

Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 7592
Email: sumedh@gsdrc.org

Sumedh joined GSDRC in 2010. He has worked as a policy analyst and researcher with the Overseas Development Institute, Development Initiatives, the OECD and DFID. He has worked on issues primarily related to governance, peacebuilding, statebuilding, capacity development and aid. He is fluent in French, Spanish, Japanese and Konkani.

Qualifications

  • Master of Public Affairs, Sciences Po, Paris
  • BSc Politics and International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science, London
  • BSc Psychology, University College London

Areas of interest

  • Governance in situations of conflict and fragility
  • Statebuilding and state fragility
  • Political economy analysis 
  • Aid architecture
  • Anti-corruption reforms

For further information, including details of Sumedh's publications, see his University of Birmingham staff profile.


Brigitte Rohwerder, Research Officer

Based at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex

Tel: +44 (0) 127 3915787
Email: brigitte@gsdrc.org

Brigitte joined GSDRC in 2013. Previously, she worked as a researcher for the Post-War Reconstruction and Development Unit (PRDU) on evaluations for DFID, UNICEF and the Government of Afghanistan. She has also worked on issues related to disability inclusion, education, refugee return, disaster preparation and response.

Qualifications

  • MA Post War Recovery Studies, University of York
  • MA (Hons) International Relations, University of St. Andrews

Areas of interest

  • Disability inclusion in humanitarian responses
  • Post-conflict reconstruction
  • IDPs/Refugees
  • Marginalised and Vulnerable Groups
  • Education in Emergencies
  • Emergency Preparedness Response/Disaster Risk Reduction


Anna Strachan, Research Officer

Based at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex

Tel: +44 (0) 127 3915787
Email: anna@gsdrc.org

Anna joined GSDRC in 2013. Her PhD, completed in 2013, looked at the decision-making processes behind Norwegian conflict mediation efforts in the Philippines, South Sudan, and Sri Lanka. She speaks German, French, Swedish and Arabic.

Qualifications

  • PhD International Relations, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • MSc Asian Politics – School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
  • BA Middle Eastern Studies with Arabic – University of Exeter

Areas of interest

  • Conflict resolution and peacebuilding
  • The causes of conflict and fragility
  • Security sector reform
  • South and Southeast Asia
  • The Middle East and North Africa

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Timothy Fisken, Publications Assistant

Based at the International Development Department (IDD), University of Birmingham

Email: t.fisken@bham.ac.uk

Timothy joined GSDRC in 2013. Prior to this, he worked as Managing Editor of SAGE’s Encyclopedia of Political Theory, and in knowledge and information management at the Government Office for the East of England. Timothy has a PhD in Political Theory and Comparative Political Economy, and is experienced in online and print publishing and web development.

Qualifications

  • PhD Political Science, University of California, Berkeley
  • MPhil Political Thought and Intellectual History, University of Cambridge
  • BA Hons Philosophy, University of Cambridge


Sarah O'Connor, Information Officer

Based at the International Development Department (IDD), University of Birmingham

Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 3911
Email: sarah@gsdrc.org

Sarah has over eight years’ experience in international development, largely in knowledge management roles. Before joining the GSDRC in 2008, she was an editor and web manager for an international NGO and also worked in the publishing sector (Oxford University Press and Learning Media Ltd.).

Qualifications

  • BA English Language and Literature, University of Oxford


Freyja Oddsdóttir, Research and Communication Support Officer

Based at the International Development Department (IDD), University of Birmingham

Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 7592
Email: freyja@gsdrc.org

Freyja joined the GSDRC in January 2013. Prior to this, Freyja worked for AIESEC, an international student organisation, in Iceland, New Zealand, India and Kenya. She has previously conducted field research on issues related to conflict prevention in Kenya, as well as working with Burmese migrant workers in Thailand.

Qualifications

  • BA Political Science, University of Iceland
  • MSc Development Management, University of Birmingham
For further information see Freyja's University of Birmingham Staff Profile.

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