News article

London, 31 October. Professor Jo Beall and Professor Melissa Leach have been appointed to the HMG Strategic Coherence of ODA-funded Research (SCOR) Board as independent members.

The SCOR Board brings an overall perspective on the funding, expertise and experience of all parts of HM Government. It provides high-level strategic coordination for the UK’s ODA-funded research with the aim of maximising its impact. The SCOR Board will be hosted by the UK Collaborative on Development Research (UKCDR) and chaired by Professor Peter Piot.

Announcing the appointments, Professor Peter Piot said:

“I am delighted that Professor Jo Beall and Professor Melissa Leach are joining the SCOR Board as independent members. As Jo and Melissa have a wealth of experience in their respective fields, they will give the SCOR Board independent perspectives to ensure that ODA funded research is strategic and coherent to solve some of the most complex challenges we face today.”

Professor Jo Beall is Director Cultural Engagement at the British Council and Professorial Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is a specialist in international education, development and cities in fragile and conflict situations.

“I am delighted to be joining the SCOR Board and working with research funders committed to understanding and solving contemporary development challenges. It is timely, as the UK shapes and reshapes its relationship with the world, that we strengthen the use of evidence in our involvement in policy making processes. I believe my experience as a social science academic and international development policy practitioner will serve the Board well, alongside my commitment to interdisciplinarity in development research.”

Professor Melissa Leach is the Director of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). She is a geographer and social anthropologist with extensive experience in undertaking interdisciplinary policy engaged research around issues of inequality, environmental sustainability and health and infectious diseases in Africa and beyond.

“It’s a real honour to be appointed as an independent member of the UK Government’s SCOR Board.  I’m very much looking forward to working with board colleagues to ensure ODA-funded research that is genuinely interdisciplinary, is underpinned by strong international partnerships and that results in evidence and knowledge that helps create a more equal and sustainable world.”

“It is vital that the SCOR Board has independent members of Jo and Melissa’s calibre. Their experiences of the ODA funded research landscape will help ensure the SCOR Board’s coordination efforts are impactful for the UK to be a leader in the international development community.” says Dr Marta Tufet, Executive Director of UKCDR.

 

Ends

 

Note to editors:

  1. The UK Collaborative on Development Research (UKCDR) is a group of government departments and research funders working in international development.
  2. Professor Baron Peter Piot is Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Professor of Global Health. He is an internationally respected scientist and was a key member of research team which discovered the Ebola Virus in Zaire in 1976. He has held the most senior positions in a wide range of UK and international research institutions. He was also the founding Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1995 until 2008. Under his leadership UNAIDS became the chief advocate for worldwide action against AIDS, also spearheading UN reform by bringing together 10 UN system organizations. He was awarded an honorary knighthood KCMG in 2016, and took up his post as SCOR Board Chair on 1 November 2017.
  3. Professor Jo Beall is Director Cultural Engagement at the British Council and Professorial Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). A graduate of the LSE Jo’s past roles include Professor of Development Studies at the LSE and Deputy Vice Chancellor of University of Cape Town. She is a specialist in international education, international development, and cities in fragile and conflict situations, and a regular speaker at major conferences in these fields.
  4. Professor Melissa Leach is the Director of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex. She founded and directed the ESRC STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre from 2006 to 2014, with its pioneering pathways approach to innovation, sustainability and development issues. A geographer and social anthropologist, her interdisciplinary, policy-engaged research in Africa and beyond links environment, agriculture, health, technology and gender, with interests in knowledge, power and the politics of science and policy processes.
  5. Dr Marta Tufet is Executive Director of UKCDR. She previously led the development of the UK Department of Health’s first NIHR Global Health Research Programme, while on secondment from Wellcome, where since 2009 she had been developing and implementing a wider range of Wellcome’s strategic research funding partnerships and capacity strengthening initiatives in developing countries, including fast-tracking the Ebola research response.

 

Press contact

 

Tania Ghosh

Communications Manager, UKCDR

Email: t.ghosh@ukcdr.org.uk

Phone: 020 7611 8360 / 07767 615 132