Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Leading researchers in international development join Brooks World Poverty Institute 

Two leading figures in international development are joining Nobel Prize winner Professor Joseph E Stiglitz at The University of Manchester's Brooks World Poverty Institute.
Professors Tony Addison and Michael Woolcock will be Executive Director and Research Director respectively, joining Professor Stiglitz who is chair of BWPI's advisory board.

Tony Addison who is Professor of Development Studies at the University's Institute for Development Policy and Management came from the World Institute for Development Economics Research in Helsinki where he was Deputy Director.

He is also an Associate Director of the University's Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC) which coordinates a global network of poverty research institutes in the UK and the developing world.

Michael Woolcock will work as a Visiting Professor of Social Science and Development Policy at Manchester this academic year before joining BWPI full-time next September.

He is currently Senior Social Scientist in the World Bank's Development Research Group in Washington DC.

Based at the School of Environment and Development, BWPI was made possible by one of the largest known gifts of £1.3M over three years to fund poverty research in Europe from the Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Foundation.

Professor Stiglitz said: "We are delighted with these appointments and welcome both Tony and Michael to Manchester as they take up the vital work of the Brooks World Poverty Institute."

This is another step to building on Manchester's long legacy,beginning in the mid-nineteenth century with Frederick Engels of conducting interdisciplinary research on global poverty and identifying effective policy responses to it.

Professor Addison said: "BWPI represents a long-term commitment by the University to poverty, and will complement the excellent work undertaken by the members of the CPRC around the world."

-Poverty, whether in the UK or abroad, is not a problem that maps neatly onto a single discipline.

-Effective solutions are more likely when different forms of knowledge are effectively integrated, but unfortunately this sentiment is espoused more often than it is actually practiced.

-BWPI wants to take the interdisciplinary challenge seriously and to be an effective bridge between the worlds of scholarship and practice.

The institute will be staffed by leading researchers working on all aspects of poverty, in both the developed and developing worlds, and will interact closely with government policy makers as well as the business and voluntary sectors.

Professor Woolcock said: "There is broad agreement on the importance of interdisciplinary research, but most of us in social sciences are trained in and assessed by colleagues within traditional disciplines throughout our careers.

-We think receiving a rigorous discipline-based graduate education remains vitally important, but want to create an extended opportunity for those who wish to explore ideas in neighbouring disciplines.

-We will look at poverty both here in the UK and in low-income countries, and hope to attract a diverse range of talented scholars to study these issues.

-Twenty thousand people die every day from poverty-related causes. Fulfilling the goals of BWPI presents a big challenge, but also a big opportunity."

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