IDD associates

IDD associates is a network of experienced professionals engaged in consultancy, research and training who have been members of the academic staff of the International Development Department, and who continue to be associated with it.

They share IDD’s core commitment to poverty reduction through the development of effective systems of governance and public management. They each have many years experience, and have worked in Africa, Asia, Latin America, central and eastern Europe.

Members of the network may be contracted individually, or institutionally through the International Development Department.


Photo of Richard BatleyRichard Batley is an Emeritus Professor of the University of Birmingham. He has experience in Britain, Latin America, Africa and South Asia, and has directed a series of research projects on the reform of public services and collaboration between government and non-state service providers. Recently completed research in collaboration with the Overseas Development Institute was on the politics of service provision in developing countries, and how the characteristics of service sectors affect their politics. He is currently working with the University of São Paulo on an institutional analysis of reforms of public financial management in Brazil.


Photo of Donald CurtisDonald Curtis One time head of IDD, has continuing interest and experience in institutional analysis and governance, now with a particular focus on the environment. He has worked and written on civil service reform and public management in a comparative perspective and draws upon experience in the management of international assistance projects; academic program design, assessment and evaluation as well as teaching and training methods.


Kenneth Davey has extensive international experience of local government finance and management as a member of HM Overseas Civil Service and then adviser to the World Bank, DFID, UNCHS, Council of Europe, EU and the Open Society Foundation on numerous consultancies worldwide. Since 1989 he has been closely involved in local government reform in Central and Eastern Europe and is currently leading a Council of Europe survey of the impact of the fiscal crisis on local government across Europe and of solutions to financial stress.

Nick Devas is an economist with over 30 years of experience in developing and transitional countries. Areas of expertise include local government, municipal finance, intergovernmental fiscal relations, public finance, urban governance and planning. He has worked on these issues recently in East Timor, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Slovakia, Kyrgyz Republic, Angola and Nigeria. He is now living in Beijing and expects to stay for up to three years.

Michael Hubbard is Reader in Development Economic.


Photo of Andrew NicksonAndrew Nickson is a development economist with 30 years’ experience of teaching, research and consultancy on local governance and sustainable development, decentralization and peacebuilding, citizen participation in local government, and urban water supply. He has a particular interest in Sierra Leone, Nepal and Paraguay, countries where he has had long-term work assignments.  He is currently External Trainer for the Peace and Security Division of the United Nations System Staff College, Turin, Italy. He teaches Economics for Development Practitioners at the IDD and writes regularly for the Economist Intelligence Unit, Oxford Analytica and IHS Markit. 

For Andrew’s most recent CV or to contact Andrew please email:

Photo of Ita OdonavonIta O'Donovan has 10 years experience as Chief Executive of UK urban local authorities. She has a combined career as a senior practitioner and consultant academic that spans over 22 years. As a Chief Executive she has led major strategic change programmes, urban regeneration programmes and public/private partnerships. She undertakes consultancy, teaches and mentors in these areas. Currently she has activities in China, Kosovo and the UK.  

Carole Rakodi is a social scientist and urban planner who specialises in urban politics and governance, urban poverty and livelihoods, urban land and housing, especially in Africa. She also directed the Religions and Development Research Programme based at the University of Birmingham from 2005 to 2010.


Photo of Malcolm WallisMalcolm Wallis, who is based in Durban, South Africa, has extensive experience in the Public Management field. His two most recent projects have been a study of local economic development in the commonwealth and a review of health management and expenditure in South Africa’s provinces. He has also carried out studies of higher education management. He is an active member of the African Association of Public Administration and Management.


John Watson specialises in project analysis, delivery and evaluation. He is interested in training methodology and practice with considerable experience in teaching different elements of the project cycle and specialises too in policy analysis with particular reference to aid delivery and poverty focused development. Regional experience includes east and central Africa, India, Eastern Europe and the Caribbean.


Further information

  • For individual work, contact the relevant associate directly
  • For work through IDD, contact David Evans:
  • For general information about IDD associates, contact Richard Batley: