Vegard Iversen

Non-resident Senior Research Fellow

Vegard Iversen is Professor of Development Economics and Head of the Livelihoods and Institutions Department, Natural Resources Institute (NRI), University of Greenwich, UK. After completing his PhD in development economics from University of Cambridge, he was tenured faculty at School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia, from 2000–06.

He recently returned to the UK after 12 years living and working in India. Prof Iversen’s research spans the use of modern impact evaluation techniques, mixed methods, behavioural experiments, archival work and occasional sociological/anthropological detours. He has extensive fieldwork, survey management and data collection experience from India and South Asia.

His research with UNU-WIDER focuses on social mobility in developing countries. Other ongoing research addresses politician motivations; how time in office (differentially) affects women (and other) politicians; the agricultural productivity, poverty and other impacts of large dams. In India, he was a Research Fellow in IFPRI’s New Delhi office, a visiting faculty member at Indian Statistical Institute (Delhi), a Professor and Vice Dean at Jindal School of Government and Public Policy, an Adjunct Professor at Sanford School of Public Policy’s Duke Semester in India programme and a Professor in the Economics Area, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad.

Professor Iversen has done extensive work with, among others, 3ie and provided expert methodological feedback to the Independent Commission for Aid Impact’s reviews of DFID programmes throughout the developing world. He acted in a similar capacity for the Steering Committee overseeing the attempted retrospective evaluation of DFID’s 20 years GB£250 million investments in the rural livelihoods portfolio in India.

He received the Annual Dudley Seers Memorial Prize for the best article in Journal of Development Studies (JDS) in 2008 and serves on the JDS Editorial Board. He was the Editor-in Chief of Journal of South Asian Development from 2006–18.

Professor Iversen is involved in managing and co-ordinating work in the UNU-WIDER project Social mobility in the Global South – concepts, measures, and determinants, which addresses the policy challenges required to achieve Goal 10 on reduced inequalities in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals Agenda, and how to ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome.