Overseas Development Institute

Overseas Development Institute

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Encyclopedia
The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) is one of the leading independent think tank
Think tank
A think tank is an organization that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, and technology issues. Most think tanks are non-profit organizations, which some countries such as the United States and Canada provide with tax...

s on international development
International development
International development or global development is a concept that lacks a universally accepted definition, but it is most used in a holistic and multi-disciplinary context of human development — the development of greater quality of life for humans...

 and humanitarian issues. Based in London, its mission is "to inspire and inform policy and practice which lead to the reduction of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and the achievement of sustainable livelihoods in developing countries." It does this by "locking together high-quality applied research, practical policy advice, and policy-focused dissemination and debate."

ODI began life in small premises in Regent's Park, central London, and operated a library devoted to international development issues as well as performing consultancy work and contracts with the Department for International Development
Department for International Development
The Department For International Development is a United Kingdom government department with a Cabinet Minister in charge. It was separated from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1997. The goal of the department is "to promote sustainable development and eliminate world poverty". The current...

 (then known as the Overseas Development Agency) of the UK government. Since then it has moved several times, and is currently on Westminster Bridge Road. Unlike its counterpart, the Institute of Development Studies
Institute of Development Studies
The Institute of Development Studies based at the University of Sussex is a global organisation for research, teaching and communications on international development....

 (IDS) at Sussex University, it does not engage in teaching. The current Director is Dr Alison Evans, formerly of the IDS.

In July 2007, ODI was named 'Think Tank of the Year 2007' by Public Affairs News magazine. It was previously named 'Think-tank to Watch' in the Prospect (magazine)
Prospect (magazine)
Prospect is a monthly British general interest magazine, specialising in politics and current affairs. Frequent topics include British, European, and US politics, social issues, art, literature, cinema, science, the media, history, philosophy, and psychology...

 'Think-tank of the Year' awards, 2005.

It celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2010, with guests including former ODI Fellow and current UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable.

ODI has published many books, papers and briefings, and two leading academic journals, Development Policy Review and Disasters.

It has had a Partnership Programme Arrangement with the UK's Department for International Development
Department for International Development
The Department For International Development is a United Kingdom government department with a Cabinet Minister in charge. It was separated from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1997. The goal of the department is "to promote sustainable development and eliminate world poverty". The current...

(DFID) since 2004.

Organisation and Departments


ODI has many different programmes that focus on various aspects of international development
International development
International development or global development is a concept that lacks a universally accepted definition, but it is most used in a holistic and multi-disciplinary context of human development — the development of greater quality of life for humans...

. These are:
  • Business and Development
  • Centre for Aid and Public Expenditure (CAPE)
  • Climate Change, Environment and Forests
  • Communications (for dispersal of ODI events and publications)
  • Growth, Poverty and Inequality
  • Investment and Growth
  • Humanitarian Policy Group
  • Politics and Governance
  • Protected Livelihoods & Agricultural Growth

ODI Event Series


ODI hosts a regular Events series, with conferences/panels discussing a wide range of development issues. Speakers include ODI Staff, visiting development policymakers, DFID officials and other prominent figures such as Justin Yifu Lin
Justin Yifu Lin
Justin Yifu Lin , born as Zhengyi Lin, on October 15, 1952, in Yilan, Taiwan, is a Chinese economist and Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of the World Bank.-Career and education:...

, the current World Bank Chief Economist
World Bank Chief Economist
The World Bank Chief Economist provides intellectual leadership and direction to the Bank’s overall development strategy and economic research agenda, at global, regional and country levels...

.

Fellowship scheme


The Overseas Development Institute also runs a fellowship scheme, which sends young postgraduate economists to work in the public sectors of developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific on two-year contracts. This has been running since 1963, has worked in over 30 countries, with over 850 economists going on into careers in development and other sectors. Participants were initially known as Overseas Development Institute Nuffield Fellows (ODINs) before later titled as ODI Fellows.

External links