Andrew Norton is ODI’s Director of Research. A social anthropologist by training, Andrew carried out his doctoral fieldwork in a farming community in Mali, and has since worked extensively on issues of poverty, vulnerability, social protection, citizen participation, political economy analysis, aid effectiveness, natural resource management and social policy.
Andrew’s role at ODI is to support the Programme Teams to develop relevant and challenging research agendas. He works with the rest of the management team to develop systems and strategies that will enable ODI to engage effectively in global development debates and fulfil its mission.
ODI is familiar territory for Andrew, who was one of the original team that established the Centre for Aid and Public Expenditure at ODI in 1999. He was the Head of Profession for Social Development at the UK Department for International Development, and a Lead Social Scientist within the World Bank, before joining ODI in September 2010. At the World Bank Andrew led on a range of issues for the Social Development Department, including a major multi-donor work programme on Poverty and Social Impact Analysis.
Andrew has been involved in three major publications from the World Bank over the last year. He co-edited a flagship volume with Robin Mearns: The Social Dimensions of Climate Change: Equity and Vulnerability in a Warming World (World Bank 2010). He led a joint research project with the Global Urban Research Centre at Manchester University on Pro-poor Adaptation to Climate Change in Urban Centres (Moser, Norton, Stein and Georgieva) based on participatory research in Kenya and Nicaragua. The study highlighted the fact that – while extreme weather ‘disaster’ events often receive research, media and policy attention – less dramatic slow, incremental impacts of severe weather are equally important in terms of their cumulative impact on human wellbeing.
Building on his interest in the interface between human rights and development, Andrew also worked with colleagues on Building Equality and Opportunity through Social Guarantees: New Approaches to Public Policy and the Realization of Rights (Gacitua-Mario, Norton and Georgieva). This examined policy innovations for equitable development in South Africa and Latin America that strengthen the capacity of citizens to make claims against clearly expressed guarantees of service delivery, quality and responsiveness. Key case studies include health reforms in Chile that have piloted a ‘social guarantees’ approach, and the role of the courts in promoting social change in South Africa.