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Aoife McCullough

Research Associate

  • Global Risks and Resilience
Portrait of Aoife McCullough

Aoife is currently a Research Associate with the Global Risks and Resilience programme. Her core area of expertise lies in political economy and social analysis in conflict-affected environments. She has used these skills to lead conflict and governance analyses in Niger, Mali, South Sudan, Pakistan and Liberia for donors and NGOs. Her analysis has been used by DFID and USAID to inform multi-million governance programmes, and by NGOs such as the Norwegian Refugee Council to inform humanitarian interventions.

While a Research Fellow with ODI's Politics and Governance programme, Aoife led a multi-country series of case studies exploring the link between service delivery and state legitimacy as part of the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium. She is currently a PhD candidate at the London School of Economics, focusing on the presence of foreign militaries and state legitimacy in Niger. She holds an MSc in Anthropology and Development from the London School of Economics and a BA in Psychology from Trinity College Dublin.

  1. The intersection between socioeconomic conditions and youth radicalisation: implications for programming in the G5 Sahel countries


  2. When rising temperatures don't lead to rising tempers: climate and insecurity in Niger

    Working papers

  3. Poverty research in Niger: lessons via WhatsApp

  4. Resilience and sustainable poverty escapes in Niger: national report

    Working papers

  5. Non-state actors in governance systems: friend or foe?


  6. Gatekeepers, elders and accountability in Somalia

    Research reports

  7. Environmental Impact Assessments in developing countries: we need to talk about politics


  8. Legitimacy: the dark matter of international development

  9. Why supporting sharia in Niger is not an extreme position

  10. Are public services the building blocks of state legitimacy? Input to the World Bank's 2017 World Development Report

    Working papers

  11. Understanding trajectories of radicalisation in Niger

    Research reports

  12. Governing extractives at the local level


  13. The risks of supporting rule of law in fragile states


  14. Reinvesting in mining communities seems like a no-brainer. It’s not.

  15. Direct democracy: lessons from Trump and Brexit for international development

  16. Harnessing the private and non-profit sectors in security and justice programming


  17. Using insights on governance reform to achieve economic transformation: lessons from Nepal and Nigeria

  18. Advancing the governance of extractives at the local level: towards politically smart support

    Briefing/policy papers

  19. Pourquoi nous devons engager les dirigeants musulmans qui critiquent la démocratie libérale

  20. Why we need to engage with Muslim leaders who critique liberal democracy