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Ashley Jackson

Co-Director, Centre for the Study of Armed Groups

  • Politics and Governance
Portrait of Ashley Jackson

Ashley is a Research Associate and Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Armed Groups at ODI. She has over a decade of experience working on the ground in conflicts and crises, and researching armed groups.

Ashley has conducted extensive research on and with the Taliban and civilians living under their control in Afghanistan. She has also conducted on the ground research and dialogue with armed groups in an array of other contexts, from Central African Republic to Iraq. She has done extensive work advising governments, multilateral organisations, and humanitarian and development actors on engagement with armed groups. Her research on armed groups began as a Research Fellow with the Humanitarian Policy Group at ODI, where she led a multi-year project on humanitarian dialogue with armed groups in Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan.

Prior to this, Ashley spent several years as aid worker with the UN, Oxfam and the Red Cross in south and southeast Asia. Ashley frequently writes for Foreign Policy and was named a Foreign Policy Interrupted Fellow. Her analysis has been quoted in various media outlets, including the Economist, Al Jazeera, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and others. She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, MSc in Gender and Development from the London School of Economics, and PhD from King’s College London.

  1. Taliban narratives on Al Qaeda in Afghanistan

    Working papers

  2. Inviting non-state armed groups to the table: inclusive strategies towards a more fit for purpose international humanitarian law

    Briefing/policy papers

  3. Armed groups responses to the Covid-19 crisis


  4. New pandemic, same old problems: introducing the Centre for the Study of Armed Groups

  5. Rebel rule of law: Taliban courts in the west and north-west of Afghanistan

    Briefing/policy papers

  6. As Afghanistan moves towards peace, international donors must learn from past mistakes

  7. Life under the Taliban shadow government

    Research reports

  8. Negotiating perceptions: Al-Shabaab and Taliban views of aid agencies

    Briefing/policy papers

  9. Politics and governance in Afghanistan: the case of Nangarhar province

    Working papers

  10. From the Spanish civil war to Afghanistan: Historical and contemporary reflections on humanitarian engagement with non-state armed groups

    Research reports

  11. Protecting civilians: the gap between norms and practice

    Research reports

  12. Humanitarian negotiations with armed non-state actors: key lessons from Afghanistan, Sudan and Somalia

    Briefing/policy papers

  13. A deadly dilemma: how Al-Shabaab came to dictate the terms of humanitarian aid in Somalia

  14. Al-Shabaab engagement with aid agencies

    Briefing/policy papers

  15. Talking to the other side: Humanitarian negotiations with Al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Research reports

  16. Talking to the 'other side': Humanitarian negotiations in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, Sudan

    Research reports

  17. ‘You don’t need to love us’: civil-military relations in Afghanistan, 2002–13


  18. Humanitarian Exchange 58: Humanitarian Negotiations

    Research reports

  19. The search for common ground: civil–military relations in Afghanistan, 2002–13 - Policy Brief

    Briefing/policy papers

  20. What have we learned about stabilization in Afghanistan? Not much.

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