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Jessica Mackenzie

Research Fellow

Portrait of Jessica Mackenzie
<p>Jessica specialises in policy influence and improving the role of knowledge in policy-making globally, with expertise in Indonesia and broader South East Asia. Prior to joining the ODI, she worked for AusAID on governance, education service delivery and designs for evidence-based policy and practice programmes.</p>

Jessica Mackenzie is a Research Fellow in the RAPID Programme at ODI. Her work focuses on decision-making in policy formulation, research uptake and how to improve the role of knowledge in policy-making particularly within developing countries.

Prior to joining ODI, Jessica has worked in a variety of sectors in international development including managing large-scale education, law and justice and electoral support programmes and worked on the Aceh Reconstruction Programme after the Boxing Day tsunami for several years. During this time she was working for the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was posted to the Australian Embassy in Jakarta for four years.

As an Assistant Director on DFAT’s Development Assistance Programme to Indonesia in 2011-14, she was responsible for the Canberra management of six international development programmes within the education portfolio. This included Australia’s flagship $500 million Education Partnership with Indonesia (helping to increase access to junior secondary education in poor and remote areas of Indonesia by constructing schools to create thousands of new school places; improving school management and education quality). Prior to this Jessica worked on programmes within the economic and democratic governance portfolio. These included law and justice (supporting the Indonesian Supreme Court reforms, circuit courts, fee waivers), electoral assistance, human rights, counter-terrorism programmes and economic governance support.

As a Senior Program Manager on DFAT’s Development Assistance Programme to Indonesia in 2009-11 she was one of the lead designers of the ten year, $100 million Knowledge Sector Initiative. This initiative aims to improve evidence-based policy decision making in Indonesian Government, through revitalising production of high-quality policy analysis. Jessica worked on capacity building for research organisations with the Asia Foundation, oversaw diagnostic studies into important new areas of research and conducted an extensive consultations programme.

She graduated from the London School of Economics with a Masters of International Political Economy, specialising in international environmental regulation and economic diplomacy. She also has degrees in international relations and law, having specialised in international trade law.


  1. Investing in mental health in low-income countries

    Research report

  2. Managing a government think tank: inside the black box

    Working paper

  3. Four myths about mental health in development


  4. The Indonesian knowledge sector: a contextual analysis

    Working paper

  5. Mental health funding and the SDGs: what now and who pays?

    Research report

Elsewhere on the web