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Rachel Marcus

Senior Research Fellow

  • Gender Equality and Social Inclusion
Portrait of Rachel Marcus

Rachel is a social development researcher and practitioner with a strong focus on gender, childhood, youth and adolescence. She is an expert in conducting rigorous evidence reviews.

Rachel has 25 years’ experience as a social development researcher and practitioner.  She has particular expertise in conducting rigorous evidence reviews, with a focus on gender, childhood, youth and adolescence and social inclusion. Her main areas of thematic interest are social and gender norm change, education, skills and economic empowerment. She has also worked on social aspects of climate change and child protection.

In recent years she has led evidence reviews on non-formal education programmes to shift gender norms, gender and youth livelihoods development; gender equality in formal education; protection of child migrants; youth civic and political participation; and effective integration of anti-poverty and child protection programmes. She is a lead technical advisor for the ALIGN platform, which brings together research and innovation to challenge discriminatory and harmful gender norms and has undertaken various training assignments on social and gender norms. She also co-leads the evidence synthesis workstream for the Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence programme (GAGE). 

Before joining ODI, Rachel was an independent consultant, and has worked for DFID as a Social Development Advisor, and for Save the Children as a Research and Policy Advisor, where she served as Director of the Childhood Poverty Research and Policy Centre. As an independent consultant Rachel has undertaken assignments for Girl Hub on adolescent girls, for the World Bank and UNICEF on childhood, youth and social exclusion, and for DFID on youth and gender.  Rachel has worked in the following countries: Belize, Bosnia Herzegovina, Kyrgyzstan, India, Mali, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Pakistan and Tanzania.

  1. Is no space safe? Working to end gender-based violence in the public sphere

    Briefing/policy papers

  2. Hashtags, memes and selfies: Can social media and online activism shift gender norms?

    Research reports

  3. Teaching and learning for life skills development: Insights from Rwanda’s 12+ programme for adolescent girls

    Journal issue/article

  4. Data, tools and measurement: guide to recent resources


  5. Six ways to strengthen evidence to protect children on the move

  6. Drivers of and protective factors for mental health and psychosocial well-being among adolescents: a snapshot from Tanzania and Viet Nam

    Briefing/policy papers

  7. ‘What works’ to protect children on the move: five insights from across the globe

  8. Gender, power and progress: how norms change

    Research reports

  9. Rapid evidence assessment: what works to protect children on the move?

    Research reports

  10. Frameworks and tools to measure and evaluate mental health and psychosocial well-being

    Briefing/policy papers

  11. Non-digital interventions for adolescent mental health and psychosocial well-being: a review of the literature

    Working papers

  12. Innovations in quantitative measurement of gender norms


  13. Digital approaches to adolescent mental health: a review of the literature

    Working papers

  14. Ending violence against children while addressing the global climate crisis

    Working papers

  15. How far do parenting programmes help change norms underpinning violence against adolescents? Evidence from low and middle-income countries


  16. Covid-19 – why gender matters

  17. 'We can change our destiny': an evaluation of Standard Chartered’s Goal programme

    Research reports

  18. Gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment: our approach and priorities


  19. Reducing gender inequalities in science, technology, engineering and maths

  20. What are the impacts of parenting programmes on adolescents?


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