Programme Director

Dirk Willem te Velde is the SET Director and is overall responsible for the running of the programme. He is a Senior Research Fellow and Head of the International Economic Development Group at ODI. He is the Research Lead for the DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme.  He has published widely on trade, investment and economic transformation, and has advised country governments in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, and donor agencies such as DFID, European Commission, UN and the World Bank. He was also Team Leader for the European Report on Development (ERD) 2015 on Combining Finance and Policies to Implement a Transformative Post-2015 Agenda.

Team Members

Neil Balchin is a researcher and trade economist, specialising in regional integration and firm-level analysis. His areas of expertise include regional trade agreements, product market integration and supply chain linkages. Neil has previously worked as a researcher and consultant in several different capacities in South Africa, undertaking a diverse range of policy-oriented research on trade and economic development issues across the Southern African region. Most recently, Neil worked as a Research Associate for the Centre for International Development at Harvard University. He holds a B.Com in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, B.Com (Honours) and M.Com degrees in Economics, and a PhD in Economics, all from the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Neil’s work for SET has included country-level work on Mozambique and Tanzania, and analysis on trade and economic transformation.

Karishma Banga is a Senior Research Officer at ODI. She is also a visiting research fellow at Centre for Trade and Economic Integration, Graduate Institute, Geneva and a doctoral researcher at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester. Her research interests include analysing implications of international trade, GVCs and firm capabilities on product and process innovations in developing economies. Under SET, Karishma’s work focuses on the future of the manufacturing-led development model.

David Booth is an ODI Research Associate. He leads research on Developmental Regimes in Africa, funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This builds on the conclusions of the Africa Power and Politics Programme, a five-year consortium research programme supported by DFID and Irish Aid. David Booth has worked on aid, innovations in development policy and practice, and the political economy of governance and service delivery. He has experience in sub-Saharan Africa and several parts of Asia and Latin America. Between 2000 and 2009, he was the editor of Development Policy Review. David’s work for SET has included co-authoring the programme’s Approach Paper and leading work on economic transformation in Rwanda.

Linda Calabrese is a development economist and Research Fellow at ODI. Her research interests range from trade and regional integration to private sector development and structural transformation. Linda has extensive experience in using research to inform policy and she has worked extensively with policymakers. Prior to moving to London, Linda spent four years in East Africa (Uganda and Rwanda) working with government and research organisations. For the SET programme, Linda has worked on foreign direct investment in Myanmar, Chinese manufacturing and opportunities for economic transformation in Rwanda.

Stephen Gelb is Senior Research Fellow at the ODI, where he leads work on private sector development. He is an economist with thirty years of research and policy experience in South Africa and several other developing countries. He has been an adviser to President Mbeki in South Africa and a consultant for several UN and other multilateral agencies. He has written extensively on South African economics and politics, on investment between Asia and Africa, on global value chains in manufacturing and agro-processing, and on the financial services sector. He has taught economics, political science and development studies at universities in South Africa, Canada, the US and Switzerland. He established and ran the EDGE Institute, an independent research organisation in Johannesburg, and has also worked at the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the World Trade Institute in Bern, Switzerland.

Tim Kelsall specialises in political economy analysis and political anthropology, and has interests in governance, democracy, transitional justice, economic growth, education, and health. He holds a BA from the University of Oxford and an MA and PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies. Prior to joining ODI, he taught politics and development studies at Oxford and Newcastle Universities, edited the journal African Affairs, and worked freelance for organisations such as the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research, the Developmental Leadership Programme at the University of Birmingham, and the Asian Development Bank. He has published extensively on issues of politics and development in Africa and Asia, is an alumnus of the East-West Center in Hawai’i, and an Honorary Research Fellow of the School of Environment, Education and Development at the University of Manchester. His latest book is Business, Politics, and the State in Africa: Rethinking the orthodoxies on growth and transformation (London: Zed Books, 2013).

Jane Kennan specialises in the analysis of trade and related statistical data to support studies of trade policy. She has undertaken research for a wide range of clients, including the UK Department for International Development, EU Commission, European Parliament, Netherlands Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth Secretariat, South African National Treasury and Department of Trade and Industry,  Andean Group Secretariat, Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery, and governments of Colombia, Mauritius, Moldova and Ukraine. Jane’s support for the SET programme has focused on developing data for the online portal.

Aarti Krishnan is a Senior Research Officer at ODI. She is an economist with expertise in global value chains, agriculture and the environment. She received a BA in Finance, after which she worked as a commodity analyst for Nomura in Mumbai. Aarti also holds a Master in Environmental Economics and PhD from the University of Manchester in development policy and management in relation to measuring environmental upgrading in agro-value chains in Kenya. She has been research associate on a number of DFID-, ILO- and ESRC-funded projects including ‘Capturing the Gains’ on global value chains and another on responsible business in the BRICS.

Alberto Lemma is a Research Fellow at ODI, an economist and specialist on private sector development, specifically with regards to access to finance, business partnership programmes and the interplay between the private sector and climate change adaptation and mitigation. His work in finance is focused on Development Finance Institution impact assessment and the role of DFIs in development, SME finance and access to innovative sources of finance (such as crowdfunding or alternative financial mechanisms to SMEs). Alberto’s work with SET has included support to the DFID Inclusive Growth Diagnostic for the Occupied Palestinian States and work on trade and economic transformation.

Maximiliano Mendez-Parra is a Research Fellow at ODI, trade economist and former agriculture trade official in Argentina with 14 years of experience, specialising in the analysis of multilateral and regional trade policies in agriculture and NAMA. He has worked in the analysis of regional trade agreements and unilateral preferences, as well as the evaluation of the WTO negotiation proposals in agriculture trade and effects on food security. He has studied the poverty and income distribution effects of the US-Peru and US-Colombia FTAs and of the Doha Round, and assessment of regional trade agreements. Max’s work for SET has focused on the impact of trade on economic transformation, with additional work on Tanzania’s industrialisation and backward linkages in Nigeria.

Judith Tyson is Research Fellow at ODI, a specialist in financial market development for developing countries. She has more than two decades’ experience as an investment banker at JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank and spent six years at SOAS as a research assistant on the EU FESSUD project on financialisation, adjunct lecturer and completing a PhD in financial sector development. Her research has focused on capital markets, financial instability risks, financial inclusion, insurance and co-partnering of public and private sectors in financing for development. Judith’s work for SET has included country-level work on Liberia and Zimbabwe and analysis on services trade and mobilising finance.

Sherillyn Raga is a Senior Research Officer at International Economic Development Group, ODI. Sherillyn has eight years of experience preparing research and policy inputs related to regional financial integration, bilateral cooperation, monetary policy and macroeconomic surveillance when she previously worked with the Philippine central bank, International Monetary Fund and Asian Development Bank. In her former roles, she engaged with financial regulators in 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Palau and Papua New Guinea which influenced her current research interest on impact of external shocks to poor economies and identifying pathways for structural transformation and sustainable growth in developing countries. Sherillyn obtained her economics degree from the University of the Philippines and her MSc in economics for development degree at Oxford University.