Research team


John Cox, La Trobe University

John Cox

Dr John Cox is an anthropologist and a Research Fellow at the Institute for Human Security and Social Change at La Trobe University, Melbourne. He has twenty years of experience working in the Pacific Islands, including Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Fiji, initially as an English language teacher and then as an NGO project manager.

His PhD, an innovative ethnographic approach to the study of middle class Papua New Guineans and their changing attitudes to money, Christianity and national development, was awarded the Australian Anthropological Society's 2012 Prize. His current research focuses on the Pacific region’s emerging middle class, particularly the links between Christian moral values, economic aspirations and politics.

Jack Corbett, University of Southampton

Jack Corbett

Dr Jack Corbett is Associate Professor in Politics at the University of Southampton. He has written widely on democracy, development and aid with a particular focus on the Pacific Islands. His research explores how people make sense of lived experience and how these meanings translate into political action.

His PhD was awarded at ANU and he has held post-doctoral fellowships at the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program and at the Centre for Governance and Public Policy and the Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith University, Australia.

Bambang Ertanto Cahyo Dewa, The Asia Foundation

Bambang Ertanto Cahyo Dewa

Bambang Ertanto Cahyo Dewa is a program officer for social inclusion programs at The Asia Foundation in Indonesia. His focus is on minorities excluded from political, economic and social life by stigma associated with race, ethnicity, religion, disability or sexual orientation and gender identity.

He has extensive previous experience of working with marginal groups such as street children and dealing with issues such as child labour and child trafficking. His work with a young people’s protection project involved the introduction of a community-based trafficking prevention model and efforts to reintegrate children rescued from trafficking and domestic servitude. He holds a degree in anthropology from Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Alice Evans, Kings College London

Alice Evans

Dr Alice Evans lectures on Social Justice and Global Governance at Kings College, London. She researches inequality, social change and global production networks. Her latest paper engages with the politics of inclusive development, and explores the drivers of Vietnam’s industrial relations reforms: wildcat strikes; pressures from reputation-conscious buyers; the Trans Pacific Partnership’s stipulation of freedom of association; along with economic and geopolitical incentives to join TPP.

She has also written on the politicisation of inequalities in Latin America; the causes of rural-urban differences in gender norms in Zambia and Cambodia; and the politics of maternal healthcare and the influence of the MDGs.

Mark Koenig, The Asia Foundation 

Mark Koenig

Mark Koenig is the Deputy Director and Urban Governance Specialist at The Asia Foundation. He has been working on governance issues in Asia for more than eight years and is currently leading regional efforts to expand the Foundation’s programming and research on urban governance. Mark has been working to design and support the implementation of urban governance programming in a range of countries including Mongolia, Cambodia, Nepal and Myanmar.

Across his portfolio he has a particular focus on using flexibility and political economy strategies to support public policy processes. He has advised Australian DFAT, DFID and UNOPS on how to apply lessons on politically informed and adaptive programming in specific programs in Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam. He has also participated in and spoken on various ‘Thinking and Working Politically’ and ‘Doing Development Differently’ workshops and events. Mark holds a BA from the Johns Hopkins University, and an MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Debra Ladner, The Asia Foundation 

Debra Ladner

Debra Ladner is the Senior Director of Evaluation & Learning at The Asia Foundation and its former Director of Program Strategy, Innovation and Learning. She works with the Foundation’s field offices to design, implement, and monitor programs that address legal reform and development, alternative dispute resolution, access to justice, conflict resolution, and human rights.

She has also collaborated with legal scholars and social scientists on designing cutting-edge empirical research to better understand the functioning of the courts and informal dispute resolution mechanisms and public perceptions of the role of legal systems in society. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College; master’s degree from Saint Michael’s College; and Juris Doctor from Stanford University.

Bryony Lau, The Asia Foundation

Bryony Lau

Bryony Lau is a program manager with The Asia Foundation's Conflict and Development Team in Bangkok. She supports regional research initiatives on conflict, including violent extremism, and provides technical assistance to country offices.  She has supported research and programming on political violence in Asia since 2007 and has a background in field research in conflict areas, supporting formal peace processes and designing development programs to address the drivers of violence.

Previously, Bryony worked for the International Crisis Group, an independent organisation which aims to prevent conflict through research and advocacy. She led IGC reporting on the Philippines from 2010-2013 and produced an authoritative series of papers documenting the peace process and political violence in Mindanao. From 2007-2010 she served as IGC’s editor for policy briefings on Asia and francophone Africa from the headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. She holds a B.A. Hons from the University of Toronto and M.Phil in International Relations from the University of Oxford.

Erman Rahman, The Asia Foundation

Erman Rahman

Erman Rahman is The Asia Foundation’s Senior Director for Programs at its Indonesia country office. He is a development professional with expertise in economic reform and development, governance and decentralisation, and public service reform. He has extensive experience designing, implementing, supervising and evaluating development programs in a wide range of sectors, from local governance reform to community-driven development and environmental governance. He led the Foundation’s Local and Economic Governance unit from 2008 to 2015.

Prior to joining the Foundation, he led major World Bank local governance programs and trust funds between 2002 and 2008.  He began his career in development in 1997 as a civil servant in the Government of Indonesia’s National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS). He holds a BSc Hons in Engineering from Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia, and MSc in Transportation from Northwestern University, USA.

Orlanda Siow, UCL

Orlanda Siow

Dr Orlanda Siow is a Teaching Fellow in Qualitative Research Methods at UCL's Department of Political Science and a Research Associate (Transnational Feminist Activism on Gender and Education) at UCL's Institute of Education. Her expertise is in gender and politics, focusing on women's political representation and the conditions for advancing women’s interests in developmental contexts, including the role of women’s coalitions.

Orlanda has previously been commissioned by the Pacific Leadership Program to evaluate advocacy for the ratification of CEDAW in the Kingdom of Tonga. Her work has been published in Gender & Politics and The International Journal of Press/Politics. She also draws on prior experience as Co-ordinator of the UK National Alliance of Women's Organisations and staff to a front bench Member of Parliament.

Hannah Smidt, UCL

Hannah Smidt

Dr Hannah Smidt is a postdoctoral researcher on the Changing Character of Conflict Platform project funded by the UK Research Council’s Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research. Her interests focus on political violence, democratization in war-torn countries, UN peacekeeping, cross-disciplinary research methods and quantitative text analysis.

She has conducted fieldwork on elections during peacebuilding processes in Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal. As recipient of the Graduate Scholarship for Cross-Disciplinary Training from the Computer Science Department of University College London, she developed a novel dataset on geo-referenced UN-led peacebuilding activities. Her paper on UN peacekeepers’ choice of activities was awarded the 2016 Cedric Smith Prize. She holds a doctorate from the School of Public Policy, UCL, and a BA and MA in Political Science from the University of Mannheim.

Ceridwen Spark, RMIT Melbourne

Ceridwen Spark

Dr Ceridwen Spark is a Vice Chancellor's Senior Research Fellow at Melbourne’s RMIT University in the Centre for Global Research in Global, Urban and Social Studies. Her research focuses on gender and social change in the Pacific and she has conducted many projects on gender and leadership in Papua New Guinea and other countries in the region.

Drawing on her doctoral training in Gender Studies and Australian Studies, Ceridwen has conducted projects on place-making among Indigenous Australians, intercountry adoption, gender and education, gender and leadership, transnationalism in the Pacific and gender, and place and belonging in Melbourne. Ceridwen is committed to conducting research that has implications for the real world, including for those most impacted by colonialism, inequity and the experience of cultural and social upheaval. She enjoys conducting research that leads to innovative outputs including films and exhibitions.

About DLP

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

Find out more


Two exciting job vacancies in the DLP team

Monday 12th November 2018

DLP is looking for a Program Manager and a Communications Manager to help lead a new three-year phase of research on leadership in global development.

Read more

New article on how unfair service provision affects state legitimacy

Thursday 26th July 2018

Claire Mcloughlin's new open-access article in the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding draws on the case of higher education in Sri Lanka. It explores how unfair service provision can undermine state legitimacy in divided societies.

Read more

Follow: @dlprog