Frank Ellis has a background in agricultural economics and rural development. Earlier in his career he wrote two of the established texts in this area Peasant Economics (1988; 1993) and Agricultural Policies in Developing Countries (1992). Since 1999, he has had a special interest in the livelihoods approach to poverty reduction in low income countries with its emphasis on the assets of rural households, the activities in which they engage and the outcomes they achieve, set within risk and institutional contexts. This approach is fundamental to contemporary policy engagement with chronically poor and vulnerable groups and populations, including our understanding of poverty traps and thresholds, and policy choices concerning effective forms of social protection. His book Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries was published in 2000.

Frank Ellis has done pioneering work on rural livelihoods, working in the late 1990s with DFID on the development of the sustainable livelihoods framework; and applying this framework in research studies and policy applications in the 2000s. Between 2000 and 2004 he was the principal investigator of the DFID-funded Livelihoods and Diversification Directions Explored by Research (LADDER) research project conducted in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi, and the link below provides access to the data and outputs arising from that project.

From 2005-10 Frank Ellis was co-principal investigator of the research component of the southern Africa Regional Hunger and Vulnerability Programme (RHVP), funded by DFID. This programme sought to provoke a major shift in thinking about policy responses to hunger in southern Africa, moving away from crisis-driven emergency responses to continuity in social transfers to the chronically most vulnerable. The co-authored book Social Protection in Africa was published in 2009, following the first phase of research under RHVP. Frank Ellis continues to work on food security and social protection and is currently a member of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid) Expert Panel on Social Protection.

The LADDER website can be found via this link

CV and Experience

Download Frank's short CV from here

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