Jo Beall is Professor of Development Studies at the London School of Economics (LSE). A political sociologist with expertise on urban development and local governance, she was on the staff of the Development Planning Unit (DPU) from 1990 until 1994. Jo teaches on cities and development and has conducted extensive research in Africa, particularly South Africa, and Asia, notably India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. She has advised or consulted for a range of international development agencies, governments and NGOs on urban issues.

Her areas of expertise are in:
  • Cities in situations of war and conflict;
  • Decentralisation, local governance and service delivery; and
  • Urban poverty, social exclusion and gender.

Jo Beall was director of the Development Studies Institute (DESTIN) at the LSE between 2004 and 2007. She has been a principal researcher in the Crisis States Research Centre (CSRC) in the Institute since its inception in 2000. In its second five-year phase she is responsible for work on Cities and Conflict, concerned with urban violence, war and the relationship between cities and state fragility. Involvement in other research programmes includes two research consortia led by Birmingham University on Urban Development: Governance, Partnership and Poverty (1997-2000), and Understanding Solid Waste Management Systems in South Asia(1994-1996).

She has conducted urban research and advisory work in Afghanistan for the World Bank (2004-05) and European Union (2005-06), has assisted UN-Habitat in the writing of their gender policy and action plan (1995-97), and was author of the OECD’s 1995 report Women in the City: Housing, Services, and the Urban Environment. She was the Gender Expert on Southern Africa for the European Union (1997-1999). She has led a number of evaluation teams, most recently the external evaluation of IUDD City Community Challenge Fund Pilot Programmes in Uganda and Zambia for Department for International Development (DFID) (2001-02). Also for DFID she was an external advisor to the human rights and governance programme, Manusher Jonno, in Bangladesh (2002-04), wrote a background paper towards the Department’s policy paper on social exclusion (2004) and participated in the writing of the DFID Guidance Manual on Water Supply and Sanitation Programmes (1998).

Jo is author of many journal articles and book chapters. Recent authored and co-authored books include Cities and Development (Routledge 2007); Funding Local Governance: Small Grants for Democracy and Development (IT Publications 2005); and Uniting a Divided City: Governance and Social Exclusion in Johannesburg (Earthscan 2002). Relevant collections include Policy Arena on the Discourse of Terrorism, Security and Development (Journal of International Development 2006); Fragile Democracy: State and Society in Democratic South Africa (Journal of Southern African Studies 2005); Urban Governance, Voice and Poverty in the Developing World (Earthscan 2004); and A City for All, Valuing Difference and Working with Diversity (Zed Books 1997).

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