Caroline MOSER

Urban social anthropology and social policy focusing on urban poverty, the informal sector, urban violence and youth exclusion; social capital and household vulnerability and coping strategies; gender and development, community participation, social dimensions of economic reform and informal settlements. Her current research interests include asset accumulation and the gendered impact of international migration on urban labour markets.

English (mother tongue); Spanish (spoken, reading: advanced; written: intermediate).

Educational and professional qualifications

World Bank Executive Development Program, Harvard Business School

Doctor of Philosophy in Social Anthropology, University of Sussex

Postgraduate Diploma in Social Anthropology (Distinction), University of Manchester

BA University of Durham

Recent Career

Professor of Urban Development and Director, Global Urban Research Centre, School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester.

Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development, Brookings Institution, Washington DC.

Visiting Fellow, Global Economy and Development, Brookings Institution, Washington DC.

Visiting Research Fellow, IFPRI, Washington DC.

Senior Research Associate, Overseas Development Institute, London.

Adjunct Professor, International Affairs Program, New School University, New York.

Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute, London.

Visiting Professor, University of Bristol, School of Policy Studies.

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Key analytical research and policy-focused work: 2000-07

Longitudinal Intergenerational Urban Poverty Research on Asset Accumulation

  • Ford Foundation research grant awarded to undertake research on Intergenerational Asset Accumulation and Poverty Reduction Strategies: Changing lives and struggles in a Guayaquil slum community 1978-2004. This research is currently being undertaken while a visiting fellow at Brookings (for research details see below).
  • Organized Ford Foundation / Brookings Institution Workshop on ‘Asset-based Approaches to Poverty Reduction in a Globalized Context’ in Washington DC (June 2006).
  • Organized FLACSO/Brookings Institution workshop on FLACSO / Brookings Foundation on ‘Asset-based approaches to poverty reduction’ in Quito, Ecuador (September 2006).
  • Organized ‘Livelihood, Asset and Social Policy’ Section of World Bank Conference on ‘New Frontiers in Social Policy (Arusha, Tanzania Dec. 2005).
  • Workshop and associated working paper on ‘Longitudinal poverty research methodology’ (DFID, 2003).

Urban Violence and Insecurity

  • Guest editor of Environment and Urbanization Journal special issue on ‘Urban Violence and Insecurity’ (October 2004).
  • Scoping paper on ‘Change and violence in non-conflict contexts’ (with D. Rodgers) (commissioned by UK DFID 2004).
  • Background paper on ‘Gender-Based Violence’ (with A.Moser) (World Bank; 2003).
  • Chapter on ‘Urban Violence and Insecurity’ for publication on Poverty in Latin America (World Bank; 2003).
  • Development of a Framework for Violence Reduction in Central America – which provided inputs for violence reduction project in Nicaragua (UK DFID 2002).
  • Desk top study of ‘Violence prevention through Urban Upgrading’ Feasibility study for the support of the Khayelitsha Urban Renewal Programme, KfW and City of Cape Town (2002).

Human Rights

  • Assessment of UNICEF’s Human Rights Based Approach to Programming 2003 (UNICEF).
  • Commissioned paper on Human Rights, Livelihood Security and Sustainable Development (with Andrew Norton) (World Bank/DFID).

Women’s Organizations, Conflict and Peace Processes in Colombia

  • Research project leader of capacity-building project to ‘Strengthen the capacity of women’s organizations to participate in the Colombian peace process’, developing participatory methodology and providing the framework during three year process together with two person Colombian team (SIDA) (2002-04).
  • Consultancy research on constraints in donor collaboration in supporting women’s organizations collaborating in peace initiatives in Colombia (SIDA).
  • Evaluation of UK DFID ‘Local Peace Initiative in Colombia’ Trust Fund Project
  • Evaluation of Swedish (SIDA) Seedcorn Trust Fund on ‘Capacity building initiatives to strengthen women’s participation in the peace process in Colombia’.
  • Organized Workshop in Bogotá on ‘Gender, Conflict and the Construction of Peace: Latin American Experiences.

Gender Mainstreaming Evaluation

  • Gender Audit of DFID’s Programme in Malawi (DFID 2004).
  • Development of gender audit methodology (ODI working paper).

Social Protection in Urban and Rural Areas

  • Research consultancy work on social protection in Bolivia (DFID, 2001).

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Professional Work at the World Bank, Washington DC: 1990-2000

Lead Specialist Social Development, World Bank Washington DC, Latin America and Caribbean Region.

Lead Specialist Governance, World Bank, Washington DC Latin America and Caribbean Region. Research Manager of Latin American Urban Peace Program, with Swedish (SIDA), Dutch and UK DFID donor Trust Funds; with five person research team, developed analytical framework on violence reduction, undertook participatory urban appraisals of violence in nine cities in Colombia and Guatemala, designed seminar series on ‘Governance, Social Capital and Violence’, commissioned background papers, organized global seminar on ‘Gender, Armed Conflict and Political Violence’. Operational research for Colombia Country Management Unit. Undertook World Bank’s first ESW (Economic and Sector work) on violence; Management responsibilities for social development Latin American team, eloping analytical agenda, staff career development and recruitment, annual performance review, negotiation on operational work programs, and management of $1.2mil. Social Compact Budget. Participation in Bank wide network as appointed member of both of Gender Board and Social Development Board.

Principal Urban Social Policy Specialist, World Bank Washington DC Social Policy and Resettlement Division. Reviewed ‘gender and social development’ in WB; provided operational research for South African Poverty and Inequality Report, and Lesotho Social Fund.

Senior Urban Social Policy Specialist, World Bank, Washington DC Urban Development Division. Research Manager of ‘Urban poverty and social policy in the context of structural adjustment’ research project. Urban poverty coordinator, urban poverty advisor to UNDP/UNCHS/World Bank Urban Management Program. Operational research for country poverty assessments in Zambia, Ecuador, Benin and the Philippines, for social funds in Jamaica and Belize, and wrote Gender Action Plans for Africa and Eastern Europe. Organizer of two-day training course on ‘New Strategies and Programs for Urban Poverty Reduction’, member of Bank-wide Participation Learning Group and Social Policy Thematic Group.

Teaching career: 1978-2003

Adjunct Professor, New School University New York on Graduate Program on International Affairs. Teaching courses on ‘Comparative Development Experience’ and ‘Poverty, Inequality, Gender and Violence: Participatory Development Perspectives’ (including participatory fieldwork in public housing projects).

Visiting Professor: Gender and Development Seminar at Complutense University, Madrid.

Lecturer in Social Planning in Developing Countries, Department of Social Administration, London School of Economics (1992 appointed Reader). Course Convener of MSc. in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries; Lecturer in Theory of Social Policy, Planning and Participation in Developing Countries (core course), Lecture in Urbanization and Social Planning, and Gender, Development and Social Planning Courses (a new option I developed); PhD supervisor to seven candidates.

Originator and Course Director Annual three-month short course at DPU on 'Planning with Women for Development: Strategies for Low-Income Households'. The courses provided academics and development practitioners with the rationale, tools, techniques to translate theoretical gender debates into operational and institutional practice. Established in 1983 the course, as one of the lead programmes of its kind, continues up to today.

Lecturer, Development Planning Unit, University College London. Lecturer in 'The Sociology of Cities' on the MSc in Urban Development Planning; Lecturer on Post Graduate Diploma in Development Planning Practice.

Research Grant Awards

Ford Foundation. Research Grant for fieldwork and research analysis of Ford Foundation research grant awarded to undertake research on Intergenerational Asset Building and Poverty Reduction Strategies: Changing lives and struggles in a Guayaquil slum community 1978-2004 and to develop associated policy framework ($600,000).

Swedish Development Cooperation (SIDA) research grant to design and implement Urban Peace Program including participatory urban appraisal of violence in Guatemala and Colombia ($800,000).

Netherlands Development Cooperation. Trust Fund support for research on violence ($100,000).

Overseas Development Administration. Research grant from the UK for Participatory Urban Appraisal of Violence in Jamaica ($54,000).

Netherlands Development Cooperation, UNICEF and the UNDP funded research grants from the UNDP/UNCHS/World Bank Urban Management Program ($900,000) to undertake research project on ‘Urban Poverty and Social Policy in the Context of Adjustment’.

World Bank. Research Award to develop research proposal ($10,000).

Nuffield Foundation. Award for writing up research on ‘The Impact of Adjustment on Poor Households in Guayaquil, Ecuador’ (not accepted due to move to World Bank) ($30,000).

London School of Economics. Award for anthropological fieldwork on ‘Impact of Adjustment on the Urban Poor in Quayaquil, Ecuador’ ($6,000).

Ford Foundation. Grant for development of conceptual framework of gender planning and its outreach in terms of a global research, documentation, training and operations network ($34,000).

Recent ‘Awards’

  • Nominated as Icon / Iconoclast in IDS 40th Anniversary Celebration (2006).
  • World Development Journal article on ‘Asset-vulnerability framework’ (1998) identified as one of top 10 articles in journal between 1974-2004 (2006).

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Academic Professional Appointments

Research Fellow, World Policy Institute, New School University, New York.

Member of Department for International Development (DFID) UK Economic and Social Committee for Overseas Research.

Member of ACCORD UK Advisory Group.

Member of US National Academy of Sciences Panel on ‘Urban Population Dynamics’, contributing a paper on ‘Violence and Security in Cities’.

External Advisor to DFID Appointment Board for Principal Social Development Advisor.

Member of Institute of Development Studies Advisory Committee for Social Policy Research.

Member of ESCOR Urban Research Advisory Group.

Member of UNCHS HABITAT II Huairou Commission.

Member of US National Research Council Synthesis Committee on ‘Sustainable Habitats: Innovation and Technology to Meet Megacity Challenges’.

Gender Advisor, Ford Foundation funded ‘Global Research Project on the New Agenda of Urban Research (GURI)

Member of Overseas Development Administration (ODA) Economic and Social Committee of Research.

Research Journal Editorial Board Appointments

Editorial Board, Development Policy Review.

Editorial Advisory Board Member, Journal of International Development.

Advisory Board,Environment and Urbanization.

Editorial Advisory Board, Bulletin of Latin American Research.

Editorial Board Member, Habitat International.

Editorial Board, Built Environment.

Member of Honorary Editorial Advisory Board, World Development.

Member of the Editorial Advisory Board, Community Development Journal.

Member of Editorial Board, Bulletin of Latin American Research.

Founding Co-Editor, Bulletin of Latin American Research.

Anthropological/ Sociological Research Projects

Intergenerational Asset Accumulation and Poverty Reduction in Guayaquil, Ecuador. This anthropological/sociological research uses a 1978-92-04 household panel data as well as surveys of second generation, both those remaining in Guayaquil and those in Barcelona to examine intergeneration poverty dynamics. One outcome of this longitudinal research is the development of an asset accumulation framework which seeks to identify the added value of asset-based approaches both to better understand poverty, and to develop more appropriate long-term poverty reduction solutions. The asset framework complements social protection strategies to protect the poor against risks and shocks, with strategies to create positive opportunities for sustainable asset accumulation and consolidation.

Participatory Urban Appraisal of Violence in Colombia and Guatemala. PUA of urban violence were undertaken in Colombia and Guatemala, in collaboration with 20 researchers, working in eighteen low-income urban communities. The research analyses the continuum of social, economic and political violence, the nexus between urban violence, exclusion and social capital (both productive and perverse), and the role of women’s organizations in reconstructing social capital in peace processes. Linked to this is the development of an operational framework for the analysis of violence, as well as research on gender and political violence.

Participatory Urban Appraisal of Violence and Poverty in Jamaica. Undertaken collaboratively with the University of West Indies, with fieldwork in five urban communities. Results introduced policy framework and operational procedures for upcoming Jamaica Social Investment Fund.

Urban Poverty and Social Policy in the Context of Structural Adjustment. Research undertaken in Guayaquil, Ecuador; Lusaka, Zambia; Metro Manila, Philippines and Budapest, Hungary, with four in-country research teams. It included community and household surveys, and in-depth interviews and resulted in more than ten country / regional-level workshops, and seventeen completed reports. External advisors were Profs. Amartya Sen and Diane Elson, and Drs. Richard Webb and Alison McEwen Scott.

Survival/Coping Strategies of Urban Poor in a Squatter Community in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Longitudinal anthropological study; 1977-78 fieldwork included 250 household surveys. Particular focus on informal sector employment, incremental house construction, politics of access to infrastructure, popular participation and the role women; 1982 fieldwork focused on gender and community politics; in 1988 and 1992 two community level restudies were undertaken to examine the impact of economic structural adjustment policy at the micro level and household level coping strategies.

Low-Income Market Sellers in Bogotá, Colombia. Anthropological study of the persistence of poverty among market sellers, testing Lewis theory of 'culture of poverty' and Geertz's of 'bazaar economy'. 1970 fieldwork for PhD thesis entitled 'Differentiation and Mobility in a Bogotá Retail Market'. Restudy in 1978 in order to undertake longitudinal analysis of data over 8-year period.

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Gender research, advisory work and training

In developing gender planning I have facilitated the mainstreaming of this planning framework and methodology at policy and project level into multilateral and bilateral agencies, NGOs in the north and south and governments in developing countries. These include the following:

DFID Bolivia and Peru. Capacity-building workshops on gender for agency staff and members of the European Commission.

UNIFEM, New York advice on gender training strategy.

Swedish International Development Assistance (SIDA). Development and implementation of training program of numerous 3-5 day workshops over two-year period.

International Labour Organization (ILO). Development of gender training strategy.

Overseas Development Administration (ODA). Development of training strategy on ‘Women and Development’. Implementation of 5-6 one-day staff workshops per year.

Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Rome development of gender training strategy and implementation of day workshop for senior Rome staff

Working Group on 'Servicios Urbanos y Mujeres de Bajos Ingresos' (SUMBI) Lima, Peru. Preparation and direction of 5 days Training of Trainers Gender Planning Workshop for professionals working at community, NGO, government and academics.

Trainer for VSO, OXFAM, and Christian Aid developing gender training strategies and undertaking diversity of one-day gender planning training workshops.

Ford Foundation, Cairo, Egypt. Trainer for 3 day Middle Eastern Training of Trainers Workshop on Gender Awareness.

Recent Research Conferences/Workshops Organized

Asset-based Approaches to Poverty Reduction, FLACSO/Brookings Institution workshop in Quito, Ecuador, September.

Asset-based Approaches to Poverty Reduction in a Globalized Context, Ford Foundation / Brookings Institution Workshop, Washington DC, June attended by 40 invited participants.

Livelihood, Asset and Social Policy’ Section of World Bank Conference on ‘New Frontiers in Social Policy, Arusha, Tanzania Dec.

Urban Longitudinal Research Methodology. Joint DPU-ODI-World Bank-DFID Workshop at DPU in London, attended by 40 researchers involved in longitudinal poverty related research.

Human Rights, Assets and Livelihood Security and Sustainable Development, organized by ODI and attended by 35 multilateral and bilateral donors, human rights researchers and Southern NGOs working with a rights-based approach to development.

Gender, Armed Conflict and the Construction of Sustainable Peace Bogotá, Colombia. Exchange of practical experience between Central America, Peru and Colombia to assist local organizations involved in peace building initiatives. 120 participants.

Gender, Armed Conflict and Political Violence, attended by 110 researchers, policy-makers and NGOs globally, World Bank, Washington DC.

International Peace and Development Conference in Colombia (with Colombia country team and Resident mission), including such speakers as Mary Robinson, UN High Commission on Human Rights, Bogotá, Colombia (finally cancelled by President Pastrana due to guerrilla activity).

Gender, Social Policy and the City Special Event, HABITAT II, Istanbul, Turkey, with keynote speakers including Ismail Serageldin (Vice President World Bank), Gorel Thurdin (Deputy Speaker Parliament, Sweden), Ruth Cardoso (First Lady, Brazil), Ela Bhatt (SEWA), Frances Madden (Jamaica) and Fides Bagasao (Philippines).

Pobreza Metropolitana y Fondos Sociales en America Latina, International workshop co-organized with Latin American Urban Management Program to brief social fund staff on new analytical research on urban poverty, Chile, Santiago.

A Decade of Gender Planning, workshop at Beijing NGO Forum (SIDA funded) with eight Third World presenters.

Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Research Workshop: Building Local Research Capacity, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia attended by 30 researchers from seven countries undertaking research on urban poverty and structural adjustment.

Social Funds and Fund-like Projects: Meeting the Needs of Poor Urban Women, workshop organized with the Inter-American Development Bank, attended by 70 participants.

Urban Poverty and Social Policy: Operational Issues for Donors, World Bank Office in Paris, France, attended by 10 bilateral and multilateral agencies.

Other Professional Appointments

Appointed member of World Health Organization Expert Committee on Gender and Diseases.

Gender Advisor to Save the Children US.

Advisor to 1997 UNDP Human Development Report on Poverty.

Visiting Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies Sussex (March-May).

Elected Board Member of the US Association of Women in Development (AWID).

Advisor to Gertrude Mongela, drafting the PfA for the Forth World Conference on Women.

Briefing to Nicaraguan President Violetta Chamorro and her Cabinet on ‘Gender and Urban Development’.

Member of UNIFEM Publication Committee, New York, USA.

Member of World Health Organization Expert Committee on Environmental Health and Urban Development.

Member of the UK Council for 1987 International Year of Shelter for the Homeless.

Member of the ODA Group of the National Alliance of Women's Organizations.

Elected member of the Association of Social Anthropologists, fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute and member of the Development Studies Association, Society of Latin American Studies and Latin American Studies Association.

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