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Discover the history of Oxford Policy Management



OPM was originally established by Roger Hay as the Food Supply Analysis Group at the University of Oxford, focusing on applied research to help solve the food security problems of Eastern and Southern Africa.


Established one of the first nationwide food security monitoring systems in Kenya

Kenya: Researched and established one of the first nationwide food security monitoring systems at a time when early warning and analysis around food insecurity focused on either regional, or continent-wide monitoring.


Angola: Conducted one of the first living standard measurement surveys in Luanda to understand how many people were living below the poverty line. Our findings helped to influence the Government of Angola to liberalise the food and retail market. The survey was also carried out during the Angolan civil war, adding further complexities to the project.


1992 – 1998

South Africa: Helped inform and influence agricultural policy during South Africa’s democratic transition, supporting the Land and Agriculture Policy Centre. Embedded in the Department of Agriculture, working to Agriculture Minister, Derek Hanekom. Our work helped inform decisions taken by the Africa National Congress (ANC) Government to remove subsidies and introduce interventions to support large scale farmers.


Oxford Policy Management established

OPM was established as a limited company, separate from Oxford University, with the objective of combining high-quality analysis and practical experience to reduce social and economic disadvantage in low- and middle-income countries.

1996 - 2000

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan: Public expenditure reviews undertaken to underpin social policy decisions in newly independent states following the breakup of the Soviet Union.


OPM Pakistan office opens in 2007, the first of our Asia and Africa network

‘Making markets work for the poor’ framework and ‘Drivers of pro-poor change’ political economy analysis tool developed. Both frameworks shaped the newly established UK Department of International Development’s core policies.

2002 – 2009

Pakistan: Evaluations designed as part of the Lady Health Worker Programme. Recommendations were delivered to different national and sub-national government stakeholders to strengthen the programme.

Read the summary report


Armenia: Supported the Gegharkunik and Tavush regional administrations to develop and implement regional development programmes. Developing policy planning and budgeting capacity, promoting community participation in policymaking, and strengthening coordination between the regions and central governments. The project’s success led to the Government adopting the approach across all regions of the country.


Moldova: Supported a complete reform of social assistance services through five connected projects. The comprehensive programme ensured that new social assistance benefits were better targeted, leading to improved livelihoods for the poorest households.



Pakistan: OPM office opens – the first of our Asia and Africa network

2008 – 2017

Kenya: Evaluation of the impact of the Hunger Safety Net Programme an unconditional cash transfer for vulnerable households in four of the poorest counties in Kenya - Marsabit, Mandera, Turkana, and Wajir. Two impact evaluations were undertaken. Our results directly shaped decisions to continue and scale-up the programme as well as informing the evolution of the programme design over three phases and its progressive hand-over to the Government of Kenya.



South Africa office opens


India office opens


We are leading Research on Improving Systems of Education programme to ensure education systems are consistent for learning to enable all children to achieve mastery of basic skills

In-house statistical and evaluation capabilities developed using randomised control trials, mixed method approaches, and improved data collection through the use of computer assisted personal interviewing (CAPI).


This resulted in faster and more rigorous policy and programming advice in low- and middle-income countries. Survey data collected on tablets through CAPI supported a dramatic reduction in the time lag between data collection and data analysis; greater speed and fluency of interviews; better data management, and improved quality control and safeguards against data collection errors e.g. making it impossible to enter values outside a given range. It was later combined with data visualisation to provide visual dashboards that illustrated the progress and quality of each survey in real time.

Sample dashboard

2010 – 2017

Pakistan: Impact of Pakistan’s flagship social protection programme, the Benazir Income Support Programme, evaluated.


Compiled data on country dependency on mining, oil, and gas, which formed the base for the first ever Mineral Contribution Index for the International Council on Mining and Metals.


Bangladesh office opens


Indonesia office opens

2011 – 2021

Nigeria: Working on the Facility for Oil Sector Transformation (FOSTER) programme to increase the transparency and accountability within the extractive sectors. £650 million of oil and gas revenue has been identified (to date) with the potential to be redirected to social and economic sectors, directly benefitting Nigeria’s citizens.



Nepal office opens

2013 - 2018

Nigeria: The Education Data, Research and Evaluation in Nigeria (EDOREN) programme, aided the improvement of Nigeria’s education policy. For the first time in Nigeria a report comparing the learning outcomes in low- and medium-cost private schools, public schools, and Bridge International Academies was produced. Kaduna state education library was renamed as EDOREN library.


Oxford Policy Fellowship launched: An innovative programme developed by OPM to provide low- and lower middle-income country governments with early-career legal and public policy advisors. The programme is designed to provide immediate gap-filling and build long term local capacity in country governments.

Since its launch, the programme has placed 30 fellows into ministries and public bodies in 11 countries: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Namibia, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.


Tanzania office opens


Nigeria office opens

2014 – 2018

Indonesia: The Multi-stakeholder Forestry Programme, phase three (MFP3), helped strengthen governance within the forestry sector in Indonesia and contributed to poverty alleviation for those communities dependant on forestland for their livelihoods. The programme supported the Government to secure legal parameters for the export of timber, helped to develop and scale up entrepreneurship, and supported communities’ access to forests.

2014 – 2019

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan: Action on Climate Today (ACT) programme helped mainstream climate adaptation into government policies. The programme mobilised over $1.5 billion to drive greater climate change action, supporting the delivery of 30 climate-proofed policies, programmes and budgets.

Find out how ACT helped to improve climate policies across South Asia

2015 – 2020

The Economic Development & Institutions (EDI) research programme’s aim is to provide evidence and insights into what practical actions can be undertaken to produce institutional changes that will improve a country’s economic development and growth. The importance of a country’s institutions in shaping its economic development is broadly acknowledged, however research to date has neglected the impact that institutional change has on this development and the resulting policy implications. The EDI programme aims to generate high quality research and evidence, at scale, to deliver a seismic shift in understanding this issue.


The programme is conducting research in 21 countries: Bangladesh, China, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan Republic, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

2015 – 2021

Mozambique: We are leading a female economic empowerment programme called MUVA. The programme’s aim is to reduce the barriers disadvantaged young urban women in Mozambique have in finding decent work. A combination of vocational training, alongside soft skills training, such as team work and communication skills has strengthened the beneficiaries’ skill set. After two implementation periods, this approach has led to a noticeable increase in employability.


The impact seen has resulted in requests to replicate the programme into several other vocational training centres across the country. One of MUVA’s partners, French NGO ESSOR, is also working to roll out the approach in several other countries, including Brazil, Chad, Congo, and Guinea-Bissau.

2015 – 2022

Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia: Our Savings at the Frontier programme aims to improve financial services available for low-income individuals and communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Since its launch, the programme has matched over 20,000 saving groups and 64,000 individuals, with saving products specifically designed for low-income and predominantly rural citizens.

Find out more about the programme

2015 – 2023

Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Vietnam: Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) programme aims to ensure education systems are consistent for learning to enable all children to achieve mastery of basic skills. The flagship programme produces high-quality research, using a diagnostic approach to identify problems within education systems, and shares its findings globally, influencing key debates and stakeholders. The RISE Annual Conference brings together the global education research community and its research has been featured in the World Bank 2018 World Development report.



Myanmar office opens

2016 – 2021

Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia: The Applied Research Programme on Energy and Economic Growth (EEG) addresses pressing policy questions in low-income countries to drive sustainable, efficient, reliable and equitable energy reforms. The programme is building a body of evidence around sector reforms, innovative technologies, and practicable actions that can be used to maximise the economic benefits of large-scale energy projects across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.


The programme is conducting research in the following 14 countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Southern Africa, Uganda, Zambia.


Ethiopia: Research on the effects of drought on the well-being of children in Ethiopia, following a short-term warming influence of an el niño event. Our research findings informed UNICEF’s drought policy planning and were recognised in the ‘Best of UNICEF Research’ 2018.


Australia office opens


United States office opens