1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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Olive Cocoman

Former Research Analyst

Olive joined UNRISD in June 2010 to work with Ilcheong Yi in the Social Policy and Development Programme. She has researched economic and social development in growth economies.

Olive has worked with Ilcheong in preparing successful proposals and managing a range of projects. Firstly, for the joint study with the Korea Organisation for International Development Assistance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Republic of Korea, for the project Making International Development Cooperation Effective; secondly the project ‘Towards the Universalisation of Social Security in Emerging Economies’ funded by the Hospital Coracao and Ministry of Health, Brazil. Additionally, Olive has worked with civil society actors worldwide to develop proposals for funding and advocacy and organise events to bring civil society, UN and academia together for dialogue on key development issues for the G20 meetings in Seoul (2010) and Paris (2011), World Social Forum in Senegal (2011) and Human Rights Forum in Bangkok (2012).

Prior to joining UNRISD, Olive was awarded a distinction for her MSc in Social Development Practice at the Development and Planning Unit, University College London. She is undertaking a doctorate thesis at the School of Policy Studies, University of Bristol on the policy processes for the extension of social policies. She holds undergraduate degrees in Geography and Economics from the National University of Ireland.

Her research interests include the political coalitions in the policy process and policy networks and the linkages between economic and social policies. Prior to joining UNRISD, Olive undertook primary research on micro-finance and poverty alleviation in Tanzania, and over eight years developed a career as Regional Manager in public-private partnerships developing international tertiary level education partnerships in a range of countries including China, India, Russia, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Mexico, and South Korea.


1. The Korean Experience within the Context of Development Cooperation Effectiveness (Yi, Cocoman, Chung and Rhee), accepted to be published by Palgrave McMillan in 2013.

2. Trends of Social Security in Emerging Economies(Yi, and Cocoman, in progress)

3. Making International Development Cooperation Effective, ( Yi, Cocoman and Seo, 2012) KOICA Policy Brief Number 4, March 2012.

4. Learning from South Korea’s development experience (Cocoman) KOICA Journal for International Development Assistance, Vol. 3, December 2011.