Inclusive Development

A child's right to a fair start in life

Across the world, particular groups of children are being denied their rights thanks to a toxic mix of poverty and discrimination.

Inequalities are growing between and within countries, with children being left behind as a result of their gender, wealth, location or identity. 

At Save the Children we work with governments, the private sector and civil society partners to tackle the root causes of inequality and exclusion.

We push for changes in policies, attitudes and practices that are holding particular groups of children back, based on world-class research and innovative solutions. 

Our priorities

  1. To push governments to tackle inequalities, including those stemming from gender discrimination and social exclusion
  2. To implement the Sustainable Development Goals Pledge to Leave No One Behind and strengthen accountability of the private sector
  3. To advocate for investment in the poorest and most marginalised children, and for minimum financial security for all
  4. To call for action on environmental degradation and climate change as drivers of poverty and inequality

Our Key Reports and Blogs

Every Last Child: The children the world chooses to forget

Born Equal: How reducing inequality could give our children a better future

Every Last Girl: Free to live, free to learn, free from harm

From Agreement to Action: Delivering the Sustainable Development Goals

Still Left Behind?: Tracking children's progress against the pledge to Leave No One Behind. 

The Lottery of Birth: Giving all children an equal chance to survive

Read the latest blogs on aid and development

Our experts

Lisa Wise

Head of Inclusive Development

Lisa Wise is leads the organisation’s policy, advocacy and research on inequality and accountability, with a view to driving change for the world’s poorest and most marginalised children. 

Her current focus is on the implementation of the SDG pledge to Leave No One Behind, with emphasis on tackling structural drivers of poverty and social exclusion. 

Prior to joining Save the Children, Lisa worked for a number of development and human rights organisations including VSO, Oxfam and Global Partners and Associates. She holds degrees from Oxford University and the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

Joana Alfaiate

Sustainable Growth and Climate Change Adviser

Previously, Joana has worked as a Research Analyst examining development indicators and as an international human rights researcher.

Joana has a LLM in International Economic Law and Development from Birkbeck, University of London, and is currently there studying part-time for a PhD in Law looking at international climate change agreements.

She blogs for Save the Children UK and the Huffington Post UK and has had academic work published. 

Mareen Buschmann

Mareen Buschmann

Senior Research & Advocacy Adviser

Mareen Buschmann leads on development finance. She previously worked for the international development network Bond, where she convened the sector around the Third Financing for Development Conference.

Mareen has worked on development and finance issues including aid, tax, the SDGs and poverty alleviation for 10 years and has experience with the ONE Campaign, the German NGO umbrella organisation VENRO and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. 

Helen Elliott

Helen Elliott

Gender Policy Adviser in the Inclusive Development Team

Helen has fieldwork experience in Ethiopia and Nepal, working with women’s empowerment projects and developing safe and sustainable transport solutions for rural market communities.

She has an MSc in Development Administration and Planning from University College London and an academic background in gender in policy and planning, gender mainstreaming and the political economy of development with a particular focus on global aid and trade structures.

Oliver Fiala

Oliver Fiala

Research Adviser

Previously, Oliver was a Research Assistant at TU Dresden, Germany. He studied the effect of natural disasters on individual behaviour in developing countries, which included field work in Cambodia.

Oliver has a PhD and a Diploma (Master degree) from TU Dresden.

Alexis Le Nestour

Alexis Le Nestour

Senior Research Adviser

Previously, Alexis worked as an Economic Adviser with Save the Children, focusing on programme evaluation and on value of money.

Alexis is a development economist by training having a done a PhD in the field of the economics of education in developing countries at Otago University, New Zealand. He is a quantitative researcher, specialising in data analysis but more broadly interested in generating evidence to inform policies.

Most of Alexis’s professional experience in development has taken place in African countries, notably Senegal and Benin. 

Amanda Lenhardt

Amanda Lenhardt

Senior Policy and Research Adviser on Social Exclusion

Amanda Lenhardt was previously a Research Officer at the Overseas Development Institute. She has a research background in inequality, chronic poverty, and the political economy of development. She has fieldwork experience in East and West Africa and South East Asia.  

She holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and an MSc in Poverty Reduction and Development Management.

Claire O'Meara

Claire O'Meara

Senior Private Sector Adviser

Claire's work addresses private sector accountability to children and promoting the business responsibility to respect children’s rights.

Prior to this Claire spent over a decade providing technical support to international development programmes in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, primarily in the areas of resilience building and disaster risk reduction. Much of Claire’s work has focused on supporting the inclusion of marginalised groups, particularly children and youth, and people with disabilities.  

Claire has a MSC in Social Development Practice from University College London. In 2015 she authored the report Making a Killing: How tax scams are robbing poor countries of the right to life-saving healthcare.

Beck Smith

Beck Smith

Senior Policy and Advocacy Adviser

Alongside her role at Save the Children, Beck is a lecturer at Imperial College London on Science, Policy, and Politics. She was previously Senior Policy Adviser to the Shadow Exchequer Secretary and Assistant Director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering.

She holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and an MRes in Government, Policy and Politics. Her work at Save the Children focuses on the sustainable development goals and their pledge to leave no one behind.

Claire Leigh

Claire Leigh

Director of International Development Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns

Claire has been Director of Save the Children UK’s International Development Department since 2016, managing the EducationNutritionHealth and Inclusive Development policy teams.

Prior to that she worked on policy and research in a variety of international settings, including for the United Nations Development Programme and UNICEF in New York, the Overseas Development Institute in London, and the governments of Rwanda and Liberia.

She has a particular interest in aid effectiveness, fragile states, state-building and governance. Between 2007 and 2009 Claire was a senior policy adviser in the British Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, and in the Policy Planning Staff of the UK Foreign Office.

She holds a first class degree in History from the University of Cambridge and an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Oxford.

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