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Sarah Cook


Sarah Cook is the Director of UNICEF’s Office of Research-Innocenti in Florence, Italy. An economist and China specialist, her research has focused primarily on China's social and economic transformations, including work on labour and migration, poverty, inequality, social policy and gender. From 2009-2015 she was the Director, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) in Geneva, where she led the Institute in developing its 2016-2020 strategy on ‘Transformations to Equity and Sustainability’. Her engagement in China has spanned the period from the mid-1980s, including 5 years as the Ford Foundation’s Programme Officer in Beijing (2000-2005) where she led the Foundation’s initiatives on economics, governance and gender. From 1996-2009 she was a Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex. Sarah received her PhD from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and her BA from Oxford University.
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A first roundtable to explore the issues regarding care work and children was hosted in Florence by the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti from 6 to 7 December 2016. Unpaid care and domestic work have often been neglected in both research and policymaking, being viewed as lying within the domestic sphere of decisions and responsibilities, rather than as a public issue. However, over recent decades, researchers across a range of disciplines have strived to fill the evidence, data and research gaps by exploring the unpaid care and domestic work provided particularly by women within the household, and uncovering the entrenched social and gender norms and inequalities.


The social realities of making evidence matter in development (06 Mar 2017)

Knowledge and evidence for policy and practice matters in any context. But critical scrutiny of the evidence to policy process is particular ...