My research interests include natural resource economics, the political economy of international development, and quantitative methods for policy evaluation.

Paul Fenton Villar

Academic Qualifications and Awards

PhD Development Studies, University of East Anglia (UEA) (Ongoing P/T)

  • Thesis Title: Essays on the political economy of natural resource-led development

  • ESRC SeNSS PhD Studentship for Development Studies

MSc Impact Evaluation for International Development, UEA (2014 - 2016)

  • Grade: Distinction

  • UEA School of International Development prize for best overall performing student

  • Development Studies Association & International Consulting Economists Association masters dissertation prize

BSc Finance and Investment, University of Brighton (2011 - 2014)

  • Grade: First Class 

  • AIRMIC Graduate Award for best performing student in Finance and Investment 

Work Experience

Policy Evaluation and Research Consultant (various), Dec. 2014 - Sept 2021:

Freelance research consultant on projects involving policy impact evaluations, systematic literature reviews, evidence gap maps, feasibility studies, and macro- and micro-econometric studies. This work has contributed to research addressing issues in public governance, health, education, and business regulation. It has involved working on projects based in an array of countries (inc. Brazil, Morocco, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Nicaragua) and with various organisations (e.g. the World Bank Independent Evaluation Group (IEG), World Health Organization (WHO), International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), and Save the Children International).

Research Consultant, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester (U.K.), Apr 2021 - Aug. 2021:

Research consultant for an econometric study on the impact of dam construction in India. I am working with Professor’s Richard Palmer-Jones (UEA), Kunal Sen (Global Development Institute - GDI) and Vegard Iverson (Natural Resources Institute). The project is funded by the FutureDAMS project from GDI.

Research Associate, University of East Anglia, Norwich (U.K), Jan. 2020 - July 2021:

Research Associate on a project evaluating Sweden’s long-term development cooperation with Ethiopia. The projects principal investigator (PI) was Dr Bereket Kebede (UEA) and it was funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).


Associate Tutor, University of East Anglia, Norwich (U.K.), Jan. 2018 - May 2021: 

Associate Tutor for professional and university courses in development economics, statistics, and applied econometrics. See teaching page for further information.

Analyst, U.K. Civil Service, London (U.K.), Jan. 2019 – Feb. 2019:

Temporary role working with the Behavioral Insights Unit at Ofgem (U.K. energy market regulator) on the analysis of 3 randomised experiments examining policies to encourage consumers to switch energy supplier or tariffs.


Economist, U.K. Civil Service, London (U.K.), Jan. 2017 – Sept. 2017:

Economist in the Energy Management Economics and Modelling Team in the U.K. Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The role specialised in conducting cost-benefit analysis of public energy management policies (inc. the national rollout of smart meters).

Research Assistant, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, London (U.K.), Mar. 2015 – Dec. 2015:

Research Assistant for a Systematic Review on the Effects of Certification Schemes for Agricultural Commodities.


Professional Bodies


I am a member of the following associations:

  • European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI)

  • European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE)

  • Italian Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (IAERE)

Referee for the following journals

  • Resource and Energy Economics

  • Resources Policy

  • Politics and Governance

  • Journal of Energy and Natural Resources Law

  • Extractive Industries and Society

Editorial Positions

  • Co-Editor, Sentio Journal (Issue 2: Theory and Practice in Research Ethics).

Sentio is an online interdisciplinary journal dedicated to bringing together debates on the nature of research and knowledge generation. This issue invited discussions and reflections on the concept of 'ethics' in social science research. [Available Online]   

Conferences and Public Presentations

  • Fenton Villar, P. Tackling Corruption in the Extractive Industries: An assessment of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Presented at: Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic of Peru's International Annual Conference for Integrity (CAII), Lima, Peru, 3rd December 2019.

  • Fenton Villar, P. Resisting the Resource Curse: Examining policies advocated by the ‘Extractives-Led Development Agenda’. Presented at: School of International Development, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom, 18th May 2018.  

  • Fenton Villar, P., Waddington, H. A Systematic Map of Within-Study Comparisons: Examining Bias in Non-Randomised Studies. Presented at: The European Causal Inference Meeting (EuroCIM), Florence, Italy, 11th April 2018.

  • Fenton Villar, P., Papyrakis, E. Evaluating the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Presented at: Development Studies Association (DSA) Annual Conference 2017, Bradford, United Kingdom, 6th September 2017.