Richard Jolly

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Richard Jolly KCMG
Richard Jolly at LSE Women's Library.jpg
Richard Jolly
Born (1934-06-30) 30 June 1934 (age 86)
InstitutionUniversity of Sussex
FieldDevelopmental economics
Alma materMagdalene College, Cambridge (BA)
Yale University (MA, PhD)

Sir Arthur Richard Jolly KCMG, generally known as Richard Jolly, (born 30 June 1934) is a leading development economist who was named one of the fifty key thinkers globally in this field of economics.[1]

Jolly currently serves as Honorary Professor and Research Associate[2] of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex focusing on issues of world development and the role of the UN in global governance. From 1982 to 2000 he was an Assistant Secretary-General of the UN, first as Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF and from 1996 as Coordinator of the UNDP’s Human Development Report.[3] He co-authored the influential book Adjustment with a human face: protecting the vulnerable and promoting growth.[4]


The son of Arthur Jolly, a chartered accountant, by his wife Flora née Leaver, a commissioner for the Girl Guides, he attended Brighton College before going up to Magdalene College, Cambridge and graduating with first-class honours in Economics in 1956. Facing National Service, he applied for exemption from military service as a conscientious objector, which was granted conditional upon work as a Rehabilitation Officer in Kenya[5]. In 1958 Jolly pursued postgraduate studies at Yale University, receiving a PhD in 1962.[6]

In 1959 Jolly was secretary of the British Alpine Hannibal Expedition, which sought to recreate Hannibal's route across the Alps with the aid of an elephant. This expedition resulted in Jolly's first published article "Hannibal's route across the Alps: results of an empirical test".[7]

Jolly was appointed Research Fellow at the East Africa Institute of Social Research in 1963, advising on manpower to the Government of Zambia (1964–66), and Research Officer in Applied Economics at Cambridge University (1964–68).[6]

Appointed a Fellow of the Institute of Development Studies in 1969, Jolly became its Director from 1972 until 1981;[2] in 1972, he co-directed with Hans Singer the ILO Employment Mission to Kenya, published as Employment, Incomes and Equality.[2][8] He also served as Special Consultant on North-South issues to the Secretary-General of the OECD in 1978, and from 1978-1981 was a member and rapporteur of the UN Committee on Development Planning.[2]

From 1982 to 1995 he was Deputy Executive Director in UNICEF,[9] with responsibilities for UNICEF's programmes in over 130 countries of the world, including UNICEF's strategy for support to countries in reducing child mortality and implementing the goals agreed at the 1990 World Summit for Children. In UNICEF, he was also directly involved in efforts to ensure more attention to the needs of children and women in the making of economic adjustment policies, and co-authored the book Adjustment with a Human Face.[4] During this period, from 1982-1985, he was Vice President of the Society for International Development and from 1987-1996, was Chairman of its North/South Roundtable.[10]

From 1996 to 2000 Jolly became Special Adviser to the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and principal coordinator of the widely acclaimed Human Development Report[6][11][12]

As a senior UN officer, Jolly was much involved with reforming and ensuring collaboration between its operational agencies. From 1996 to 2000 he chaired the system-wide UN Sub-Committee on Nutrition (SCN)[13] and from 2000 to 2007 the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC),[2][14] both of which prepared major reports setting out global goals and strategies for reducing malnutrition and ensuring access to hygiene, sanitation and water on a worldwide basis.

As Co-Director of the UN Intellectual History Project (1999-2010),[3][6] he oversaw the production of the 17 volume history of the UN's contributions to economic and social development covering the ideas emerging and promoted by the UN since 1945. He was the senior author of the final volume, UN Ideas that Changed the World[15] and a co-author of five others, three of which were recognized by Choice Magazine as outstanding academic books of the year. One of these volumes, UN Voices: the Struggle for Social Justice and Development,[16] contains summaries of in-depth interviews of the leadership and experiences of the four living Secretaries-General and 75 other senior UN officials.

Other publications which Jolly has co-authored include five of the volumes of the UN Intellectual History, five Human Development Reports (1996 to 2000),[11][12] Development with a Human Face;[17] Adjustment with a Human Face;[4] The UN and the Bretton Woods Institutions: New Challenges for the 21st Century;[18] Disarmament and World Development;[19] Planning Education for African Development[20] and numerous scholarly articles.

Sir Richard has served as a trustee of OXFAM,[21] Chairman of the UN Association of the United Kingdom[22] and as an Overseas Development Institute Member of Council.

Star and badge of a KCMG

International appointments[edit]


Orders and decorations[edit]

  • UK Order St-Michael St-George ribbon.svg - KCMG for "contributions to international development"
  • ICFY ribbon bar.svg - UN Medal for "International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia"

Academic distinctions[edit]

Civic awards[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Jolly married Alison Bishop in 1963. Later formally styled Lady Jolly, she was a noted primatologist[6] until her death on 6 February 2014; they had four children.[28]

Sir Richard divides his time between Sussex and London.

Principal works[edit]

  • Jolly, Richard (1969). Planning education for African development (East African Studies, issue 25). California and Uganda: Eagle Press, University of California (East African Studies, Makerere Institute of Social Research, Makerere University College, Uganda).
  • Jolly, Richard; Graham, Mac; Smith, Chris (1986). Disarmament and world development (second ed.). Oxford Oxfordshire New York: Pergamon Press. ISBN 9780080313085.
  • Jolly, Richard; Stewart, Frances; Cornia, Giovanni A (1987). Adjustment with a human face: protecting the vulnerable and promoting growth. Oxford Oxfordshire Oxford Oxfordshire New York: Clarendon Press Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198286103.
  • Jolly, Richard; Haq, Mahbub Ul; Streeten, Paul; Haq, Khadija (1995). The UN and the Bretton Woods institutions: new challenges for the twenty-first century. Basingstoke: Macmillan. ISBN 9780333628935.
  • Jolly, Richard; Stewart, Frances; Mehrotra, Santosh (2000). Development with a human face: experiences in social achievement and economic growth. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198296577.



  1. ^ Simon, David (2006). Fifty key thinkers on development. London: Routledge. ISBN 0415337909.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Richard Jolly - Research Associate". Institute of Development Studies. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Richard Jolly". United Nations Intellectual History Project. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Cornia, Giovanni Andrea; Jolly, Richard; Stewart, Frances (1987). Adjustment with a human face. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0198286090.
  5. ^ Central Board for Conscientious Objectors, Annual Report, 1956-57, p8
  6. ^ a b c d e Weiss, Thomas G. (20 July 2005). "Transcript of interview of Richard Jolly" (PDF). New York, New York: United Nations Intellectual History Project. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  7. ^ Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  8. ^ Jolly, Richard; Singer, Hans (1972). Employment, Incomes and Equality: A Strategy for Increasing Productive Employment in Kenya (PDF). Geneva: International Labour office. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  9. ^ Jolly, Richard. "Statement by Dr. Richard Jolly, Acting Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)". United Nations Archive. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  10. ^ Jolly, Richard (2007). "Society for International Development, the North–South Roundtable and the Power of Ideas" (PDF). Development. 50 (51): 47–58. doi:10.1057/palgrave.development.1100388. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  11. ^ a b United Nations Development Programme (1996). Human Development Report. New York: Oxford University Press for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). ISBN 0-19-511158-3. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  12. ^ a b United Nations Development Programme (2000). Human development report 2000 : human development and human rights. New York: Oxford Univ. Press. ISBN 0-19-521678-4. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  13. ^ "Report of the Sub-Committee on Nutrition at its Twenty-Fifth Session" (PDF). SUB-COMMITTEE ON NUTRITION. 30 March – 2 April 1998. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  14. ^ "Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council Press Release". The African Water Page. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  15. ^ Jolly, Richard; Emmerij, Louis; Weiss, Thomas G. (2009). UN ideas that changed the world. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0253221188.
  16. ^ Weiss, Thomas G.; Carayannis, Tatiana; Emmerij, Louis; Richard, Jolly (2005). UN voices : the struggle for development and social justice ([Online-Ausg.] ed.). Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0253217881.
  17. ^ Mehrotra, edited by Santosh; Jolly, Richard (2000). Development with a human face : experiences in social achievement and economic growth. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198296576.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  18. ^ Jolly, Richard; Ul Haq, Mahbub; Streeten, Paul; Haq, Khadija (1995). The UN and the Bretton Woods institutions : new challenges for the twenty-first century. Basingstoke: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0333628942.
  19. ^ Graham, Mac; Jolly, Richard; Smith, Chris (1986). Disarmament and world development. Oxford: Pergamon. ISBN 0080313086.
  20. ^ Jolly, Richard (1969). Planning Education for African Development. East African Publishing.
  21. ^ "Richard Jolly". Oxfam Policy and Practice Blog. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  22. ^ Jolly, Richard. "The UN at 60: on the 60th anniversary of its creation, Sir Richard Jolly reviews the chequered history of the world's foremost intergovernmental body". The Free Library. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  23. ^ "Organization". The British Association of Former United Nations Civil Servants. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ Archived 2015-09-21 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ Archived 2015-12-22 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ Mosley, Charles (ed.) (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edn. London: Burke's Peerage & Gentry Ltd. p. 2113 (JOLLY, K). ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Jim Grant
Executive Director of UNICEF

Succeeded by
Carol Bellamy