Stephen was previously Director of the Development Institute at the UCLA African Studies Center in the 1980s, and then worked as Director of Policy and Planning at World Vision International in the 1990s.
He was one of the co-authors of the World Bank’s World Development Report 2004, Making Services Work for Poor People. His work includes the major study, “Service Delivery in Fragile States: Good Practice for Donors,” and management of a DFID policy note and guidance resource for designing Multi-Donor Trust Funds or “Pooled Funds” in fragile states. He worked with the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium, and with the World Bank’s World Development Report 2015 (Behavior, Mind and Society) and the World Development Report 2017 (Governance and Law). He co-managed a four-country study with the Overseas Development Institute on community-driven development and livelihoods in fragile contexts four South Asian countries, and a project on designing long-term urban programs for urban areas affected by the Syrian refugee diaspora.
He also has been involved with the World Development Report 2018 (Education: The Learning Crisis), an assessment of education systems and needs in South Sudan, a study on providing digital skills for young women in low-income countries, and the second phase of the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium.