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Years of hard work paid off when Jake was crowned chess champion of his junior school. Perhaps he tasted success too early; a decade of decline followed and eventually he put down his chess set and joined the development set. He has worked primarily in research and management of economic development projects in conflict areas, particularly the occupied Palestinian territory, as well as small scale business financing projects in East Africa.

Jake’s PhD thesis focused on how households protected themselves from wartime threats in Cote d’Ivoire, and the mechanisms by which violence affects household and business decision-making. Other research and consultancy interests have included microcredit impact assessment, mixed-method research methodologies and survey implementation. Jake joined the Springfield Centre in early November 2014.