Ali Bargu

During my DPhil at the department, I had the opportunity to advance my skills in my area of interest, social safety nets, while also gaining wide exposure to pressing social problems. DSPI offers a great interdisciplinary environment that allows working on social problems that require addressing. My favourite part of studying at Barnett House was the atmosphere and ability to get to know every staff member and colleague. It has helped me build a strong network of like-minded people. Especially during the pandemic, the comradery between fellow doctoral students was invaluable.  

For over a decade, I have been interested in how governments can employ social policies to support their citizens. The MSc in Comparative Social Policy at Oxford provided me with a great general overview of the field and allowed me to explore which areas particularly spark my interest. After my degree, I worked as a consultant at the Social Protection and Labour Unit of the World Bank in Washington D.C., putting this knowledge to the test. My time at the department equipped me with the ability to quickly familiarise myself. After some time as a consultant, I wanted to specialise further in the field of social policy, so I returned to DSPI and commenced my doctoral studies. 

My studies equipped me with a broad skill set, which I realised yet again when I started my position as a Junior Social Policy Analyst at the OECD Employment Labour and Social Affairs Directorate in the Social Policy Division. I currently work on topics like social housing, homelessness and housing exclusion, as well as reports on the gender pay gap, which all require a critical interdisciplinary lens. I believe that my time at DSPI has equipped me thoroughly for what lies ahead.