Advisory services

Ms. Isabel Ortiz
Senior Interregional Advisor

Ortiz, Isabel

Telephone: +1 917/367-9377
Fax: +1 212/963-3062
Nationality: Spain
Languages: English, Spanish



Ms. Isabel Ortiz has over 15 years experience working in 30 countries in various areas of economic and social development. She was educated in Spain and the UK, where she attained a Master degree and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. From 1999-2003 she was Senior Economist (Poverty Reduction) in the Strategy and Policy Department of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and worked on the design of country poverty reduction strategies, pro-poor policies/budgets across sectors, and financing for development issues, including aid harmonization and alignment. She was founding member of ADB’s Poverty Reduction Unit, and she directed ADB’s Social Protection and Labour Strategy, signed by 59 countries. In addition to providing strategy and policy advice to governments, Ms. Ortiz has attained extensive operational field experience. From 1995-99 she was Project Manager and Economist of several infrastructure and social sector multimillion investments for the Asian Development Bank. From 2003-05 she undertook a number of consulting assignments in countries of Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America for DFID, UNDP, OECD, KfW and the World Bank on development aid policies and strategies, social appraisals, public expenditure management and PRSPs. Ms. Ortiz has also been a lecturer and researcher, publishing in Europe, Asia and the US. Recently she has worked with Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz's Initiative for Policy Dialogue.

Area of specialization:

Poverty reduction, social policy, employment, public management, development aid policies and instruments. Specifically: National Development Strategies; pro-poor policies/budgets and social assessments across sectors (transport, finance, energy, urban development, agriculture, social sectors); policy/programme/project formulation, appraisal, management, monitoring and evaluation; harmonization/alignment of aid initiatives, financing for development


2005 - present   Senior Interregional Advisor, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations, New York
2003 - 2005   Senior Consultant for several development agencies such as DFID, UNDP, OECD, KfW, the World Bank in Nicaragua, Zambia, Bolivia, UK, Romania
1999 - 2003   Senior Economist (Poverty Reduction), Strategy and Policy Department, Asian Development Bank, Philippines; worked in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kyrgyztan, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Viet Nam
1995 - 1999   Project Manager/Economist, Social Sectors, Water Supply and Urban Development Departments, Asian Development Bank, in Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyztan, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Philippines, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan
1993 - 1995   Researcher and Lecturer, Department of International Economics CSIC (High Council of Scientific Research) and Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain
1992 - 1993   Commission of the European Union, Brussels, Belgium
1991 - 1991   Visiting researcher, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America ECLA, delegation in Buenos Aires, Argentina


1994 - Ph.D. (Econ) (Comparative Development), London School of Economics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
1989 - M.Sc. (Econ) (International Political Economy), London School of Economics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
1988 - Licenciatura (B.A.) (Social Sciences), University of Barcelona, Spain


“Financing for Development” for UNRISD (forthcoming)

"Social Policy" in UNDESA Policy Notes for National Development Strategies , 2007

"Poverty Reduction" in J. Stiglitz's Initiative for Policy Dialogue , 2007

“Regional Social Policy” with Deacon and Zelenev, UNDESA Working Paper no. 37 , 2007

“Social Protection: Making Globalization Work for All” in Rondinelli and Heffron (eds.) Globalization and Change in Asia. Boulder, London , 2006

"Poverty Reduction" in Huque and Zafarullah (eds.) Handbook of International Development Governance , Marcel Dekker, New York, 2005

"Development Aid" in J. Stiglitz's Initiative for Policy Dialogue , 2005

"Poverty Reduction" in Schffrin and Bisat (eds.) Covering Globalization , Columbia University Press, New York, 2004

Defining an Agenda for Poverty Reduction (2 vols) , ADB, Manila, 2002

Social Protection in Asia and the Pacific , ADB, Manila, 2001

Handbook for Poverty and Social Analysis with O'Sullivan, Price, Pyeper and Van Wicklin , ADB, Manila, 2001

Social Protection: New Directions of Donor Agencies with Conway, De Haan, Holzmann and Norton , DFID, London, 2000

Economic transitions: State and Industry in Argentina and Spain, 1975-91, PhD Thesis, London School of Economics , 1994

"Quince años de política económica en España" with J. Curbelo in Revista de Planificación Inter Americana, nº 104 , University of Austin, Texas, 1994

MERCOSUR , Universidad de Salamanca, Spain, 1994

La economía política de la política económica en España 1975-93, with J. Curbelo in Revista do Nova Economia, vol. 3, nº 1 , Brazil, 1993

Latin American External Debt, MSc. Thesis, London School of Economics , 1989