Paul is currently a PhD student in the School of International Development. His research interests focus on development economics, macroeconomics, natural resource policy and management, fiscal policy, applied econometrics, policy evaluation, and evidence synthesis.


Career History

Previously, he has worked as a Research Assistant and a Research Consultant for various organisations including; the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), the Centre for Strategy and Evaluation Services (CSES), the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS, Erasmus University Rotterdam), the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS, University of London), and Save the Children International. Most recently, he has also worked with the Energy Management Economics and Modelling Team in the UK Government Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on policy appraisals and Cost-Benefit Analysis.


Academic Background

PhD Development Studies, University of East Anglia (UEA), UK. (Ongoing).

MSc Impact Evaluation for International Development (Distinction), University of East Anglia (UEA), UK. (2014-2016).

BSc Finance and Investment (First Class), University of Brighton (UoB), UK. (2011-2014).


Academic Awards

The University of East Anglia's School of International Development Masters Prize for best overall performing student.

The Development Studies Association/International Consulting Economists Association (DSA-ICEA) Masters Dissertation Prize.

The AIRMIC Graduate Award for best performing student on BSc Finance and Investment at the University of Brighton.



ESRC SeNSS +3 Fully-funded PhD Studentship Award for the Development Studies Pathway at the University of East Anglia (2017-2020).

University of East Anglia’s School of International Development Postgraduate Academic Excellence Award (2014-2016).


Conferences and Seminars

Fenton Villar, P., Waddington, H. A Systematic Map of Within-Study Comparisons: Examining Bias in Non-Randomised Studies. Presented at: The European Causal Inference Meeting (EuroCIM), Florence, Italy, 11th April 2018.

Fenton Villar, P., Papyrakis, E. Evaluating the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Presented at: Development Studies Association (DSA) Annual Conference 2017, Bradford, United Kingdom, 6th September 2017.

Cozzolino, S., Dib, G., Fenton Villar, P., Jo-Dowd, A., Providence, J. (2016). The Rwandan Children’s Book Initiative: How effective access and use of quality storybooks contributes to early reading habits and skills. Presented at: The 60th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 8th March 2016.


Conference Organising Committee

Harnessing the Extractive Industries for Development (EX4DEV). At: Royal Holloway (University of London), United Kingdom, 2nd November 2017.

All Publications

Fenton Villar, P., Papyrakis, E.


Evaluating the impact of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) on corruption in Zambia,

in The Extractive Industries and Society



pp. 795-805

Full Text UEA Repository



Phillips, D., Coffey, C., Gallagher, E., Fenton Villar, P., Stevenson, J., Tsoli, S., Dhanasekar, S., Eyers, J.


State-society relations in low- and middle-income countries: An evidence gap map,

International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)

Full Text

(Commissioned report)


Snilstveit, B., Stevenson, J., Fenton Villar, P., Eyers, J., McKinnon, M., Panfil, S., Harvey, C., Puri, J.


Land use change and forestry programmes: What we know and don’t know about the effects on greenhouse gas emissions and food security,

International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)

Full Text

(Commissioned report)