Helen Jackson

Analytic and Research Support

Helen Jackson photo

Personal statement

I am a freelance economist, data analyst and researcher. I have ten years' experience in economic consultancy, generating high spec, technically demanding research outputs for clients in government, business and finance. My specific expertise is in environmental economics and policy, particularly energy and climate change, but also fisheries and natural resources. However, my consultancy experience and exceptional quantitative skills are highly valued by clients in other fields. I have a strong interest in data science and requisite coding, database and mathematical skills. I understand inside out how good quality research, communicated well, can support decision-makers in any organisation.

Key skills and experience

Successful track record as a freelance contractor

  • clients over the past two years include the UK and one other G20 government, the Climate Bonds Initiative, the Economist Intelligence Unit, the World Bank and a utility company

Extensive experience of supporting decision-makers through high spec commissioned research

  • deploying technical expertise to topics in climate finance, policy and economics for policy-makers, multilateral institutions and global companies
  • adept at blending formal methodologies, data, qualitative research and critical thinking to form robust analysis and reach clear conclusions
  • ability to communicate complex topics with clarity and concision; confident in consultancy, journalistic and academic written styles

Exceptional quantitative, analytical and IT skills

  • coding, database and software modelling skills (perl, JavaScript, R/S-PLUS, SQL, UML) gained during study with Imperial College and Oxford University
  • ability to handle large and/or non-tabular datasets
  • experience and good knowledge of techniques in econometrics/regression analysis, exploratory data analysis, data visualisation and agent-based modelling


See the bottom of the page for a full list of projects.

2014 – presentFreelance

with Climate Bonds Initiative: Ongoing support to the Climate Bonds Initiative in developing a set of standards to flag bonds compatible with a low carbon economy to investors; responsibility for lead technical input and/or drafting of standards for transport, geothermal energy, hydropower and two other sectors; resulting standards have been used to certify bonds linked to the Asian Development Bank, SNCF, Victoria State Government, New York Metropolitan Transport Authority and Axis Bank.

with Vivid Economics: two preparatory research projects relating to Brexit for a UK Government department; two projects for a confidential G20 government, in partnership with a private client, researching natural gas energy security and historic patterns in global energy use; for the latter developing a novel data analysis technique for identifying energy system shocks; exploring the potential form and function of a proposed Office of Energy, an analogous body to the UK Office for Budget Responsibility, for RWE npower; project for the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on water quality and ecosystem services; content for a chapter in a forthcoming World Bank publication on energy and climate change.

Other: Series of custom research articles for the Economist Intelligence Unit on various topics; project for UNICEF with the Economist Intelligence Unit; social policy data analysis for a prominent UK journalist covered in the Daily Telegraph; evaluation of a homelessness service.

(the period 2011-2013 was spent caring for my daughter)

2007 – 2011 Vivid Economics, London
Freelance then Senior Economist

Company: Vivid Economics applies economics to support high-level decision-making in areas such as energy, climate change, infrastructure, resources and innovation. It has one of the world's leading teams of specialists in climate change economics and finance.

Key experience: contributing to the global policy debate on climate change finance for developing countries through research for the United Nations Environment Programme, African Development Bank and UK Department for International Development; supporting UK fisheries policy over the course of four studies for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; many other projects related to low carbon economics/policy for clients such as the Emerging Markets Forum and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

2004 – 2007 Economics for the Environment Consultancy (eftec), London
Environmental Economist

Company: leading consultancy specialising in environmental economics

Key experience: environmental valuation and policy appraisal projects for the UK Government and European institutions in areas such as ecosystem services, environmental trading schemes, environmental liability, flood management, agriculture, landscape, water quality and cultural heritage; contributing to the economic cases for the Thames Tideway 'Super Sewer' and London Olympics; co-managing an international team responsible for drawing up methodologies applicable under the EU Environmental Liability Directive.

2001 – 2003 Volterra Consulting, London

Company: at the time specialising in projects relating to carbon emissions trading, complexity economics, social policy and financial risk analysis.

Key experience: support of participants in the UK Emissions Trading Scheme, the world's first multi-industry carbon trading system; writing computer models to assist complexity economics research; economic geography analysis of new transport infrastructure.


2012 – 2013Oxford UniversityAdvanced Diploma in Data and Systems Analysis (distinction)
2003 – 2004University College LondonMSc Environmental and Resource Economics (pass)
1996 – 2000Imperial College LondonMSci Physics with a Year in Europe (first class)

Other interests and experience

  • As a student I contributed to, and developed my coding skills during, three space and atmospheric physics research projects, including a discontinued DPhil at the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics, Oxford University
  • I read French at an advanced level and speak it at an intermediate level, having lived in France for a year
  • I have strong interests in economics, policy and social science outside of environment/climate, particularly in new economic thinking, complexity economics and the application of data science to economics

Detailed project list (chronological)

with Climate Bonds Initiative

with the Economist Intelligence Unit

  • Series of six Custom Research articles on policy challenges and metrics for a middle Eastern government client, covering topics such as unemployment, competitiveness, intellectual property and the sharing economy
  • Research for a project for UNICEF on the Sustainable Development Goals

with Vivid Economics (recent and prior to 2011)

  • Two preparatory research projects relating to Brexit for a UK Government department
  • Identification of historic patterns in world energy production and consumption for a confidential G20 government client
  • Contributions to a chapter in a forthcoming World Bank publication on energy and climate change
  • Terms of Reference for the Office of Energy for RWE nPower. Report considering the form and function of a potential Office of Energy, an independent body proposed to improve trust and transparency in energy policy, analogous to the UK Office of Budget Responsibility. link
  • Project for the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs relating to water quality and ecosystem services
  • Project for a private client considering natural gas energy security in partnership with a confidential G20 government
  • Making climate finance work for Africa for the African Development Bank through the Climate & Development Knowledge Network. Provision of support to enhance the AfDB's understanding of the High-Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing's recommendations on international climate finance mechanisms; support for the AfDB's contribution to AGF Working Group papers on climate finance. link
  • Assessment of the economic impact of market-based measures [on shipping] for the International Maritime Organisation. Examining the potential impacts on selected shipping routes and export markets of a carbon price. link
  • Should emerging market economies act on climate change, or wait? for the Emerging Markets Forum. Examination of the economic and strategic implications for the G20 Emerging Markets of climate change and the economic case for mitigation. link
  • Evidence for action: gender equality and economic growth for Chatham House & the UK Department for International Development. Review of the evidence that greater gender equality in the developing world can enhance economic growth and help meet the Millennium Development Goals. link
  • Climate change in transition economies for European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Confidential project relating to climate change in the EBRD Region of Operation.
  • Advance market commitments for low-carbon development for the UK Department for International Development. Exploring the potential for government price/quantity guarantees in the diffusion and development of low carbon technologies in the developing world, in analogy with use of a similar mechanism in vaccine development. link
  • Climate change scenarios: implications for strategic asset allocation for Mercer supported by the IFC, Carbon Trust & others. Report analysing the extent of climate change impacts on institutional investment portfolios, identified through a series of four climate change scenarios up to 2030. link
  • Catalysing low-carbon growth in developing economies: Public Finance Mechanisms to scale up private sector investment in climate solutions for UNEP & Partners. Exposition of the potential for public finance mechanisms (grants, subsidies, concessional finance, etc.) to leverage private investment in low carbon technologies, particularly from institutional investors, in order to help meet the scale required in developing countries. link
  • An economic approach to long term reform of access to fisheries for the inshore fleet for the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Exploration of status and options for reform of UK's small-scale fishing fleet, including detailed analysis of landings data, vessel profiling and profitability estimates. link
  • A review of the effectiveness of the Economic Link for the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Examination of fishing patterns and economic impacts resulting from use by foreign vessels of UK quota. link
  • Carbon economy issues in the food and drink sector for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Exploration of the implications of climate change policy, impacts and adaptation for the food and drink sector; separate reports on agriculture, manufacturing and retail.
  • Carbon capture and storage for confidential client. Research support on developments, options and scenarios for carbon capture and storage in the UK.
  • Prizes for low carbon innovation for the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and NESTA. Analysis of the potential for a prize to foster low carbon innovation, exploration of the economics of prizes, and examination of four candidate technologies.
  • The race to capture the carbon pound for Shell. Exploration of the potential market size for low carbon technologies under different regulatory scenarios, and interviews with entrepreneurs, to support the Shell Springboard awards. link
  • The economic benefits of fisheries management for the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Summary of application of economics to fisheries management. link

with eftec

  • WaterCost for the EU North Sea Region Programme. Project aiming to establish a cost-effectiveness methodology for comparing water pollution abatement measures under the Water Framework Directive. link
  • Valuing transport's impact on the natural landscape for Department for Transport. Project aiming to estimate transferable monetary values for the impacts individual transport schemes have on the natural landscape in England. link
  • The potential role of transferable development rights and transferable flood permits in flood risk management for the Environment Agency. Project reviewing the conceptual basis and practicalities of market-based instruments for flood management in England and Wales. link
  • Resource equivalency methods for assessing environmental damage in the EU (REMEDE) for the European Commission. Co-management of a major study contributing to the implementation of the Environmental Liability Directive with regard to the prevention and remediation of environmental damage. The project goal was to develop, test and disseminate methods appropriate for determining the scale of remedial measures necessary to adequately offset environmental damage. link
  • Thames Tideway stated preference study for Thames Water. Valuation study contributing to the economic case for the Thames Tideway "Super Sewer" in London. link
  • Assessing the value of groundwater for the Environment Agency. Study devising a methodology for valuing the benefits provided by the UK's groundwater bodies within the context of the Water Framework Directive. link
  • Valuing our natural environment for the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Review of the methodologies which allow policy-makers to systematically and objectively assess the benefits of natural resources and their options to use or protect them, in terms of both their theoretical basis and practical use. link
  • Economic valuation of environmental impacts in the Severely Disadvantaged Areas for the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Study aiming to estimate the changes in external environmental values in English hill-farming areas associated with land use changes. link
  • The potential for a nutrients tradable permit scheme for the Environment Agency. Analysis of three options for an agricultural nutrients tradable permit scheme in terms of their environmental effectiveness, economic efficiency, equity impacts and feasibility. link
  • England's ecosystem services for English Nature. Project to consider and advise on the use of economic valuation to communicate the benefits provided by the ecosystem services of priority habitat types in England. link
  • Valuation of the Historic Environment for English Heritage & Partners. Project examining the scope for using results of non-market valuation studies in the appraisal of heritage-related projects. link
  • The cost-effectiveness of environmental policies (2004-5) for the European Environment Agency. A review of ex-post evaluations of environmental policies to inform the Agency's own guidance. link
  • The economic, social and ecological value of ecosystem services (2004-5) for the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Study aiming to review the relevant ecological and economic literature on ecosystem services in order to distil policy messages. The focus of the review was on biodiversity and its economic value as manifested in actual markets as well as non-market values. link

with Volterra Consulting (selected)

  • Economic impact assessment of the Thames Gateway Bridge for the London Development Agency
  • Economic geography analysis of London for the Greater London Authority)
  • Analysis of participation in the UK Emissions Trading Scheme for the Chemical Industries Association
  • Analysis of participation in the UK Emissions Trading Scheme for Severn Trent Water
  • Analysis of firm extinction rates using an agent-based model for the Institute for Complex Additive Systems Analysis, New Mexico