Martin Woodhead is Emeritus Professor of Childhood Studies at The Open University where he played a major role in establishing the interdisciplinary field of childhood and youth studies.  His research has focussed on early childhood education and care, including policy studies, extensive international work and numerous publications. He has also carried out research on child poverty, child labour, and children’s rights, including consultancy work for Save the Children, Council of Europe, OECD, UNICEF and UNESCO. Martin was Special Adviser to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in the drafting of General Comment 7, 'Implementing Child Rights in Early Childhood' (2005) and led on the preparation of the UN Secretary General report to GA65 on implementation of early child rights (2010). 

Martin was co-editor of the journal Children & Society from 2003-11 and co-editor of the Early Childhood in Focus publications funded by Bernard van Leer Foundation, from 2006-13. He is a member of the editorial board for the journal Childhood and advisory board for Journal of Early Childhood Research.

Since 2005, Martin has been a member of the senior academic team directing Young Lives, a 15-year longitudinal study of child poverty in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam, based in Department of International Development, University of Oxford, where he is an Honorary Associate. Martin took particular responsibility for the development of Young Lives child-focussed and qualitative research methods, and is currently focussing on children's experiences of school in Young Lives countries, especially the impact of private sector growth on Education for All's equity goals. 

Martin is also Chair of the International Advisory Board to the Open Society Foundation Early Childhood Program.