About us

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is a leading global institution for development research, teaching and learning, and impact and communications, based at the University of Sussex.

Our present vision is a world in which poverty does not exist, social justice prevails and economic growth is focused on improving human wellbeing. We believe that research knowledge can drive the change that must happen in order for this vision to be realised.

Founded in 1966, IDS enjoys an international reputation based on the quality of our work and our commitment to applying academic skills to real-world challenges. Our theory of change is at the heart of what we do. We think that knowledge should be generated by sound methodology and in partnership with other development and non-development actors.

The Institute is home to approximately 100 researchers, 70 knowledge services staff, 65 professional staff and about 200 students at any one time. But the IDS community extends far beyond, encompassing an extensive network of over 360 partners, 2,100 alumni and hundreds of former staff across the development community worldwide.

The Institute is currently refreshing its vision, structures and strategy to meet the challenges of a rapidly-changing world.

Directions of change include:

  • Strengthening the engaged excellence of our work, including fuller integration of cutting-edge approaches to impact and communications throughout the Institute's research and knowledge activities and deepened collaboration with the University of Sussex
  • Building a more global vision of development studies, with associated shifts of emphasis in content and approaches to international partnerships and alliances;
  • Combining thematically-focused work in research and knowledge clusters with Institute-wide progress towards a set of major strategic goals, provisionally around reducing inequalities, accelerating environmental sustainability, building inclusive and secure societies, and harnessing digital opportunities for social justice.

As a charity, IDS receives no core funding. Find out more about how we are governed, and funded and how to support us.

Find out more about our work