Building Inclusive, Secure Societies

Building more inclusive and secure societies acknowledges the appalling dangers and lasting harms to people's lives and livelihoods from everyday conflict and violence, but also from risks associated with the environment, health and the economy.

Small boy looking out to wide open sea, waiting for his father to return from fishing

Inclusive institutions key to long-term resilience

Being and feeling unsafe and insecure is devastating to individuals, families, communities and societies. Our work contributes to a greater understanding of how we can build resilience and protect people against threats from conflict as well as environmental, economic, political and social shocks. Preventing a shock from magnifying in to a crisis also requires inclusive institutions and an understanding of how we can enable citizens to feel that they have a stake in the way their communities are governed.

Greater peace, freedom and safety for people everywhere

IDS’ work seeks to understand the factors that underlie and reinforce insecurity – a lack of inclusion and citizenship, unequal power relations and problematic forms of securitisation. This work explores what institutions, communities, policy and practice can do to achieve peace, freedom and safety for everyone, everywhere.

Patricia Justino, IDS Research Fellow and Leader of the IDS Conflict and Violence Cluster:

 “With almost one third of the world’s population living in low-income conflict-affected countries, it is critical that we understand the effects of conflict on people’s welfare, behaviour and poverty.” 

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Aiding Resilience? The Impact of Foreign Assistance on the Dynamics of Intrastate Armed Conflict

The aim of this project is to evaluate the association between types, locations, timing, and amounts of development aid and the likelihood, escalation, severity, spread, duration, and recurrence of violence, spanning the phases before, during, and after conflict. More details

‘Seeing’ Conflicts at the Margins: Understanding Community Experiences Through Social Research and Digital Narrative in Kenya and Madagascar

In a context of unprecedented investment in natural resource developments, this project bridges the social sciences, the humanities and community-based participatory research to ask how different ‘communities’ of actors ‘see’ and experience resource conflicts in Kenya and Madagascar. We use social science alongside a variety of participatory multimedia methods to open up conflict research to more diverse framings and voices, which can offer new insights on the drivers of resource conflict and pathways to peace. More details

A Mobile Training Platform for Urban Policing in India and Nepal

The aim of this project is to develop training videos for urban police that can be accessed via mobiles. This kind of platform allows the videos to be centrally updated, accessed (or ‘pushed’) on demand, and also allow for an innovative addition to police performance monitoring. More details

Advisor for the World Development Report 2017

Prof. Patricia Justino is working on the World Development Report 2017 as an advisor to the lead author of the chapter on "Security, Conflict and the Absence of Violence", as well as producing a background paper for the WDR chapter. More details

Agency and Governance in Contexts of Civil Conflict

Analysing how the relationship between populations living in contexts of violence and armed non-state actors controlling or contesting those areas results in forms of local governance and order, and how this affects people's livelihoods. More details

Capacity Building for Smart Data and Inclusive Cities (SDIC)

The “Capacity Building for Smart Data and Inclusive Cities” (SDIC) project aims strengthen technical and institutional capacities by working directly with municipal authorities participating in the Smart Cities Mission in four secondary cities in India: Bhopal and Jabalpur (in Madhya Pradesh) and Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi (in Kerala). More details

Community Cooperation in Post-Conflict Bosnia

This project will investigate what determines the level of community cooperation in the post-conflict period. More details

Coptic Culture Conservation Collective

The Coptic Culture Conservation Collective initiative will create a narrative and visual archive of contemporary Coptic intangible cultural heritage. More details

Democratisation, Decentralisation, Local Governance: IDS-SDC Collaboration

The aim of this third phase of cooperation between IDS and SDC is to share learning and collaborate on policy engagement in priority areas of decentralised and democratic local governance. More details

Improving access to livelihoods, jobs and basic services in violent contexts

Expanding access to work and services, such as public utilities and safe and reliable transportation, are important elements of any approach to strengthen security in poor urban neighbourhoods. More details

Market-Based Mangrove Afforestation and Reforestation in Kenya and India

This study aims to understand and compare processes and relationships associated with the ‘marketization of nature’ – how nature-based commodities and markets for trading them are brought into being – in the context of mangrove afforestation, reforestation and restoration projects in Kenya and India. More details

Pathways to Inclusive Development through Innovation, Technology and Change

Pathways to Inclusive Development through Innovation, Technology and Change is developing a framework to analyse alternative pathways that link different forms of technological innovation, and evaluate resulting structural change and inclusion outcomes in low-income countries. More details

Power, Violence, Citizenship and Agency

The Power, Violence, Citizenship and Agency (PVCA) project is an action research project designed by researchers at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and carried out with a number of institutional partners. More details

Women in Local Peacebuilding Research

Documenting the role of women in local peacebuilding, conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Sierra Leone and Liberia. More details

View all Research Theme's publications

Use this search to display this theme's publications and filter by journal, author, country and much more.


This is the cover to IDS Bulletin 481, 'Sex Education in the Digital Era'.

Sex Education in the Digital Era

IDS Bulletin 48.1 (2017)

Exploring sex and sexual relationships is an important part of adolescence, and therefore sex education should have a central role in adolescent emotional development as well as dealing with crucial public-health issues. More details

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Strengthening Citizenship: Social Grants and the State–Citizen Relationship in South Africa

IDS Working Paper 482 (2016)

This study uses a citizenship lens to consider the extent to which social grants strengthen or weaken the state–citizen relationship, examining the case of the Child Support Grant in South Africa. More details

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Creating Safe and Inclusive Cities That Leave No One Behind

IDS Policy Briefing 128 (2016)

Half of humanity now lives in urban areas, and a growing number of cities are leading the way in generating global GDP. However, cities have increasingly become key loci of violence over the last 50 years, which particularly affects the most marginalised. More details

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Interrogating an Engaged Excellence Approach to Research

IDS Evidence Report 214 (2016)

In recent years several debates have emerged about how to make academic research more ‘engaged’. The motivation for these debates has varied from a recognition that engagement can help increase the impact of research, to normative arguments that research needs to engage with those it seeks to help or change, and epistemological arguments that the multifaceted nature of truth necessitates the engagement of multiple perspectives. More details

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Strengthening International Disaster Risk Reduction through Collaboration with China

IDS Policy Briefing 127 (2016)

Natural disasters hit developing countries particularly hard. Worldwide, the incidence and intensity of such disasters remain substantial. More details

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Violence and Violence Reduction Efforts in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Ivory Coast: Insights and Lessons towards Achieving SDG 16

IDS Evidence Report 210 (2016)

This report develops evidence-based insights into contextual dimensions of violence and practices on reducing violence, from multiple perspectives and at multiple levels of governance. More details

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Gender, Sexuality and the Sustainable Development Goals: A Meta-Analysis of Mechanisms of Exclusion and Avenues for Inclusive Development

IDS Evidence Report 206 (2016)

Through its work, the Institute of Development Studies Sexuality, Poverty and Law programme provides new evidence-based knowledge and policy options support efforts to strengthen the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. More details

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Integrating Sustainable Development: A Foresight Analysis of Interactions Among Competing Development Challenges

IDS Evidence Report 204 (2016)

This report documents explores the interactions among three key goals of international development policy and practice, namely reducing inequalities, accelerating sustainability and building secure and inclusive societies. More details

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Achieving Diverse Development Goals: How can Different Goals be Pursued Together?

IDS Policy Briefing 125 (2016)

In 2015, the international community adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to focus development policy globally. The Goals range across diverse fields of public policy from industry, finance and agriculture to education, sanitation, social protection and environmental stewardship. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Working Paper 479, 'Explaining the Effectiveness of Community-Based Crime Prevention Practices in Ibadan, Nigeria'.

Explaining the Effectiveness of Community-Based Crime Prevention Practices in Ibadan, Nigeria

IDS Working Paper 479 (2016)

The problem of ineffective policing still persists in post-colonial Africa and as a result, both donors and governments are seeking non-state alternatives or complements to the state apparatuses. More details

This the front cover to IDS Working Paper 477, '‘Traditional Peoples’ and the Struggle for Inclusive Land Governance in Brazil'.

‘Traditional Peoples’ and the Struggle for Inclusive Land Governance in Brazil

IDS Working Papers 477 (2016)

In recent decades, Brazil has attracted international interest both for the intensity of its land conflicts and for the extent of its land governance innovations. In this report we argue that these innovations have derived from a land governance model shaped by the country’s decentralised political structures. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Working Paper 476, 'Uneven Developments: Toward Inclusive Land Governance in Contemporary Cambodia'.

Uneven Developments: Toward Inclusive Land Governance in Contemporary Cambodia

IDS Working Paper 476 (2016)

Cambodia has long had a difficult mix of resource wealth and weak land governance, a function of its legacy of enduring postwar conflict and neoliberal development policies of the 1990s. More details

This is the font cover to IDS Working Paper 474, 'Power, Violence, Citizenship and Agency: A Colombian Case Study'.

Power, Violence, Citizenship and Agency: A Colombian Case Study

IDS Working Paper 474 (2016)

In a situation of longstanding and complex violent conflict in Buenaventura, Colombia, we used action research to explore with social activists what power, violence, citizenship and agency mean to them and how they experience and exercise citizen agency in relation to the violence. More details

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Social Accountability in Big Cities: Strategies and Institutions in Delhi and São Paulo

IDS Working Paper 471 (2016)

There are signs that public services can improve in big cities when the urban poor hold providers directly accountable – what we now call social accountability. We do not know, however, to what extent the urban poor, through their civil society groups, engage in forms of social accountability nor what strategies they use. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Working Paper 470, 'Informality and Inclusive Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa'.

Informality and Inclusive Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa

IDS Working Paper 470 (2016)

Despite relatively high growth rates, improvements in poverty and inequality have been constrained in many developing countries over the last decade, suggesting that economic growth has not been inclusive. In part, this relates to low levels of participation in the formal economy as well as high incidence of informality and unemployment in these countries. More details

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Reframing Development in a Dynamic Global Era

IDS Development Frames 001 (2016)

Half a decade on from IDS' founding, the words of renowned economist and first IDS Director Dudley Seers from his IDS Communication ‘The Meaning of Development’ still ring true. Every era's ‘international development’ community should grapple with its definitions. Today, we face interconnected challenges which look set to intensify into the future. More details

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Reducing Violence in a Time of Global Uncertainty: Insights from the Institute of Development Studies Addressing and Mitigating Violence Programme

IDS Evidence Report 197 (2016)

This Evidence Report details key insights from the Institute of Development Studies Addressing and Mitigating Violence programme, which involved detailed political analysis of dynamics of violence as well as efforts to reduce and prevent violent conflict across a number of countries and areas in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. More details

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Reducing Violence in a Time of Global Uncertainty

IDS Policy Briefing 122 (2016)

The new Sustainable Development Goal to reduce armed violence is a welcome commitment but the prescriptive nature of its approach is problematic – there is ‘no one size fits all’. Rather, focus needs to be on how violence operates in particular settings. More details

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Impact of Community-led Total Sanitation on Women’s Health in Urban Slums: A Case Study from Kalyani Municipality

IDS Evidence Report 194 (2016)

This Evidence Report seeks to understand the health and other impacts of slum women’s access to sanitation through the Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach. More details

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The Role of Cities and Urbanisation in Achieving Development Goals

IDS Evidence Report 192 (2016)

The world is in the midst of a long and uneven urban transition, with the great majority of urbanisation and urban population growth now occurring in parts of Asia and Africa. Urbanisation has profound effects on local rural and urban economies, life chances and environments, though much depends on how it is handled. More details