Opinion

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Photo of Ian Scoones, Research Fellow

The pros and cons of commercial farming models in Africa

By Ian Scoones, Ruth Hall, Dzodzi Tsikata
25 May 2017
What are the pros and cons of commercial farming models in Africa? Ian Scoones, Ruth Hall and Dzodzi Tsikata write in The Conversation.

An opposition demonstrators holds a Venezuelan flag in front of a burning barricade during a protest against President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas February 15, 2014. Protesters gathered to demand the president's resignation, denouncing him over grievances ranging from political repression to daily issues such as inflation, shortages of basic products, and rampant crime.REUTERS/Jorge Silva.

Maduro’s new Constitution: more authoritarianism for Venezuela

By Maria Aguado Álvarez de Sotomayor, Lizbeth Navas-Aleman
24 May 2017
Venezuela is a country in political as well as economic turmoil. Far from abating the crisis by deepening democracy, President Maduro's proposed constitutional reforms are more likely to secure the ruling party’s grip on power.

Photo of James Georgalakis

Academics in ivory towers? It’s time to change the record

By James Georgalakis
24 May 2017
Are scholars really so out of touch with the real world or do we need to look again at this tired narrative that doesn’t reflect the reality of modern academia.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Picture: Russell Watkins/Department for International Development

What should the priorities be for the new WHO Director-General?

By Melissa Leach, Annie Wilkinson, Ian Scoones, Hayley MacGregor
23 May 2017
As leaders come together for the 70th World Health Assembly and make the choice of the next Director General, they have some major challenges ahead, but what should their priorities be? IDS researchers set out what they think should be at the top of the list.

Patrick Schroeder, Research Fellow with the Green Transformations research cluster at IDS

What is the link between productivity, circular economy and the SDGs?

By Patrick Schroeder
22 May 2017
Asia’s development over the last decades has been characterised by rapid economic growth, fast-paced development, urbanisation, and rising household incomes. Increases in productivity have been one of the main factors underpinning these trends.

The Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative

By Ian Scoones
22 May 2017
Launched this week the Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI) is being launched will be confronting the forces of authoritarian populism in rural areas, and exploring emancipatory alternatives.

Students celebrating graduation

A strong higher education sector can help retain UK's global influence

By Adam Tickell, Melissa Leach
18 May 2017
As the UK prepares to exit the European Union and reposition itself on the global stage, IDS Director, Melissa Leach and University of Sussex Vice Chancellor, Adam Tickell, argue that a new UK government must continue to support the higher education sector.

Photo of Jeremy Allouche, IDS research fellow

Côte d’Ivoire: mutiny may be over, but the army’s problems are not

By Jeremy Allouche, Oswald Padonou
17 May 2017
Reforming a fragmented army will be tough in Côte d’Ivoire’s tense atmosphere. Could foreign deployment provide an alternative solution? Jeremy Allouche writes for African Arguments.

Photo of Becky Faith, Research Officer, Digital and Technology research cluster

Automation and the future of work; bringing women into the debate

By Becky Faith
17 May 2017
Becky Faith shares insights from the biggest Artificial Intelligence business conference on how businesses are viewing the digital economy - and its potential impact on all members of society.

Belt and Road Forum sign at bus stop

China’s Belt and Road Initiative – a game-changer, but which game?

By Melissa Leach
15 May 2017
Fresh from attending the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, IDS Director Melissa Leach considers how China's $900 billion initiative will change international development.

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Photo of Chris Bene, ASP Programme Lead & Research Fellow, Vulnerability ad Poverty Reduction

What is the place of ‘resilience’ in the New Urban Agenda?

By Chris Béné
27 Apr 2017
In the context of the New Urban Agenda, CGIAR's Chris Béné asks: What is meant exactly by resilience? And how to achieve this ‘urban resilience’?

Photo of IDS researcher, Mariz Tadros

Pope Francis, Al-Azhar, and the reality of sectarianism on the ground

By Mariz Tadros
26 Apr 2017
The Pope’s meeting with Al-Azhar this week may create goodwill at a high-level, but on the ground, the situation for Copts is different.

Photo of Mar Maestre Morales, Globalisation

Beyond the paid economy: unpaid care work and women’s empowerment

By Maria del Mar Maestre Morales
26 Apr 2017
The advancement of women’s rights and economic empowerment in market systems contributes to the economic wellbeing of families, communities and nations. Here's why we support the opening statement of the forthcoming WEE Global Learning Forum 2017.

Photo of IDS researcher, Mariz Tadros

Copts of Egypt: more than political pawns for ISIS and el-Sisi

By Mariz Tadros
24 Apr 2017
Recent attacks on Copts cannot be understood exclusively as militant resistance to authoritarianism in Egypt. It's a popular opinion, that the violence is reactive: a response to limits on more peaceful forms of political expression. The truth is more complex.

This is the cover for Zimbabwe's Land Reform: Myths and Realities

What prospects for the next generation of rural Zimbabweans?

By Ian Scoones
24 Apr 2017
This blog concludes the series of five pieces on youth in the new resettlement areas. Studies in Zimbabwe have shown how school leavers imagine their futures, but also how in practice these visions are often not realised.

This is the cover for Zimbabwe's Land Reform: Myths and Realities

Combating neglected tropical diseases: more than drugs and vaccines

By Ian Scoones
19 Apr 2017
Neglected tropical diseases have been in the news this week. A big meeting at the World Health Organisation in Geneva has resulted in big pledges from the UK aid progamme and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to banish the … Continue reading →

A child’s upper arm is measured at an Anganwadi centre in Madhya Pradesh’s Dhar district. This is a quick and simple way to check if a child is severely underweight as they have a 10-30% chance of death without treatment. Credit: Russell Watkins/Department for International Development (CC BY 2.0)

India’s undernutrition debates and the power of political narratives

By Nicholas Nisbett
12 Apr 2017
What is the power of policy narratives on nutrition in India where there are vastly opposing debates around its contentious and chronic child stunting crisis?

Photo of IDS researcher, Mariz Tadros

Egypt’s Copts: from sectarian violence to being targets of terrorism

By Mariz Tadros
11 Apr 2017
Recent bombings mark a new era in the religious targeting of Copts – one which is qualitatively different from previous patterns of sectarian violence.

Image of presenter and participants at African Evaluation Conference 2017 in Uganda.

Evaluators in Africa (unknowingly) rise to the challenge of complexity

By Marina Apgar
11 Apr 2017
Reflections on the 8th conference of the African Evaluation Association, and how the need to adapt, be agile and improvise (as a result of some of its logistical challenges!) makes for a good metaphor for how evaluation should be in the field.

Brexit: Five EU development policies the UK should reconsider

By Samuel Sharp
10 Apr 2017
Following the triggering of Article 50, IDS Student Samuel Sharp lists five policies the UK government would do well to rethink.

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