Opinion

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Photo of John Gaventa

Citizen Accountability in a time of Facebook

By John Gaventa
14 Nov 2017
John Gaventa reflects on how far Facebook, and other technical innovations, can connect us all as individuals and engage us with the institutions that govern us and help us hold them to account?

Obasanjo Joseph Oyedele PhD is a climate change communication specialist and lecturer at the Department of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Two lessons for early involvement of stakeholders in research

14 Nov 2017
Policy-engaged research needs to involve policy actors right from the start. However, you need a context-sensitive combination of communication skills and a determination to overcome stakeholder apathy and ensure policy actors remain committed to the project.

Hello Tractor on mobile phone

Youth, smart phones and tractors in Africa – a new agrarian class?

By Lidia Cabral, Jim Sumberg
14 Nov 2017
IDS researchers reflect on recent discourse on agricultural mechanization in farming, and outline a research agenda.

Photo of Philip Mader, Research Fellow, Business, Markets and the State

How microfinance and financial inclusion impinge on human rights

By Philip Mader
14 Nov 2017
This blog post is based on a talk given at the ETOC Conference on “Financialisation, Eco-Destruction, and Human Rights beyond Borders” in Brussels, September 28-29, 2017, and should not be regarded as an exhaustive academic paper but as food for thought.

Photo of Pedro Prieto Martin, Research Officer, Digital and Technology research cluster

Adaptiveness through ‘simplest tools and practices’

By Pedro Prieto Martin
13 Nov 2017
Why is so difficult to put what we know about adaptiveness into practice? And more importantly: what can be done to improve this situation?

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

Why governance constraints are holding back young Zimbabweans

By Ian Scoones
13 Nov 2017
New research reveals why governance constraints are holding back young people in rural Zimbabwe.

Tackling revenge porn – a gut reaction to Facebook’s approach

By Kelly Shephard
10 Nov 2017
How comfortable do you feel when you read headlines like these - Facebook “remembers” nude images to combat revenge porn or Facebook says it needs your explicit photos to combat revenge porn? Something in your gut doesn’t feel quite right does it?

Golden Opportunities in Ethiopia - Simon Davis/Department for International Development

Private sector is key for inclusive growth and decent jobs in Africa

By Seife Ayele, Dominic Glover, Samir Khan, Marjoke Oosterom
07 Nov 2017
This week the Matasa Fellows Network is launching a call for young African researchers to apply to become a fellow. The chosen theme of this year’s fellowship is Youth Employment and Private Sector Growth in Africa.

Still rising: women’s movements in a changing world

By Dinah Musindarwezo, Zohra Moosa, Lee Webster
06 Nov 2017
A global backlash against women’s rights is on the rise. Women’s movements have pushed long and hard for women’s rights to be enshrined in international policy frameworks, and the current global political landscape risks a serious regression on progress made.

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

What next for young people in Zimbabwe’s land reform areas?

By Ian Scoones
06 Nov 2017
New research reveals the imagined futures of Zimbabwe's youth.

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MARS IN MUMBAI. Prototypes of change developed for the BMW Guggenheim Lab. Credit: Nevill Mars on Flickr

Shaping urban agendas: Are cities taking on the world?

By Mireille Widmer
30 Oct 2017
Reflections on the tensions between the global ambitions of the New Urban Agenda and SDGs, and local decision-making processes in shaping the future of our cities.

Puerto Rico Hurricane Damage

Rising up - not blown away: re-building Puerto Rico from the ground up

By Maria Klara Kuss, Miguel Rivera Quinones
26 Oct 2017
The importance of bottom up movements in providing disaster assistance in Puerto Rico, in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Scenes from a school shortly after the Mexico City earthquake. Credit: Germán Gutiérrez on Flickr

Anti-corruption measures could have saved lives in Mexico City

By Beatriz Aguirre Martinez
26 Oct 2017
Last month’s devastating earthquake in Mexico City highlights a dire need to escalate the fight against corruption. IDS's Beatriz Aguirre Martinez explains why.

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

Confronting authoritarian populism: challenges for agrarian studies

By Ian Scoones
23 Oct 2017
Drawing from his remarks at the final plenary of the fifth BRICS Initiative in Critical Agrarian Studies conference, Ian Scoones outlines the challenges for agrarian studies in confronting authoritarian populism.

Duncan Green with How Change Happens book

Empowerment and accountability in messy places: what’s the latest?

By Duncan Green
19 Oct 2017
What is different about the way change happens in fragile, conflict and violent settings? My conclusion is that to understand these places, thinking about complex systems and power, broadly defined, is even more necessary than in more stable settings.

INDIA Mumbai (Bombay), Maharashtra
Taxis pass a homeless family living on a street in a Muslim quarter of the city centre near Mohammed Ali Road.
Credit: Martin Roemers / Panos

The anonymous self and the city: reflections on homelessness

By Hadeer El Shafie
19 Oct 2017
IDS’s Hadeer El Shafie explains why and how we must challenge orthodox approaches to homelessness

Photo of Justin Flynn, Rural Futures Research Officer

Youth savings – it’s a family affair (Part II)

By Justin Flynn, Jim Sumberg
18 Oct 2017
Having grown in popularity in recent years youth savings groups are promoted as an ideal way to promote financial inclusion in Africa, particularly among young people. Yet, are the assumptions that underpins these groups correct?

Lidia Cabral photo

Tractor-powered modernisation for the few

By Lidia Cabral
18 Oct 2017
Tractors are back in the spotlight as a prime symbol of a modernisation vision for African agriculture. Lidia Cabral asks who will be the winners and losers of the latest tractorisation wave sweeping across Sub-Saharan Africa?

Photo of Pauline Oosterhoff, Research Fellow, Participation Power and Social Change

Robots against Slavery?

By Pauline Oosterhoff
18 Oct 2017
Globally, an estimated 40.3 million adults and children are trapped in modern slavery. Could automation liberate millions from the horrors of breaking stones by hand, embroidering handkerchiefs, picking and cleaning cotton, or painting plastic bangles?

IDS opinion on international development, news and research via our blogs

How do we decide what we research?

By Terry Cannon
17 Oct 2017
Most of us might assume that we are ‘free’ to research what we want. But Terry Cannon is concerned that we are increasingly deluded about our ability to make independent and self-determined choices.

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