Opinion

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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.

Unsustainable development practices make people more vulnerable to disasters. This is particularly true for growing urban populations who are often faced with poorly planned, badly built or informal housing and infrastructure. Currently, there are about 1 billion people living in mega slums without access to basic services and often on high-risk areas, as illustrated in Villa El Salvador, in Lima, Peru. If the expansion of unregulated, informal settlements continues to be the main mechanism for absorbing urban growth, there will be a commensurate increase in both extensive and intensive disaster risk, as well as urban poverty.
Photo by Melissa Farlow / AURORA - UN ISDR on Flickr

UN-Habitat and the New Urban Agenda – one year after Habitat III

By Roger Williamson
17 Oct 2017
Reflections on the current status of UN-Habitat and how we might move towards a more effective approach to urban work in the UN and beyond.

Clucking Harvest - Mark Seton/Flickr

On World Food Day is Brexit an opportunity to rethink our food system?

By Vivienne Benson
16 Oct 2017
With food poverty, obesity and diabetes on the rise, today of all days, World Food Day, reminds us that food systems are not fit for purpose. Watch interviews with UK farmers and hear what they think we need to do change this picture.

Photo of Elise Wach, Evaluation and Learning Advisor with the Impact and Learning Team

How do we transform our food systems?

By Elise Wach
16 Oct 2017
On World Food Day, Elise Wach argues that in relation to food and farming it is becoming increasingly apparent that working within our existing economic and social systems will not result in the changes that we need. How can we transform our food systems?

Alan Dangour

Sustainable Farming Systems for Food and Nutrition Security

By Alan Dangour
13 Oct 2017
As the SDGs call for the end of hunger and prevention of malnutrition by 2030 Alan Dangour, partner of Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA) argues that sustainable agriculture and food systems have to be at the heart of this process.

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IMF Development Committee Meeting 2012. Flickr IMF.

SDGs and the South-South cooperation opportunity: the road to BAPA+40

By Alvaro Moreira
20 Sep 2017
To avoid missed opportunities on the road to BAPA+40 policymakers and practitioners must challenge traditional patterns of development cooperation and shape new types of relationships that enable more effective South-South cooperation.

Stefan Swartling Peterson, Chief of Health, UNICEF

Racing the clock to save mothers and protect newborns in Uganda

By Stefan Swartling Peterson
19 Sep 2017
Stefan Swartling Peterson reflects on a four-year project led by Makerere University, with support from UNICEF, Future Health Systems and others in reducing critical delays in access to healthcare for pregnant women and mothers.

Photo of Jim Sumberg, Research Fellow with the Knowledge Technology and Society Team

‘Decent enough work’ - Should Africa’s youth hope for more?

By Jim Sumberg
18 Sep 2017
Is 'decent' work enough? Jim Sumberg and colleagues ask if decent work is a fair or satisfactory aspiration for Africa's youth.

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

Is Zimbabwe food secure this year?

By Ian Scoones
18 Sep 2017
A bumper harvest has meant that Zimbabwe is largely food secure this season, but without greater resilience in the agri-food system, this new success is fragile, warns Ian Scoones.

Photo of Jodie Thorpe, Globalisation research fellow

Can a market systems approach ‘leave no one behind’?

By Jodie Thorpe
17 Sep 2017
This blog explores the particular opportunities and barriers of employing a ‘market systems’ approach to reach highly marginalised men and women.

Belt and Road Forum sign at bus stop

How will China’s Belt and Road shape global health cooperation?

By Lewis Husain, Gerry Bloom
15 Sep 2017
The jury is still out on how far China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI) will reshape the way we see the world. Our view is that it will have a significant impact in many areas, one of these is advancing cooperation for global health.

Tweaking or transforming? Dancing around power and accountability

By Godelieve van Heteren, David Clarke, Maryam Bigdeli
13 Sep 2017
Godelieve van Heteren, David Clarke and Maryam Bigdeli reflect on the debate that took place at the recent Accountabilty for Health Equity Conference and how this feeds into the newly launch Health Systems Governance Collaborative.

Photo of James Georgalakis

Do we need knowledge advocacy for humanitarian crisis?

By James Georgalakis
12 Sep 2017
I was fortunate to participate recently in the Research for Health in Humanitarian Crisis (r2hc) event in London. It brought together an impressive range of academics and INGOs doing research designed to save lives in the most challenging circumstances.

Photo of Keetie Roelen, Research Fellow in the Centre for Social Protection, IDS

Is there such a thing as ‘good shame’ or ‘positive shaming’?

By Keetie Roelen
12 Sep 2017
Keetie Roelen blogs on the reinforcing cycle of poverty, policy and shame. She reflects on some deep discussions around shame and poverty at the recent Human Development and Capabilities Association (HDCA) conference in Cape Town.

Photo of Jackie Shaw, Research Fellow in the Participation research cluster

Building Pathways to Inclusion for India’s Denotified Tribes

By Jackie Shaw
07 Sep 2017
Praxis and researchers from the IDS-led Participate Initiative have been working with India’s denotified tribes (DNTs) to challenge discrimination. Jackie Shaw reflects on how power dynamics within diverse group processes enable and constrain outcomes.

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