Photo of Alex Shankland, IDS Research Fellow

Alex Shankland - Research Fellow

Power and Popular Politics; Health and Nutrition
T: +44 (0)1273 915746
E: a.shankland@ids.ac.uk

CV

Alex Shankland is a social scientist with over two decades' experience of working in Brazil, Peru, Angola and Mozambique as a researcher, NGO manager and social development consultant. He has researched, taught and published extensively on rights, participation and policy, particularly in the health sector, and his doctoral thesis was on representation and health policy in the Brazilian Amazon.

His current research interests centre on theories and practices of democratic representation and citizen-state engagement, with particular reference to the political strategies of indigenous peoples and other marginalised minorities engaging with development and climate change policies.

Formerly the Research Manager for the Development Research Centre on Citizenship, Participation and Accountability, Alex was appointed as a Research Fellow in June 2010. He works on the Unruly Politics and Participation Power and Politics research themes, and is engaged in ongoing research on citizen action, local governance, health system reform and the political economy of climate change in Brazil, Mexico, India, Mozambique and Angola, as well as on the role of Brazil and other emerging powers in reshaping international development.

Since the publication of the 2004 World Development Report a range of different attempts have been made to make the design, prioritisation and delivery of health services more accountable to different stakeholders. However, complex politics and power dynamics can limit or skew people's abilities to access services or hold them to account, particularly for poor and marginalized people.

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This project aims to make sense of the development impacts of the closing of civil society space.

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The Unequal Voices project - Vozes Desiguais in Portuguese - examines the politics of accountability in health systems in Brazil and Mozambique, exploring how accountability can be used to deliver better health services for citizens everywhere.

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The aim of this cooperation with the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation is to strengthen their Democratisation, Decentralisation and Local Governance Network's understanding, learning, and policy engagement in decentralised and democratic local governance.

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Future Health Systems is a research consortium working to improve access, affordability and quality of health services for the poor.

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IDS is the external monitoring, evaluation and learning partner for Diálogo, a programme which aims to contribute to improved governance and accountability for Mozambican citizens.

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An empowerment and accountability programme aimed at improving the quality of health and education services in Mozambique.

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Making All Voices Count: A Grand Challenge for Development (MAVC) is a four-year $45 million fund to support innovation, scaling-up, and research that will deepen existing innovations and help harness new technologies to enable citizen engagement and government responsiveness.

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The next World Social Science Report due to be published in 2016 will focus on the critical contemporary issues of inequalities and justice.

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The Rising Powers in International Development Programme is looking at the growing role of civil society from the BRICS countries in the field of international development cooperation.

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Brazil is a founding member of the BRICS group, Latin America's largest economy and the world's sixth-largest economy. The Rising Powers in International Development (RPID) programme is looking at Brazil's growing role in the field of international development cooperation.

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A new partnership between the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and IDS has been formed with the aim of supporting SDC’s ‘Democratisation, Decentralisation and Local Governance Network’ (DLGN) between 2012 and 2014. IDS’ contribution will seek to improve DLGN’s effectiveness and impact of policy strategies and operations.

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The objective of this research is to improve the prospects for accountability for food security at a time of volatility. This will be achieved through an exploration of the proposition that recent popular mobilisation around food has activated public accountability for hunger.

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The DFID funded Future Agricultures Consortium is an Africa-based alliance of research organisations seeking to provide timely, high-quality and independent information and advice to improve agricultural policy and practice in Africa.

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A place for DFID staff to connect with and learn from fellow country office staff, DFID specialist advisers and technical experts as a basis for creating applied knowledge for dealing with the complexities of climate change in the development arena.

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This study examines the Brazilian National Health System (SUS) in comparison with the National Health Service (NHS) in England, in order to develop proposals for reform towards an effective, universal, quality health system in Brazil.

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The Development Studies Learning Partnership was created under the BRICS Initiative in 2011, and enables collaborative learning between traditional and emerging actors in development, be they academics, researchers, practitioners or policy-makers.

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This is the front cover to IDS Bulletin 49.2, 'Accountability for Health Equity: Galvanising
a Movement for Universal Health Coverage'.

Accountability for Health Equity: Galvanising a Movement for Universal Health Coverage

IDS Bulletin 49.2 (2018)

This issue of the IDS Bulletin is based around three principal themes that emerged from the workshop as needing particular attention. First, the nature of accountability politics ‘in time’ and the cyclical aspects of efforts towards accountability for health equity. Second, the contested politics of ‘naming’ and measuring accountability, and the intersecting dimensions of marginalisation and exclusion that are missing from current debates. Third, the shifting nature of power in global health and new configurations of health actors, social contracts, and the role of technology. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Strengthening Accountability for Health Equity at the Institute of Development Studies

‘Accountability for Health Equity’ is an approach that places relationships of power at the centre of our understanding of how health systems function – or don’t – for all levels of society. More details

IDS publications on international development research

“Unpicking Power and Politics for Transformative Change: Towards Accountability for Health Equity” Workshop Report

While “accountability” has become an increasingly popular buzzword in health systems debates and health service delivery, it has multiple – and contested – meanings. This is a report of an IDS international workshop which brought together 80-plus activists, researchers, public health practitioners and policy makers who critically examined the forces that shape accountability in health systems, from local to global levels. More details

Non-IDS publication

From Policy Transfer to Mutual Learning? Political Recognition, Power and Process in the Emerging Landscape of International Development Cooperation

Revista Novos Estudos 107 36.1 (2017)

This paper explores the implications of this for international policy diffusion in the age of "universal" development envisaged by the UN's Agenda 2030. More details

Towards accountability for health equity

18 Jul 2017
By Denise Namburete, Vera Coelho, Alex Shankland, Gerry Bloom