IDS Discussion Papers

IDS Discussion Papers present new ideas and research material at an advanced stage for circulation and comment. This is a peer reviewed series.

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IDS Discussion paper

Global Leadership for Nutrition: The UN’s Standing Committee on Nutrition (SCN) and its Contributions

IDS Discussion Paper 390 (2010)

The SCN reached its 30th birthday in April 1977. It was established as a coordinating committee for UN agencies working in the area of international nutrition, building on earlier bodies: the Protein Advisory Group and inter agency sub-committees in the League of Nations. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Brazilian Experiences of Participation and Citizenship: A Critical Look

IDS Discussion Paper 389 (2008)

Brazil's emergence from two decades of military dictatorship in the mid-1980s gave rise to a flowering of democratic innovation. More details


IDS Discussion paper

A Short History of IDS: A Personal Reflection

IDS Discussion Paper 388 (2008)

IDS was founded in 1966 as a 'special institution', Britain's first national institute of development studies. This history, prepared for the 40th anniversary, traces the evolving story from the founding vision and leadership to IDS's existence when the institute was classed as a Qango under the Thatcher Government in 1979. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Vulnerability and Social Protection in Malawi

IDS Discussion Paper 387 (2006)

Vulnerability appears to be rising for many Malawians, whose exposure to livelihood shocks is increasing while their ability to cope is decreasing. The first part of this report draws on recently published studies and analysis of the 2004/05 Integrated Household Survey dataset to explore the nature of vulnerability in Malawi. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Governance Reform and Institutional Change in Brazil: Fiscal Responsibility and Tax

IDS Discussion Paper 384 (2006)

This paper contrasts two processes of governance reform that occurred in Brazil in the 1990s, one in relation to fiscal responsibility, the other in relation to tax. It illustrates that the degree of institutional change possible depends on whether changes in the positions of actors and their relative powers have occurred to the extent that a new social pact can be built. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Successful Governance Reforms in Two Indian States: Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh

IDS Discussion Paper 385 (2006)

This study analyses governance reforms in two southern states in India's federal system, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Two reforms are considered in each state: one rural and one urban. More details


IDS Discussion paper

The Political Economy of Governance Reforms in Uganda

IDS Discussion Paper 386 (2006)

This paper presents three cases of successful governance reforms in Uganda, highlighting the political and institutional factors that explain the different trajectories of implementation, as well as features they share in common. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Civil Society, Democratisation and Foreign Aid in Africa

IDS Discussion Paper 383 (2005)

This paper summarises the findings of a comparative research project on the contribution of civil society organisations to democratisation in Africa. Drawing primarily on empirical case studies of civil society organisations in South Africa and Uganda, and related material from Ghana, the research examines their ability to influence government policy and legislation through tangible shifts in policy and legislative priorities and their implementation, and to widen the opportunities available to citizens to participate in public affairs, promoting a culture of accountability and challenging the power of the state to dominate decision-making. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Research on the Current State of PRS Monitoring Systems

IDS Discussion Paper 382 (2004)

This report reviews recent literature on monitoring Poverty Reduction Strategies. It discusses four challenging areas: institutional arrangements; the role of non-government organisations; implementation and intermediate output monitoring. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Confronting Civil War: A Comparative Study of Household Assets Management in Southern Sudan

IDS Discussion Paper 381 (2002)

This paper examines the assets management strategies adopted by households exposed to prolonged civil war. The paper is based on fieldwork conducted in Bahr el Ghazal region, southern Sudan in 2000-1. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Social Pensions in Namibia and South Africa

IDS Discussion Paper 379 (2001)

This paper documents the history of the pension in both countries and presents evidence on its economic, demographic and social impacts in Namibia. Apart from providing non-covariate income against livelihood shocks such as drought, the social pension stimulates local trade, enhances the status of elderly family members, and contributes to the costs of primary and secondary education. More details


IDS Discussion paper

After the Iron Rice Bowl: Extending the Safety Net in China

IDS Discussion Paper 377 (2001)

This paper examines new forms of risk, vulnerability and exclusion arising in the process of China's transition, the (changing) needs of different groups, how (if at all) they are being met through socially provided forms of welfare, and the response of government to these changes. More details



IDS Discussion paper

Economic Reform and Economic Performance: Evidence from 20 Developing Countries

IDS Discussion Paper 376 (2000)

Do adjustment policies assist or retard growth? This paper presents data on economic performance (aggregate and sectoral growth, inflation, investment and external account) for 20 countries. More details


IDS Discussion paper

The Mobilising Potential of Anti-Poverty Programmes

IDS Discussion Paper 374 (2000)

Aid and development agencies like to believe that they manage their development programmes in ways that empower the poor. This is rare in practice, even in the case of newly-fashionable programmes that are explicitly targeted at the poor and justified in terms of 'empowerment'. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Foreign Aid, Democratisation and Civil Society in Africa: A Study of South Africa, Ghana and Uganda

IDS Discussion Paper 368 (1999)

The 1990s have seen increased interest on the part of Western governments in funding civil society in Africa in an attempt to promote the continent's democratisation process. This discussion paper examines how a range of foreign donors has developed civil society initiatives in Ghana, Uganda and South Africa. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Making Less Last Longer: Informal Safety Nets in Malawi

IDS Discussion Paper 373 (1999)

Poor households in sub-Saharan Africa are of necessity adjusting to a bewildering array of radical changes in the policy environment within which they struggle to construct viable livelihoods. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Exploring Understandings of Institutions and Uncertainty: New Directions in Natural Resource Management

IDS Discussion Paper 372 (1999)

The paper examines the nexus between institutions and uncertainty in natural resources management contexts. It argues that conventional understandings of institutions fail to focus on how institutions deal with the ever-increasing forms of uncertainty impinging on rural livelihoods. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Famine in the Sudan: Causes, Preparedness and Response. A Political, Social and Economic Analysis of the 1998 Bahr el Ghazal Famine

IDS Discussion Paper 369 (1999)

This paper analyses the causes of the Bahr el Ghazal famine in 1998 as a chain of political, environmental, economical and social factors, as well as a failure of public action and early warning systems. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Money Can't Buy Me Love? Re-evaluating Gender, Credit and Empowerment in Rural Bangladesh

IDS Discussion Paper 363 (1998)

Lending programmes for women have attracted a growing following in international development circles because they appear to hold out the promise of combining poverty reduction objectives with the goal of empowering women. More details


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