The big development issues of the coming decades, including inequality, sustainability, exclusion and security, all have specific and critically important rural dimensions.
Rural societies, economies and areas face challenges and opportunities that can be qualitatively different from their urban analogues, including limited access to infrastructure, services and political decision-making and greater exposure to environmental shocks and stresses. At the same time, many possible rural futures can be envisaged, which will have major implications for local livelihoods, poverty and social relations, conflict, migration, production and distribution systems, food security, natural resource management and environmental change.
Through our research, policy engagement, teaching and training, the Rural Futures Cluster seeks to support the emergence of pathways that deliver both greater social justice and sustainability for rural people and places, while recognising their important interconnections with urban areas.
We assume that improvements in social justice and sustainability can be achieved by opening up a diversity of economic, environmental and technological pathways, practices, models and institutional arrangements that create new democratic spaces, strengthen social movements, enhance innovation and empower rural men and women to take greater control over their productive assets.
Further, we take it as self-evident that the aspirations, agency, voices and assets of rural people must be a central to these dynamic processes at different scales. Thus, a key focus of the Rural Futures Cluster is to understand how local change processes articulate with those at national and global levels.
Research and 'Think Piece' on Opportunities for WFP Engagement in the Global Social Protection Arena
The WFP has contracted IDS to develop a think-piece examining the nexus of food security, nutrition and safety nets and social protection that will support the Safety Nets and Social Protection unit take shape and that will refine the areas of WFP’s corporate and global engagement. This will build on the work of the High Level Panel of Experts on Social Protection for Food Security. More details
Designing a Grievance Mechanism and Exit Strategy for Zimbabwe's Harmonized Social Cash Transfer Programme
In 2011 the Ministry of Public Services, Labor and Social Welfare, Government of Zimbabwe (MPSLSW) launched a social cash transfer programme, known as the Harmonised Social Cash transfer (HSCT) for labour constrained extremely poor households. The Centre for Social Protection has been commissioned to design a grievance mechanism and an options paper for responsible exit of the HSCT. More details
Technical Assistance for the Development of Social Protection Strategy in Swaziland
In November 2012, UNDP, UNICEF and WFP organised a high-level social protection policy dialogue with the Government of Swaziland and other development partners. Subsequently, the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) appointed a technical committee to develop a Joint UN Programme for Social Protection in Swaziland. The ultimate objective of the national dialogue was to generate background material towards developing a draft national policy and strategy on social protection. More details
EuropeAid - Assistance in Social Transfers
The European Commission's Advisory Service in Social Transfers' project (ASiST) aims to increase the contribution of social transfers to addressing food and nutrition security. The project gives advisory services as requested by EU delegations. These services include building capacity for the design of social transfer programmes, developing a body of knowledge and supporting the policy dialogue. More details
GM Crops and Indigenous Management Skill
This project examines the effects of GM seeds on the ‘indigenous management skill’ (IMS) that is crucial to the productivity and sustainability of small-scale crop cultivation. More details
Scoping Social Protection in the Middle East and North Africa
The Cairo Regional Bureau of the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Centre for Social Protection at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex conducted a scoping study of social protection programmes in the Middle East and North Africa region. More details
DFID Innovation Prizes for Environment and Development
Running innovation prizes that will improve poor people's resilience to climate change. More details
Save the Children: How can social protection better respond to child poverty in Nepal?
Nepal has expanded its investment in social protection over the last few years, with a National Framework for Social Protection drafted in 2011. However, the impact of social protection generally and on children is compromised by challenges in coverage, implementation and delivery. Save the Children commissioned IDS to assess how social protection addresses child poverty in Nepal in order to inform their advocacy at the national level. More details
Burundi Graduation Programme Evaluation
In December 2012, Concern Burundi launched its 'Graduation Model Programme' in two provinces in Burundi to work with extremely poor and marginalised communities. More details
Future Research Leaders ‘Reducing Poverty in the First 18 years of Life'
This proposed research responds to these concerns by using monetary and non-monetary measures to analyse child poverty dynamics, assessing overlaps and mismatches between those measures and investigating reasons for potential differences More details
High Level Panel of Experts Report on Social Protection and Food Security
The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) requested the HLPE to produce a report, to be presented at the 39th Session of the CFS, a study on social protection and food security. More details
Evaluation of Social Cash Transfer Pilot Programme (SCTPP) in Tigray, Ethiopia
IFPRI and IDS have been commissioned by UNICEF Ethiopia to undertake an evaluation of the SCTPP. The evaluation will use both quantitative and qualitative methods and will be undertaken across two rounds in 2012 and 2014. More details
WFP-Ethiopia Meret Impact Evaluation
The World Food Programme (WFP) Ethiopia has requested TANGO and IDS to assess the evaluability of conducting an impact evaluation of the long-standing WFP programme in Ethiopia More details
Child Vulnerability Assessment, UNICEF Myanmar
IDS has been commissioned to analyse the most recent Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) data and write a report on child vulnerability, which can be utilized for evidence based programming and advocacy to improve children's status in Myanmar. More details
Livelihoods After Land Reform
This collaborative project, which involves IDS and is led by the Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) in South Africa, asks: to what extent is land redistribution in southern Africa achieving poverty reduction and livelihood improvement objectives? More details
Africa’s structural challenges can’t be solved by “youth innovation”17 Jun 2016
By Jim Sumberg, Philip Mader, Justin Flynn
Graduation – how to do it responsibly24 May 2016
By Stephen Devereux, Keetie Roelen, Rachel Sabates-Wheeler
Putting children at the centre of social protection in Nepal23 May 2016
By Keetie Roelen, Helen Karki Chettri
Next steps to strengthen global land governance11 May 2016
By Ian Scoones, Ruth Hall
Escaping the poverty trap requires more than a cash lump sum05 Apr 2016
By Keetie Roelen
Chinese engagement in African agriculture is not what it seems30 Mar 2016
By Ian Scoones
‘Your story’ versus ‘my story’: finding truth in disagreement11 Mar 2016
By Keetie Roelen
Contested agronomy: more heat than light?18 Feb 2016
By Jim Sumberg, John Thompson, Ken Giller, Jens Andersson
House of Lords overturn Government plan to scrap child poverty target02 Feb 2016
By Keetie Roelen
Is agriculture the answer to the Africa youth unemployment challenge?08 Jan 2016
By Jim Sumberg