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.
Enhancing the Productive Capacity of Extremely Poor People in Rwanda - Evaluation
IDS led the evaluation of the Concern Worldwide graduation programme in Rwanda ‘Enhancing the Productive Capacity of Extremely Poor People’. More details
Impact Evaluation for the UNICEF SCT Project in Oromia and SNNPR
The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is collaborating with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) to conduct an impact evaluation of the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) programme in Oromia and SNNP Regions of Ethiopia for UNICEF Ethiopia. More details
African Farmer Game
African Farmer is a free, open source game that simulates the complex decisions and uncertainties faced by small-scale farmers living in Sub-Saharan Africa. More details
What do food systems have to do with urbanisation?10 Apr 2017
By Maria del Mar Maestre Morales, Katherine Pittore
Does self-employment always indicate entrepreneurship?08 Nov 2016
By Jim Sumberg
Youth as the newest development target group03 Nov 2016
By Jim Sumberg
Matasa Fellows bring New Thinking to Youth Employment Challenges23 Sep 2016
By Samir Khan
IDS Welcomes Matasa Fellows12 Sep 2016
By Jim Sumberg, Seife Ayele
Results: CDI Community Feedback Survey06 Sep 2016
By Peter O'Flynn
Rethinking ‘adoption’ in African agriculture02 Sep 2016
By Dominic Glover, Jim Sumberg
International Youth Day: A role for ‘youth’ for a sustainable world?12 Aug 2016
By Justin Flynn
Why programmes to protect vulnerable children need to involve more than cash05 Aug 2016
By Keetie Roelen
Africa’s structural challenges can’t be solved by “youth innovation”17 Jun 2016
By Jim Sumberg, Philip Mader, Justin Flynn