IDS International Initiatives

The IDS International Initiatives provide focus on geographies at the leading edge of development thinking and practice due to accelerating geopolitical change. They recognise that tackling global challenges such as climate change, poverty and injustice requires knowledge sharing, mutual learning and collaboration to inform policy decision making based on local, national and global participation.

The IDS International Initiatives create spaces where researchers from within and outside the country can share, learn and work with IDS researchers, governments, civil society, communities and the private sector. By better understanding fast emerging perspectives, the International Initiatives aim to strengthen development thinking and practice, moving beyond OECD country perspectives to include knowledge from multiple, diverse geographies to inform policy decision making and the generation of actionable solutions.

The evolving network of IDS International Initiatives includes Brazil, China, Europe, Ghana, Pakistan. Each location is distinct with its research approach and partnership network developed through collaboration, guided  by the local geopolitical context. For example, in Pakistan, activity is convened through a partnership with the world leading Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and a research focus on South Asia Development/Gender and Cities. In Brazil, the Initiative convenes an extensive network of partners working together through research, teaching and learning collaborations around development in Brazil.

 Our objectives:

Through these initiatives we aim to have impact across the five priority areas of our Transforming Knowledge, Transforming Lives five-year strategy.

  1. Collaborate across sciences, sectors to do research that brings about progressive change

  • Establish an area focus that stimulates mutual learning and mutual response in development thinking and practice within and about a country/region
  • Create connections between the Initiatives contributing to a global discourse and influence within and between regions that is greater than the ‘sum of parts’
  • Strengthen relationships between governments, think tanks, NGOs and research institutions – in country and between country specialist actors globally
  1. Build future leadership for development

  • Establishing Professional development and learning opportunities including through mutual learning platforms,
  • Developing teaching collaborations and knowledge exchange
  • Creating opportunities for Alumni engagement contributing to development of the IDS Alumni network
  • Raise awareness of IDS and research approach supporting student and faculty exchange
  1. Champion the use of evidence for social and environmental justice

  • Convene collaborative research that is accessible to, and directly informs, policy and practice contributing to building sustainable and equitable societies
  1. Work with partners to strengthen and expand international networks for development

  • Create opportunities for existing and new relationships that increase visibility, access to knowledge and contribution of partners to national and global development thinking and practice.
  1. Create a sustainable resilient and equitable institution

  • Raise awareness and build understanding of IDS globally.
  • Support direct fundraising, creating opportunities for new and existing funding applications and donor relationships.

Themes and activities

Each IDS International Initiative will explore:

  • Development innovations and challenges in focus countries
  • Focus countries and their role in regional and global development cooperation
  • Development studies as a discipline
  • Opportunities for the UK to learn from each focus country

Each Initiative takes a unique approach, developed in partnership and tailored to the context and the value that IDS can bring. Activities broadly include:

  • Co-authored publications
  • Curriculum development
  • Knowledge exchange and policy engagement
  • Learning events
  • Postgraduate degree scholarships
  • Research collaboration
  • Staff and student exchanges
  • Strengthening IDS community links
  • Teaching and professional development

Engaging our community

The IDS International Initiatives aim to convene members of our community, to build our engagements in each country to be more than the ‘sum of their parts’. We are therefore expanding and strengthening relationships with alumni, former staff members, honorary fellows and associates, partners, funders, visiting fellows (current and former), short course participants, and IDS Trustees to co-create and deliver activities

Partner with us

We are actively seeking research, learning, policy and funding partnerships to collaborate with across our objectives. Visit our regional Initiative pages to find out how you can partner with us: Brazil, China, Europe, Ghana, Pakistan.

For further information about any of our IDS International Initiatives, please contact Lies Lauwers.