Stories of impact

We transform the knowledge, action and leadership needed for more equitable and sustainable development globally, through our world-class research, learning and teaching.

Over the last fifty years, we have worked with governments, philanthropic foundations, academic institutions and civil society organisations to transform approaches to progressive social, political and economic change.  Here are some of our stories of change:


Stories of impact

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Showing 1–12 of 60 results

Impact Story

Partnerships for Covid-19 response exceed expectations

Two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, the more complex impacts of the disease are becoming clearer. Rising to these multidimensional challenges, IDS partnerships have gone above and beyond expectations in pursuing social science research to inform policy and practice. Despite the constraints...

1 September 2022

Impact Story

Gleaning global lessons from the margins through participatory methods

Participatory research and inquiry is all about ‘putting the people who are experiencing the problems at the heart of finding the solutions’. As interest in participatory methods has surged, IDS this year produced a highly acclaimed and comprehensive handbook aimed at social science...

30 August 2022

Impact Story

Making community engagement central to global health research

As health systems around the world grapple with providing care within the ‘new normal’ of Covid-19, IDS has stepped up collaboration with a major funder of global health research to make community engagement central to research on health inequities and complex health problems. The UK-based...

23 August 2022

Impact Story

New insights on accountability and empowerment in conflict settings

The IDS-led international research programme, Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) concluded in 2021 with a powerful final report, ‘Against the Odds’, which shares new insights on how accountability, governance and citizen empowerment play out differently in fragile and...

18 August 2022

Impact Story

Fostering future leaders in a time of uncertainty

The impacts of Covid-19 on teaching and learning at IDS have been both challenging and radical for our postgraduate and professional learners and faculty. Making the formal decision to teach online for the 2020–21 academic year was not easy. Substantial preparation and support went into...

11 August 2022

Impact Story

Nurturing positive leadership through scholarships

In the past year, O’bai Conteh made an important contribution to addressing sexual and reproductive health in his home country Sierra Leone. O’bai’s studies at IDS were supported by the IDS Graduate Scholarship. O’bai graduated from the IDS MA Gender and Development in 2018 and is...

29 July 2022

Impact Story

Influencing a rethink of donor policy on microfinance

How best to help the world’s poorest people escape from poverty is being reappraised thanks to findings from the widest-ever review of evidence on the impact of financial services conducted by IDS and the University of East Anglia (UEA). Microfinance and microenterprise interventions have...

25 July 2022

Impact Story

Evidence on protracted crises shapes more effective humanitarian responses

Humanitarian crises have come thick and fast in recent times – notably Ukraine,  Afghanistan and situations worsened by Covid-19. While each creates urgent humanitarian needs, each also carries the risk of becoming protracted or recurrent like so many other existing global crises. The reflex...

21 July 2022

Impact Story

Linking evidence to policy implementation for social change

Generating evidence is only part of achieving positive change. Using that evidence in policy and implementation is the other critical part. IDS is working to help social policy professionals to link evidence to decision-making in ways that can improve people’s lives. Through sustainable and...

11 July 2022

Impact Story

Influencing donor policy on financial services for the poor

This year, the findings of a study of financial inclusion undertaken by IDS and the University of East Anglia (UEA) contributed to a major investigation by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) into the US Government’s multi-million-dollar microenterprise and microfinance development...

3 May 2022

Impact Story

Strengthening UK–China connections for knowledge-sharing and learning

As the UK Anchor Institution for the China International Development Research Network (CIDRN), IDS has continued activities this year on China’s development engagement, with co-created research outputs, a virtual forum, professional training and seminars. China has the potential for...

23 August 2021