Vision & strategy

Our vision is of equal and sustainable societies, locally and globally, where everyone can live secure, fulfilling lives free from poverty and injustice.

How we make a difference

We work with partners to reduce inequalities, accelerate sustainability and build more inclusive and secure societies. We do this by delivering and mobilising high quality research and knowledge that informs policy and practice, and through our world-recognised postgraduate degrees, PhD research and professional development services.

Working in partnership to address global challenges

Our 2015-2020 strategy is underpinned by three defining challenges.

Reducing inequalities

Reduce inequalities Annual review 2015 graphic

Reducing inequalities – including economic, social and political inequalities – that intersect and threaten to undermine future progress in reducing poverty, and ensure that the benefits of global economic growth more evenly contribute to the improved livelihoods and wellbeing of communities everywhere.

Read the framing paper: Inequality: Trends, Harms and New Agendas

Accelerating sustainability

Accelerate sustainability Annual Review 2015 graphic

Accelerating sustainability to meet the urgent challenges of environmental and climate change by restructuring economies and societies and finding development pathways that address global demand for resources while securing local livelihoods and justice in an increasingly pressurised and urbanised world.

Read the framing paper: Accelerating Sustainability: Why Political Economy Matters

Building inclusive and secure societies

Build inclusive and secure societies Annual Review 2015 graphic

Building inclusive and secure societies where citizens are protected against threats from conflict as well as environmental, economic, political and social shocks, and feel that they have a stake in the governance of the communities in which they live.

Read the framing paper: Whose Security? Building Inclusive and Secure Societies in an Unequal and Insecure World

We will develop and apply our engaged excellence approach, including strengthened global partnerships, to ensure our work contributes substantially to meeting these challenges.

Our goals

  1. Contribute to transformations that reduce inequalities, accelerate sustainability and build inclusive, secure societies.
  2. Embed engaged excellence across all that we do.
  3. Work locally and globally within a universal framing of development.
  4. Create an institute that is thriving financially and organisationally, and living its values.

What is engaged excellence?

Engaged excellence is IDS’ distinctive approach to constructing and sharing knowledge, and to teaching and mutual learning for development.

Engaged excellence means that the quality and impact of our work depends upon us collaborating with governments, international NGOs, local civil society, citizens, donors, businesses and many others to achieve postitive change, strategically informed by research and knowledge.

Engaged excellence is:

  • Co-constructing knowledge
  • Delivering high-quality research
  • Building enduring partnerships
  • Mobilising evidence for impact