Global Development: A review of 2019 and a glimpse into 2020

Published on 19 December 2019

It has been another busy year for IDS and our project partners, and an important year for international development.  

At a time when the world is grappling with a series of dramatic social and political shifts, our work continues to bring important new evidence, insights and engagement to help progress equitable and sustainable development for everyone.  

Our impact over the last year includes reducing inequalities in women’s participation in politics and influencing pro-poor growth through agriculture, providing new evidence for policy on improving the wellbeing of refugees, and an extraordinary collaboration for peace-building in Myanmar. We have shaped policy on waste management in India and climate innovation in Kenya. We have also fostered mutual learning between China and the UK on how to adapt health and welfare systems.

Find out more in our Annual Review 2019

Highlighting the global development trends of our time

Looking ahead to our new strategy for 2020-25, we’ve been exploring the world’s critical global challenges and priorities for international development and our work. On Twitter we asked people to share their thoughts and ideas with the hashtag #GlobalDevTrends. Issues of climate, environment and inequality were consistently highlighted and will be a focus of our work in the coming years. 

The #GlobalDevTrends conversation continues on Twitter, so please share your thoughts, ideas research, experiences and campaigns with us and the Twitter community. 

Towards a politics of hope

Continuing with the theme of critical global challenges, we launched our 2019-20 Sussex Development Lecture series, bringing together leading global thinkers on development. The lectures are all available to watch online and upcoming lectures will be streamed live to the IDS Facebook page. 

New research programmes for 2019

In the past year, we were delighted to commence work on some major multi-year projects with international partners. These include ground-breaking research and knowledge initiatives on: countering the gender equality backlash; religious equality and inclusivity; modern slavery; China’s role in development; accountability for urban equity; urban disaster risk; climate change preparedness; and disability inclusive development.  

Annual Lecture 2019

We were delighted welcome IDS alum and Vice President of the Gambia, Isatou Touray, to deliver the IDS’ Annual Lecture 2019, entitled ‘From dictatorship to democracy: the role of women in politics in The Gambia’. Isatou gave a fascinating talk about how The Gambia dealt with a crisis of democracy that existed in the country and how women and the youth led the way in shaping progressive change. 

Between the Lines podcast series

2019 saw the first year anniversary of our popular podcast series, Between the Lines, that explores books for positive social and environmental change. The series has featured a wide range of books and fascinating conversations with their authors. The podcast will continue into 2020 with a very exciting line up.

Listen and subscribe to the series


Key contacts

Carol Smithyes

Senior Communications and Marketing Officer

+44 (0)1273 915638