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IDS opinion on international development, news and research via our blogs

How do we decide what we research?

By Terry Cannon
17 Oct 2017
Most of us might assume that we are ‘free’ to research what we want. But Terry Cannon is concerned that we are increasingly deluded about our ability to make independent and self-determined choices.

Unsustainable development practices make people more vulnerable to disasters. This is particularly true for growing urban populations who are often faced with poorly planned, badly built or informal housing and infrastructure. Currently, there are about 1 billion people living in mega slums without access to basic services and often on high-risk areas, as illustrated in Villa El Salvador, in Lima, Peru. If the expansion of unregulated, informal settlements continues to be the main mechanism for absorbing urban growth, there will be a commensurate increase in both extensive and intensive disaster risk, as well as urban poverty.
Photo by Melissa Farlow / AURORA - UN ISDR on Flickr

UN-Habitat and the New Urban Agenda – one year after Habitat III

By Roger Williamson
17 Oct 2017
Reflections on the current status of UN-Habitat and how we might move towards a more effective approach to urban work in the UN and beyond.

Clucking Harvest - Mark Seton/Flickr

On World Food Day is Brexit an opportunity to rethink our food system?

By Vivienne Benson
16 Oct 2017
With food poverty, obesity and diabetes on the rise, today of all days, World Food Day, reminds us that food systems are not fit for purpose. Watch interviews with UK farmers and hear what they think we need to do change this picture.

Photo of Elise Wach, Evaluation and Learning Advisor with the Impact and Learning Team

How do we transform our food systems?

By Elise Wach
16 Oct 2017
On World Food Day, Elise Wach argues that in relation to food and farming it is becoming increasingly apparent that working within our existing economic and social systems will not result in the changes that we need. How can we transform our food systems?

Alan Dangour

Sustainable Farming Systems for Food and Nutrition Security

By Alan Dangour
13 Oct 2017
As the SDGs call for the end of hunger and prevention of malnutrition by 2030 Alan Dangour, partner of Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA) argues that sustainable agriculture and food systems have to be at the heart of this process.

Photo of Erika Lopez-Franco, IDS Participation team Research Officer

Shaking Accountability in Mexico

By Erika Lopez Franco
12 Oct 2017
In the aftermath of the recent earthquakes, Mexico’s ‘accountability ecosystem’ appears to be thriving. And with the upcoming elections in 2018, the political elites are facing a growing tide of fed-up citizens taking action for real change.

Nicola Ansell

Child marriage campaigns are missing the point

By Nicola Ansell
11 Oct 2017
On the International Day of the Girl Child, Nicola Ansell argues that child marriage campaigns are completely missing the point by focusing on a universal age limit for all marriage and not acknowledging the different places and contexts in which they occur.

Synne Movik

Climate change uncertainty: mind the gap

By Synne Movik, Catherine Wilson, Shibaji Bose
11 Oct 2017
There is a gap between uncertainty as understood and experienced from ‘below’ by local people and how it is conceptualised and represented from ‘above’ by climate scientists and experts. This blog post explores how this gap be bridged?

This is the image for IDS Bulletin 481A, 'Has Universal Development Come of Age?'.

Towards universal development

By John Gaventa
11 Oct 2017
IDS's John Gaventa highlights strategies we can adopt to develop a research agenda that goes beyond geographical boundaries and artificial binaries.

Stop worrying about spin and get on with telling great stories

By James Georgalakis
10 Oct 2017
"We need to be realistic and understand that short, simple and compelling impact stories are here to stay. Donors will continue to need them, the media need them, Ministers need them, and universities and research councils need them."

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Commons Wiki

Urban October 2017: Revisiting the New Urban Agenda one year on

By Dolf te Lintelo, Jaideep Gupte
29 Sep 2017
Through our research with partners and in-depth analysis of the complex links between urbanisation, inequalities, security and sustainability, we are critically informing policy and practice.

Taken by Lord Jim (Flickr) CC BY 2.0

Seven challenges for accountability 2.0

By Anuradha Joshi
28 Sep 2017
Anu Joshi shares reflections on the current challenges for those working in accountability.

Photo of Jim Sumberg, Research Fellow with the Knowledge Technology and Society Team

Decent work for all? We need to talk about rural informal employment!

By Jim Sumberg, Philip Mader, Justin Flynn
28 Sep 2017
What's the reality of 'decent work for all' when it comes to the rural informal economy ask Jim Sumberg, Phil Mader and Justin Flynn.

Playboy, porn and sex education

By Kelly Shephard
28 Sep 2017
Hefner’s lifestyle often provoked criticism, from feminists and conservatives alike, but the Playboy brand undisputedly pushed sex into mainstream culture whether we liked it or not.

Photo of Keetie Roelen, Research Fellow in the Centre for Social Protection, IDS

Social protection and child work: where are we and where next?

By Keetie Roelen
27 Sep 2017
In the last decade, there are fewer children living in poverty, going hungry, being out of school or deprived of healthcare as a result of social protection. In this blog, Keetie Roelen considers links between social protection and child work.

Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability Centre logo

New paper: people, patches and parasites

By Ian Scoones
27 Sep 2017
To coincide with the publication of 'People, patches and parasites: the case of trypanosomiasis in Zimbabwe' a new paper presenting the results of the Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium, Ian Scoones highlights the main points in this blog.

Photo of James Georgalakis

A guide to REF2021 for development researchers

By James Georgalakis
25 Sep 2017
REF2021 may depress and delight development wonks in equal measure. Here is my list of thing to like and be alarmed about...

Photo of Kevin Hernandez, IDS

Why development needs innovation scouts

By Kevin Hernandez
25 Sep 2017
In an imaginary world where you were free to determine your own priorities would technology be what you were emphasising in your funding proposals right now?


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation confirm support for HSR2018

By Vivienne Benson
25 Sep 2017
Health Systems Global is delighted to announce that next year’s Fifth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research has received a generous grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

This is the cover for Zimbabwe's Land Reform: Myths and Realities

Command agriculture and the politics of subsidies

By Ian Scoones
25 Sep 2017
Command agriculture - a major, private-sector-backed subsidy programme implemented by the Government of Zimbabwe - has been hailed as a massive success, but is it a sustainable approach in the long term?

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