Image of Alex Shankland

Alex Shankland

Research Fellow

Alex Shankland is a social scientist who has worked for more than two decades on health systems, indigenous and minority health, civil society, accountability, political representation and local governance, particularly in Brazil and Mozambique. His current research interests centre on theories and practices of democratic representation, accountability and citizen-state engagement, with particular reference to the political strategies of indigenous peoples and other marginalised minorities engaging with health and development policies, and to the role of unruly politics in a context of closing civil society space.

Alex is currently Principal Investigator of the ESRC/DFID funded project Vozes Desiguais / Unequal Voices: the Politics of Accountability for Health Equity in Brazil and Mozambique and co-convenes the Accountability for Health Equity Programme. In addition to ongoing research on the health system in Mozambique, Alex has worked extensively on Mozambican social accountability and democratic governance initiatives, including Diálogo, the Citizen Engagement Programme (CEP), and several projects under the Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) research programme.

Alex has also worked extensively on the roles of Brazil and other rising powers in reshaping international development cooperation, and co-founded the IDS Rising Powers in International Development research programme, which is now being taken forward with colleagues from across the University of Sussex campus under the umbrella of the Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development.

An experienced manager of international and interdisciplinary research and consultancy programmes, prior to completing his DPhil Alex was IDS Research Manager for the DFID-funded Development Research Centre on Citizenship, Participation and Accountability and Coordinator of the IDS-led consortium responsible for the redesign of Brazil’s health system for indigenous peoples. Before coming to IDS he worked extensively as a journalist, NGO project and programme manager, independent researcher and social development consultant, mainly in South America (especially Brazilian Amazonia) and Southern Africa.

Alex Shankland’s recent work


Mutual Learning for Universal Health Coverage

IDS Health Briefing 2

Accelerating progress towards the goal of achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030 is an essential component of equitable, sustainable and resilient development. 60 per cent of all deaths are caused by chronic health conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, which...

Image of Erica Nelson
Erica Nelson & 2 others

4 July 2018

Working Paper

Energy Protests in Fragile Settings: The Unruly Politics of Provisions in Egypt, Myanmar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe, 2007–2017

IDS Working Paper;513

How do popular protests about the basics of everyday life, specifically about energy, come about in settings where political authority is fragmented and conflict and repression common? How do state and political actors respond to protests which disrupt social and economic life, and undermine...

Image of Naomi Hossain
Naomi Hossain & 5 others

1 June 2018


Representation and Inclusion in School Councils in Mozambique

This study was conducted as part of the Citizen Engagement Programme (Programa Cidadania e Participação (CEP)) in Mozambique – an empowerment and social accountability initiative to improve the quality of education and health services by increasing citizens’ influence on the management of...

Katia Taela & 2 others

30 May 2018