fbpx

Person

Image of James Sumberg

James Sumberg

Research Fellow

James Sumberg is an agriculturalist by training and has over 35 years’ experience working on small-scale farming systems and agricultural policy, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa.

Over the last decade his research has focused primarily on youth and employment in rural Africa. Key concerns have been how young people engage with the rural economy, and the potential of the rural economy to provide decent jobs. A secondary but long-term research focus is knowledge politics in development-oriented agronomy.

He currently co-directs the DFID-funded programme: Action on Children’s Harmful Work in African Agriculture (ACHA).

James joined IDS as a Research Fellow in October 2009. Previously he served as Programme Director at The New Economics Foundation and Senior Lecturer in Natural Resource Management in the School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia. He has also held research positions at WADRA – the Africa Rice Centre, the International Livestock Centre for Africa, CARE International and the Gambian Livestock Department.

Google Scholar
http://goo.gl/VzamdG

Research

Project

Action on Children’s Harmful Work in African Agriculture

Action on Children’s Harmful Work in African Agriculture (ACHA) is a seven-year, DFID-funded research programme that started in January 2020. The aim of the programme is to build evidence on: the forms, drivers, and experiences of children’s harmful work in African agriculture; ...

Programme

Policy Anticipation, Response and Evaluation

Evidence-based policy is often framed by questioning what works, for whom and in what situations. It is often forgotten that the ability to answer this question depends on knowledge about what has happened, what is happening and what is likely to happen.

Programme and centre

Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA)

Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA) is an international research partnership. We are working together to discover how agriculture and food-related interventions can be better designed to improve nutrition, particularly for children and adolescent girls.

Opinions

Opinion

To farm or not to farm? That’s NOT the question

It is often said that young, rural Africans aren’t interested in farming. Rather, they want to relocate to urban areas where there is a wider array of social, educational and employment opportunities. The suggestion is that widespread migration from rural areas is bad for agriculture and the...

30 January 2020

Opinion

Are African youth innovative?

This is the question that we address in a new article published in the Journal of Rural Studies. Entitled 'Are African rural youth innovative? Claims, evidence and implications', the paper is open access and free to download. Our interest in this question is rooted in the fact that claims about...

22 May 2019

Publications

Journal Article

Rethinking Technological Change in Smallholder Agriculture

The concept of technology adoption (along with its companions, diffusion and scaling) is commonly used to design development interventions, to frame impact evaluations and to inform decision-making about new investments in development-oriented agricultural research. However, adoption simplifies...

Image of Dominic Glover
Dominic Glover & 4 others

22 July 2019

Journal Article

Youth Savings Groups in Africa: They’re a Family Affair

Enterprise Development and Microfinance 28.3

Based on field work in Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda and Ghana, in the paper we provide new evidence that young people’s engagement with savings groups in Africa is deeply embedded in networks of family and social relations. Savings group members rely on money that is given to them by husbands,...

1 September 2017

James Sumberg’s recent work