IDS Discussion Papers

IDS Discussion Papers present new ideas and research material at an advanced stage for circulation and comment. This is a peer reviewed series.

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IDS Discussion paper

Global Leadership for Nutrition: The UN’s Standing Committee on Nutrition (SCN) and its Contributions

IDS Discussion Paper 390 (2010)

The SCN reached its 30th birthday in April 1977. It was established as a coordinating committee for UN agencies working in the area of international nutrition, building on earlier bodies: the Protein Advisory Group and inter agency sub-committees in the League of Nations. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Brazilian Experiences of Participation and Citizenship: A Critical Look

IDS Discussion Paper 389 (2008)

Brazil's emergence from two decades of military dictatorship in the mid-1980s gave rise to a flowering of democratic innovation. More details


IDS Discussion paper

A Short History of IDS: A Personal Reflection

IDS Discussion Paper 388 (2008)

IDS was founded in 1966 as a 'special institution', Britain's first national institute of development studies. This history, prepared for the 40th anniversary, traces the evolving story from the founding vision and leadership to IDS's existence when the institute was classed as a Qango under the Thatcher Government in 1979. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Vulnerability and Social Protection in Malawi

IDS Discussion Paper 387 (2006)

Vulnerability appears to be rising for many Malawians, whose exposure to livelihood shocks is increasing while their ability to cope is decreasing. The first part of this report draws on recently published studies and analysis of the 2004/05 Integrated Household Survey dataset to explore the nature of vulnerability in Malawi. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Governance Reform and Institutional Change in Brazil: Fiscal Responsibility and Tax

IDS Discussion Paper 384 (2006)

This paper contrasts two processes of governance reform that occurred in Brazil in the 1990s, one in relation to fiscal responsibility, the other in relation to tax. It illustrates that the degree of institutional change possible depends on whether changes in the positions of actors and their relative powers have occurred to the extent that a new social pact can be built. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Successful Governance Reforms in Two Indian States: Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh

IDS Discussion Paper 385 (2006)

This study analyses governance reforms in two southern states in India's federal system, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Two reforms are considered in each state: one rural and one urban. More details


IDS Discussion paper

The Political Economy of Governance Reforms in Uganda

IDS Discussion Paper 386 (2006)

This paper presents three cases of successful governance reforms in Uganda, highlighting the political and institutional factors that explain the different trajectories of implementation, as well as features they share in common. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Civil Society, Democratisation and Foreign Aid in Africa

IDS Discussion Paper 383 (2005)

This paper summarises the findings of a comparative research project on the contribution of civil society organisations to democratisation in Africa. Drawing primarily on empirical case studies of civil society organisations in South Africa and Uganda, and related material from Ghana, the research examines their ability to influence government policy and legislation through tangible shifts in policy and legislative priorities and their implementation, and to widen the opportunities available to citizens to participate in public affairs, promoting a culture of accountability and challenging the power of the state to dominate decision-making. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Research on the Current State of PRS Monitoring Systems

IDS Discussion Paper 382 (2004)

This report reviews recent literature on monitoring Poverty Reduction Strategies. It discusses four challenging areas: institutional arrangements; the role of non-government organisations; implementation and intermediate output monitoring. More details


IDS publications on international development research

Can an Agricultural "Commodity" be De-Commodified, and if so, Who is to Gain?

The weakness of redistributional mechanisms, both globally and within developing economies, makes it imperative to directly enhance the productive incomes of poor people. Coffee farmers, generally located in the poorest countries, have suffered especially badly in recent years, and farm gate and internationally traded bean prices are now at historically low levels. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Confronting Civil War: A Comparative Study of Household Assets Management in Southern Sudan

IDS Discussion Paper 381 (2002)

This paper examines the assets management strategies adopted by households exposed to prolonged civil war. The paper is based on fieldwork conducted in Bahr el Ghazal region, southern Sudan in 2000-1. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Social Pensions in Namibia and South Africa

IDS Discussion Paper 379 (2001)

This paper documents the history of the pension in both countries and presents evidence on its economic, demographic and social impacts in Namibia. Apart from providing non-covariate income against livelihood shocks such as drought, the social pension stimulates local trade, enhances the status of elderly family members, and contributes to the costs of primary and secondary education. More details


IDS Discussion paper

After the Iron Rice Bowl: Extending the Safety Net in China

IDS Discussion Paper 377 (2001)

This paper examines new forms of risk, vulnerability and exclusion arising in the process of China's transition, the (changing) needs of different groups, how (if at all) they are being met through socially provided forms of welfare, and the response of government to these changes. More details


IDS publications on international development research

Making a Difference? Gender and Participatory Development

Participation, empowerment and inclusion have become the new development buzzwords. As the development mainstream takes on some of the practices of participatory development, feminist concerns about representation, agency and voice become ever more pressing. More details


IDS Discussion paper

The Mobilising Potential of Anti-Poverty Programmes

IDS Discussion Paper 374 (2000)

Aid and development agencies like to believe that they manage their development programmes in ways that empower the poor. This is rare in practice, even in the case of newly-fashionable programmes that are explicitly targeted at the poor and justified in terms of 'empowerment'. More details


IDS publications on international development research

Political Conditions for Agrarian Reform and Poverty Alleviation

The paper explores how we might go about understanding the political conditions for poverty alleviation via agrarian reform can be understood. It argues that the traditional conceptualisation of agrarian reform and its politics - which presents a near impossibility in typical political configurations - is too limiting. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Economic Reform and Economic Performance: Evidence from 20 Developing Countries

IDS Discussion Paper 376 (2000)

Do adjustment policies assist or retard growth? This paper presents data on economic performance (aggregate and sectoral growth, inflation, investment and external account) for 20 countries. More details


IDS Discussion paper

Foreign Aid, Democratisation and Civil Society in Africa: A Study of South Africa, Ghana and Uganda

IDS Discussion Paper 368 (1999)

The 1990s have seen increased interest on the part of Western governments in funding civil society in Africa in an attempt to promote the continent's democratisation process. This discussion paper examines how a range of foreign donors has developed civil society initiatives in Ghana, Uganda and South Africa. More details


IDS Discussion paper

NGOs and the Development of Membership Organisations: The Case of Saptagram

IDS Discussion Paper 370 (1999)

NGOs are increasingly concerned to scale up their impact, whilst donors look to them to help strengthen civil society. It is therefore important to assess the role of NGOs in promoting membership organisations. More details


IDS Discussion paper

NGOs and the Institutional Development of Membership Organisations: The Case of the Quilon Fishermen Welfare Society

IDS Discussion Paper 371 (1999)

Recent shifts in NGO and donor priorities make it important to understand how NGOs promote membership organisations. As a means of exploring this issue, this paper uses the example of the largely successful NGO attempts to help South Indian fishermen organise in response to technical change. More details


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