Half a decade on from IDS’ founding, the words of renowned economist and first IDS Director Dudley Seers from his IDS Communication ‘The Meaning of Development’ still ring true. Every era’s ‘international development’ community should grapple with its definitions. Today, we face interconnected challenges which look set to intensify into the future.
Development cannot rely on old, aid-related paradigms nor on their simplistic solutions. It must become both more universal and more transformative, while remaining grounded in the diverse realities of people’s lives and their aspirations. We have sought to define and elaborate these challenges, alongside the contribution that IDS and our partners on the University of Sussex campus and well beyond, have to make to address them, in our new five year strategy.
We believe that a rapidly changing world needs new kinds of action and relationships, shaped by new kinds of research and engagement. We need to establish what and where the knowledge gaps are, identify the power imbalances, the political blockages and opportunities, and how we can work together to bridge them and catalyse positive change for everyone, everywhere.