Understanding Governance from the Margins: What Does It Mean In Practice?

Published on 29 November 2021

What does governance look like ‘from below’ – from the perspectives of poor and marginalised households? How do patterns of conflict affect that? These were the questions at the heart of the Governance at the Margins research project.

Over three years from 2017-2020 we worked to explore this through in-depth study in conflict-affected areas of Mozambique, Myanmar, and Pakistan. Our research teams interviewed the same people regularly over that time, finding out how they resolved problems and interacted with authorities. In this paper we connect what we found to the realities and complexities of development practice, drawing on the input of 20 experienced practitioners working in bilateral and multilateral development agencies and international NGOs, who generously gave their time to help us think through the practical implications of our wealth of findings.

Cite this publication

Barnes, K.; Anderson, C.; de Chassy, S.; Ahmed, A.; Ali, M.; Aung, M. M.; Chaimite, E.; Joshi, A.; Khan, D.; Loureiro, M.; Posse, L.; Rowlands, J.; Shankland, A. and Wazir, R. (2021) ‘Understanding Governance from the Margins: What Does it Mean in Practice?’, A4EA Policy and Practice Paper, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, DOI: 10.19088/A4EA.2021.003


Colin Anderson

Research Officer

Egidio Chaimite

Postgraduate Researcher

Anuradha Joshi

Research Fellow

Miguel Loureiro

Research Fellow

Researcher, Institute of Social and Economic Studies (IESE)

Alex Shankland

Research Fellow

Aung Myo Min
Rizwan Wazir

Publication details

published by
Institute of Development Studies


About this publication

Related content

Working Paper

Effective Social Protection in Conflict: Findings from Sudan

Working Paper

Izzy Birch & 2 others

22 February 2024