Governance, Power and Participation

Our research on governance, power relations, participation and citizen engagement, informs change processes in pursuit of social justice and social change. With power and politics central to our analysis, we support the generation of new evidence that contributes to improved processes for good governance, citizen engagement, empowerment and accountability.

We pioneer new ways of working with governments, communities, activists and academics, to understand the complex relationships and processes that exist across states, markets, and citizens, and between formal and informal institutions, to tackle issues such as digital inequalities, women’s participation and empowerment, decentralisation and local governance, rapid urbanisation, migration, taxation and domestic resource mobilisation, food security and hunger and nutrition. These draw on our extensive expertise in complex approaches to how change happens.  Through our research and policy partnerships we are also bringing new insights on the role that rising powers and emerging economies such as China and Brazil have in relation to global governance and tackling development challenges such as sustainability and poverty.  Our world-renown participatory research has a particular emphasis on systematic social exclusion facing women, people living in extreme poverty, people with disabilities, slaves bonded labourers, indigenous peoples and others. We advance cutting edge methodological development in action research, participatory visual methods, participatory mapping, participatory statistics, participatory Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) amongst others.


Image of Danny Burns
Danny Burns

Participation Research Cluster Leader

Image of Anuradha Joshi
Anuradha Joshi

Cluster Leader

Image of Shandana Khan Mohmand
Shandana Khan Mohmand

Research Fellow

Image of Miguel Loureiro
Miguel Loureiro

Research Fellow

Image of Patta Scott-Villiers
Patta Scott-Villiers

Research Fellow

Image of Mariz Tadros
Mariz Tadros

Research Fellow

Image of Rosemary McGee
Rosemary McGee

Research Fellow

Image of Mick Moore
Mick Moore

Professorial Fellow

Image of Erika López Franco
Erika López Franco

Research Officer

Image of Stephen Thompson
Stephen Thompson

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Image of Mary Wickenden
Mary Wickenden

Research Fellow

Image of Brigitte Rohwerder
Brigitte Rohwerder

Research Officer

Image of Marina Apgar
Marina Apgar

Research Fellow

Image of Jackie Shaw
Jackie Shaw

Research Fellow

Image of Tessa Lewin
Tessa Lewin

Research Fellow

Image of Joanna Howard
Joanna Howard

Research Fellow

Image of Dilmurad Yusupov
Dilmurad Yusupov

DPhil Student

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Elaine Mercer

Communications and Networking Officer

Image of Gioel Gioacchino
Gioel Gioacchino

PhD Student

Image of Harriet Hamilton
Harriet Hamilton

Project Support Officer

JaeHyun Park

PhD Student

Image of Jamie Myers
Jamie Myers

Research Officer

Image of Naomi Vernon
Naomi Vernon

Programme Officer for Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Knowledge Hub

Image of Petra Bongartz
Petra Bongartz

Research Officer

Image of Robert Chambers
Robert Chambers

Research Associate

Image of Stacey Townsend
Stacey Townsend

Programme Officer

Image of Sue Enfield
Sue Enfield

Research Officer

Image of Becky Carter
Becky Carter

Research Officer

Image of Colin Anderson
Colin Anderson

Research Officer

Image of Deepta Chopra
Deepta Chopra

Research Fellow

Image of Fabrizio Santoro
Fabrizio Santoro

Research Officer

Image of Giulia Mascagni
Giulia Mascagni

Research Fellow

Image of Rhiannon McCluskey
Rhiannon McCluskey

Research Uptake and Communications Manager

Image of Jalia Kangave
Jalia Kangave

Research Fellow

Image of Peter P. Houtzager
Peter P. Houtzager

Research Fellow

Image of Richard Crook
Richard Crook

Emeritus Fellow

Image of Tom Harrison
Tom Harrison

Research Fellow

Image of Robin Luckham
Robin Luckham

Emeritus Fellow

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Wilson Prichard

Joint Research Director, International Centre for Tax and Development

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Alex Shankland

Research Fellow

Image of Aly Khalil
Aly Khalil

PhD Research Student

Image of Dina Zayed
Dina Zayed

PhD Researcher

Image of Egidio Chaimite
Egidio Chaimite

PhD Researcher

Image of Fiona Wilson
Fiona Wilson

Emeritus Fellow

Image of John Gaventa
John Gaventa

Director of Research

Image of Kas Sempere
Kas Sempere

PhD Researcher

Image of Katy Oswald
Katy Oswald

Research Officer

Image of Marjoke Oosterom
Marjoke Oosterom

Research Fellow

Image of Naomi Hossain
Naomi Hossain

Research Fellow

Programmes and centres


Sexuality, Poverty and Law Programme

Understanding the links between sexuality, gender plurality and poverty and producing practical options for activists and policymakers for strengthening legal protection of LGBTIQ people and sexuality rights.


International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD)

The International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) provides research evidence that supports developing countries in raising domestic revenues equitably and sustainably, in a manner that is conducive to pro-poor economic growth and good governance.


Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA)

Action for Empowerment and Accountability is an international research programme which explores how social and political action can contribute to empowerment and accountability in fragile, conflict, and violent settings, with a particular focus on Egypt, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria and Pakistan.



Displacement, Placemaking and Wellbeing in the City

The Displacement, Placemaking and Wellbeing in the City project will contribute to our growing understanding of the structures, dynamics and processes through which people who are enduringly displaced succeed or fail to become part of European and Indian cities.


Bangladesh Initiative to Enhance Nutrition Security and Governance (BIeNGS)

Despite significant improvements over the last two decades in poverty reduction and human development, the ultra-poor constitute 17.6% of the Bangladeshi population (HIES 2010) and the country continues to experience a high burden of undernutrition (stunting 36%, wasting 14%, underweight 33%) in...

Recent work

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Can transparency make extractive industries more accountable?

Over the last two decades great strides have been made in terms of holding extractive industries accountable.  As demonstrated at the Global Assembly of Publish What You Pay (PWYP), which I attended recently in Dakar, Senegal, more information than ever about revenue flows to governments from...

8 February 2019

Working Paper

Sound of One Hand Clapping: Information Disclosure for Social and Political Action for Accountability in Extractive Governance in Mozambique

IDS Working Paper 523

Corruption through opaque public contracts costs Africa billions of dollars in revenue loss annually. Globally, initiatives to address this have centred on information disclosure (ID) but under what conditions does it work to promote accountability in the extractive sector that for a long time...

28 January 2019


Ideas from IDS: Graduate Papers from 2017/18

This is the second edition of Ideas from IDS, our publication featuring top-class student papers from the 2017/18 academic year. Ideas form a fundamental component of development studies, and there are a great number of them in this collection of papers. Our students have done themselves and IDS...

25 January 2019


IDS to take up role in new Global Challenges Research Fund hubs

IDS researchers and knowledge professionals will be working with partners in four of the 12 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Global Research Hubs announced by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and UKRI.  Over the next five years they will contribute to efforts to...

22 January 2019