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.

Programmes and centres

Programme

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.

Centre

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.

Programme

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.

Projects

Project

Capitalisation of SDC Experiences in Roma Social Inclusion

Jo Howard is working with SDC to capitalise experiences in Roma social inclusion by drawing broad conclusions from past SDC experiences in promoting Roma social inclusion and making them easily accessible for decision makers. Furthermore, she will produce a synthesis paper with main findings and...

Recent work

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Past Event

Intersecting inequalities and accountable relationships: Why so much hype?

From late 2016 to early 2018, researchers from the IDS Participation, Inclusion and Social Change team worked with five partners in (Egypt, Ghana, India, South Africa and Uganda) carrying out participatory research to understand how intersecting inequalities are shaping the daily lives of...

12 December 2018

Brief

Reshaping Ethiopia’s Higher Education Curriculum to Tackle Youth Unemployment

IDS Policy Briefing 157

Ethiopia has seen remarkable economic growth in the past decade, and there has been high demand for construction work to keep up with the pace of change. As part of the country’s Growth and Transformation Plans (GTPs) unprecedented efforts have been made to grow the university sector,...

1 December 2018

Opinion

Reflections on evaluating integrated rural development

The latest IDS Bulletin ‘The Millennium Villages: Lessons on Evaluating Integrated Rural Development' brings together a series of reflections on integrated development and how best to know whether it works and why. It certainly doesn’t provide all the answers; rather it’s meant to...

14 November 2018

Opinion

Bolsonaro’s victory in Brazil: a call for action

The election of Bolsonaro as President of Brazil, one of the biggest economies in the world, with 55 percent of the votes in the second round, has left me feeling disappointed, sad, and deeply concerned about the human rights of many people.  Like many others in Brazil and from around the...

13 November 2018

Report

Leaving No One Behind in a Digital World

K4D Emerging Issues Report;

In an increasingly digital world, relatively privileged people are able to use their access to mobile and internet technologies to access clear digital dividends including remote access to health and education information, financial inclusion and digital pathways to economic and political...

1 November 2018

Working Paper

Women in Politics: Gaining Ground for Progressive Outcomes in Pakistan

IDS Working Paper;519

This paper is an analysis of findings from a study of women’s political voice in Pakistan under the A4EA Research Programme. It aims to contribute to the growing body of literature around how feminist mobilisation and political voice leads to progressive policy outcomes.

1 November 2018