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.
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.
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 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.
This major international ESRC-funded project aims to explore how trust mediates the relationship between inequality and governance in settings where democratic institutions may be unstable or under threat.
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.
The Public Authorities and Legitimacy-Making (PALM) project will use mixed methods approaches to understand what everyday practices bestow legitimacy on state and non-state actors attempting to exercise public authority in the most fragile urban settings in Lebanon and Jordan.
This project aims to explore, how informal institutions, particularly women’s informal networks, influence the adoption of gender transformative policies in developing countries and what factors make these networks effective or limit their influence.
As part of the Public Authority and Legitimacy Making (PALM) project in urban Lebanon and Jordan, the team has launched a call for communities to share images to show how authority is exercised by 30 May 2019.
These images will contribute to the wider project and research on host-refugee...
Women parliamentarians and local legislators in Pakistan still face a significant uphill battle to establish or deepen their political careers, despite recent gains such as the Election Law 2017 which mandated parties to issue 5 per cent of their tickets for general seats to women.
How and to what degree is the World Bank putting its new institutional citizen engagement commitments into practice? This question guides an independent assessment that the Accountability Research Center at American University has undertaken as part of the Institute of Development Studies-led...
For nexus approaches to be successful in their analysis and influence, integration dynamics must be understood in the context of larger power dynamics. Current analysis barely take this dimension into account.
In this article, we aim to delimit and understand the power-related enabling...
It is widely understood that poverty undermines early childhood development (ECD). In turn, poor ECD reinforces the intergenerational transmission of poverty.
Economic strengthening through comprehensive social protection may offer a ‘double boon’: it can improve child wellbeing in the...
Mainland China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its implications for progress against the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs) often dominate discussions about development in the Asia-Pacific region. Indeed it was the focus of a high-level event co-hosted by IDS and the UK...
In recent years, one of the most important developments in African tax administration has been the widespread adoption of value added tax (VAT).
A key feature of VAT is its self-enforcement mechanism, which incentivises buyers to request a receipt and claim refunds on VAT paid. This should in...
In a global context of deep ideological, political, social and economic polarisations, it is unsurprising that fault lines exist in Western aid circles on how to engage with the role of religion in relation to gender equality.