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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.

People

Image of Alex Shankland
Alex Shankland

Research Fellow

Image of Aly Khalil
Aly Khalil

PhD Research Student

Image of Anuradha Joshi
Anuradha Joshi

Research Fellow

Image of Becky Carter
Becky Carter

Research Officer

Image of Brigitte Rohwerder
Brigitte Rohwerder

Research Officer

Image of Colin Anderson
Colin Anderson

Research Officer

Image of Danny Burns
Danny Burns

Professorial Research Fellow

Programmes and centres

Projects

Project

Wellbeing, Housing and Infrastructure in Turkey (WHIT)

This research and action project will contribute to finding ‘durable solutions’ for housing infrastructural deficits in Turkey, in the context of large scale displacement of Syrian refugees and rapid urbanisation.

Recent work

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Working Paper

The Customer is King: Evidence on VAT Compliance in Tanzania

World Development;128

Like governments in many other African countries, the Government of Tanzania has been striving to improve the effectiveness of its value added tax (VAT) regime by reducing tax evasion through a combination of measures, including improved tax legislation and more effective administrative...

1 April 2020

Opinion

Citizens’ participation in economic governance: evidence from Ghana

Fiscal indiscipline, particularly in election years, has been a recurring annoyance in Ghana. The country unfortunately failed to recover from the wastefulness of the 2012 election year, making a 16th bailout from the IMF inevitable in 2015. The country’s previous bailouts lacked buy-in from...

Godson Korbla Aloryito

13 February 2020

News

IDS at the World Urban Forum

We’re excited to be participating in the upcoming Tenth Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10). Convened by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the World Urban Forum has become the premier international gathering for addressing the challenges of sustainable...

5 February 2020

Opinion

Democratising economic power – reflections on Davos

As the world’s economic elites gather in Davos, I am reflecting on a blog I wrote last year in reaction to the 2019 World Economic Forum focus on “Globalisation 4.0”. Entitled ‘Putting the spotlight on “participation” in economic alternatives’, the blog questioned the Davos model...

20 January 2020

Working Paper

Political Ecology and Differential Vulnerabilities to Droughts among Livestock Farmers in South Africa: A Case Study of Mpakeni Community

STEPS Working Paper 114

Most of South Africa’s black rural population reside in the former homelands or Bantustans, commonly referred to as communal areas by the post-apartheid government (Clark and Luwaya 2017). Amongst a variety of livelihood activities that black rural households engage in, livestock production...

Eromose Ebhuoma & 2 others

10 January 2020