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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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Publication

Developing Disability-Inclusive Higher Education Systems

International Higher Education;100

It has been 25 years since the first issue of International Higher Education was published. By coincidence, it is also 25 years since the Salamanca Statement called on the international community to endorse the approach of inclusive education, including at the tertiary level. The past quarter...

1 January 2020

Report

Adaptive Management in SDC: Challenges and Opportunities

Adaptive management (AM) is a programme management approach that helps international development organisations to become more learning-oriented and more effective in addressing complex development challenges. AM practices have been applied for decades within other sectors as varied as...

1 January 2020

Opinion

From dictatorship to democracy: lessons from The Gambia

We live in a world that is experiencing struggles around democracy, women's rights and gender justice. The story of the Gambia sends across a strong message about all three of these issues at a time when democracies around the world are under threat. From a situation of a devastating...

Jhoomar Mehta

18 December 2019

Working Paper

Democratisation in Tanzania: No Elections Without Exemptions

ICTD Research in Brief;49

A demand-supply framework has been developed and applied to Tanzania to explore the link between democratisation, economic liberalisation and the use of tax exemptions to fund political parties’ electoral campaigns. In Tanzania, the demand for this type of money has increased since one-party...

Ole Therkildsen
Ane Karoline Bak

16 December 2019

News

IDS launches new programme to counter backlash against gender equality

Global progress on gender equality is under threat. We are living in an age where major political and social shifts are resulting in new forces that are visibly pushing back to reverse the many gains made for women’s rights and to shrink civic space. This patriarchal backlash is escalating...

11 December 2019

Journal Article

The Aesthetics of Global Protest

Protest and Social Movements;

While the form of visual activism currently being developed in the United States and Western Europe is more commonly linked to street protests or activist campaigning and is often explicitly anti-capitalist, in South Africa visual activism has a different epistemological history and...

9 December 2019

Journal Article

Introduction: Contentious Women’s Empowerment in South Asia

Questions of women's power remain a matter of heated debate globally, but take on a heightened intensity in a South Asia featuring rapid economic growth and structural transformation in recent decades. This Special Issue aims to improve understanding of how the women of South Asia are gaining...

Image of Sohela Nazneen
Sohela Nazneen & 2 others

28 November 2019