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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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Showing 13–24 of 2727 results

Opinion

Rethinking research to respond to global challenges

Research underpins so many of our collective efforts to address major global challenges, even though its contribution is often unseen or under-acknowledged. In the global onslaught of Covid-19, this situation is changing. We are seeing much more public appreciation of the vital importance of...

29 April 2020

Opinion

Safety of sanitation workers should not be overlooked

While the Covid-19 pandemic has driven many of us into our homes to seek safety and shelter, sanitation workers remain an indispensable part of our frontline workforce. On World Day for Safety and Health at Work, it is important to recognise and address sanitation workers’ vital need to...

28 April 2020

Opinion

Will Covid-19 change our economy? Not unless we reimagine it

Covid-19 has introduced a huge degree of uncertainty into people’s lives (most especially, thus far, in Northern countries unused to coping with disorder). Yet one thing seems to be certain. A seismic economic shock is underway, which will change all our lives forever. Or is it? Will Covid-19...

27 April 2020

News

Responding to Covid-19 – the social dynamics

The global pandemic Covid-19 is impacting the lives of people in many and varied ways.  Together with partners worldwide, IDS researchers are providing critical evidence and analysis that are shaping the spread of the virus and must inform immediate responses.  They are also collaborating...

17 April 2020

Working Paper

How Do Donor-led Empowerment and Accountability Activities Take Scale into Account? Evidence from DFID Programmes in Contexts of Fragility, Conflict and Violence

IDS Working Paper 536

Development donors invest significantly in governance reform, including in contexts characterised by conflict and fragility. However, there is relatively little comparative study of their change strategies, and little understanding of what works and why. This paper explores the strategies of six...

Image of Colin Anderson
Colin Anderson & 2 others

3 April 2020

Working Paper

The Customer is King: Evidence on VAT Compliance in Tanzania

World Development 128

Value Added Tax (VAT) has emerged as one of the main modes of raising tax revenue worldwide, but has significantly underperformed as a revenue source in African countries. To improve compliance, Tanzania has introduced Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs), which automatically transmit information...

1 April 2020

Opinion

Why are women still excluded from public decision-making in Mozambique?

Emerging research from the IDS-led Action for Accountability and Empowerment (A4EA) research programme is finding that – when it comes to linking marginalised households with local forms of authority, in other words taking on a role of intermediation and leadership – men still dominate....

Egídio Chaimite
Lúcio Posse

26 March 2020