Inequalities and Poverty

IDS works with global partners to generate new knowledge and evidence to identify the underlying causes of inequalities and poverty in all their dimensions and the progressive policies and practices that can help bring about transformative change.

Eradicating extreme poverty remains one of the world’s most pressing challenges, and addressing it requires the rising economic, social and political inequalities that harm people in rich and poor countries alike to be tackled.

IDS has also played a prominent part in promoting an approach that puts power at the heart of development analysis and contributed to strengthening understanding of the relationship between power, gender, sexual rights and poverty.

We continue to provide new analysis on inequalities and poverty trends, particularly in relation to the expansion of digital technologies and their impact on the lives of the poorest and most marginalised, and the growth of global cities and what this means for both urban and rural livelihoods, social relations and sustainability. Moreover, we work with governments, civil society, businesses and many others to help ensure this analysis shapes policies and programmes such as social protection and cash transfers to reduce poverty and vulnerability and strengthen livelihoods including agriculture.


Danny Burns

Professorial Research Fellow

Deepta Chopra

Research Fellow

Jerker Edström

Research Fellow

John Gaventa

Research Fellow and Director, Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) programme

Keetie Roelen

Research Fellow / Co-Director, Centre for Social Protection

Mary Wickenden

Research Fellow

Patricia Justino

Professorial Fellow

Programmes and centres


Recent work

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Upcoming Event

Sussex Development Lectures

Global health priorities in a changing world

In this Sussex Development Lecture, Professor Charlotte Watts, Chief Scientific Advisor and Director for Research and Evidence in the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) will share some analyses of ongoing trends, and make some personal reflections on key future agendas,...

8 February 2023


Negotiating ‘belonging’ in Zimbabwe’s land reform areas

Much of the debate about land reform in Zimbabwe focuses on the material, livelihood consequences of getting new land and its politics, but what does it feel like? How does land reform alter the sense of belonging to a place, the forms of identity and the nature of citizenship? These themes are...

2 February 2023

Journal Article

Governance Diaries: An Approach to Researching Marginalized People’s Lived Experiences in Difficult Settings

International Journal of Qualitative Methods Vol 22

How do chronically poor and marginalized citizens interact with and make claims to the different public authorities that exist in fragile, conflict and violence-affected contexts? In other words, how does governance from below look like in difficult settings? Given the centrality of the...

2 February 2023


Trade Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Agriculture

IDS Policy Briefing 208

Trade policy provides a powerful set of levers for accelerating a transition to more inclusive and sustainable agricultural practices. Yet, trade in agriculture is often reliant on unsustainable methods of production, misaligned to tackling hunger, inadequate in support for decent farmer...

Anna Sands & 2 others

2 February 2023

Upcoming Event

Inclusive trade

Trade Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Agriculture

Nowhere are the links between sustainable and inclusive international trade more visible than in agriculture. Agricultural commodities account for a significant share of exports in many developing countries, and agricultural global value chains facilitate the exchange of products, ideas, and...

2 February 2023


Can development respond to the challenge of polycrisis?

The phenomenon of multiple crises happening simultaneously is leading to increased inequalities and demanding new approaches to global development, a panel of IDS experts warned yesterday. With the world slowly emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic at the same time as seeing other crises...

1 February 2023


Pandemic Portraits: Disability & Covid-19 in Bangladesh & Liberia

Covid-19 has changed the world as we know it. In particular, the pandemic has significantly affected the lives of people with disabilities, with many facing additional barriers in access to services, increased isolation and increased risks of poor health and social outcomes. To strengthen...

31 January 2023