Inequalities and Poverty

Our work understands how inclusive economies can be achieved, particularly in a world where new technologies, rural to urban migration, and growing youth populations are disrupting and putting new pressures on people’s lives and livelihoods.

Our research looks at the impacts of business and markets on development and inequality through the work and explores how novel market-based solutions can work for the poorest and most marginalised based on caste, gender, ethnicity and disability.  It continues to revitalise debates on agriculture as a key pathway out of poverty and towards inclusion in current times, particularly for young people. Our work is focused on identifying what opportunities in agriculture exist in a period of agricultural commercialisation and rural transformation and how far different groups are able to access them.  It also understands how new technologies such as drones or blockchains pose risks, but can also be harnessed to improve the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people.  In a rapidly urbanising world where cities have become focal points for economic growth, jobs and innovation but also for poverty, inequality, vulnerability and conflict, our work explores what this means for both urban and rural people, and the opportunities and challenges they face in living safe and fulfilling lives.

Programmes and centres



Masculinities and Transition

Over 2018, Jerker Edström at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is leading a team of experts, contracted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), to undertake a focused assignment on ‘Masculinities and Transition: Enduring Privilege?’, with a focus on Egypt,...


Scaling-Up Early Child Development Interventions in Rwanda

This project aims to establish a long-term partnership between the IDS, Save the Children UK (SCUK) and Save the Children International Rwanda (SCI-R) to analyse, evaluate and scale-up (in partnership with the Government of Rwanda) a unique holistic programme (First Steps) that supports families of children aged 0-3 in the district of Ngororero in Rwanda.


Capacity Building for Smart Data and Inclusive Cities (SDIC)

The “Capacity Building for Smart Data and Inclusive Cities” (SDIC) project aims strengthen technical and institutional capacities by working directly with municipal authorities participating in the Smart Cities Mission in four secondary cities in India: Bhopal and Jabalpur (in Madhya Pradesh) and Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi (in Kerala).

Recent work

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Statement on the impact evaluation of Millennium Villages Project

An independent impact evaluation of a Millennium Villages Project (MVP) covering 35 villages in Northern Ghana was led by Itad in partnership with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and Participatory Development Associates Ghana (PDA Ghana).  The Millennium Villages in Northern...

14 October 2018

Working Paper

Social Protection, Food Security and Nutrition in Six African Countries

Published by IDS

Evaluations of social protection interventions across Africa often register significant success in improving household food security indicators, but little or no improvement in individual nutritional outcomes. One reason is under-coverage of poor people; another is the low value of social transfers. This paper reviews experiences with social protection in six African countries – Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Jonas Nzabamwita

1 October 2018

Working Paper

The Role of Cash Transfers in Social Protection, Humanitarian Response and Shock-Responsive Social Protection

Published by IDS

Cash transfers have expanded rapidly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) around the world in the past decade. The contexts in which they are implemented have also diversified; while cash transfers were mostly adopted initially as central elements of social protection systems, they have become increasingly popular as a core component of humanitarian response.

Image of Keetie Roelen
Keetie Roelen & 2 others

1 October 2018


Millennium Villages Impact Evaluation Published

An independent impact evaluation of a Millennium Villages Project (MVP) covering 35 villages in Northern Ghana finds that limited impacts relating to the Millennium Development Goals were achieved. The evaluation, led by Itad in partnership with the Institute of Development...

18 September 2018

Working Paper

Getting the Most Out of Participatory Impact Assessment: Reflections from a Multi-Country Cash Transfer Impact Assessment

Published by IDS

Mixed methods approaches are widely used in impact evaluations, but all too often a ‘methodological gap’ emerges between broad, large-scale surveys and in-depth, small-scale qualitative investigation that can be difficult to bridge. In this CDI Practice Paper we reflect on a multi-country impact assessment of cash transfer programmes in sub-Saharan Africa.

1 August 2018


Ideas from IDS: Graduate Papers from 2016/17

Published by IDS

It gives me great pleasure to present this first edition of published term papers authored by IDS graduates (2016/17) from across our suite of master’s degrees.

30 July 2018