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.


Image of Danny Burns
Danny Burns

Professorial Research Fellow

Image of Deepta Chopra
Deepta Chopra

Research Fellow

Image of Jerker Edström
Jerker Edström

Research Fellow

Image of John Gaventa
John Gaventa

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

Image of Keetie Roelen
Keetie Roelen

Research Fellow / Co-Director, Centre for Social Protection

Image of Mary Wickenden
Mary Wickenden

Research Fellow

Image of Patricia Justino
Patricia Justino

Cluster Leader and Research Fellow

Programmes and centres


Recent work

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Gender and Education in Asia and the Pacific

This report reviews the Asian and Pacific experience of education of the last twenty years from a gender perspective, using statistical data. Regional overviews are given as well as more detailed analyses of trends since 1970 at primary, secondary and tertiary levels and in literacy.

1 January 1994


Water Resources Management: A Macro-Level Analysis from a Gender Perspective

This report critically examines recent policy developments in integrated water resources management, drawing on the wider body of research concerning gender and the environment. It focuses on pricing, participation and environmental conservation, the key issues of water resources management policy.

1 January 1994


Gender Profile of the State of Eritrea

What does Eritrean independence mean for gender equality? Can wartime advances for women be sustained into the new era? Eritrea has emerged from a 30-year war, faced with the huge task of reconstruction and development. This report argues that women?s widespread involvement in the military and...

1 January 1994


Understanding and Preventing Famine and Famine Mortality

IDS Bulletin Vol. 24 Nos. 4

Famine prevention is possible but requires, among other things, a better theoretical basis, building on comparative, interdisciplinary and historical research. Key aspects of that task concern, first, the relationship between starvation, disease and death.

1 October 1993

Journal Article

New Approaches to Famine


Famine is a preventable tragedy. Unlike poverty or chronic food insecurity, famine could probably be eliminated rapidly by a quite simple set of policies. Such policies might be politically feasible. So the abolition of famine is a realistic goal, perhaps by the end of this decade.

1 October 1993


Power, Poverty and Poison: Disaster and Response in an Indian City

More than 300 people died in Bangalore in 1981 as a result of drinking poisonous illicit alcohol. This book treats the tragedy as a microcosm in order to explain the current political, social and economic conditions of urban India, focusing on relations between the middle classes, workers from...

1 January 1993