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

Director of Research

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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The Meaning of Development

Dudley Seers suggests that development is when a country experiences a reduction or elimination of poverty, inequality and unemployment. Edgar Owens (1987) suggested that development is when there is development of people (human development) and not development of things.

Dudley Seers

1 January 1969

Journal Article

Back to Grass Roots

IDS Bulletin 1.3

The name on the banners of the revolutionary students should be Chayanov, not Che; and this for? three reasons. First, Chayanov's theory of peasant behaviour is central to any solution of the world's worst problem, rural poverty. Second, the study of that problem is itself undergoing radical...

1 July 1968

Journal Article

Development Aid: A Symposium

IDS Bulletin 1.2

In 1968 the foreign aid programmes of both Great Britain and the United States have been cut. On both the Right and Left there is increasing scepticism about. the ethics and the efficacy of the types of aid which have been given to developing countries. As Hugh Stephenson remarked in an article...

1 May 1968