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Sustainability

Our interdisciplinary research explores how pathways to sustainability, green transformations and equitable access to resources such as land, water and food can be achieved and help us meet the environmental as well as human development-related goals of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

Our work builds on a long tradition of critical social science engagement with environmental issues and resource politics in collaboration with partners globally. It explores how pathways to sustainability are shaped by political-economic and social processes, and understands how they are driven by technology, markets, states and citizens.  Our research sheds new light on how we can achieve green transformations that move us from fossil fuel to renewable energy, from throw-away to circular economies. It addresses the politics of sustainability, and understands how transformations occur at local levels as well as global, in both rural and urban settings, and be led by citizens as well as national governments. In doing so, it shines a light on how sustainable resource use, consumption and production is shaped by issues such as gender, livelihoods and politics.

People

Image of Lyla Mehta
Lyla Mehta

Professorial Fellow

Image of Ian Scoones
Ian Scoones

Professorial Fellow

Image of Amber Huff
Amber Huff

Research Fellow

Image of Jeremy Allouche
Jeremy Allouche

Research Fellow

Image of Lars Otto Naess
Lars Otto Naess

Research Fellow

Image of Wei Shen
Wei Shen

Research Fellow

Image of Shilpi Srivastava
Shilpi Srivastava

Research Fellow

Programmes and centres

Projects

Project

Action on Children’s Harmful Work in African Agriculture

Action on Children’s Harmful Work in African Agriculture (ACHA) is a seven-year, DFID-funded research programme that started in January 2020. The aim of the programme is to build evidence on: the forms, drivers, and experiences of children’s harmful work in African agriculture; ...

Recent work

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News

COVID-19 – the social science response to the pandemic

The global pandemic COVID-19 is impacting the lives of people in many and varied ways.  Social scientists, including those from IDS, are working to respond to the outbreak.  This includes sharing lessons learnt from Ebola and SARS and the initial outbreak in Wuhan, as well as underlining the...

23 March 2020

Opinion

Three ways to improve water security and climate change adaptation

The theme of this year’s World Water Day is Water and Climate Change. This reflects a growing understanding within policy and practice spheres that the two are inextricably linked, and that water is also integral to climate change mitigation and adaptation. People, societies and economies...

Rachel Cooper

20 March 2020

News

What’s new with the Sanitation Learning Hub?

You may have noticed that the CLTS Knowledge Hub has started calling itself the Sanitation Learning Hub. Why is this? With recently renewed funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), we renamed the organisation to better reflect our now broader approach to...

19 March 2020

News

Bibliography of 50 years of research on pastoralism

IDS has published a new overview of its research on pastoralism, drawing on work from the last 50 years. The bibliography, compiled by Prof Ian Scoones with assistance from Linda Pappagallo of the PASTRES programme, is available as an online ‘flipbook’ or as a free PDF download. Pastoralism...

19 March 2020

News

Global investment, local struggles

Following the global commodities boom, investment has poured into large-scale extractive, green energy and other resource development projects around the world. Many of these are in the rural margins – places geographically but also politically distant from the centres of economic power. In...

17 March 2020