The big development issues of the coming decades, including inequality, sustainability, exclusion and security, all have specific and critically important rural dimensions.
Rural societies, economies and areas face challenges and opportunities that can be qualitatively different from their urban analogues, including limited access to infrastructure, services and political decision-making and greater exposure to environmental shocks and stresses. At the same time, many possible rural futures can be envisaged, which will have major implications for local livelihoods, poverty and social relations, conflict, migration, production and distribution systems, food security, natural resource management and environmental change.
Through our research, policy engagement, teaching and training, the Rural Futures Cluster seeks to support the emergence of pathways that deliver both greater social justice and sustainability for rural people and places, while recognising their important interconnections with urban areas.
We assume that improvements in social justice and sustainability can be achieved by opening up a diversity of economic, environmental and technological pathways, practices, models and institutional arrangements that create new democratic spaces, strengthen social movements, enhance innovation and empower rural men and women to take greater control over their productive assets.
Further, we take it as self-evident that the aspirations, agency, voices and assets of rural people must be a central to these dynamic processes at different scales. Thus, a key focus of the Rural Futures Cluster is to understand how local change processes articulate with those at national and global levels.
Future Agricultures Consortium
The DFID funded Future Agricultures Consortium is an Africa-based alliance of research organisations seeking to provide timely, high-quality and independent information and advice to improve agricultural policy and practice in Africa. More details
Child Vulnerability Assessment, UNICEF Myanmar
IDS has been commissioned to analyse the most recent Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) data and write a report on child vulnerability, which can be utilized for evidence based programming and advocacy to improve children's status in Myanmar. More details
Livelihoods After Land Reform
This collaborative project, which involves IDS and is led by the Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) in South Africa, asks: to what extent is land redistribution in southern Africa achieving poverty reduction and livelihood improvement objectives? More details
Enhancing the Productive Capacity of Extremely Poor People in Rwanda - Evaluation
IDS led the evaluation of the Concern Worldwide graduation programme in Rwanda ‘Enhancing the Productive Capacity of Extremely Poor People’. More details
Understanding the Social Protection Implications of Changing Demographics in Rwanda
In order to inform discussions of social protection policy options in the short-, medium-, and long-term, this study collected and analysed both quantitative and qualitative data on the experiences of older people in Rwanda, along with the wider literature and evidence base from the region and beyond. It also undertook a detailed policy simulation exercise to assess both the needs of older people and the impact of policy options. More details
Impact Evaluation of the Productive Safety Net Programme Phase 4 (2015-2020)
The Productive Safety Net Programme "provides transfers to the food insecure population [...] in a way that prevents asset depletion at the household level and creates assets at the community level." This work comprises bi-annual impact evaluations of the PSNP utilising a mixed methods approach. IDS leads on the qualitative evaluation. More details
Impact Evaluation for the UNICEF SCT Project in Oromia and SNNPR
The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is collaborating with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) to conduct an impact evaluation of the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) programme in Oromia and SNNP Regions of Ethiopia for UNICEF Ethiopia. More details
Addressing Synergies and Trade-Offs between Goals for Climate-Resilient Agricultural Systems
What factors lead state and market actors in Africa to commit to implementing more ‘climate smart’ and ‘climate resilient’ agricultural approaches and practices that promoting more sustainable and pro-poor outcomes? This study is examining how different governance systems are handling the complex interface between food, energy, water and climate in pursuit of the SDGs pertaining to these sectors in four countries in Africa. More details
African Farmer Game
African Farmer is a free, open source game that simulates the complex decisions and uncertainties faced by small-scale farmers living in Sub-Saharan Africa. More details
Narratives of scarcity and the global land rush13 Jun 2018
By Ian Scoones
Should we blame livestock for climate change?16 May 2018
By Ian Scoones
Why killing reindeer is poor science09 Apr 2018
Cambridge Analytica: more is at stake than votes04 Apr 2018
By Nathan Oxley
The many futures of pastoralism in the Horn of Africa23 Mar 2018
By Ian Scoones
Beef, borders and Brexit: why livestock movement is essential16 Mar 2018
By Ian Scoones
What does 'the landscape of opportunity' look like for youth in rural Africa?16 Mar 2018
By Jim Sumberg
Savings groups for young Africans: a (financial) game changer?06 Feb 2018
By (incomplete), Jim Sumberg
Pastoralism, Uncertainty, Resilience: Introducing a new project12 Jan 2018
By Ian Scoones, Michele Nori