Empowerment and Accountability in Messy Places. Need your advice on Nigeria, Pakistan, Myanmar and Mozambique.

June 7, 2017
My post-book research plans are shaping up, so it’s time to ask for your advice. As well as the work I blogged about recently on Public Authority in fragile/conflict-affected settings, I’m doing some research with Oxfam and Itad on how ‘adaptive management’ plays out in those same settings. Here’s the blurb: ‘There is much hype and attention given to new

Life in a time of Food Price Volatility: 4 years of research in a 4 page infographic

May 5, 2017
IDS and Oxfam have put together a snazzy infographic/executive summary of their four year research project, with links to the main documents for those old fashioned enough to want to read something. What do you think of the format?

A lesson on power and the abstruse (or a love-peeve relationship Part 2)

December 7, 2016
Duly provoked by yesterday’s assault on IDS’ use of language, John Gaventa responds with a really nice story/rebuttal As ever, we are delighted to see Duncan Green’s interesting and incisive blog on the new IDS Bulletin on Power, Poverty and Inequality. In talking about what he calls his ‘love – peeve’ relationship with IDS, Duncan raises important questions of language

Power, Poverty and Inequality: a ‘love-peeve’ new IDS bulletin

December 6, 2016
I have something of a love-hate relationship with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in Brighton, or more accurately, a love-peeve. I love the topics, the commitment to bottom-up approaches, and the intellectual leadership IDS has shown over the years on a whole range of issues dear to my heart. The peeve stems from its preference for abstruse language and

What can violence/conflict people learn from the governance debate (and vice versa)? Report back on a day discussing new IDS research

November 18, 2015
I recently spent a day among conflict wonks (a thoroughly charming and unscary group) to discuss IDS’ research programme on Addressing and Mitigating Violence. There are piles of case studies and thematic papers on the website (here’s a collection of abstracts); this seminar was part of bringing them all together into some kind of overarching narrative. The starting point for

Prices that bounce – Naomi Hossain on the human face of the food crisis

September 14, 2012

Theories of (climate) change and a nice song about complex causal chains……

March 6, 2012

Where has the social protection debate got to? What's still missing?

April 28, 2011

Social protection – have aid agencies got it wrong?

June 24, 2010
‘Has social protection in sub-Saharan Africa lost its way?’ asks a brilliant new paper from a consortium of thinktanks, including IDS and ODI. Their overall finding is that donors’ preference for evidence and pilots, and lack of engagement with national political realities, have undermined their impact. Hard to summarize – it’s a treasure trove – but here are some highlights:

Some big development brains ask ‘what’s next?’

March 10, 2010
The Institute for Development Studies is a Good Thing. Located on the brutal 60s campus of the University of Sussex near Brighton, its gurus like Robert Chambers and Hans Singer have educated and inspired generations of Masters and PhD students, who then scattered to every corner of the aid industry and beyond (diplomats, politicians etc). I was down there last