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Institute of Development Studies

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) delivers world-class research, learning and teaching that transforms the knowledge, action and leadership needed for more equitable and sustainable development globally.

Through equitable and sustainable partnerships, we work with governments, philanthropic foundations, non-governmental organisations, academics and civil society to transform approaches to progressive social, political and economic change in ways that ultimately make a difference to people’s lives.

We have helped foster innovative new partnerships that have generated millions of dollars in additional tax revenues in Africa that can be reinvested in countries’ national development. We have worked to provide solutions to environmental problems that build on local people’s knowledge and practices. We have highlighted the role of local communities in bringing an end to deadly epidemics like the Ebola virus. We have nurtured hundreds of exceptional development leaders and champions including political leaders, country Ambassadors and government officials, civil society leaders and entrepreneurs.

Our reputation for research and international outlook is second to none and reflected in our performance in the latest QS World University Rankings where we are ranked first in the world for development studies, together with the University of Sussex. We are also ranked as the number one international development policy think-tank by the 2020 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report.

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À Nairobi, la capitale du Kenya, le bétail, conduit vers de nouveaux pâturages dans un contexte de grave sécheresse, se faufile dans la circulation urbaine. Simon Maina/AFP via Getty Images

Il ne faut pas confondre les vaches et les voiture dans les débats sur le changement climatique

Un discours simpliste tenu par des activistes, des célébrités, des philanthropes, des décideurs politiques voudrait que « tous les animaux d'élevage soient mauvais ». Ce qui est loin de la réalité.
Delegates arrive at the COP26 climate summit on November 4, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

COP26: Two worlds talked past each other – or never even met

At COP26 in Glasgow everyone was committed to saving the planet, but there were highly divergent views about how to do it.
Informal head porter workers Percent Boatemaq (left) and Lusaka Fuseina (right) carrying goods on their heads at Agbogbloshie market in Accra, Ghana. Photo by Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty Images

The World Bank and IMF are using flawed logic in their quest to do away with the informal sector

Influential international actors like the World Bank and the IMF should focus on expanding social protection rather than focusing on eliminating the informal economy.
Cattle driven into the Kenyan capital Nairobi for new pasture amid a severe drought navigate through city traffic. Simon Maina/AFP via Getty Images

Cows and cars should not be conflated in climate change debates

A simplistic ‘all livestock are bad’ narrative is promoted by campaigners, celebrities, philanthropists and policymakers alike. A much more sophisticated debate is needed.
Pupils wear face masks in their classroom while a teacher writes on the board at a school in Kinshasa on August 10, 2020. Photo by Arsene Mpiana/AFP via Getty Images

Why payroll fraud in the DRC’s education sector will be hard to fix

Public statements against payroll fraud seem to materialise at strategic moments.
Former Brazilian president Lula da Silva’s development aid programme has fizzled out. Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino

How Brazil missed its golden South-South co-operation moment

Lula led an unprecedented shift in the country’s foreign policy towards the global South. He also helped elevate Brazil to the status of a global player. But, six years on, disillusionment reigns.
Tax justice campaigns can be effective, if they’re aimed at the right targets. David Parry/PA

Tax justice campaigners should stop picking on the OECD

Have the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the G20 really attempted to “discredit and discourage” the participation of developing countries in a new system of automatic tax information…
Afghanistan’s Hazara minority has a huge stake in the future of democracy. EPA/Jawad Jalali

Afghanistan’s Hazara minority flexes its political muscles

Given that no census has been conducted in Afghanistan since 1979, it’s unclear whether the Hazara ethnic minority constitute 9% or near 20% of the country’s population. What is clear, however, is that…
Just make sure you get a receipt. Tom Miller/PA

India’s firm stance on tax could actually help investors

India keeps getting into arguments with foreign firms over tax; is it wise to do so? The Financial Times, for one, is in no doubt that India is scaring off foreign investors, and that it is making a mistake…
Study showed 87% of Afghan women have suffered some form of violence. Senior Airman Ashley Avecilla

Women threatened by changes to the Afghan legal system

A revised Criminal Procedure Code currently sits on the desk of Hamid Karzai. It has already passed through both the lower and upper houses of the Afghan parliament. If President Karzai signs it into law…
Private sector-led growth might help. DFID - UK Department for International Development

UK is not thinking smart about growth in developing countries

Justine Greening, the international development secretary, recently made a speech on how business can contribute to development. Three quarters of it was about the importance of economic growth in developing…
Murder in the mall: when terror came to Nairobi’s upper middle class. EPA/Kabir Dhanji

Inconvenient truths for Kenya after Westgate attack

The shooting death of an Islamic cleric in Mombasa and the unrest that followed over the weekend as young Muslims torched a church and clashed with police are a reminder, just two weeks after the Westgate…

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