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2014: Volume 45

No: 1
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Edited by: Jerker Edström, Abhijit Das and Chris Dolan
January 2014

Much has happened in debates, practice and policy on gender in development since the ‘Men, Masculinities and Development’ IDS Bulletin was published in April 2000. The present issue follows up by drawing contributions from participants at the international symposium ‘Undressing Patriarchy’, which took place in September 2013.

It explores the shifting field of men and masculinities and how often conflicted engagements with the feminist project of redressing gender inequalities might be radicalised through a deeper analysis of patriarchy and our relationship to it, as well as by linking it to other struggles for sexual and human rights, or social justice. The methodology of ‘undressing patriarchy’ focuses on the underlying drivers of gender equality, rather than getting stuck in a generalised fallacy casting all men as patriarchs.

The findings and conclusions of this IDS Bulletin include recommendations for practice, politics and policy, with clear directions flagged for deepening research and debates. There seems to be a growing interest and demand for developing new research on patriarchy and ‘men in power’ across different sectors and settings. More enabling theories of change and conceptual frameworks along with practical methodologies for consciousness-raising and facilitating dialogues all need further development. We hope this IDS Bulletin will trigger new thoughts and contribute significantly to an ongoing conversation.

2013: Volume 44

No: 5-6
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Edited by: Richard Manning, Charlotte Harland Scott and Lawrence Haddad
September 2013

As world leaders prepare for the special event on the Millennium Development Goals at the United Nations on 25 September 2013, and as momentum builds in the debate about the case for Sustainable Development Goals beyond 2015, this IDS Bulletin compiles reflections from various actors on the core elements of the MDGs and also on topics not explicitly covered in them, such as governance, participation and infrastructure.

Contributors include a serving President, a serving Minister, two Board members of IDS, and a wide range of academic and civil society representatives, plus a foreword from Sir Richard Jolly. Articles demonstrate the diversity of country and thematic responses to the MDGs, yet some common themes noticeably come through.

There is clear support for the UN High-level Panel’s emphasis on leaving no one behind, on sustainable development, and on transforming economies for jobs and inclusive growth; and its call to merge the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. The Panel's proposal that governments could choose an appropriate level of ambition for each target partly addresses contributors' concerns about local ownership, while leaving potential for other actors to set objectives. The inclusion of clearer goals for employment, governance and energy also resonates with contributors.

The open discussion of the value and contents of a new paradigm after 2015 represents a real advance from the situation in 2000–01, when the MDG framework was put in place behind closed doors. We hope that this IDS Bulletin will be a further contribution from IDS to an outcome that really will change people’s lives sustainably for the better.

No: 4
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Edited by: Ian Scoones, Lidia Cabral and Henry Tugendhat
July 2013

There is currently much talk of the role of the 'rising powers' in Africa, and whether their engagements represent a 'new paradigm' in development cooperation. This IDS Bulletin examines Brazilian and Chinese agricultural development cooperation in Africa focusing on different financial modalities, practices and politics of engagement, the 'encounters' that occur during negotiations, and the intersection of widerframing discourses with practices on the ground.

Looking at Ethiopia, Ghana,Mozambique and Zimbabwe gives an insight into the country-level dynamics at play specifically in the agricultural sector; and considering Brazil and China's own domestic experiences of agricultural development gives an understanding of the 'models' on offer, assessing the potential for their adaptation to African contexts.

Articles in this issue examine the cultural and social framings that influence the development encounter, and the underlying knowledge politics and structural power relations. Using a comparative approach an insight is gained into the importance of context and the role of individuals, bureaucracies, and historical experiences, in shaping the form new cooperation engagements take place. Also covered are the practices and micro-politics of such engagements, and how individuals bring with them ideas, experiences and biases which ultimately shape outcomes.

By providing a reflection on what is happening within agriculture, this IDS Bulletin concentrates on a sector central to Africa's development effort. This emerging field of research continues largely unexplored and it is hoped the insights developed here can be used to unpack and interrogate further the emerging 'development encounters', and pose new questions for further work.

No: 3
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Edited by: Lawrence Haddad, Zulfigar A. Bhutta and Haris Gazdar
May 2013

After a lost decade, there is clearly a groundswell of momentum for nutrition in Pakistan, driven by a confluence of policy, evidence and events. This momentum needs to be sustained at the national level, reinforced at the provincial and sub-provincial levels, and converted into action.

The articles in this IDS Bulletin highlight some of the key features of undernutrition in Pakistan and its drivers. The correlates of undernutrition in Pakistan are no different than any other country: infection, poor diet quantity and quality, and unequal gender relations. High levels of poverty and fragility make the context for undernutrition reduction more difficult.Yet, the articles here also show that government nutrition interventions can work. But if the log jam of malnutrition in Pakistan is to be broken for good, malnutrition will have to be viewed as a development outcome – one that is a foundation for other outcomes such as economic growth and social cohesion – and this will only be achieved by viewing nutrition through a political-economy lens.

The collection of 12 articles in this issue represents a contribution to the potential moment of change. They do three things: (1) describe the nutrition status and its correlates and causes, (2) assess some of the interventions employed to combat undernutrition, and (3) analyse the political context within which these interventions emerged and will have to operate in the future. They aim to give additional definition to the debate of what it is desirable and possible to do to accelerate undernutrition reduction in Pakistan and why it is essential to do so.

No: 2
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Edited by: Martin Greeley, Henry Lucas and Jingqing Chai
March 2013

Growth in the use of real time digital information for monitoring has been rapid in developing countries across all the social sectors, and in the health sector has been remarkable. Commonly these Real Time Monitoring (RTM) initiatives involve partnerships between the state, civil society, donors and the private sector. There are differences between partners in understanding of objectives,and divergence occurs due to adoption of specific technology-driven approaches and because profit-making is sometimes part of the equation.

With the swarming, especially of pilot mHealth initiatives, in many countries there is risk of chaotic disconnects, of confrontation between rights and profits, and ofoverall failure to encourage appropriate alliances to build sustainable and effective national RTM systems. What is needed is a country-led process for strengthening the quality and equity sensitivity of real-time monitoring initiatives. We propose the development of an effective learning and action agenda centred on the adoption of common standards.

IDS, commissioned and guided by UNICEF Division of Policy and Strategy, has carriedout a multi-country assessment of initiatives that collect high frequency and/or time-sensitive data on risk, vulnerability and access to services among vulnerable children and populations and on the stability and security of livelihoods affected by shocks. The study, entitled Real Time Monitoring for the Most Vulnerable (RTMMV), began with a desk review of existing RTMinitiatives and was followed up with seven country studies (Bangladesh, Brazil,Romania, Senegal, Uganda, Vietnam and Yemen) that further explored and assessed promising initiatives through field-based review and interactive stakeholder workshops. ThisIDS Bulletin brings together key findings from this research.

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