Latest Issues

Gender and Energy: Opportunities for All

Volume 51 Number 1 February 2020

Edited by: Ana Pueyo and Mar Maestre

The global drive to provide universal access to sustainable and modern energy by 2030 is creating numerous opportunities for energy users and suppliers. However, men and women do not benefit equally from these opportunities. Women’s contribution to energy planning, supply, and policymaking is limited, as the energy sector is heavily dominated by men. Therefore, universal energy access cannot be achieved without women being able to use the modern energy services they need. Despite these stark gender differences in the energy sector, there has been a lack of evidence to inform more equitable policymaking. This issue of the IDS Bulletin aims to fill some of these evidence gaps through five original papers, produced as part of ENERGIA’s Gender and Energy Research Programme. Carrying out research in 12 countries in Africa and Asia, the programme delivered nine studies on gender and energy under the following thematic areas: electrification, productive use of energy, energy sector policy dynamics, energy subsidy reform, the role of the private sector in scaling up energy access, gender mainstreaming approaches, and global trends in gender and energy.

The IDS Bulletin issue starts with an article that identifies global trends that could help catalyse the closing of energy access gaps around the world and shows how these trends relate to gender inequality. Three further articles go on to discuss gender and entrepreneurship, reinforcing the argument that women’s engagement in the energy sector can improve access and distribution of energy for those most underserved. The final article highlights wider findings and policy implications from the nine research projects of ENERGIA’s Gender and Energy Research Programme.

The Belt and Road Initiative and the SDGs: Towards Equitable, Sustainable Development

Volume 50 Number 4 December 2019

Edited by: Edited by Gong Sen, Melissa Leach and Jing Gu

Established in 2013 by President Xi Jinping, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is the source of significant academic and policy debate, in terms of how it is defined and how far it can contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development (Global Goals) by 2030. This IDS Bulletin seeks to explore these debates in more depth, looking at the opportunities and challenges that are associated with aligning the BRI and Global Goals frameworks at local, national and international levels to achieve universal global economic social and environmental goals. It highlights new evidence, analyses and insights from across a range of experts from China and BRI countries, and points both to the potential for the BRI to help achieve sustainable development outcomes and the political, economic, financial, environmental and social risks, implications and impacts for involved countries and communities.

Accountability Amidst Fragility, Conflict, and Violence: Learning from Recent Cases

Volume 50 Number 3 September 2019

Edited by: Anuradha Joshi

Estimates suggest that by 2030, about half of the world’s poor will live in contexts of fragility, conflict and violence, all of which exacerbate the difficulties faced by poor and marginalised people, particularly in influencing the policy decisions that affect their lives. This issue of the IDS Bulletin was prepared as part of Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA), an international research programme exploring social and political action in fragile, conflict, and violent settings. It identifies insights from relatively recent experiences of grass-roots struggles and related social and political change. The articles highlight key issues that are central in understanding how accountability pathways unfold in contexts of fragility, violence, and conflict. Such contexts are often ones where state institutions are weak, fragmented, and lack legitimacy; where non-state actors control territory and often provide services, and where civic space is limited and uneven. The issue emphasises the importance of distinguishing processes of accountability from those of empowerment, and recognising the complexities of the relationships between them. As pockets of fragility, conflict, and violence emerge in what have so far been relatively stable places, the initial insights discussed here will be increasingly relevant for tackling these issues globally.