Time to Reimagine Development

Edited by: Lawrence Haddad Naomi Hossain, Allister J. McGregor and Lyla Mehta

September 2011
Volume 42 Number 5

The major global crises of the past four years have collectively had a dramatic impact on people's lives and livelihoods – but have they also had a large impact on core ideas underlying mainstream development?

This is the question addressed by the Reimaging Development initiative in this issue of the IDS Bulletin. IDS researchers, students and partners build a more grounded view of the crises' effects and bring in new ideas emerging from different sectors in their wake. They also ask, 'What are the enablers and barriers to reimagining?' The articles in this issue are think pieces, often reflecting on very specific events, from thevarious sites in the initiative.

Overall the analysis illustrates how difficult it is to get away from 'business as usual'. While human kind has made great advances in reducing poverty and diseaseand in promoting freedoms over the past 50 years, the work is only part done. Still too many people lack justice, rights and material wellbeing and they must not be forgotten. The issue suggests that we must keep challenging our assumptionsand theories of change about development. Because ideas, institutions and interests are rarely aligned we must be ready to advance human wellbeing whenthey are. This means building reimagining into our everyday work and into our professional relationships by investing in processes that support wild ideas, horizon scanning and reflective practice. In the future, we must not confine reimagining to key moments, however important they may seem.