The planet is urbanising at a rapid pace. There is no agreed definition of what constitutes a city, however the world’s new geography includes dozens of super cities (population of 40 million+), hyper-cities (population of at least 20 million), conurbations and more. While a number of the world’s largest cities still reside in North America…» more
These professional development reading packs provide thought-provoking introductions by international experts to governance, social development, conflict and humanitarian topics and the emerging issues and debates within them. Most packs are accompanied by video presentations.
On July 13 2016, Dr Robert Muggah (Igarapé Institute), and Dr Jaideep Gupte (IDS) joined GSDRC Research Fellow Dr William Avis to discuss key issues on urban governance, including urban governance in fragile cities. An audio-only version is available here.
Security and justice are priorities for poor people, are core functions of the state, and frequently considered prerequisites for economic and social development and prevention of violent conflict. The creation of spaces where people feel safe and secure are also at the heart of statebuilding. However, approaches to security and justice remain heavily contested, overlapping…» more
What is identity? Identity is as much about how people describe themselves and others as it is inherently about difference – defining a group with regards to dissimilarities in cultural, gendered, sexual, ethnic or national markers among others. Questions relating to identity may also be buried in other terms and framing depending on context –…» more
Historically, tax research has been dominated by two questions: how to enhance revenue collection in order to finance redistribution and public goods and services, and how to design tax policy to strengthen incentives for economic growth (Joshi et al. 2014; Moore 2013). However, the past decade has witnessed surging interests in a third possibility: that…» more
Public Financial Management (PFM) processes – revenue mobilisation (e.g. taxation and customs), budget preparation and resource allocation, budget execution (e.g. procurement and payroll), and the accounting and auditing of government expenditure – are a key focus of donor supported anti-corruption reforms. A focus on the budget and budgetary processes is not surprising given that: (1)…» more
All peace agreements need to address the question of the cessation of violence and in most cases this is done through a ceasefire of some kind. Typically, conflict parties will seek to put in place mechanisms to immediately stop the violence and prevent its resurgence. These mechanisms will most often enjoy international support (in terms…» more
In his book, the Rebirth of History (2012), Alain Badiou observed that “we find ourselves in a time of riots”. Paying attention to contemporary popular uprisings allows us to take the pulse of the street; homing in on people’s grievances and desires, how they conflict and temporarily converge, and how they counter or correspond with…» more
On May 11 2016, Dr. Sara Silvestri (City University London), Andrew Glazzard and Martine Zeuthen (RUSI) discussed issues raised in their reading packs on religion and conflict and violent extremism. An audio-only version is available below.
In fast-changing media and communication environments more people are connected than ever before. While most acknowledge that the influence and impact of changing media and communication on governance outcomes is growing, the degree to which new media landscapes are contributing to more informed, peaceful and accountable societies remains in question. For some, increasingly networked young,…» more
Over the past decade, development professionals have become increasingly aware of the fact that providing better services for the poor is as much about governance as it is about solving technical problems. Building new schools, health centres, and water points is all very well, but if teachers and nurses don’t turn up to work or…» more
When jobs are scarce it is young people who are hit the hardest as they are either unable to enter the workplace or are the first to be fired. According to the World Bank (2015), one third of the world’s 1.8 billion young people are not in employment, education or training (NEET), and only 40%…» more
The next decade will see the global population rise by 1 billion. The current youth bulge (there are an estimated 1.5 billion young people in the world today) is expected to give way to a rapidly ageing population by 2050. What does this mean for the development community? Dr Laura Camfield (UEA) and Prof Asghar Zaidi (University of…» more
No democratic government can afford not to listen to the voices of its citizens. There a three reasons for this. First, it is a matter of common sense. Involving people in discussions about how to tackle a problem that affects their lives is much more likely to generate successful solutions. If opportunities are made to…» more
Why would you want to mix religion with development? They appear to be completely different things – at best incompatible; at worst highly combustible. After all some strands of religion have an overtly political agenda, while other strands promote or condone violence, including terrorism. In some instances religions promote discrimination against women, children and other…» more
https://youtu.be/T0sfe5RASN0 Prof Sarah White (University of Bath) and Andrew Shepherd (Chronic Poverty Advisory Network) gave presentations on extreme and persistent poverty and wellbeing. They drew on their experience research to reflect on comments and questions raised by participating development practitioners. The webinar was held on 3 March 2016. An audio-only version of the webinar is available
‘Violent extremism’ is rarely defined: neither the United Nations nor the European Union has an official definition. USAID defines it as “advocating, engaging in, preparing, or otherwise supporting ideologically motivated or justified violence to further social, economic or political objectives”. However, this apparently simple and obvious statement conceals a great deal of controversy and uncertainty….» more
Human rights emerged as a new field in international development in the 1990s. By 1997, the UN Secretary-General had called on all UN development agencies to mainstream human rights (1997), while development donors and NGOs increasingly committed themselves to a human rights approach. Diverse factors explain this seeming breakthrough of human rights. First, a growing…» more
https://youtu.be/q99ByZCbPlw Dr Lori Heise (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) and Emma Fulu (the Equality Institute) gave short presentations on social norms and violence against women and girls. They drew on their experience and research to reflect on comments and questions raised by participating development practitioners. Download the presentations here and here. The webinar was held…» more
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is considered one of the most pervasive human rights abuses of our times, affecting more than one in three women globally. VAWG is most likely to be perpetrated by someone known to the victim, such as a family member or intimate partner, and takes many different forms. This includes,…» more