Changing existing governance systems can be challenging, especially if communication of the changes, the reasons behind them, and the planned or expected results to be achieved are lacking. In fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS), this can be further complicated by the involvement of international agencies and their relationships with country governments, as well as by…» 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.
Poverty and conflict are widely understood to be closely interconnected; with poverty making countries more prone to civil war, and armed conflict weakening governance and economic performance, thus increasing the risk of conflict relapse (Goodhand 2001). The selected readings in this pack move beyond reductive and harmful assumptions about ‘pathologies’ of poverty to examine the…» more
In the wake of the Paris Agreement on climate change, multilaterals and aid agencies are shifting significant attention to the national arena, where the fulfilment of climate commitments will depend upon new legal and regulatory frameworks, supporting institutions, and the political support within and outside the government. The characteristics of climate change—complexity, uncertainty, irreversibility, and…» more
This 12-page guide is designed to provide DFID staff and other interested parties with information about free online courses and materials they can use to develop or refresh their humanitarian technical competencies. It is not an exhaustive list, but provides a starting point for those working to support DFID’s humanitarian objectives. Further resources may be…» more
Social movements as contentious politics Social movements are large, often informal groupings of people who come together against power holders around a common cause, in response to situations of perceived inequality, oppression and/or unmet social, political, economic or cultural demands. At their core, social movements are not about “polite debate” or “invited spaces” of interaction between…» more
A social protection system, in an international development context, is broadly understood to be an integrated national portfolio of interventions which aims to serve four basic functions for households and individuals: protection of a minimum standard of living, prevention of deprivation through increasing resilience to shocks, and promotion of sustainable livelihood improvements. At a societal…» more
In recent years, there has been an increasing realisation that political institutions and governance matter when explaining economic growth in developing countries. Here, political institutions refer to the process of collective decision-making and the checks on politicians and politically and economically powerful interest groups. Governance refers to the capability of the state to provide public…» more
What is stabilisation? Stabilisation efforts have become a common policy component of intervention in conflict response throughout the world. In recent years, there have been significant stabilisation interventions in places such as the Western Balkans, Haiti and Mali, among others. The concept of stabilisation, understood as the requirement to meet basic humanitarian and development needs…» more
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
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