Wednesday, 19 December 2012

China – an economic miracle built on sadness

by Gabriele Koehler

China is admired as an economic miracle: it has produced double-digit GDP growth every year, for the past decade, and achieved the Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty (measured at 1.25$ per person per day, PPP) ahead of time. In fact, given China´s population size, its progress on economic poverty alleviation has enabled the international development community to celebrate the achievement of its Millennium Development poverty goal, set for 2015, in 2010. Over the past decades, China has completely restructured its economy, raising rural and manufacturing productivities, and positioning itself as a leading global exporter.

But: there are many buts. Despite the country’s enormous economic growth, circa 200 million people in China remain under the $1.25 poverty line – which is, after all, extreme poverty, in a country that had once vowed to eradicate all poverty and class differences. Income inequality has increased visibly; statistically, the Gini coefficient is now around .48, compared to less than 0.3 in 1978.
While the high-powered well-heeled upper income quintiles enjoy a cosmopolitan life style, manual workers in rural areas and urban agglomerations are losing out. In the hutongs (old districts) of Beijing, for example, the simple one-storey courtyard flats lack any family privacy and have no plumbing or proper heating.

The Chinese economic miracle is largely owed to the approximately 250 million labour migrants. As has been well-documented, migrant workers in the special economic zones have only recently begun claiming decent wages after years of massive under-payment and dire work and living conditions. They still have no right to remain in the cities once their employment ends, because of the registration (hukou) system which ties a citizen to their place of birth.

China's children  
One less-reported facet of China’s economic miracle, directly related to migration, is the increasingly complex situation of children. On the one hand, stunting (low height-for-age) which is an outcome of chronic malnutrition, decreased from 33 per cent in 1990 to 11 per cent in 2005;  for urban children, it  dropped from 9 per cent in 1990 to 3 per cent in 2005, and among rural children from 41 per cent to 13 per cent. This is one strong indicator that children’s situations have improved – materially. The success can be attributed to a combination of improved health, water and sanitation, as well as to the higher rural incomes resulting from migrants´ remittances to their home towns and villages.

On the other hand, emotional deprivations are intensifying. Recently released data suggest that more than 25% of the country’s children are affected by migration. An estimated 55 million children are “left behind”: one or both parents work and live in another location. The child is left in the care of relatives, usually the paternal grandparents. The number of such children more than doubled between the year 2000 and 2008 – the years of enormous GDP growth. (see graph). Another 27 million children are migrants, accompanying their parents or migrating on their own.

These children are, on average,  better off financially than preceding generations. But equally importantly, they are affected by the absence of their parents, and often develop a severe sense of loss. Moreover, most are single children because of China’s draconian one-child policy. These are emotionally stunted, lonely childhoods.

Legislation for equality
China now needs to equalise its economic accomplishments. Several governmental efforts for this are underway. In the economic domain, they include wage increases and new regulations on limiting weekly working hours. They include policies, such as the “Go West” initiative in place for a decade now,  to attract domestic and foreign investment to the inner provinces so that jobs would travel to people rather than people having to migrate for jobs. There are job creation strategies, such as new types of “industrial parks”  which nurture the lucrative, professionally rewarding and less draining creative industries – IT, consumer goods design, the arts.

In the social policy domain, there is a minimum income guarantee allowance (dibao), and an effort to introduce universal health insurance. The registration (hukou) system is under review, so that urban health and education facilities might become accessible for the families of migrants; and there is also some reflection on liberalising the one child policy. Child poverty, acknowledged as distinct from adults’ poverty, is incorporated into the National Rural Poverty Reduction Strategy 2011-2020.
Both in policy circles and the country’s many impressive research centres, there is increasing recognition of the need to urgently address income poverty, in terms of population under the poverty line, as well as the growing differences between the richest and the poorest in terms of incomes and assets.

However, China’s main policy orientation  is still towards  “more growth”, with an ambition to  double per capita income by 2020, compared to 2010 levels (Hu Jintao statement at the November 2012 Communist  party congress). This will not solve China’s problems. What is needed is radical income and wealth redistribution. What is needed is transparency, political participation and open debate, and the guarantee of human rights (apart from Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch reports, see Liao Yiwu´s interviews with activists from the  1989 Tian An Men. And what is needed is an environment where it is economically viable, and socially the norm, that children grow up in the care of their parents. In other words, it is imperative that economic growth is not bought with a young child’s sadness.

Gabriele Koehler is a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Failed ICT development projects: Sweeping it under the carpet and moving on?

by Inka Barnett

The use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) has become increasingly widespread. Even in remote villages in developing countries there are more and more people who have access to a mobile phone. ICTs have the potential to make development projects more efficient, lower costs and improve the quality of service delivery. Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that the development community and national governments have enthusiastically embarked on ever more ICT projects in health, agriculture, e-governance, education and many more. There are certainly a number of very successful projects (see for example m-pesa). However, when I speak to development practitioners, I get the impression that there is an equal (or perhaps considerable higher?) number of failed projects. Unfortunately, only very few share their experiences of a failed ICT project publicly.

Last week I attended a talk by Ben Taylor from Daraja, a NGO in Tanzania, in which he bravely presented the lessons learned from his failed ICT project. Ben and his colleagues founded the Maji Matone (water drops) programme in rural Tanzania in 2010. The aim of their programme was to encourage citizens to put pressure on their local authorities to maintain and repair broken-down water pumps by using mobile phones. Using a simple SMS-message local communities were asked to report on the state of their water supply to the authorities. Local radio stations were simultaneously informed and followed-up the action the local water authorities would take in response to the text message.
The programme received a lot of attention nationally as well as internationally before it had even started. Unfortunately, the anticipated success did not come after the initial pilot phase of the project. The team had anticipated more than 3,000 text messages but received only 53! After Ben and his colleagues overcame their disappointment, they decided to actively investigate what went wrong.

They found the following reasons for failure:
  1. Political reasons: The relationship between local communities and authorities is sensitively balanced in Tanzania and citizens are reluctant to report on their government.
  2. Gender-specific reasons: Water collection is generally the responsibility of women and children who often do not have access to a mobile phone
  3. Lack of electricity and limited mobile network coverage
Ben and his team decided to openly share the reasons for the failure of their project in talks, on the web (including social media such as Facebook and Twitter) and in leaflets.
Openly admitting failure is a relative new but very important development in international development. The annual failure report by the Canadian NGO engineers without borders is another admirable example.

The application of ICTs in development projects is still novel and there are a large number of new and additional variables that need to be considered in comparison to traditional development projects (e.g. challenges of private/public partnerships, development of sustainable business models, negotiations of complex intersections between technology and development). Given the current often slightly uncritical excitement about the potential of ICTs for development, expectations of donors and limited funding, reporting failure is a challenging subject. However, without through investigation of why and how an ICT development project failed and without honestly sharing these experiences, we will continue to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Social protection: asking too much of the individual?

Keetie Roelen (left) and Martina Ulrichs (right)
By Keetie Roelen and Martina Ulrichs

Social protection is now considered to be an integral part of the response to an array of different development issues. These range from reducing poverty and vulnerability to improving education and nutritional outcomes to increasing the levels of resilience to deal with droughts, unemployment and other shocks.

The toolkit for addressing these different problems includes social transfers, conditional cash transfers (CCTs) and public works, amongst others. The large majority of programmes, however, share a similar characteristic; they are designed based on the assumption that poverty is largely a result of individual constraints, such as low levels of education or physical assets, rather than due to structural factors. Social protection programmes address these individual constraints, thereby providing the poor with the necessary means to pull themselves out of poverty and improve their living conditions. But is this a safe assumption to make?

In a newly published Centre for Social Protection (CSP) working paper ‘Equal opportunities for all? – A critical analysis of Mexico’s Oportunidades’, we argue that despite the many positive contributions of social protection, too much of a focus on individuals or households might overlook the structural causes that keep them in poverty. If someone achieves higher levels of education, this could potentially help them to get a better job and higher income. But what if there is no school nearby? And if there is one, what if the quality of education is so poor that higher levels of education will not translate into skilled employment? The power of the individual in moving out of poverty only reaches so far, and social protection programmes need to be accompanied by more structural and macro-level changes that address the underlying causes of inequality.

The Oportunidades programme in Mexico and its impact on indigenous people is a case in point. Oportunidades is one of the most long-standing and reputable CCT programmes, providing poor households with cash transfers when they fulfil particular criteria with respect to education and health. Indeed, the programme has been found to have many positive impacts such as reducing poverty, increasing school enrolment and improving children’s nutritional outcomes. Its long-term objective is to break the intergenerational transmission of poverty by incentivising parents to send their children to school and thus increase their employment opportunities and wage earning potential. Indigenous people in Mexico have consistently belonged to the poorest of the poor and are strongly represented among the programme beneficiaries. One out of four Oportunidades beneficiaries is indigenous.

The case of indigenous people in Mexico illustrates how the emphasis on the individual’s responsibility in moving out of poverty may be misplaced. Firstly, the educational services that indigenous people have access to are generally of low quality, limiting the extent to which they can build ‘human capital’. Secondly, low social mobility of indigenous people limits their employment opportunities. Finally, persistent wage differentials between indigenous and non-indigenous people limit the extent to which indigenous people can really benefit from paid and formal employment. For indigenous people to benefit from Oportunidades to the same extent as non-indigenous people, and as intended by the programme, structural changes are required that go beyond the individual’s level of responsibility or reach.

Programmes like Oportunidades have been milestones in providing social protection to the poor. They can however only be effective in combating poverty in the long-term if they go hand in hand with more comprehensive social policy agendas that go beyond the individual and address the root causes of inequality and poverty.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

How to Identify Who Suffers Most from Riots and Why Does it Matter for Policy?

Jean Pierre Tranchant is a Research Fellow with the Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction TeamBy Jean-Pierre Tranchant

Rioting has received a great deal of attention from policymakers, scholars and the general public in the recent past notably due to the presence of high profile riots in Europe (Greece since the Euro Crisis, the UK in 2011 or France in 2005) and to considerably more deadly instances of communal rioting that occurred in places such as Nigeria and India (Assam riots this year, Khandamal riots in 2009). These are a reminder that riots can cause tremendous human suffering and threaten peace and stability in diverse societies. 

Yet we know very little as to who is primarily affected by instances of rioting. It is an important question if we want to understand the dynamics unleashed by and responsible for these episodes of violence. I discuss here how the methods we used in a recent research paper published with IDS colleagues Jaideep Gupte and Patricia Justino can be helpful to shed light on this issue.We surveyed close to 1100 households in urban Maharashtra as part of a long-standing study of civil violence and welfare. In our sample 12.5% of the respondents reported they were impacted by riots. Overwhelming proportions of them have not directly suffered from injuries or physical damages but has been adversely affected by the indirect consequences of riots. We further discussed these findings on the MICROCON blog. Indeed riots generate fear, strain community relations, disrupt markets and institutions, and are generally accompanied by heavy-handed measures to restore law and order such as curfew.

Ecological studies

Riots are localised events in that they unfold within some particular spaces. Thus by looking at a map of the events of violence, one can start noticing patterns. The Guardian displayed such a map at the occasion of the UK riots where the level of deprivation of very small geographical areas was matched with the location of events of rioting[1]. The visual correlation between poverty and violence was obvious. The quantitative academic literature on riots follows a fundamentally similar strategy, albeit in a more systematic fashion: researchers use a unit of analysis (census tracts, cities, states), collect relevant information on causes and consequences of rioting for each of these units and match it with geographical information on violence events. Regarding India, such studies suggest that riots are caused by e.g. low growth, population pressure, weak social spending, low level of social capital, proximity to elections and political configurations.

The problem with this approach is that it conflates space and people. For instance, even if riots tend to happen in poor places, it does not automatically follow that the poorest individuals are the most exposed. Similarly, if one finds an association in the data between social capital and low levels of violence, is it because places with high social capital are able to prevent violence[2] or because people with good social connections can survive and cope more easily amidst episodes of violence.[3]  By design, ecological studies of the kind described above cannot disentangle these effects. They are prone to the ecological fallacy whenever the relationships between two variables differ at various levels of analysis. Economics, sociology, criminology and education studies are abound with examples where such is the case, which cast doubt on the interpretation we can give to results of the riot studies.

Micro-level studies:

Another branch of empirical research on violence takes the opposite direction and stresses the individual level of analysis. The IDS plays a leading role in that stream of research, notably through the MICROCON and other research programmes hosted at the Conflict, Violence and Development Cluster. However, to eliminate various sources of bias, researchers usually feel the need to look at variations between households but within defined geographical areas. This can tell us whether individuals with good social connections are less vulnerable than socially isolated individuals, but it cannot say anything on whether areas with more social capital are more peaceful.

Multilevel analysis of riot victimisation in Maharashtra:

The methodology we used in our study of riots in Maharashtra allows us to combine micro and macro-level analysis. We sampled 1089 households in 45 (predominantly poor) neighbourhoods within 10 districts of Maharashtra. As such the structure of the data is nested so that households are nested within neighbourhoods which in turn are nested within districts. We used a multilevel statistical analysis to model riot victimisation as depending on household, neighbourhood and district effects.


Among other results we found that:

1) Within neighbourhoods, households with weak coping capacity, that are socially isolated, reliant on informal economic groups, and living close to crime areas are those who disproportionately suffer from riots.

2) Community characteristics matter: As argued by
  • Varshney, neighbourhoods with higher level of social capital are characterised by lesser victimisation rate. However, we don't find that these neighbourhoods see fewer riots, but rather that when hit by a riot; they are better able to shield their most vulnerable residents from its detrimental impact.
  • Victimisation tends to be higher in neighbourhoods with large caste fragmentation.
  • The effect of poverty is unclear: although the sampling design revealed that disenfranchised communities are over-represented among riot-affected sites, our results suggest that riot victimisation is higher among the least disenfranchised ones.
These results are useful for policy in that they emphasise the extent of indirect victimisation and identify potential channels to mitigate it. First and foremost, the results show that development policies aimed at reducing vulnerability should acknowledge vulnerability to violence as an important dimension. Indeed, economic, social, physical and violence vulnerabilities overlap and reinforce each others. Secondly, initiatives aimed at fostering community relations are useful in that they reduce the indirect sufferings caused by riots. Thirdly, these initiatives are all the more important in socially diverse environments (caste) which are the most fragile to the deleterious impact of riots. Tackling this victimisation is an important task to break the cycle of deprivation and violence.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Why should you do the MA in Poverty and Development at IDS?

By Roger Williamson
Photo of Roger Williamson
You are obviously interested at some level – or you would not be reading this.

Some obvious objections. There are other development studies courses around. Yes, but the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) has a concentration of 100 development researchers allowing for a range of specialisms, and a genuinely inter-disciplinary approach. As my PhD supervisor told me, most of the important and interesting work to be done is multidisciplinary and none of us are properly trained in all the subjects we need and how they fit together, being taught in the multidisciplinary environment of IDS gives you a good grounding and establishes the work habits for a career of acquiring other skills you need “on the job”.

It’s expensive. Yes. Education is expensive – but not as expensive or damaging as ignorance. If you want to be a development professional get trained properly. The alternative is likely to be too damaging to poor people later and will not do your career any good. The other news, however, is that MA courses are expensive - and IDS does not compare badly even on price alone in a UK or international comparison.

Things are very turbulent just now – “I am going to wait until it all settles down a bit”. Don't. It's not going to settle down. Do a course which helps you deal with complexity, risk, uncertainty. If you want clarity and simplicity get a job selling bread. You will know at the end of the day if you sold more than yesterday.

Where will I end up working?
You don’t know and we don’t know. However, IDS alumni end up working with government, in NGOs or international development agencies, academia and other stimulating arenas. However, more and more these days’ people end up with a “portfolio” career, rather than one employer for a lifetime. You need interdisciplinary skills, flexible approaches – the IDS courses prepare you as well as any can. I have employed and worked with a number of colleagues with an IDS training.

So – what are the positives?
A huge plus is the other students. You will not be in a room with people who are just intellectually smart careerists. The other students are also high performers, but they have at least two years’ experience working in development. It is a small intense community – with many of the students from countries of the Global South. A mixture of small group study; one-on-one supervision for your dissertation on your theme of choice.

The course is demanding – you can’t do much more in a year
In the autumn term, students have to do three core modules mapping out the territory in poverty and development. There is more choice after Christmas – doing Aid and Poverty and/or Poverty, Violence and Conflict – or one of these courses and one from a lengthy menu of optional modules. From May – August, attention is focused on a 10,000 word dissertation. This either rounds out the course or is the ideal preparation for a student who wants to go on to a PhD. (I have some advice on a PhDs as well – only do one if you think the subject is really interesting and important, and/or you need it for your career).

IDS is a fantastic intellectual environment
There is the challenge of the other students and excellent study facilities in a world class development library. There is literally no “upper limit” to the resources available in the library or on line – and you will be shown the skills to access it.

Then, of course, there is the opportunity to hear a constant stream of challenging speakers on development in lunch time and evening presentations from external speakers and IDS luminaries such as Richard Jolly and Robert Chambers.

Recent MA students I have talked with (not a big enough sample to help me pass the quantitative methods elements of the course, I grant) also stress the important opportunities for some students through IDS to be employed as researchers on projects alongside study. It gets you experience, it gets you known, you earn some money.

I wish I had done this course. Being a visiting fellow gives me an insight into IDS, and I am impressed. I have had a career working with NGOs and organizing development related conferences for government - and the graduates from this course and other IDS MAs are exactly the type of people I wanted to recruit to my teams – well-qualified, well-motivated, open to new approaches, wanting to make a difference.

In Brazil in 1983, I talked with a top cartoonist, Claudius Ceccon who worked with the Catholic Bishops which sided with the poor against the military dictatorship. The Church was producing excellent campaigning material against poverty and human rights violations. I asked why they produced the material so well and carefully. He replied: “The poor deserve the best”. I feel very strongly indeed that if people are not well motivated to work with and on behalf of the poor, and if you are not well trained, you really should be doing something else. Development is littered with examples of the damage done by self-appointed and mistaken “experts”. The interview process should sift out people with the wrong motivation and the course should get you well trained.   

Health warning: This blog is based on insufficient research, not enough in-depth conversation with current or previous students – so should you ignore it? No – check it out for yourself. Is it the course for you? Apply and ask the difficult questions. Or if you find another course at IDS or elsewhere which will equip you better do that instead! A career in development is like the marathon – and this course is like a good pair of running shoes to help you on your way.

About the author
Roger Williamson is a Visiting Fellow in the Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Team at IDS. He has had a career in NGOs, including work as Policy and Campaigns Director at Christian Aid, a major development organization. Until taking early retirement he organized nearly 80 international conferences for the British government at Wilton Park.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The March of the Index

Photo of Dolf te Linteloby Dolf te Lintelo

Several weeks ago, I spent a day in the heart of London attending two index launch events. One concerned the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance 2012, the other the Global Hunger Index 2012 by IFPRI/Concern/German Agro-Action. Both taking place the same morning was coincidental and seemingly only connected by a few folks shuttling between both events. Yet, it clearly signalled the rise of the index as a measurement and advocacy tool in development.

Of course, indices have been around for some time, yet a clear trend has emerged over the last decade. In the early 1990s the Human Development Index was established to become a leading international reference point, with the UN Development Programme publishing annual human development reports. Newer kids on the block include the Centre for Global Development’s Commitment to Development Index (since 2003); the Gross National Happiness Index of Bhutan (2009); the Global Food Security Index of the Economist Intelligence Unit (2011); the Multidimensional Poverty Index (2010) Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative and UNDP; and the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index of OPHI/USAID/IFPRI (2012), to name but a few. Here I should declare an interest: I have been working with colleagues to develop a Hunger Reduction Commitment Index ( - 2011), soon to be relaunched as Hunger And Nutrition Commitment Index (HANCI).

So why are indices so rapidly proliferating? Here are some reasons, in no particular order:
  • They allow a quick fire comparison of countries, if done well. Although in-country policymakers overwhelmingly focus on domestic development, international comparisons can broaden their horizons without any fuzz. 
  • People, organisations and governments are intrigued by league tables – they love them or love to hate them. A senior African UN administrator and member of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s governing board noted that African political leaders proudly wave index findings when it portrays them as doing well, or don’t use them at all.
  • Indices not just stir up debate but can also foster dialogue. Civil society groups are attracted to indices as it allows them to engage with governments using credible third party analysis, that often employ government published data.
  • The diagnostic strengths of indices can not only enable governments to assess their own performance on critical development indicators but also help them to join up dots that otherwise may remain unconnected.
  • Indices are possible. This is not just a statement of the obvious. Greater ease of access to data thanks to computerised databases has greatly enabled their construction, on a growing number of indicators. For instance, the Global Food Security Index looks at 25 indicators for 105 countries, and the Ibrahim Index of African Governance compares 53 African countries for 84 variables. This is not to say that sufficient data on the right indicators is always available - it often is not. Indices show what data is available, not what is lacking.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Ethiopia after Meles

by Jeremy Lind
Meles Zenawi, the long-serving Ethiopian Prime Minister since 1995 and leader of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition, passed away in August. His death sparked considerable concern and debate internationally. The political stability of Ethiopia - the largest recipient of overseas development assistance in Africa - was put into question. Would the loss of Zenawi upend a decade of staggering official economic growth? Would it halt the transformation of Ethiopia from a famine-plagued country to a regional hegemon in the Horn of Africa?

Meles sought to replicate the Chinese growth ‘miracle’ and to craft a distinctly Ethiopian version of this that has been labelled ‘developmental authoritarianism’ by outsiders. He dismissed human rights critiques from many directions and squeezed the space for opposition and civic society to organise around governance and rights-based concerns – unless part of officially sanctioned institutions.

Foreign donors quietly criticised his policies – more vocally after the post 2005 elections – yet maintained substantial aid commitments to the country in the long term. With his death, some western critics have sought to cast the transition as an opportunity for Ethiopia’s development partners to press governance and human rights concerns yet again. However, the implications of the transition to a new PM and leadership at the top of the EPRDF are far from certain.

The first issue of a new policy briefing series from IDS explores the implications of Meles’ death for Ethiopia’s political stability, geo-political relations and development pathways. The IDS Rapid Response Briefings are published by the Institute of Development Studies and aim to provide high level analysis of rapidly emerging and unexpected global events and their impact on global development policy and practice. The briefings provide expert perspectives, opinions and commentary from around the world drawing on the experience and expertise of IDS’s 1000 alumni and 250 partners.

So, what are the implications of Meles’ death?


Meles’ successor, Hailemariam Dessalegn, Foreign Minister and Vice Premier since 2010, from the EPRDF, became acting PM under party rules in September. Crucially, Hailemariam is from the southern part of the country – Wolaita more specifically – and was not a member of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) that holds ultimate power in the coalition.

While Hailemariam’s appointment has been welcomed by Southerners within Ethiopia, representation of SNNPR in the military and federal command structure is minimal or absent altogether. The TPLF maintains control over the National Intelligence and Security Services, as well as the all-powerful federal police. A majority of recent key military appointments were from Meles’ home Tigray region, which has led some to speculate that Hailemariam’s appointment is a calculated political move by and for the TPLF, allowing them to maintain de facto political authority behind a cloak of ethnic pluralism.

Meles’ death exposes the dangers of a state built around one man, but he also leaves behind a formidable political machine. For Hailemariam the challenge is whether and how he can manage the machine. Members of competing elites may fight for control of this machine and ethnic movements on the periphery could be emboldened to exploit a perceived power vacuum. Eritrea might also sense an opportunity to destabilise its neighbour. The question is whether perceived economic development and prosperity will willingly be traded for political instability – even by those at loggerheads with the central state.


Ethiopia’s presence and capacity for global influence may well diminish. Meles courted Chinese largesse and trade and investment deals with other non-conventional donors such as Turkey, Brazil and India. He was an astute political game-player and realised that many more strategic issues could be used to assist western powers and, therefore, ensure their eventual quiescence when human rights abuses were carried out.

Ethiopia is a key strategic ally in counter-terrorism efforts by the US and its allies in the Horn. Meles opened Ethiopia’s doors to U.S. geostrategic interests, through positioning drones at Arba Minch in the south of the country, which enables greater U.S. geostrategic reach in and around Somalia, and providing proxy forces for the U.S.-backed invasion of southern Somalia in 2006.

Meles deftly negotiated the intricacies of regional diplomacy in the Horn, cultivating close ties with both Sudans. He championed regional economic integration and was deeply engaged in the Lamu-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport project (LAPSSET) as well as several hydroelectric schemes under which Ethiopia sought to position itself as a regional energy exporter.


In spite of significant economic growth over the past decade and important gains in reducing poverty, Hailemariam inherits formidable economic challenges. These are dominated by the need to find secure livelihoods for a large and growing population and the acute vulnerability of its major economic sector - rainfed agriculture which is dominated by small plots that are leased by the government. Two thirds of the economy is controlled by government through nationalised and ‘para-statal’ enterprises, many of which fall under the control of TPLF figures.

The current picture is mixed: economic vibrancy is apparent in Addis Ababa and other major cities as construction booms and the consumption economy grows. Yet unemployment is rising – particularly in urban areas, inequality is widening and inflation has surged in recent years. Balancing the complex interrelations between transformations in agriculture, urbanisation, employment generation and maintaining a reasonable cost of living is the challenge facing the new Prime Minister.

Visit the IDS website where you can subscribe to the new IDS Rapid Response Briefings and receive each one as soon as it is published.

Resilient Wellbeing – Climate Change, Migration, Urbanization

by Roger Williamson

It is a frequent complaint – and justified – that no-one gets enough time to think these days. We decided to schedule an exploratory day to see what could and should be researched further on these topics. So – to have a day to think, with a small group, proved to be a great idea.

What came out of it? We don’t fully know yet. It is a famous Zen Buddhist maxim that in the mind of the expert there is only one solution, but in the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities. You can use this motto to dignify laziness, failure to commit, lack of precision in analysis, but I don’t think we are doing that.

It is good to start with a fundamental question – does it make sense to put these issues together? Or are the individual problem areas already so complex that they defy sensible or politically-practical response?

First – you have to start somewhere. We brought together a home team of some IDS specialists with colleagues from:

Some points I gleaned from the day are:
  • The overwhelming difficulty of really getting on top of any one “corner of the triangle” – climate change, migration or urbanization;
  • The importance of ensuring that ODA and climate funding is well targeted in the post-MDG world – it would be a huge wasted opportunity if the climate funding mechanisms went through the painful education of “learning from mistakes” which has characterized much of development funding history – we should know better by now;
  • That a polarized “urban is more important / no, it’s not” debate would be a great waste of time. Neither the extremely poor in rural areas, nor those in cities are well served by the policies in most countries. Even a cursory review of post-financial crisis and climate change literature indicates the urgent need for solutions tailored to specific contexts – and suggest that many of these contexts will be even more challenging in the future.
  • That looking at urbanization and migration as complex processes, not just as “one-off” individual decisions brings a much deeper understanding.
For me, there is fertile ground to be explored in the overlap between resilience and wellbeing. The 'systems-thinking' of resilience is well adapted to provide a space in which all relevant factors can be introduced. But if the resilience sought is the resilience of 'the system' isn’t there a danger that the vulnerable, poor, marginalized and excluded can be sacrificed in 'triage' when things get critical? (see the recent IDS working paper on whether resilience is a 'new utopia' or 'new tyranny'). The antidote could well be bottom-up understandings of wellbeing – actually finding out from ordinary people – migrants arriving in cities, for example, what would make their lives better.

My working hypothesis is that the creative area is the intersection between the “big drivers’ and systems and the 'stories from below'. It is there that we discover that the subnational level is vital, that initiatives by slum dwellers are a vital component to urban priorities and governance.

The world often writes the agenda – the “storm warning” from the Caribbean and New York tells us through the cost in people’s lives that neither poor countries like Haiti, nor a rich city like New York can pretend that we have cracked the issues of urban reliance in a time or more frequent and extreme weather events. I am convinced that there is agenda in there – but like cooking, it is not just about listing the ingredients, it’s how to put them together and cooking until it’s ready.

PS - During the lunch break, I checked my mail box. There – as promised – was the attractive and engaging Rockefeller Foundation book on the 'Century of the City'.

The day after our seminar, I worked through much of it in a quick preliminary reading. In it, David Satterthwaite says: “The international funding system is superbly disconnected from the sources of innovations. The World Bank does not fund them. Neither do the bilateral agencies. Almost all the big donors have moved away from supporting local engagement”.

Now it has to be said that the book was published in 2008, so I await contradiction from donors who feel that critique was unfair then, and is certainly unfair now because of their ground-breaking initiatives on …….. ( please complete with examples and post them here!)

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Women and War

Patricia Justino and Becky Mitchell
Armed conflicts result in tremendous changes to the lives and livelihoods of women: women take up new jobs, join armies, act as peacemakers and provide essential support to their families and communities. However, post-conflict policy processes tend to limit the capacity of women to participate fully and take advantage of new opportunities after the end of the war. Post-conflict contexts are currently characterised by a mismatch between policy priorities and women’s needs and aspirations, and policy is being designed and implemented based on limited rigorous evidence on what works and what does not work for people living in contexts of violence.

There have been some important steps towards a more inclusive integration of women in peace, stability and economic recovery processes. The role of the United Nations has been instrumental in these advances, particularly the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2000. Despite these important advances, there is still a considerable lack of systematic and rigorous understanding about the impact of armed conflict on women’s roles, activities and aspirations, or about the nature and magnitude of the benefits of including women more fully in economic recovery and peace-building processes.

At the beginning of 2012, we were invited to work on a project with Action Aid and Womenkind on the inclusion of women in peace-building processes. At the time, we were also working on a joint project with UN Women on women’s roles in economic recovery in post-conflict contexts.

As part of the first project, we visited Liberia, Nepal and Sierra Leone and talked to women about their experiences of peacebuilding in their families, communities, and the local area. We visited rural areas and remote communities and in all instances we were astounded by the women we met. The stories they told us about their experiences during the various conflicts they had lived through were heart-breaking. But, more importantly women described how they were all moving on, concentrating on the future, and trying to rebuild their lives, their families, and their communities by whatever means they could.

In all three countries we met women who have formed local women’s groups, usually without any external help, to support each other emotionally, financially, and practically, to find peace. The peace they are working towards is not just the traditional definition, an absence of conflict, but it is about normal everyday things, like being able to feed their families, send their children to school, having access to healthcare and water, and being able to live without fear.

It is this wide definition of peace that seems to be ignored by many of the peace-building programmes that are initiated in post-conflict environments, ignoring the real needs of women and their families. The project with UN Women has helped us adding further pieces to the puzzle of what happens to women in conflict areas. We looked at six case studies: Bosnia, Colombia, Kosovo, Nepal, Tajikistan and Timor Leste. In all cases, we have found that women participate more actively in labour markets during conflict. This is not a positive uplifting story though: these are usually low-paid, low-skilled jobs taken by women in addition to their usual household tasks, and reinforced by the type of gender livelihood programming implemented in post-conflict settings. Two main shortcomings of these interventions are the flooding of markets with ‘female-suitable’ jobs, and the lack of inclusion of men in gender-sensitive programming. New female employment activities in conflict-affected areas very seldom result in direct empowerment gains for women and often contribute to increasing their levels of vulnerability. In addition, women tend to lose their jobs once the war is over and face pressures to return to traditional roles.

However, and against all odds, we have found that increases in the labour participation of women in conflict-affected areas are in some cases associated with increases in overall household and community welfare, when compared with households and communities in areas less affected by violence. This is a remarkable result is a testament to the resilience of women and their families under extreme conditions. This needs to be supported coherently in post-conflict interventions, based on realistic assessments what happens to different people in areas of violence, rather than the current ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach that characterises economic and livelihood recovery policy programming in post-conflict contexts.

Another lesson we have learned from these two projects is that while it is, of course, important to disarm rebel groups, demobilise armies, rehabilitate combatants, promote democratic processes and increase security and the rule of law, it is equally as important to help communities heal and rebuild. To understand what communities need to help them live in peace, policies and programmes must consult both men and women and give equal importance to each group. It is also imperative for women’s voices to be heard beyond community-level programming. For a peace-deal to be relevant for all citizens there must be representation for all major groups around the table. This must include women.

To find more about the research we have carried with ActionAid and Womenkind you can access the full report, From the Ground Up.

More information about the importance of women’semployment on post-conflict recovery (pdf).

Monday, 15 October 2012

Transforming nutrition – assessing the size of the task on World Food Day

by Nick Nisbett

Tuesday is World Food Day and – given that world food prices are once again making the headlines, it seems timely to be assessing the state of undernutrition in the world.  But it’s also depressing to see a topic returning to the media front pages that should never have gone away.  As David McNair blogged last week on Save the Children research (see also) “high and volatile prices are the new normal” and we shouldn’t allow the recent spikes in 2008, 2010 and this year to detract from both the constant urgency required to address global food security and undernutrition; and the longer term measures and understanding needed to ensure a century not as scarred by undernutrition and famine as the last. 

On World Food Day I will be meeting in Dhaka with partners from Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Ethiopia and the US to discuss our plans as part of an exciting new research consortium intended to transform thinking on nutrition relevant evidence in order to support the global effort to reduce undernutrition. Our work is intended to directly benefit the international momentum behind scaling up nutrition (SUN) or national efforts in countries such as India who have not signed up to SUN.

We’re shaping the research around three key research themes designed to tackle undernutrition holistically at its immediate, underlying and basic levels.  The first, led by Shams el-Arifeen of ICDDR,B, is focusing on approaches for scaling up direct nutrition interventions. There is a great deal of evidence on what works (in terms of public health, food and care interventions) in order to treat child and maternal undernutrition at this ‘immediate’ level, but a great deal still to be understood about how to turn this evidence into action on the ground rapidly, cost-effectively and at scale. 

Estimates suggest that direct interventions will only address one-third of stunting prevalence, with broader-based ‘indirect interventions’ needed to tackle the underlying drivers of undernutrition. So the second theme, led by John Hoddinott of IFPRI, is focusing on those wider ‘indirect’ interventions which are known to be effective, but where the evidence base is urgently in need of improvement. We need to know how to maximise interventions such as agriculture, social protection and women’s empowerment, so they are more nutrition-sensitive. 

IDS are leading on the third theme on the ‘enabling environment’ for undernutrition reduction. Why are some countries so much better at tackling undernutrition where so many others are failing? We think this is down to the politics and governance of nutrition - to tackling multiple political deficiencies, including: the lack of resources dedicated to direct and indirect measures; the lack of capable leaders with a the right knowledge and the means to implement a good plan; the lack of visibility of the malnourished; and their lack of power to access and monitor even basic nutrition services.

So this work incorporates and builds on some existing and exciting new work by IDS and our partners to try to better understand, measure and enhance enabling environments for undernutrition reduction. Behind this jargon, we’re looking seriously for example at the political economy of nutrition in Kenya; or how to enhance methods to hold policy makers to accounton their nutrition commitments. In Dhaka we’ll be discussing research planned by consortium partners on identifying political/governance determinants of undernutrition via multi-country analysis and at a district level in India; on building capacity for public health nutrition education in Bangladesh, India and Kenya; and on how to make nutrition more visible using frontline health workers equipped with mobile phone reporting. I’m particularly excited about a major trial we’re planning on how to support better integrated nutrition services at a community level via getting the community to monitor and feedback to providers on how services are delivered.

Please keep an eye on the Transform Nutrition website for further information about our plans and research.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

PSNP: Social protection triumph or fly in the ointment?

by Clare Gorman

The Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) in Ethiopia has long been widely regarded as one of the most effective social protection programmes of its kind. Set up in 2004 by the Government of Ethiopia with the help of the international donor community, the programme’s objective is to reduce chronic food security amongst the poorest. It now targets approximately eight million people and has become the largest social protection programme in Sub-Saharan Africa outside South Africa.

But the PSNP hasn’t been without its critics. On a political level, government officials last year had to deny claims that members of the opposition were being excluded from the programme.  At the field level, along with donors and government, the PSNP’s struggle to act more efficiently to the 2008 food crisis also exposed some of the limitations in the programmes capacity.

So is the PSNP one of social protection’s biggest triumphs or a fly in its ointment? Has it failed to adapt or can it still deliver effectively in times of crises? New IDS research reveals that the answers lie somewhere in the middle.

Group of women participating in Productive

 Safety Net Programme, Ethiopia 

 Maathan Ratinam Parsons New School for Design

Recurrent food crises and global economic shocks have posed a serious threat to the success of social protection programmes. At the same time more localised shocks, such as floods, droughts and hurricanes, are part of the wider pool of climate-change related events and natural disasters that are also increasingly impacting the lives and wellbeing of poor households.

In an IDS Working Paper published last month, researchers found that despite the PSNP successfully contributing to protecting households against some shocks, the positive effects of the programme are not robust enough to shield recipient households completely against the impacts of severe shocks. In particular, drought appears to be the shock for which both food security and wellbeing of PSNP households are significantly affected.

These findings have critical implications. They confirm that it takes time for households to become sufficiently resilient. During this period, it is essential to continue to protect progress, especially when severe climate or economic shocks threaten to reverse gains. So it would seem that the PSNP has more work to do.

As the World Bank announces it has sanctioned a $1.156 billion interest free loan to Ethiopia to help it deal with these ongoing shocks and the public scrutiny of aid continues (a frightening story for another time ), these findings also highlight why humanitarian relief may still be necessary in some countries. Different social protection instruments achieve different objectives, and these should not be conflated or confused. While the PSNP aims to smooth consumption and build household assets in order to reduce chronic poverty, humanitarian relief provides short-term protection to people who are vulnerable to transitory shocks. Poor and vulnerable Ethiopians do not need one or other of these – they still need both.


The research is part of the wider awareness raising and advocacy effort implemented by the Adaptive Social Protection (ASP) programme to encourage greater integration and knowledge sharing among the Social Protection, Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction communities of practice which would allow for policies that help poor people escape poverty. The ASP Programme funded by the UK-DFID and implemented at IDS aimed at demonstrating that by working better together, these communities have the potential to create tools and spaces that strengthen household resilience and make better contributions to sustainable development.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Safety for the urban poor: the complex taxonomy of security provision in cities

by Jaideep Gupte

With the world now mostly urban, an old question has resurfaced: Are cities the incontestable and inevitable context in which sustained poverty eradication will occur? For the first time, India reports higher population growth in its urbanised areas than across its vast rural landscape, with its urban population set to reach 600 million by 2031. And yet, India is only 30% urbanised, a rate much lower than China, Brazil or Mexico, leaving much room for further expansion. As in sub-Saharan Africa, only a minor proportion of India’s urban growth is due to migration from rural areas as most of it occurs due to natural increases in the urban population as well as the reclassification of rural areas as urban. By 2030, large cities could generate more than 70% of India’s net new employment and produce 70% of its GDP. This is consistent with a host of positive contributions urbanisation has had on development on the global scale, where nearly all urbanisation among low- and middle-income nations is associated with economic growth, higher life expectancies, and lower infant mortality.

These positive contributions notwithstanding, we also know that this growth is built upon acute inequality. A third of the world’s urban population live in slums, and the urban share of global poverty is increasing.[1] In India, a staggering 37% of urban households live in accommodation of only one room or are homeless. Many have argued that such a confluence of vast urbanisation and dense pockets of localised scarcity of resources often implies heightened levels of violence.[2] Recent evidence from India supports this claim: urban riots are persistent and widespread, with an average of over 64,000 riots per year over the last decade and 16 out of 28 states experiencing more than 1000 riots in 2010.[3] Moreover, this violence can be located quite precisely, with a vast majority occurring in urban areas, centred in impoverished neighbourhoods.

How the urban poor get access to security – for themselves, their families and communities and their assets – is however a neglected question. We know relatively little about whether the spatial and material parameters of the physical environment in which the urban poor live, which are often governed by informal arrangements, somehow pre-dispose the poor to insecurity.  The answers to these questions are not straightforward. The consensus that providing legal tenure protects the urban poor is beginning to be challenged. Tenure might not be a priority for the urban poor, while flexibility of living arrangements, or proximity to the workplace might be valued instead. Indeed, there are different levels of security of land tenure and unless there are very clear signals of an impending eviction, any action by the state (such as the provision of services or infrastructure) can be seen as a form of ‘recognition’ and therefore provide a sense of security to the settlement.

In my ongoing research on insecurity amongst the urban poor in Mumbai, India, I find a complex relationship between the urban form, security provision and poverty/wellbeing outcomes. I summarise two findings below (the full paper can be accessed here).

Urban Form Affects how Security is delivered

The nature of urban form (whether the streets are crowded, dense or sparse for example) affects how security is delivered, both formally and through informal agents. This can often happen in non-obvious, ‘ephemeral’ ways and through long chains of events, which go unnoticed until they suddenly come into focus during moments of extreme public disorder. Alternatively, the nature of space can interact more overtly with the mechanics of security provision in such a way that certain strategies are rendered unsuccessful, like police swift-searches for example, while other strategies become realised, like blocking off street with burning debris for example. This not only impacts who is secure and who is insecure, but importantly, also alters local perceptions of who needs security. Here, notions of criminality, illegality or even whether a person or household is poor have little impact. Instead, notions of who needs security are more closely linked to how groups, households or individuals relate to the urban space around them. This has the potential to reinforce structural exclusion and segregation. Moreover, it introduces a critical variation at a very local/micro level that is highly significant in determining outcomes.

One of the resettlement sites in Mumbai where pavement and shack dwellers have been relocated. It is not clear that tenure provides security. Image: Jaideep Gupte

Perceptions and Providers of Security highly localized

The highly localised variation in how insecurity is perceived or experienced, is reflected by an equally high degree of fluidity in terms of who provides security, how they provide it, and to whom it is provided. Furthermore, security can be represented as a collectively owned, but nevertheless excludable ‘commodity’, in that acts of public violence perpetrated by vigilantes function as markers that legitimate not only their own standing in the community, but in turn, also legitimate the long-term use of and reliance on extralegal forms of security provision. However, the institutionalisation of security, whether formal, informal, public or private, is not needed for this to occur. Rather, the commoditisation of security can occur in moments of extreme public disorder, through fleeting systems of extralegal and opportunistic activity.

Such a relationship between security, informality and extralegality in urban impoverished areas presents a challenge for formal (state) security providers. The slum panchayat system, a Mumbai Police initiative to involve slum dwellers in basic community policing, for example, would be at odds with this complex taxonomy of security, where ephemeral vigilante activity defines core notions of legitimacy. Broadly speaking, this reformulates the channels through which state and society respond to the challenges of urban poverty. Areas previously not regarded as slum areas on account of their tolerable spatial and material parameters could conceivably be classified as slums owing to heightened levels of vulnerability and insecurity. As a consequence, where the responsibilities of housing provision traditionally fall under the purview of national planning boards, city municipalities and the legislature, with non-governmental organisations and private sector actors also involved in various capacities, directly including vulnerability and insecurity parameters within the framework of adequate living conditions would imply the direct involvement of the police (or other private agencies/agents providing security) as well as the judicial, punitive and correctional systems within urban poverty alleviation efforts.

As we move towards an ever more urbanised era, where vast amounts of development resources are diverted towards cities, growing evidence highlights that accurately understanding urban form is therefore critical to delivering safe, sustainable and inclusive urban development. And, the calls for development professionals, urban planners, designers and architects to bring their skills together are getting increasingly louder!

Ravallion, Martin, Shaohua Chen, and Prem Sangraula. 2007. New Evidence on the Urbanization of Global Poverty. Washington, D. C.: World Bank. Policy Research Working Paper 4199. Available at.
See Urdal, H. 2008. “Population, Resources and Political Violence: A Subnational Study of India, 1956-2002. Journal of Conflict Resolution 52 (4): 590-617. Homer-Dixon, Thomas F. 1999. Environment, scarcity, and violence. Princeton, N.J. ; Oxford: Princeton University Press. Davis, Mike. 2006. Planet of Slums. London: Verso.
GoI. various years. Crime In India. New Delhi: National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

What if there were 5 clusters of quite different developing countries?

by Andy Sumner

In 1963 Dudley Seers wrote –in The Limitations of the Special Case– of developing countries:

[t]he typical case is a largely unindustrialised economy, the foreign trade of which consists essentially in selling primary products for manufactures. There are about 100 identifiable economies of this sort, covering the great majority of the world’s population (1963, p. 80).

And perhaps most famously, Seers wrote in The Meaning of Development:

The questions to ask about a country’s development are therefore: What has been happening to poverty? What has been happening to unemployment? What has been happening to inequality? If all of these three have become less severe, then beyond doubt this has been a period of development for the country concerned […] If one or two of these central problems have been growing worse, especially if all three have, it would be strange to call the result ‘development’, even if per capita income has soared (1969:24).

Since then many have challenged the use of income per capita as the primary proxy for development. Of course, in addition to low and middle income countries there are many classifications – notably those by Human Development and the Least Developed Countries classifications and the new pioneering work of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.

Our new paper continues this tradition with a twist. The paper challenges the continuing use of income per capita to classify developing countries as low income countries (LICs) or middle income countries (MICs), given that most of the world’s poor live in the later group (see here, here, here, here).

Further, the ambiguity over the usefulness of the MIC classification given the diversity in the group of over 100 countries that includes Ghana and Zambia, as well as India, China and Brazil.

We used a cluster analysis to identify five types of developing country using a set of indicators for 2005-2010 covering definitions of development based on the history of thinking about ‘development‘ over the last 50 years from four conceptual frames:
  • development as structural transformation; 
  • development as human development; 
  • development as democratic participation and good governance;
  • development as sustainability.
This is what we found:
Our development taxonomy differs notably from the usual income classification of GNI per capita (Atlas method) used to classify LICs and MICs. Notably many countries commonly labelled “emerging economies” are not in the emerging economies clusters because they retain characteristics of poorer countries.

Our analysis generated 5 clusters as follows:

1. High poverty rate countries with largely traditional economies.

Those countries with the highest poverty and malnutrition headcounts, who are also countries with low productivity and innovation and mainly agricultural economies, with severely constrained political freedoms.
This cluster includes 31 countries, some of them might be surprising: Pakistan, Zambia, Nigeria, and India.

2. Natural resource dependent countries with little political freedom.

Those countries with high dependency on natural resources, who are also countries with severely constrained political freedom and moderate inequality (relative to the average for all developing countries).
This cluster includes 9 countries, such as Mauritania, Vietnam, Yemen, Cameroon, Congo, Swaziland and Angola.

3. External flow dependent countries with high inequality.

Those countries with high dependency on external flows, who are also countries with high inequality, and moderate poverty incidence (relative to the average for all developing countries).
This cluster has 32 countries, such as Senegal, Ghana, Indonesia, Thailand, Peru, Colombia, and Panama


4. Economically egalitarian emerging economies with serious challenges of environmental sustainability and limited political freedoms.

Those countries with most equal societies, who are also countries with moderate poverty and malnutrition but serious challenges of environmental sustainability and –perhaps surprisingly– limited political freedoms.
This cluster has 15 countries, including China, Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.

5. Unequal emerging economies with low dependence on external finance.

 Those countries with the lowest dependency on external finance and who are also countries with the highest inequality.
This cluster includes 14 countries, such as South Africa, Botswana, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, Chile and Uruguay.

Two-thirds of the world’s poor – not surprisingly given the characteristics noted above - live in Cluster 1 countries though this is largely due to the inclusion of four populous countries (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Nigeria –and one should remember a third of world poverty is accounted for by India).
About a quarter of world poverty is situated in Cluster 3 and Cluster 4 countries and the remaining 5% live in Cluster 2 and Cluster 5.

What is most striking is that we find that there is no simple “linear” representation of development levels (from low to high development countries). We find that each development cluster has its own and characteristic development issues.

Building a development classification is not a simple task: once we overcome the over-simplistic income-based classification of the developing world, we find that there is no group of countries with the best (or worst) indicators in all development dimensions.

It thus would be more appropriate to build “complex” development taxonomies on a five-year basis than ranking and grouping countries in terms of per capita incomes, as this will offer a more nuanced image of the diversity of challenges of the developing world and policy responses appropriate to different kinds of countries.

Tezanos Vázquez and Sumner (2012) Beyond Low and Middle Income Countries: What if there were 5 clusters of developing countries? IDS Working Paper. IDS. Brighton

Sergio Tezanos Vázquez is an associate professor at the Economics Department and a research fellow at the Iberoamerican Research Office on International Development & Co-operation at the University of Cantabria.

Andy Sumner is a Research Fellow in the Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Team at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. From 1st October he will beCo-Director of the King’s International Development Institute, King’s College London.