Falmer, United Kingdom
Falmer, United Kingdom

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Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE.2011.1.4-07 | Award Amount: 1.06M | Year: 2012

Aquaculture is widely considered as important for enhancing food security, alleviating poverty and improving nutrition. However, little information is available concerning the direct and indirect impacts of aquaculture on food security and poverty alleviation in most developing countries and LIFDCs. Strengthening the knowledge base surrounding aquaculture and food and nutrition security through this project will provide the evidence upon which sound resource allocation and strategies can be based, and subsequently plan, implement and coordinate efficiently development and research programmes supporting the sustainable expansion of aquaculture and increasing its impact to food security and poverty alleviation. The project is to be implemented by 18 partners in 11 selected LIFDCs, 3 EU partners, and 3 international organizations. The project will strengthen the knowledge base on food security and poverty and develop new methodologies or more rigorous methodologies to quantify the contribution of aquaculture in combating hunger and poverty in developing countries and LIFDCs. This will endeavour to better understand aquacultures contribution to human development. Project partner countries were selected based on varied human development conditions and national level efforts in including aquaculture for improving national food security and alleviating poverty. They represent all major aquaculture regions and ICPCs where aquaculture has major contributions to national economy involve high numbers of small-scale aquaculture farms, and with high international trade of fish and fishery products. The results of the project will be brought to the attention of countries and development partners, particularly the EU, and outputs will help LIFDCs and various development partners to improve efficiency and coordination in development initiatives focused on aquaculture as a means of promoting food security and poverty alleviation.


Naess L.O.,Institute of Development Studies
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change | Year: 2013

Evidence from recent research suggests that local knowledge may contribute to adaptation to climate change in a number of ways. At the same time, there are concerns over its relevance for future adaptation amidst other challenges. This article aims to shed light on some of the key potentials and challenges for the application of local knowledge for adaptation, drawing on recent studies as well as findings from semi-arid Tanzania. This article illustrates how the role of local knowledge at the local level is determined by interaction between informal and formal institutions at the local level. It suggests that assessments of the role of local knowledge for adaptation need to give more consideration to local power relations and the interaction with government strategies, while also addressing structural constraints to the use of local knowledge across scales. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd..


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: MRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 72.62K | Year: 2014

In sub-Saharan Africa, and in South Africa in particular, there are significant numbers of people living with HIV/AIDS. Increasingly, there are growing numbers of people who are also living with non-communicable disease such as diabetes and heart disease. Although HIV is infectious and diseases like diabetes are not, they share similarities in that they require lifelong management to ensure health. HIV treatment requires a consistent regimen of antiretroviral therapy (ART), while diabetes may require a change in diet as well as regular medication. For policy makers planning health care in South Africa, it is a big challenge to make sure that the state health system has a cost-effective plan to keep these people on treatment and accessing care throughout their lifetime. Although the South African government has made ART available free of charge, recent studies have indicated that many with HIV stop taking the drugs over time. This problem has worsened as the programme has expanded. This is dangerous for their health and is also worrying from a public health standpoint as it could lead to strains of the disease that are resistant to ART as well as increasing the chance of them passing the virus on. Significantly, some clinics dispensing ART have much higher rates of people continuing to pick up their treatment. This study aims to fill knowledge gaps about the factors that influence whether people stay in care, focusing on the ART programme in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The results of the research will help us work with policy makers in the Department of Health and leaders of community-based organisations to design a larger project that will involve implementing a country-wide programme to achieve more continuous care for people with chronic lifelong conditions. The study will involve researchers from different disciplines who are trained in medicine, the analysis of health systems and policies, social anthropology, public health and pharmacy. We will adopt a method that analyses existing numerical data monitoring how regularly people are collecting the ART drugs at clinics, and other HIV-related data. This will be used to identify which health facilities are performing better than others in terms of keeping people on treatment and engaged in their clinical care. We will focus our work on facilities serving poor populations who are socially marginalised. We will then go on to do more in-depth research in a few facilities which we have assessed as good performers and bad performers respectively. We will look in more detail at the information about HIV care and also look at indicators of whether people with diabetes are staying in care, using diabetes as an example for non-communicable disease. We will also collect information by observing practices in clinics, and interviewing staff and patients. Interviews will be conducted with decision-makers in the provincial and national Departments of Health. We will investigate the reasons for differences in performance and identify constraints to positive performance. We suspect that the facilities that are managing to keep patients in care, have more innovative organisational practices and have in addition forged partnerships with community-based organisations. This can then help to better support people to take part in managing their chronic illness themselves as well. Such self-management is an important factor in poorer settings where the health system cannot provide intensive support from health professionals. We will identify generic factors that are helping to keep people on ART in care and that, if adopted more generally, could contribute to improving care for other chronic conditions also. We will have a workshop with the Department of Health and other stakeholders to discuss how the lessons learned can improve the programmes for chronic disease at national level. This will assist in the design of a bigger intervention and a further research proposal.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: ESRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 459.46K | Year: 2016

Health inequities - that is, inequalities in health which result from social, economic or political factors and unfairly disadvantage the poor and marginalised - are trapping millions of people in poverty. Unless they are tackled, the effort to fulfill the promise of universal health coverage as part of the fairer world envisaged in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals may lead to more waste and unfairness, because new health services and resources will fail to reach the people who need them most. In Mozambique, for example, the gap in infant mortality between the best-performing and worst-performing areas actually increased between 1997 and 2008, despite improvements in health indicators for the country as a whole. However, while many low- and middle-income countries are failing to translate economic growth into better health services for the poorest, some - including Brazil - stand out as having taken determined and effective action. One key factor that differentiates a strong performer like Brazil from a relatively weak performer like Mozambique is accountability politics: the formal and informal relationships of oversight and control that ensure that health system managers and service providers deliver for the poorest rather than excluding them. Since the mid-1990s, Brazil has transformed health policy to try to ensure that the poorest people and places are covered by basic services. This shift was driven by many factors: by a strong social movement calling for the right to health; by political competition as politicians realised that improving health care for the poor won them votes; by changes to health service contracting that changed the incentives for local governments and other providers to ensure that services reached the poor; and by mass participation that ensured citizen voice in decisions on health priority-setting and citizen oversight of services. However, these factors did not work equally well for all groups of citizens, and some - notably the countrys indigenous peoples - continue to lag behind the population as a whole in terms of improved health outcomes. This project is designed to address the ESRC-DFID calls key cross-cutting issue of structural inequalities, and its core research question what political and institutional conditions are associated with effective poverty reduction and development, and what can domestic and external actors do to promote these conditions?, by comparing the dimensions of accountability politics across Brazil and Mozambique and between different areas within each country. As Mozambique and Brazil seek to implement similar policies to improve service delivery, in each country the research team will examine one urban location with competitive politics and a high level of economic inequality and one rural location where the population as a whole has been politically marginalised and under-provided with services, looking at changes in power relationships among managers, providers and citizens and at changes in health system performance, in order to arrive at a better understanding of what works for different poor and marginalised groups in different contexts. As two Portuguese-speaking countries that have increasingly close economic, political and policy links, Brazil and Mozambique are also well-placed to benefit from exchanges of experience and mutual learning of the kind that Brazil is seeking to promote through its South-South Cooperation programmes. The project will support this mutual learning process by working closely with Brazilian and Mozambican organisations that are engaged in efforts to promote social accountability through the use of community scorecards and through strengthening health oversight committees, and link these efforts with wider networks working on participation and health equity across Southern Africa and beyond.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: ESRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 425.77K | Year: 2014

Across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), many of the largest development projects currently underway are in remote rural areas. These include the £15 billion Lamu-South Sudan-Ethiopian Transport Corridor Project, which will connect a new port facility at Lamu on the Kenyan coast with northern Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan through rail and road links as well as an oil pipeline and related refinery capacity. In the interior of Sierra Leone, a UK-Chinese consortium has launched a multi-billion pound operation in the Tonkolili mining complex, one of the worlds largest defined reserves of iron ore. These projects are part of a modern scramble for Africas land and resources and entail unprecedented levels of new investment. They are often in marginal rural areas that were long neglected by states and have a legacy of conflict and violence. The vast majority living at the rural margins have been only minimally captured by market and state institutions and instead rely on informal relations and institutions to promote peace and regulate land and resource access. While it is widely assumed that big development will transform the lives and livelihoods of rural populations, there are many examples that large development investment can be deeply destabilising and actually lead to new violence while doing little to create new jobs, spur local entrepreneurship or promote peace. This project relates to the third theme of the call that is concerned with how to minimise the risk of violence and its impacts on the poor. It examines how and why local peacebuilding efforts succeed in minimising violence in contexts where there are large new investments, focusing on the remote rural areas of Kenya and Sierra Leone. Through rigorous fieldwork in different settings of local politics and governance in northern Kenya and northern Sierra Leone, it tests the assumption that efforts to reduce the threat of violence and its impacts on the poor are more likely to succeed where they support local nstitutions and relations to build and sustain peace. A combination of methods will be used including a survey of households in the study sites, semi-structured interviews as well as informal discussions and interactions to develop a nuanced understanding of the institutions and relations that communities use to solve their problems and negotiate for better outcomes. In both Kenya and Sierra Leone a senior scholar will work closely with an early career researcher through the life of the project to transfer skills in generating and analysing data as well as making knowledge accessible to non-academic stakeholders. In Kenya we will work closely with Dr. Roba Duba Sharamo, a senior academic affiliated with the Future Agricultures Consortium who previously headed the Institute for Security Studies in Addis Ababa. In Sierra Leone, the team will be led by Professor Paul Richards from Njala University. The teams will partner with Saferworld in Kenya and Conciliation Resources in Sierra Leone to develop plans to translate the research findings into usable resources for a variety of development stakeholders, including states, national and local civil society, foreign investors, and donor and aid agencies. These will be discussed at knowledge sharing events in Nairobi and Freetown with senior officials. Events in the UK will be organised with targeted stakeholders including British-based overseas private investors in Kenya and Sierra Leone, the British Overseas NGOs for Development association, EU and OECD representatives, the DFID Fragile States and Conflict Team, and the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Conflict Issues and on Africa.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: ESRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 132.10K | Year: 2015

The proposal is to establish a partnership between the Institute of Sociology of the Chinese Academy of Social Science and the Institute of Development Studies to explore the changing relationships between government and providers of health and welfare services in China and in other countries experiencing rapid and interconnected economic, social and demographic change. The project will support visits of British researchers to Chinese cities that are experimenting with health and welfare system reforms and participate in workshops with Chinese researchers and policy-makers to discuss lessons emerging from the Chinese experience and from the experiences of other countries. It will also support visits of Chinese researchers to the UK to collaborate with British researchers, learn lessons from the experiences of the British health and welfare system and develop collaborative links with researchers from other rapidly developing middle-income countries. It will also support the participation of Chinese researchers in meetings with policy analysts from other countries experiencing rapid economic, social and demographic change. The main outputs will be publications in academic journals, policy briefs for decision-makers and the development of a programme of research and mutual learning on adapting health and welfare services to contexts of rapid change. The outputs of this project and the subsequent research programme will enable policy makers and policy analysts in low and middle-income countries to draw on lessons from the experiences of China and other rapidly developing countries as they address similar challenges in their health and welfare sectors.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: NERC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 230.51K | Year: 2015

Groundwater Futures in Sub-Saharan Africa (GroFutures) will develop the scientific evidence and inclusive groundwater management processes by which groundwater resources can be used sustainably for poverty alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It will improve understanding of the volume and renewability of groundwater in SSA, and develop robust models and tools to forecast available groundwater resources under changing climate, land-use and demand scenarios, including expansion of arable land under irrigation. GroFutures will examine current groundwater governance processes and identify pathways toward more sustainable and equitable use of groundwater resources that are reconciled to projections of changing demand and resource availability. It will assemble an international consortium of scientists with an unmatched track record of groundwater research and stakeholder engagement in SSA that both leverages substantial additional investment (£461,000) and engages with research and development communities across Anglophone and Francophone Africa. GroFutures will also establish a Network of African Groundwater Observatories that representing the primary groundwater environments and development governance challenges in SSA that features a new dataset of 25 records of groundwater-level observations that are 2 to 6 decades duration from across SSA enabling the most rigorous analysis of the relationships among climate, land-use and groundwater recharge that has ever been conducted in the tropics. Dedicated basin observatories will be constructed that will enable very detailed monitoring of the physical process by which groundwater is replenished and application of a new method for quantifying the volume of groundwater in African aquifers thereby overcoming fundamental limitations in present knowledge of groundwater in SSA. GroFutures will also employ an innovative and participatory approach to the management of groundwater which will enable for explicit consideration ofthe views of poor people in making decisions over the allocation and development of groundwater resources.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: ESRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 161.61K | Year: 2015

Building on extensive collaboration between IDS/STEPS, PLAAS and ACTS over 20 years, this partnership grant will help develop new research and policy influencing activities around the governance of the land-water-environment nexus in southern Africa. As questions of land and water access rise up the policy agenda in southern Africa, a critical social science perspective is crucial to ask questions about how the nexus is governed. A focus on the politics of access will illuminate how different state, market and civil society actions can contribute to more effective access for the widest number of people. This is a crucial question for development, making this proposal firmly ODA compliant. Resource scarcities can act to exclude certain groups - including the poor, women and others - from vital resources for livelihoods. Conflicts over resources may emerge when more powerful groups grab land and water in the pursuit of the commercialisation of agriculture, energy or environmental services. Thus understanding the relationships between changing capitalist relations in the context of development and resources is essential if pro-poor, development oriented orientations for environmental sustainability are to emerge in policy. In this project, we will examine the politics of access around the large-scale commercialisation of agriculture, water projects, including hydropower dams, and biodiversity conservation and forest carbon projects, where market offset mechanisms are applied. In each case our studies will examine the nexus between sectors, examining how relations between land, water and environment are negotiated in different governance frameworks. The partnership will be facilitated through a combination of staff and student exchanges, joint scoping activities and project proposal development, a small grants programme for students, and an international conference that will bring together academics, policymakers and activists working on nexus themes.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 531.79K | Year: 2014

This project seeks to develop a new Green Growth Diagnostics methodology and apply it to two African countries: Kenya and Ghana. These countries are the research hubs of East and West Africa and we believe that they offer a good opportunity to test our methodology in advance to their wider application to other African countries and beyond the African continent. The original growth diagnostics methodology was developed by Haussmann et al (2004) to identify the key constraints holding back economic growth from its full potential. Their approach was driven by the needs of policymakers facing the dilemma that most problems have multiple causes, but governments cannot tackle all of them at once, given limitations in their financial and executive capacity. This gave rise to the idea of concentrating these limited resources on the binding constraint, which would be identified going through a tool conceptualised as a decision tree. The proponents of the original growth diagnostics also realised that this binding constraint varies between countries and we would argue between sectors. The central point of the original growth diagnostics method was that it offered researchers and policy makers a way of identifying priority in analysis and policy; and finding solutions which take into account local conditions. The same rationale applies to our proposed Green Growth Diagnostic method. We build on the original approach but adapt it in four ways: 1. Applying it to the energy sector; 2. Taking into account potential knock-on effects on the economy and 3. the political economy when going from diagnostics to therapeutics; and 4. Working out the distributional consequences. Since each step takes the project into un(der)explored territory, it is built around five research questions and corresponding methodologically distinct work packages. Our four research questions are: 1. What are the binding constraints for investment in economically viable renewable energy?; 2.Which policies can more effectively target different binding constraints?; 3. Who obstructs/drives the adoption of specific sustainable energy policies?; 4. What would be the macroeconomic impacts of an increase in renewable energy investment/capacity, and the reforms needed to bring this increase about? and 5. Under what circumstances increased on-grid renewable energy capacity translates into increased access to and increased reliability of electricity supply in developing countries? We use several methodologies to deal with these questions. Firstly, we create a diagnostics tool that provides a priority ranking of the most binding constraints for the uptake of economically viable renewable energy. Engineering, economic, financial and technological expertise is required to develop this tool. Second, we test the macroeconomic and political feasibility of the proposed set of policies for our two case studies in Kenya and Ghana. Two distinct methodologies are used: Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) Modelling and political economy analysis. Purpose-built dynamic CGE models for Ghana and Kenya simulate the prospective medium-run growth and distributional implications associated with the policy measures identified by application of the GGD tool. The political economy analysis identifies the actors, alignments of interests or alliances that obstruct or drive the adoption of specific sustainable energy policies in Kenya and Ghana. This requires continuous and iterative discussions with the key actors. Finally, power system analysis methods are applied to understand the distributional impacts of increased renewable energy capacity. Metrics will be developed to quantify the impact that increased on-grid renewable energy capacity has on access and reliability of electricity for final users in developing countries. The project responds to the specific theme of this call Energy Systems and de-centralised use.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-EF-ST | Phase: MSCA-IF-2015-EF | Award Amount: 195.45K | Year: 2017

This proposal aims to develop a research agenda on the long-term effect on civil conflict on institutions, particularly on land tenure structure. I start by building a theoretical model to establish the mechanisms and incentives through which actors involved in an armed conflict may be interested on fighting over the control and property rights of rural land. The resulting theoretical hypotheses will be tested using a truly unique, plot-level census data set that I digitised from Official Archives of the province of Antioquia, a Colombian region highly exposed to violence over the last fifty years. This dataset contains plot-level census data collected in 1950-55 for tax purposes. Additionally, I utilise similar plot-level census data for 1995 and 2000. These historical data sets can be easily matched to current cadastral information, available from 2006 onward. Hence, I will have comparable plot-level census datasets from Antioquia for four different periods, which coincide with the main shift of the intensity and expansion of the Colombian conflict. The exogenous nature of the different episodes of the conflict will provide the spatial and temporal variation to identify the effect of violence on land tenure. Several concerns might arise about the potential non-randomness of violence. While I cannot entirely resolve these (i.e. war is not random), I propose different strategies to test the robustness of my results. The contribution of this proposal is twofold. First, this proposal will contribute to the literature on land related conflict and the social consequences of conflict. Second, I provide technical support to many land restitution policies launched in post-conflict settings.

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