Global Development Institute Blog

Global Development Institute Blog

We’re the Global Development Institute at The University of Manchester: where critical thinking meets social justice.

GDI Webinar: Political Economies of Energy Transition

GDI Webinar: Political Economies of Energy Transition

Wind power has expanded quickly in Brazil, while solar power lags there and both wind and solar power have struggled to take off in South Africa. Professor Kathryn Hochstetler argues that four different political economies – climate change, industrial policy, consumption and distribution, and siting – help account for energy transition. However, coalitions are being built on each of these at the same time, potentially interlocking to reinforce or counter-balance each other.
read more…

Symposium to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the 5th Pan-African Congress in Manchester

Symposium to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the 5th Pan-African Congress in Manchester

On 17th October we held a day-long symposium to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the 5th Pan-African Congress which was held in Manchester. Organised by our Africa Research Group, the event brought together researchers to discuss 75 Years after the 5th Pan-African Congress: Decolonising Africa’s Development Agenda’. You can catch up with the presentations and panels below.

The 1945 Pan-African Congress was held in Manchester and brought together intellectuals and activists such as W.E.B Du Bois, Kwame Nkrumah, Nnamdi Azikiwe and Jomo Kenyatta. The Congress was a springboard for these key figures in connecting with each other and developing new national strategies towards hastening decolonisation. read more…

Overcrowding, not density, makes cities more vulnerable to Covid-19

Overcrowding, not density, makes cities more vulnerable to Covid-19

Professor Diana Mitlin, CEO of the African Cities Research Consortium

Covid-19 has brought a new realization to many governments and development agencies. Investment in towns and cities is essential. People need to live in healthy neighbourhoods with access to basic services. With this new interest, it is critical that appropriate learning takes place so that interventions can be successfully designed.

Over 95% of all Covid-19 cases globally occur in urban areas. Pandemics are dependent on the interactions of humans with their environment and these interactions are intensified in towns and cities. Too little attention is given to the multiplicity of ways in which the “urban” nature of settlements and livelihoods influences what is possible in terms of responses to the health and economic emergencies. read more…

Is REDD+ Dead? A simple idea with a complex reality

Is REDD+ Dead? A simple idea with a complex reality

Elliot Nicholls

The idea is simple, reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation by paying local communities to conserve tropical forests. Not only does this mitigate climate change, but it also has the ability to enhance local livelihoods. A true win-win scenario.

It turns out that this is a lot easier said than done; so far, the successfulness of REDD+ schemes have varied massively from country to country and some researchers have already branded the UN’s brainchild a failure. With mixed reviews from a variety of studies across the country, it seems Uganda is no exception. read more…

How can international research be undertaken during a global pandemic?

How can international research be undertaken during a global pandemic?

Sylvia Nyarko, GDI Merit Scholar, 2018/2019.

I believe Covid-19 has come to stay and is far from over. Its ripple effects and impacts have greatly been felt by all including academics. Those mostly at loss are the PhD and MPhil students who require primary data for constructive analysis and research progression, and lecturers who were embarking on research projects abroad which have been delayed if not halted entirely. read more…

Schools in Bangladesh have been closed for more than 6 months: what are people saying?

Schools in Bangladesh have been closed for more than 6 months: what are people saying?

Hrishipara government primary school

The Bangladesh government closed all schools on March 17th, 2020 as part of a ‘lockdown’ to combat the virus. Since then there have been several target dates for re-opening, but each has been cancelled and we still cannot be sure when the schools will open again.

The Hrishipara Daily Diary Project has been running a ‘financial diaries’ project in central Bangladesh since May 2015, which collects, every day, records of all the money transactions made by our sixty ‘diarist’ respondents. We also keep track of their personal and social lives. This year (2020) we have been making a special effort to follow their fortunes during the corona pandemic.

At the end of September, we surveyed our diarists to find out what they think about this prolonged school closure. We also talked to a few schoolteachers. read more…

Symposium to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the 5th Pan-African Congress in Manchester

Symposium to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the 5th Pan-African Congress in Manchester

We are delighted to announce a day-long symposium on 17th October to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the 5th Pan-African Congress which was held in Manchester. Organised by our Africa Research Group, the event will bring together researchers to discuss 75 Years after the 5th Pan-African Congress: Decolonising Africa’s Development Agenda’

The 1945 Pan-African Congress was held in Manchester and brought together intellectuals and activists such as W.E.B Du Bois, Kwame Nkrumah, Nnamdi Azikiwe and Jomo Kenyatta. The Congress was a springboard for these key figures in connecting with each other and developing new national strategies towards hastening decolonisation.

The symposium is inspired by the collegiate and collaborative spirit of the original event and will bring together researchers whose research is focused on Africa. The event will feature panel discussions, lectures from experts and a 3-minute thesis competition. Speakers include Dr Amani Abou-Zeid of the African Union, Dr Samuel Maimbo of the World Bank and Prof Diana Mitlin who is CEO of a new  £32m research project on African Cities.  read more…

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