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.

Covid-19 is a global development challenge

Covid-19 is a global development challenge

For the past few years, researchers at the Global Development Institute have argued that Development Studies needs to move on from its traditional international focus.

Rory Horner, David Hulme and others have been at the forefront of arguing that the idea of global development is a better way of thinking about complex, interconnected social, political and economic issues around the world. read more…

How can we strengthen the data literacy pipeline for the SDGs?

How can we strengthen the data literacy pipeline for the SDGs?

Pete Jones, Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Social Sciences, The University of ManchesterJackie Carter, Co-director University of Manchester Q-Step Centre, School of Social Sciences, The University of Manchester,  Jaco Renken, Co-director Centre for Digital Development, Global Development Institute, The University of Manchester and Magdalena Arbeláez Tobón, Data-Pop Alliance, Columbia

In 2015, the United Nations launched its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda constitutes a broad and ambitious plan which centres on 17 overarching Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), comprised of 169 associated development targets and 232 indicators with which to measure progress. read more…

Watch: Covid-19 and the future of global value chains

Watch: Covid-19 and the future of global value chains

The Covid-19 pandemic created a major shock to the global economy. The ramifications of this shock are reverberating through global value chains to reach workers and sites of production throughout the world.

These ramifications are both short and long term. In the short term, the crisis was a major shock for developing economies particularly those who rely on exports through GVCs as global lead firms cancelled orders and workers were terminated often with very little protection.

read more…

Fred Nixson (1943-2020)

We are very sad to report that our former colleague, Professor Fred Nixson, passed away last Wednesday, 15th July, aged 77.

Fred came to the University in 1971 after three years teaching at Makere University in Kampala. Together with David Colman, Diane Elson, Colin Kirkpatrick and Phil Leeson in Economics, and Teodor Shanin, Hamza Alavi, Marilyn Strathern, Peter Worsley, Richard Werbner and Terry Ranger in Sociology, Social Anthropology and Politics, he was part of a stellar array of academics in the 1970s and 1980s who established Manchester’s reputation as a world-class centre of excellence in teaching and research in development economics and development studies, laying the foundations for the Global Development Institute and our own research and teaching programmes in development economics and policy today. read more…

Covid-19 and the Future of “Made in the World”

Covid-19 and the Future of “Made in the World”

Dr Shamel Azmeh, Lecturer in International Development, Global Development Institute

In recent decades, a growing number of books and documentaries have attempted to understand globalisation through following the journey of “things” across the world. The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy by Pietra Rivoli illustrates how these journeys show the complexity of the world economy and the multiple connections that consumers are mostly unaware off in how goods and services are made.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) promoted the phrase “Made in the World” to illustrate these complexities. Examples of consumer products illustrated that “we are all connected” in the sense that companies integrate production processes linking multiple locations and thousands of workers in different parts of the world. These examples, however, also illustrated that we are very different as this map of production was partially driven by huge variations in wages, labour rights, environmental regulations and spending power between people in different countries. read more…

Are South-South value chains more resilient in the age of Covid-19? Insights from Eswatini’s apparel

Are South-South value chains more resilient in the age of Covid-19? Insights from Eswatini’s apparel

Giovanni Pasquali, Research Associate, Global Development InstituteShane Godfrey, University of Cape Town

The Covid-19 pandemic is having major implications for the resilience of apparel global value chains (GVCs).

State-driven measures to enforce social distancing have led to the downsizing and even closure of supplying firms, especially in developing countries where government support for manufacturers is limited. This dynamic has been worsened by the actions of international brands and retailers which, in a number of cases, have delayed or cancelled orders, and have refused to pay for ongoing production and shipments. read more…

In conversation: Charity Mumbi and Jack Makau on Covid-19 in Kenya’s informal settlements

In conversation: Charity Mumbi and Jack Makau on Covid-19 in Kenya’s informal settlements

Charity Mumbi and Jack Makau work for Muungano wa Wanavijiji, a social movement of ‘slum’ residents and urban poor people in Kenya, affiliated to SDI International. In this podcast they describe the last few months of working through the initial outbreak of Covid-19, outlining how communities and their organisations have been responding.

Their agile initial approaches, alongside a longstanding ability to accurately map dense informal settlements has led to new partnerships with the Kenyan Ministry of Health, as part of its coronavirus task force. This work is also being supported by an action research project to track coronavirus responses with GDI’s Professor Diana Mitlin. read more…

Covid-19 and the Hrishipara Diarists – June 2020: still waiting

Covid-19 and the Hrishipara Diarists – June 2020: still waiting

The story so far

The first blog in this series was written just after a ‘corona lockdown’ was enforced in Bangladesh on 26th March 2020. It discussed the reaction to the shock of the 60 low-income households in central Bangladesh who volunteer as ‘diarists’ in our daily financial diary project. The second blog showed how bad things got during April, the first full month under lockdown. The third blog reviewed the partial recovery that took place in May and wondered if the ending of the lockdown on 31st May was a good idea. This fourth blog notes a partial recovery in economic and financial life in June, set against a surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths in Bangladesh. read more…

Prof David Fielding discusses diversity dividends in Ethiopia

Prof David Fielding discusses diversity dividends in Ethiopia

Professor David Fielding joined the Global Development Institute earlier this year. We caught up with him about his research interests. 

What did you do before coming to Manchester?

For the last 15 years, I’ve been at the University of Otago in New Zealand as part of the Department of Economics. I had a great time in New Zealand, but I decided it was time for a change. Academically, that means moving into a more interdisciplinary environment, which was the main attraction of coming to Manchester. read more…

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