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.

New Open Access Book – Political Settlements and Development: Theory, Evidence, Implications

New Open Access Book – Political Settlements and Development: Theory, Evidence, Implications

Based upon a decade of ground-breaking research within the Effective States and Inclusive Development (ESID) research centre, Political Settlements and Development: Theory, Evidence, Implications, has been just been published by Oxford University Press. It provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of political settlements study and is available in Open Access. read more…

Data-Powered Positive Deviance: Learning from Outliers

Data-Powered Positive Deviance: Learning from Outliers

Dr Basma Albanna recently gave a lecture at Africa in Science exploring her research into Data-Powered Positive Deviance.

In the lecture she introduces the new method that combines traditional (e.g. surveys & interviews) and non-traditional data (e.g. from remote sensing and mobile phones) to identify and understand development-related outperformers, and urges development and data science professionals to apply this structured, data-powered method to a range of development challenges and in a wider set of development domains, thereby enabling more effective use of the non-traditional digital datasets that are increasingly available. read more…

The Politics of Distributing Social Transfers: State Capacity and Political Contestation in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia

The Politics of Distributing Social Transfers: State Capacity and Political Contestation in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia

Dr Tom Lavers, Senior Lecturer in Politics & Development, Global Development Institute

Social transfers are increasingly seen within the development industry as the go-to response to poverty, inequality, and economic crises, a trend that has only been reinforced by the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This spread and expansion of social transfer programmes have been accompanied by a growing body of academic research, which has increasingly focused on the political drivers of policy adoption. read more…

Colin Fuller – Obituary

It is with great sadness that the Global Development Institute, The University of Manchester reports the passing of Colin Fuller on Wednesday 6 April at the age of 89. Colin was a Senior Lecturer at the Institute’s original structures: the Department of Administrative Studies (DAS) and Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM), for almost 30 years. He was one of the earliest appointments of DAS’s founder, Professor Arthur Livingstone, in the late 1960s and he taught at DAS and IDPM until his retirement in the late 1990s.  We, David and Jayne, both met Colin who was Acting Head of DAS, when we joined the Department in 1985. read more…

Surveys for social justice: Ageing well in place in inner city Manchester

Surveys for social justice: Ageing well in place in inner city Manchester

“I am most proud of being part of Community Savers because I know I am in a movement based on social justice. It’s also the place I’ve been challenged the most but also learned the most.”

Tina Cribbin, community activist and member of Aquarius Community Savers.

This is the story of how a women-led social movement methodology from the Global South, has enabled older tower-block tenants in inner-city Manchester to address health and social inequalities experienced by elderly people living in the heart of the city. read more…

Seth Schindler awarded Best Paper from Regional Studies Association

Seth Schindler awarded Best Paper from Regional Studies Association

Dr Seth Schindler and his co-author Dr J. Miguel Kanai (The University of Sheffield) have been awarded Best Paper for their work on infrastructure-led development.

Each year The Regional Studies Association announce a Best Paper from each of their journals, published during the previous year.  For 2022, the journal Regional Studies awarded this to Seth and Miguel’s paper “Getting the territory right: Infrastructure-led development and the re-emergence of spatial planning strategies”.

Read the full paper here or Seth and Miguel’s recent article based on the research below.

read more…

The Cocoa Diaries

The Cocoa Diaries

Kwame Asamoah, International Development: Globalisation, Trade and Industry MSc alum

The cocoa chocolate industry is one of the most complex industries to understand. While over 4 million smallholder cocoa farmers produce over 4 million metric tons of cocoa beans a year, their national governments receive less than $10bn from an industry worth over $130bn.

I mentioned countries, not the cocoa farmers because, in Ghana, the farmer is entitled to only a percentage of a price they have no hand in setting. Currently, they receive an estimated 65% of the world market price from the sector regulator, although this is an improvement on the 1%, they received in the 1950s. read more…

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