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.

Obituary – Professor Dennis Austin

It is with great sadness that we report the death on October 21, 2019 of Emeritus Professor Dennis Austin at his home in Colchester. Born at the Grove Hospital, Tooting on 14th  March, 1921, he was the son of Henry Edmund Austin. After wartime service with the Royal Air Force, he obtained his B.A. degree from King’s College (University of London) in 1949, and that same year was appointed an extra mural tutor at the new University College in the British Gold Coast dependency in West Africa.  read more…

State [in]capacity and national development

State [in]capacity and national development

Mohammad Kamrul Hasan, PhD Researcher and Teaching Assistant, Global Development Institute

Capacity development has become an important issue in the management of public affairs. It deals with obtaining, strengthening and maintaining individual or organizational capabilities in order to fulfil its goal or objectives. Though capacity development has been the centre of attention in developed nations for long period of time, it has gradually become an issue for both developing and underdeveloped countries in the last decade or so.  And it has become an important tool for ensuring inclusive development. read more…

How mega infrastructure projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America are reshaping development

How mega infrastructure projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America are reshaping development

read more…

GDI Lecture: Can technology solve global poverty with Rachel Glennerster

GDI Lecture: Can technology solve global poverty with Rachel Glennerster

Listen or watch Rachel Glennerster, the Chief Economist of the Department for International Development, discuss whether technology can solve global poverty. Prior to her current role she was the Executive Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, a research centre in the Economics department of MIT.

Dr Glennerster discusses how technology has driven improvements in income and health in poor countries, why there is too little innovation designed to meet the needs of the poor, and the promise of the data revolution. read more…

Watch: participatory urban planning in action

Watch: participatory urban planning in action

In Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, local SDI groups have played a critical role in making participatory planning a reality.

Dialogue on Shelter, the Zimbabwe Homeless People’s Federation, together with staff and students from the National University for Science and technology, and the Bulawayo city council have come together to map, plan and deliver improvements in 12 informal settlements.

read more…

GDI Lecture: wealth levels, wealth distribution and wealth inequality with Tony Shorrocks

GDI Lecture: wealth levels, wealth distribution and wealth inequality with Tony Shorrocks

Listen or watch Professor Tony Shorrocks, Honorary Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Manchester,  Senior Research Fellow at the World Institute for Development Economics Research UNU-WIDER) in Helsinki, and Director of Global Economic Perspectives Ltd, discuss wealth levels, wealth distribution and wealth inequality.

Drawing on the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2019, the lecture reviews the latest evidence on the level and distribution of household wealth, both within and between countries. It highlights the growing importance of China and other Emerging Market economies, which have taken over as the principal engine of global wealth growth in the post-crisis era. It also identifies and assesses the underlying factors which help explain the level and trend of global wealth inequality since 2000. read more…

The potential contribution of the co-production of research to urban transformation

The potential contribution of the co-production of research to urban transformation

Diana Mitlin, Professor of Global Urbanism, is leading new research which looks into the importance of participatory planning and the co-production of knowledge in urban transformation.

The latest paper, by sharing the experiences of the authors – as academics and professionals, highlights the importance of co-producing knowledge to improve urban development outcomes in the Global South.

read more…

Randomised experiments and global development

Randomised experiments and global development

Dr Gindo Tampubolon, Lecturer in Poverty, Global Development Institute

On 14 October 2019 the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”. The trio include Duflo, the youngest laureate and only the second woman after the late Elinor Ostrom to have been awarded the prize. Jakob Svensson, an economist committee member, told journalists in Stockholm that randomised experiment method to development research which the laureates have been refining in economics is highly influential in efforts to tackle poverty around the world across many areas including income generation, education achievement, political participation and health behaviour. read more…

Digital financial inclusion in ten African countries: foregone digital dividends?

Digital financial inclusion in ten African countries: foregone digital dividends?

Dr Gindo Tampubolon, Lecturer in Poverty, Global Development Institute

The story of mobile money in Africa, such as Mpesa, is one of the success stories to have arisen from the continent in recent years. A World Bank report in 2016, featured mobile money services, together with innovations from other places, to illustrate how digital technologies are yielding digital dividends in development. Specifically, the report highlighted the prevalence of smartphones. With their spread, digital technologies are having a huge impact by enhancing inclusion, increasing efficiency and enabling innovation. read more…

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