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.

How Greater Manchester Savers were Inspired by African Activists

How Greater Manchester Savers were Inspired by African Activists

For many years, as part of our master’s in Global Urban Development and Planning, we’ve welcomed members of Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI) to teach students in Manchester. More recently, we’ve introduced SDI members to Manchester based community groups and have helped facilitate a series of exchanges between them. With support from the Realising Just Cities programme at Sheffield’s Urban Institute, this has helped to catalyse the Greater Manchester Savers, who have just published a new report documenting their story so far. This is a short extract. read more…

Understanding the Impacts of Covid-19 on Livelihoods in Bangladesh: Findings from the PPRC-BIGD Rapid Response Survey

Understanding the Impacts of Covid-19 on Livelihoods in Bangladesh: Findings from the PPRC-BIGD Rapid Response Survey

Dr Nicola Banks, Senior Lecturer in Urban Development and Professor David Hulme, Professor of Development Studies

On 21 May we had the pleasure of attending a webinar and report launch hosted by our long-standing research partners in Bangladesh, the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) at BRAC University and the Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC). As the scale of the Covid-19 challenge became apparent earlier this year, these two distinguished research centres came together to plan a longitudinal Rapid Response Survey into Livelihoods, Coping and Support Systems During Covid-19. While admirably rapid in response to the crisis – thereby feeding into Government and NGO practical responses on the ground – the speed in execution did not sacrifice anything in the way of research rigour and Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman of PPRC and Dr Imran Matin of BIGD presented findings from a survey conducted in early April, just after the Government launched a ‘holiday’ lock-down period. A follow-up survey will be conducted in June to see how things have changed. read more…

New September entry for distance learning course on Management and Information Systems

New September entry for distance learning course on Management and Information Systems

Our two years master’s programme in Management and Information Systems: Change and Development is now accepting students for September 2020 entry. So if you’re in a job you love or have family commitments – but still want to immerse yourself in postgraduate study, then this distance learning programme might be course for you.
read more…

Md Saiful Islam – An obituary and an appreciation

It is with deep sadness that I report the death of Md Saiful Islam (“Saiful bhai”) earlier this week in Bogra from a heart attack. Many Manchester colleagues have worked with Saiful over the last 20 years from when he was a Research Assistant on the Portfolios of the Poor project based in Madhupur to more recent times when he worked in Brac Institute of Governance & Development (BIGD) headquarters office in Dhaka. read more…

Migration and development: What now with Covid-19?

Migration and development: What now with Covid-19?

Dr Tanja Bastia, Reader, Global Development Institute and Professor Ronald Skeldon, Emeritus Professor,  University of Sussex

Since our Handbook of Migration and Development was published last month, the world has changed in an unimaginable way. Migration, or the movement from one place to another, has basically stopped as most of the world’s population has been put in lockdown, of one form or another. What are the implications of this dramatic stop of migration for development? read more…

Surviving a pandemic without a toilet

Surviving a pandemic without a toilet

Isis Barei-Guyot, PhD researcher, Global Development Institute

Across the globe, we are collectively living a traumatic experience in the form of the coronavirus pandemic. In the global North there have been drastic changes to everyday life, rendering it almost unrecognisable. Some of the major changes have been social distancing and isolation, which whether experienced alone or in the company of others can be very challenging. Isolating ultimately keeps us and those we love safe, but for those living in informal settlements in the global South, it could even be seen as a privilege. read more…

Covid-19 and the Hrishipara Diarists: was April the cruellest month?

Covid-19 and the Hrishipara Diarists: was April the cruellest month?

The story so far

The first blog in this series was written just after an anti-coronavirus lockdown was enforced in Bangladesh on 26th March 2020. We showed how the shock was dealt with at the time by the 60 low-income households in central Bangladesh who volunteer as ‘diarists’ in our daily financial diary project. In this new blog we see what happened in April 2020, the first full month under lockdown. read more…

Covid-19 pandemic and Ghana’s policy interventions so far

Covid-19 pandemic and Ghana’s policy interventions so far

Thomas Agyekum Kyeremeh, Doctoral Researcher, Global Development Institute

The globe is at a critical juncture of a deadly novel pandemic which appears to have taken virtually everyone by surprise. Global leaders, multinational corporations, state institutions, local level organisations, public and private agencies, traditional rulers and religious organizations among others, have all suffered the negative consequences of this virus. In the worst-hit regions of the world, hospitals are overwhelmed and devastated with the sick and dying, while the poor and vulnerable everywhere are facing severe food shortages and starvation. read more…

All in this together?  How a decade of austerity cleared the way for Covid-19 in deprived urban areas

All in this together? How a decade of austerity cleared the way for Covid-19 in deprived urban areas

Tom Gillespie, Hallsworth Research Fellow, Global Development Institute and Kate Hardy, Associate Professor, University of Leeds

Addressing world leaders on Monday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed that ‘it is humanity against the virus – we are in this together’. Sound familiar? ‘All in this together’ was the oft-repeated mantra used to justify cuts to public spending and welfare services during the Cameron-Osbourne austerity years.

Yet, much like austerity, we are clearly not all in this pandemic together. In England and Wales, people are dying from Covid-19 at twice the rate in deprived areas than in affluent areas. The UK government’s strategy during the critical period of early March was to allow coronavirus to spread through the population with a view to achieving ‘herd immunity’, an approach described by Johnson as taking the virus ‘on the chin’. Clearly, some people in some places have had to ‘take it on the chin’ a lot harder than others. read more…

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